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OO Online Group Discussion

edited by Jacki Barineau

Ever feel that maybe OO just isn't working? Ever feel like running back to the "safety" and "familiarity" of a diet? Ever feel like you should lose weight and then try OO? Well, you're not alone! Recently, the OO online group talked about these very issues! Come along with us, as we discuss…

THROWING IN THE TOWEL?

LVS: I'm in "scales mode" again. I was at the doctor's office and wanted to weigh since the scale at the spa had shown a loss, and I wanted it recorded at the doctor's office. To my dismay, the doctor's scale showed I'd gained 7 lbs.! I can't afford to continue this upward trend. I'm scared that, at the rate I'm going, I'll weigh over 300 lbs. soon.

KBM: Why did you feel you needed a weight loss recorded at the doctor's office? What does an upward trend in weight mean to you? I believe that weighing yourself only distracts you from what's really going on.

PK: I agree! One of the first things OO suggests is throwing away the scale. Scales only perpetuate bad body thoughts.

JC: All I can offer is a quote from Overcoming Overeating, p. 76: "Simply put, the scale is the most powerful symbol of nonacceptance in your life. It measures and it judges." The scale is not even a person! Yet, we allow it to have so much power over us! What led you to wonder what your weight was?

LVS: I don't know. I know diets don't work, but this isn't working either. I don't want to be thin, but in order to have the energy I used to, I'm sure I'd need to lose at least 100 lbs.!

KBM: Sorry, I don't buy this! There are many contributing factors to lower energy: age, sedentary lifestyle, sleep patterns, stress. I walk with my neighbor who's a "thin" woman about my age. She sits behind a computer all day and felt sluggish and tired, so she started walking for the energizing effects it has on her. She now feels more alert and energized. These are the same reasons I walk—and we're about 100-150 lbs. apart in weight!

NER: I agree! I don't understand why you think you need to lose 100 lbs. to have energy! Personally, I have more energy now that I'm not obsessing about food or thinking about my diet and exercise plan.

PK: It sounds like you have a lot of attachment to the notion that once you lose weight, your world will change. Try to stop thinking about losing weight. This is your life now, so don't waste another minute worrying about something you cannot change. A number on the scale does not measure who you are as a person.

DR: Well, I'm in exactly the same place as you, LVS! I love the acceptance and non-judgment that I've learned from OO, but I still believe I need to lose weight! I don't care about being skinny, but I physically hurt all the time!

NER: We can take care of ourselves so we aren't out of breath, don't hurt, and feel good! If we lose weight, great! But if we don't, we can still feel great! Now that I've taken the "should" out of exercise and do it for fun and health rather than to lose weight, I actually enjoy it!

PR: I'm struggling with these same issues. We're getting matching blazers at work, and I'm the only woman, so we're using a men's clothing store. When I went to get fitted, it was so humiliating because the salesman couldn't find a jacket to fit me! He finally found a size 58, but even that has to be let out. I immediately started thinking about binging, then dieting. I tell myself that I'm tackling a more important problem with OO—the compulsion to use food to solve all my problems. But I keep thinking, "Couldn't I do that after I've lost 170 pounds?!"

NER: What are the real issues involved when you think of binging and dieting? What was it about the fitting that provoked those feelings? What kind of food did you want—"angry food" or "comfort food?" I find that this helps me identify the feelings. The hard part is feeling the feelings, placing no judgment on them, and expressing them without turning to food.

LM: I sometimes feel I'm fat and need to diet and exercise. I just don't let this overwhelm me anymore. Before OO, these feelings controlled my life. Now I analyze them, deal with them, and put them away. I have a whole life now that has nothing to do with my body! My body is just the "vehicle" that gets me through life.

LVS: I did buy myself a small, heart-shaped box of chocolates. I've had so much mouth hunger lately. I've been feeling so sad and lonely because of Valentine's Day approaching.

NER: It's these feelings of loneliness that are frightening you—not the weight! Feel the feelings! Be with them! Feel sad, lonely, afraid, and whatever else comes up.

KBM: Bad body thoughts are never about our bodies—no matter how much we want them to be. They're always about something else—like Valentine's Day and the feelings that may go with it! I'm glad you bought yourself a box of chocolates—too bad it was small! It sounds like you could use some extra TLC right now.

PK: When you accept yourself at your present weight and really keep your food supplies stocked, you'll stop eating from mouth hunger. Maybe then you'll lose weight. But even if you don't, you'll be happy with yourself. I can relate to the sadness surrounding Valentine's Day. I have no boyfriend right now, and last year at this time I would've been eating from mouth hunger. But instead, I have felt the sadness of not having a mate. I didn't turn it into bad body thoughts.

LM: I also get sad, scared, and angry—but these feelings don't define my life anymore. OO has given me a new focus that is not my body! I think about how awful it would be if all I had to show for my life was my obsession with my body and weight! That is not how I want to be remembered! "But she was skinny…"

LVS: Thanks for all your help! I realize now that beneath all my "weight talk" is a very sad, lonely, angry person. I haven't owned a scale for years, but sometimes I feel compelled to measure my progress by a number. By focusing on weight and low energy I was masking the real issues. It's good to know that others struggle with this too. I realize now that weight loss is not a life goal for me, but rather self-esteem, good care-taking, making peace with food, and feeling feelings. OO has given me a new life!

To join the Overcoming Overeating Online email list, see our Online Support page.

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