ARE YOU SUFFERING FROM X?
I’ve been watching a series called Phil Stutz on Netflix and was so excited because this is how I work. I am always sharing pictures with my clients to explain to them what is going on and keeping them stuck in their body image hell and horrible relationship with food.
Stutz tells us that we all have an interferer self he calls “X” that gets in the way of us being happy. Shakespeare said much the same thing when he wrote about each person’s unique fatal flaw. Macbeth had his fatal ambition and Hamlet’s fatal flaw was his procrastination he just couldn’t make decisions until it was all too late.
Eating disorders shows us our particular and unique X-SELF. We don’t get an eating disorder simply because someone was mean to us or because we had a difficult childhood; the X-SELF that drives us toward our eating disorder could be that our basic nature is sensitive, or an anxious, or that we have a perfectionistic nature. Oh; of course, our life experiences have some bearing on our disorder of choice but even people without traumas develop anorexia, bulimia and problems with binge eating.
The question we must ask ourselves is NOT what caused our eating disorder, we have to face up to WHO is this X-SELF that has decided to obsess about food, calories, the bodies of pop stars and influencers to such an extent that we want to mould ourselves like putty into an ideal shape and size. What is the real X-SELF that is blinding our light.
This X-SELF is part of us, it isn’t something that will go away, it takes constant and continual self- awareness, pain and hard work to stop critic-X from interfering with our better life. You won’t get rid of X-SELF by starving yourself or working out for hours in the gym. You just put off the pain.
There are so many ways of having an eating disorder. One sad young woman starves herself, eats in 8-hour windows and spends hours in the gym. She has a meltdown if the scales show that she has gained half a pound (of what).
One sad married woman is addicted to cola and McDonalds; the idea of missing her fix makes her shake with fear. She is 30 stones and desperately unhappy. She lives only to eat and her life has shrunk to the corners of her living room. She thinks that a gastric band would solve all her problems with food. It will not.
One sad man can only allow himself to eat so long as he purges afterwards. He is going to live his life with his head down a toilet. If he is watching the sun rise over a glorious mountain he will be thinking about when he can next eat and purge.
I share many ideas with Phil Stutz and I work in ways like him. He says (among other things) that the meaningful life starts with caring for the body, not using it like a lump of putty to showcase the six pack or the 13-inch waist. Not overeating in an act of defiance against a fat-phobic culture. Oh yes, we can use the tricks of therapy to get someone partly well, like CBT and DBT and MANTRA. But every person with an eating disorder needs to meet SELF-X and learn how to use every tool in the book to stop it from pulling your strings. Hard, occasionally uncomfortable and ongoing work.
Only with guidance from a therapist who can show you the mirror into your soul, can you ever get well. Watch Phil Stutz, and reach out for help, we are waiting. 0845 838 2040