Hello, Ms. Wollinger
I’m taking the liberty to write you once again since I have another unanswered question. I’m in the process of reading the book the second time and try to implement some of the suggestions. I still find it difficult to hear my hummers and/or to indulge in them. This week, I reacted twice with a binging episode, because there was a vociferous struggle in my head between what I would like to eat and what I should be eating.
You wrote very movingly that you capitulated at some stage, and I now feel that I’ve reached a similar point. I no longer have the strength to fight, but am terrified of losing control completely and to become even heavier.
I know I probably simply should let go and trust, but that’s exactly what is so difficult for me. Were you simply able to make the switch? Didn’t your voices of reason catch up to you?
Many thanks for taking the time to respond to me.
Dear Ms. J.,
I’m so pleased and honored that you’re reading the book for the second time 🙂
First and foremost, it is really great how precisely you were able to perceive why you had the two binging episodes! Such events are often an indication that something is going against us instead of for us.
Therefore, I would like to encourage you to find your own pace.
As soon as you’re afraid, stop! There’s no need for you to force yourself, because that would go against your grain and be the exact opposite of self-love, which is at the heart of the path of recovery from eating disorder.
Just because something sounds sensible doesn’t necessarily mean that it is the exact right thing for you at that moment!
Fear per se is not a bad thing. Up to a certain, healthy extent, it keeps us from doing things that aren’t good for us. Maybe you could tell your fear: “Relaxing the entire control all at once?! That’s not possible. That’s too much for me!! Please take smaller steps.”
Maybe small steps would mean relaxing control within a clearly defined framework? Next time you’re at a restaurant you might try to have exactly the dish that appeals to you (hummer)? Or you could try to eat the food you think about first when having dinner, instead of starting with the “healthy stuff”?
It takes practice to recognize hummers. What’s needed is a genuine “hummer experience” to really feel what it means to eat a hummer.
Walking at one’s individual pace is very, very important and has a lot to do with strength, meaning the strength to stand up for our needs.
The process of letting go and trusting doesn’t work “simply”. Rather, it takes years. We can’t just decide in our minds to do it here and now. It takes time and experience. We need to actually EXPERIENCE that it is possible to trust.
Maybe it would help to think about a betrayal or a disappointment in a partnership. The head might decide “I forgive you” when the partner assures us that it will never happen again, while the heart still needs time. We have to EXPERIENCE to be able to trust again.
In order to learn to trust oneself, it may be important NOT to exceed one’s boundaries and to respect current boundaries – to find another, highly personal path.
The idea “from now on always” doesn’t work. What’s essential is to walk the path step by step. Self-love means, among other things, to demand of one self what is possible, instead of forcing ourselves to do things our ambition would strive for.
It is entirely possible that this is not the right moment for turning around your eating behavior. Maybe you’d prefer to progress in the “project self-love” instead?
Maybe it is enough right now that you’re aware of what you actually would like to eat and still decide on the “healthy stuff”. So be it! Throwing oneself completely into a risk may actually be too much all at once!
There are many different steps we may choose to take. We’re allowed to take it easy along the way and don’t always have to immediately pick out the most difficult thing, believing the only way of progressing is by doing the really tough stuff. Development may also progress with ease and bring joy!
Maybe there’s something in the book that also “jumps out” at you, but is easier to implement? Ultimately, it doesn’t matter which steps we take. In the end, it’ll be the sum total of all steps that will lead to a life we’re comfortable with (which includes our weight).
I hope to have been of some help to you with my response and encouraged you on your path!
Warm regards from Vienna,
(translated by Ulli Wiesner)
P.S. Finally, a brief video about “hummers” that might make you smile 🙂