The Voice of the Enemy

2 06 2010

Pretty sure we all have some type of voice(s) in our head. This doesn’t mean we’re schizophrenic…we just have active and alive minds! Anyways, its with this voice that we (or at least I) make decisions, justify choices, and logic my way through whatever. Sometimes one of these inner voices yells at the car that just pulled out in front of me. Other times, it’s reaching out to a hurting person when I don’t have the guts to actually speak up. At any rate, my inner voice says a lot. Unfortunately, this voice has spoken quite loudly about my eating disorder. The voice sounds different, though. It’s not the usual “me”…it’s morphed…it’s like its not me. *enter eating-disorder-voice* This is the voice that tells me what to eat or, more often, what NOT to eat. It’s the voice that says “you’re fat” or “if you eat that, ________ bad thing will happen”. It’s the voice that tells me to stop eating weather or not I’m actually satisfied. The voice convinces me to abuse my body. The voice lies. It’s the Enemy (notice the capitalization). I truly think that the Enemy finds our weakest point, then launches a full-scale attack. And it’s vital to find a way to counter the attack.

Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, authors of Intuitive Eating, developed a method to eat, listening fully to our bodies. They list ten principles to help their clients learn this, and one deals directly with the voice.

Challenge the Food Police: Scream a loud “NO” to thoughts in your head that declare you’re “good” for eating under 1000 calories or “bad” because you ate a piece of chocolate cake. The Food Police monitor the unreasonable rules that dieting has created . The police station is housed deep in your psyche, and its loud speaker shouts negative barbs, hopeless phrases, and guilt-provoking indictments. Chasing the Food Police away is a critical step in returning to Intuitive Eating.(http://www.intuitiveeating.org/10_Intuitive_Eating_Princip.php)

So how do I deal with this lying voice, the “Food Police, the voice of the Enemy? It’s a daily battle, that’s for sure! Often, I just try to block it out…ignore it. Maybe that’s not the best way, but for now, it’s working. Sometimes, I argue with it. It feels like that age-old cliché of an angel whispering in one ear while a demon whispers in the other. Sometimes, I flat-out tell it no. Here’s what that sounds like:

Good voice: Mmmmmmm that milkshake sounds SO good right now!
Bad voice: Oh, but think of all the calories…the sugar…the fat! You’ll regret that later, you know you will. Why even bother? Why not just avoid it? Go home and have something hhheeeeaaaallllttthhyyyyy.
Good voice: But…I want it. It sounds good. It’s what my body is ASKING for. So guess what? I’M GONNA HAVE THE MILKSHAKE!! TAKE THAT, HA!!

Ok, maybe that was a bit dramatic, but you get the point 🙂

I can’t ignore the fact that sometimes, I let the voice win, or at least let it partially win. That’s when I choose a salad over a sandwich, or when I choose a glass of milk even though I really wanted a milkshake. The funny thing is, more and more often, I feel worse about letting the Enemy voice win than having that milkshake or whatever. I get frustrated and annoyed. And this is a huge step! Basically, I see it like this: The Good voice and the Enemy voice are sitting on one of those old-fashioned scales (you know, the ones with a bowl on each side, and the goal was to balance them??). Before I started fighting the Enemy voice, it tipped the scale significantly. The Good voice hardly could keep the Enemy from totally dominating the scale. But, little by little, the scale is tipping the other direction. As the Good voice grows stronger, the Enemy grows weaker. The Good voice isn’t dominating the scale YET, but it’s made quite the progress. And herein lies my victory for today.

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3 responses

7 06 2010
onceuponthistime

“And herein lies my victory for today.” <–favorite line. What a wonderful outlook, daily wars, daily victories! We should all live this way.

7 06 2010
Aunt Chelle

Yesssssssssss! There’s nothing wrong with the occasional milkshake. I think that if your system is ‘generally’ in balance, it’s ok.

I have a hard time with weight management, MS, my love of cooking, etc. I could be smaller, I could be bigger, but right now, I’m happy as is. As long as I’m eating well, am getting adequate food for fatigue management, and can still zip my pants, life is good!

31 07 2010
I Didn’t Know How… « My Bad Friend Ed

[…] there’s a battle at about 4 in the afternoon between my rumbling tummy and that stupid, idiotic voice telling me that snacking makes you fat. Sheesh. Who knew eating could be so […]

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