“Under the Fear of Weight Gain” (By: Peggy Miller)
Many eating disorders are marked by a fear of weight gain and a fear of being fat. Once, when I was talking to my counselor about my fear of gaining weight that had been coming up, she asked me what was under that. She told me that often when fear of weight gain increases it can be related to feeling insecure in other areas of my life.
As I thought about this, I realized how true this was for me. Whenever I have felt insecure, my eating disorder would tell me that I would feel more secure if I controlled my body. My eating disorder would tell me that if I tried to control and avoid the feeling of insecurity, I would feel better. My eating disorder would tell me that my body is a problem to be controlled.
However, self-compassion tells me a different story. One that feels more true and good. I can embrace those feelings of insecurity and discomfort and not run from them. I can know I am okay and loved and simultaneously not feel that way. I can choose to respond to feelings of insecurity with self-compassion and not my eating disorder.
And the end result? If I choose my eating disorder, I will be left with more insecurity. It will never be enough because my body is not the problem. If I choose self-compassion, the feelings of insecurity may fade. And then they may come back. But I will be okay.
So, as you read this, I wonder what lies under the fears your eating disorder tries to tell you it can fix? And I wonder what it would look like to choose self-compassion today and not your eating disorder.
About the Author
Peggy Miller is currently a graduate student in Lipscomb University’s Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She is thankful for all those who have supported and encouraged her in her own recovery journey, and she is passionate about spending her life holding hope for her own clients and walking with them on the beautiful and messy journey of healing. In her free time, Peggy enjoys spending time with her dog, family, and friends. She loves good coffee, hiking, ice cream, and hugs.