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Jan 14, 2006

A CYBERGUIDE TO STOP OVEREATING AND RECOVER FROM EATING DISORDERS



Twenty Inner Secret Discovery QuestionsWhat follows are questions which can help determine if you have secrets from yourself. Inner secrets play a powerful role in beginning and maintaining many eating disorders.

Question 1:
How well do you remember your childhood?


  • Do you keep remembering the same experiences and gloss over major absences of memory?
  • Do you think you remember events because others have described them to you? Are your memories yours or are they images and stories given to you by others?
  • Do you remember details from some years and little from others?
  • Are even clear memories spotty? An example of this is when a person can remember the yard around their childhood home well, but has trouble remembering specific rooms or parts of rooms in the house.

Question 2:
Do you lose track of conversation?


  • Do you often get bored or distracted during conversation?
  • Do you go blank for a moment or two?
  • Do you find yourself trying to pick up what's going on, as if you had been "gone" for a moment?
  • Are these familiar experiences that you consider just part of your nature?

Question 3:
Do you lose track while watching a movie or hearing a lecture?


  • Are there simple paragraphs or sentences in books which you have to reread and yet still have difficulty registering in your mind?
  • Did that happen while you were reading this cyberguide, Triumphant Journey? If it did, go back and see if you can find those sections and hold them in your mind. If you can find them but still can't hold them, write them down. Sometimes, even writing them down doesn't work. It's as if the words go through your eyes to your hands, fingers and pen, typewriter or keyboard, completely bypassing your mind. That's okay. Just record them and keep them in the notebook you'll find out about in the Secret Discovering Exercises.
  • Do you miss small sections of a film's continuity and have to fill in the meaning from your imagination?
  • Are you certain that your small misses while watching films are okay because you are skilled in making sense out of the parts you have seen?
  • Have you ever watched a video of a film you've seen before and been surprised at whole sections of events and meanings that you didn't know existed from your first viewing?

Question 4:
Are there small, mundane events which can reliably arouse your anger or fear?


  • Examples of such events include:
    • You or someone else spills something.
    • Someone moves an object out of its usual place.
    • A simple food is unavailable.
    • You are to go up stairs or through a doorway first, immediately ahead of one or more people.
    • A household item or appliance breaks down and requires repair or replacement.

Question 5:
Do you feel you have to pretend to be someone better than you are?


  • Do you feel that if people knew who you really were they would turn away from you?
  • Do you feel that if people knew who you really were they would laugh at you, belittle you, or punish you in some way?

Question 6:
Do you feel nervous when you feel someone sees who you really are?


  • Can you tell from a moment's glance when someone is seeing your real self?
  • Do you keep away from such people?

Question 7:
Do you often feel you have to leave situations because you feel too nervous or confined to stay?


  • Examples of such situations include:
    • meetings
    • relationships
    • brief encounters in social gatherings
    • classrooms
    • waiting rooms
  • If you remain do you feel resentful and angry or afraid?

Question 8:
Do you have personal private rituals?


  • Will you feel anxiety or anger if you cannot do them?
  • Examples of such rituals can include:
    • Chewing a certain number of times or in a particular way.
    • Relying on telephone conversations at a particular time of day.
    • Exercising in a certain way at a certain time.
    • Eating special foods in a specific way or at a specific time or both.
    • Using particular eating utensils.
    • Watching particular TV programs while eating particular foods.
    • Cutting, chopping or arranging food to lengthen your time with the food. An example of this might be after peeling and eating an orange, spending time meticulously cutting the orange peel into tiny pieces.

Question 9:
Do you forget your sexual experiences?


  • In an actual sexual experience, do you feel you are once again in a physical and emotional experience you forget about completely in your daily life?
  • Do you often feel vulnerable and na�ve about sex in daily life despite numerous and varied sexual experiences?
  • Do you also feel, more than occasionally, that you have special, secret knowledge about sex?
  • Do you often lose feeling during a sexual experience and find yourself observing your partner or your own sensations from an objective point of view?
  • Do you often have private sexual fantasies in which you are helpless and the center of dramatic attentions?
  • Do you often have fantasies where someone is helpless and either honored and/or afraid to receive your dramatic attentions?

Question 10:
Do you have body sensations you do not understand?

Examples of such inexplicable experiences include:


  • shaking
  • skin rashes
  • cold chills
  • nausea
  • dizziness

Question 11:
Do you feel you will faint on occasion?

Have you almost proven to yourself that it's not due to physical exercise, illness, PMS or menopause?


Question 12:
Are you often surprised at your own appearance?


  • Do you sometimes feel invisible?
  • Do you feel you can make yourself so unobtrusive that you feel you are practically invisible?
  • Do you enter an invisible feeling when you are buying binge foods or eating them?

Question 13:
Are you attracted to people who betray you?

Do you feel you are wrong and apologize when someone hurts you?

Question 14:
Do you sometimes think you are special?

Do you get angry when others will not alter plans for you?

Question 15:
Do you sometimes or often think it is your lot in life to suffer?

Question 16:
Do you regularly feel lonely, incompetent and fragile in a harsh world?

  • Do you feel that this is the real you and you must guard against anyone knowing it?
  • Do you feel extremely moved, surprised and grateful when someone shows you a small consideration or appreciation?

Question 17:
Do you work excessively to achieve cultural prizes like money, degrees, status, adulation, perfect body - all without satisfaction?

If you try to relax do you feel unbearable anxiety and not know what to do with yourself?

Question 18:
Do you lead a double life?

Do you keep information and activities hidden from others?
Examples include:

  • sexual liaisons
  • roles you play in different areas in your life
  • jobs
  • future plans
  • sexual practices
  • hobbies and personal interests
Do you lie regularly?

Do you lie when you don't have a reason, and you don't know why you are lying?

Question 19:
Do you have a regular habit of pushing the same ideas or information out of your mind because you know you don't want to ever think about them?

Do you regularly postpone to the point of not doing an activity at all?

Do you postpone doing activities where you know in your mind that you could probably do well, but you are too nervous to get started?

Examples of this can include:

  • sending out a completed job application.
  • sending out a completed school application.
  • calling someone who might be a mentor for you.
  • taking an adult education class in something you think might be fun or interesting.
  • Saying yes to an invitation to submit an idea or piece of work which, if accepted, would bring you into contact with new people in a new and challenging setting.

Question 20:
Do these questions make you anxious?

If you answer, "yes," to many of these questions you may have a secret from yourself. If you are angry or frightened that these questions exist, you have a secret from yourself. If you feel anxiety thinking about these questions, you have a secret from yourself.

If you are curious and anxious at the same time, you are on the threshold of discovery. Your curiosity can keep you on the healing path.

If you have read these questions and want some genuine answers to questions you have about yourself, despite any anxiety you may feel, you are already on your Triumphant Journey.

In the Secret Discovering Exercises section of Triumphant Journey and the accompanying Action Plan you will find a way to discover what your secrets are as you simultaneously develop the necessary strength to face them. This is the healing journey that can lead to personal triumph.

Secret Discovering Exercises

In following these exercises you will create a book which will become a map, guide and vital resource for your triumphant journey. As you proceed on this new healing path you will gradually see your secrets unfold and become known by you in many surprising and relieving ways. You will begin to recognize how overeating and other out of control behaviors shield you from self knowledge.

Soon you will be stronger and more free to choose new and more positive actions. You will begin to experience more health and joy in your life. You will not only recognize opportunities, but have more courage to act on them. You will bring more quality to your life than you have ever known.

First:

Establish a trustworthy support system so you have one or more friendly witnesses who are aware of your efforts.

Support could be:

yellow arrowsympathetic friend on a similar journey
yellow arrowtrusted friend or friends
yellow arrowmembers of a psychotherapy group
yellow arrow12 step companions
yellow arrow12 step sponsor
yellow arrowother trustworthy and reliable person who is capable of tolerating your strong feelings without getting pulled into them
yellow arrowyour psychotherapist

(As close and as sympathetic some family members might be, it is usually best to have support for this process be someone who is not a relative.)

There will be times when you feel more than you think you can bear. You will need a trustworthy companion.

At first, one kind friend may be enough. Eventually, if you seriously engage yourself in these exercises, you may need more regular and reliable support than one friend can give. That's normal.

Second:

Remember and list experiences that soothe and inspire you. Your list might include:

reading
listening to music
playing with a pet
drawing
model building
working cross word puzzles
warm baths or showers
walking
running
gardening
dancing
dance classes

playing sports
lifting weights
exercise classes
board games
conversation
watching movies
writing
bicycling
painting
working with clay
swimming

Whenever you find yourself having an enjoyable experience where you are happy or just more comfortable being you, describe that experience on paper and add it to your list. You are building your awareness of genuine support, health and joy resources. You will this specific and written list as you proceed through the Action Steps on your Triumphant Journey.

Third:

Be kind and appreciative of yourself. Acknowledge yourself as part of your support system.

Every morning read aloud several affirmations [1] and [2] to the walls, the garden, the furniture and the mirror. This will help you build a kind appreciation for yourself. When you discover a thought that is meaningful and helpful to you, add it to the affirmations list. Create your own affirmations making sure they are each in a positive form.

Fourth:

Let yourself know how much of your life has been consumed with protecting your secrets. Often guarding and hiding inner secrets becomes the basic organizing principle which governs all your actions.

Think about what you have been absolutely certain about what you can and cannot do. Examples to get you started thinking about this are:

 
yellow arrowWhat kinds of things are okay for you to talk about?
yellow arrowWhat kinds of things must you or dare you not talk about?
yellow arrowWhat kind of people can you be with?
yellow arrowWho must you not be with or dare not be with?
yellow arrowWhat can ask of yourself or others?
yellow arrowWhat must you not dare to ask of yourself or others?
yellow arrowWhat kind of treatment or environment or life style must you accept, like it or not?
yellow arrowWhat kind of treatment, environment or life style do you barely allow yourself to dream of?
yellow arrowAre there ways of living that other people can have but never you?
yellow arrowIs it forbidden, for some reason, for you to try to bring that way of living into your life?

Getting acquainted with the power and influence of your belief system takes time, patience and courage. When you start to question these beliefs you begin to challenge the power of your inner secrets.

Some limits you impose on yourself are free choices. For example, you may choose to take a boring part time job because it gives you time to be with your baby or take a class or work on a project that is important to you yet brings in no income. That's a free choice.

But if you take a boring part time job because you believe that you can't ask for more or expect more then you may well be under the influence of inner secrets you don't know about.

Hidden inner secrets can't let you know about your own strength. If you have knowledge and strength, you might challenge the system which holds you down. And overeating holds you down.

Fifth:

Remember to breathe and allow yourself to be surprised.

Breathe evenly and surely. Watch you breath and allow oxygen to nourish your body and mind.

As you breathe, allow yourself to be surprised. When you are surprised, allow yourself to breathe. Remember to exhale fully.

When you are surprised, you are discovering something. Your surprise is a major signal that you are uncovering inner secrets. In time those nameless secrets will be understood, named and resolved. With every surprise and resolution of secrets comes more understanding and freedom.

Sixth:

Elaborate on these exercises to make them your own.

You can add to your book:
yellow arrowthoughts
yellow arrowmemories
yellow arrowconversations of the day
yellow arrowdaydreams
yellow arrownight dreams

You might include a phrase, comment, affirmation, prayer, or quote that touches your heart or your imagination.

These are personal strands of awareness that touch your genuine self. As you gather these strands, your desire to live healthy and strong will weave them into a healing, teaching, strengthening support system that will help make you whole.

Overeating is such a puny substitute for the strength and beauty you can create within yourself.

You can have self confidence based on true personal strength and wisdom.

Seventh:

At least once every three weeks, read your book aloud. You will be sharing truth and freedom with yourself.

These are seven preparatory steps for your taking specific action. What follows is the Action Plan, the method you will use to be free of overeating.

The Action Plan is the heart of your Triumphant Journey.



Visibility: Everyone
Posted: Saturday January 14, 2006, 4:15 pm
Tags: mentalhealth [add/edit tags]

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Leo Sanz (151)
Saturday January 14, 2006, 4:50 pm
this is good. i am gonna doit. mercy

Past Member (0)
Saturday January 14, 2006, 7:06 pm
IC.G..did you absolutely,positively,have to bring out so much truth? why,why,why,!!errrrrrghghghghg!LOL.,

Past Member (0)
Sunday January 15, 2006, 1:45 pm
Hi IC.G.
I reread the Title of this thread,"A Cyberguide to Stop OverEating And Recover from Eating Disorders." Although I am in the correct weight for my height and have been for many years since about age 30+)Recollecting,I do think I was underweight before,and extremely shy,also in emotional debates about someone in my family who was a much gregarious,outspoken women,and about how she liked to dress(more gaudy,by gaudy I mean brighter color,too many patterns,which was the times l960s and flamboyant.)It was more of a time when younger people were not allowed(at least in our home...)to voice their opinions even if they were correct(though there are many meanings for correct or not correct,or right.)plus the addition of the things studying and growing brought up in life added to the anxieties of youth.I can see now,how wanting lots of material things, could've been a need within myself,and that in later years,meditation has helped to clear out.But I.C. G. this article is above and beyond the best article I have read. I can see by some basic readings in psychology how the layers of the human mind can reap and absorb lots of things I have read,experienced,heard,and seen,and how they acumulate. If one or more things haven't been clarified when younger,and the person is naturally a curious alert person,and someone either myself cannot find the answer,or someone else doesn't want to tell me,then the question blogs the mind of the present,now. I will have to show this website to my daughter's jr.high school friend,for I do think she has an eating disorder. THANK YOU IC.G.,YOU'VE DONE IT AGAIN. A VERY HELPFUL ARTICLE!

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IC G.
female, age 114, married
Overtherainbow, France, France
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