What’s Eating You?

Whatever is the particular source of overeating or under-eating, there have been serious failures in love in the person’s story to date, failures that are likely to be still ongoing.  When a lack of loving or the presence of harsh rejection and ‘never feeling good enough’ or ‘beautiful enough’ are protectively internalised, the consequence is the person hates self or her body, so that she softens the emotional blows she experiences from others.  Typically, health care professionals would view such internal responses as the person having low self-esteem, but, sadly, they miss the fact that the person is actually guarding the pearl of great price – her unique and sacred self.  There is such an intelligence in viewing yourself as ‘worthless’ or ‘invisible’ or ‘ugly’ or ‘unlovable’ or ‘gross’ because you will not then risk reaching out to anybody for love, friendship, companionship and recognition.  It can be seen for this person to come out from behind her protective walls – her comfort zone – and hence ‘comfort eating’ – she will require the ongoing security of unconditional acceptance from another.  When support groups offer this kind of relationship they can be the source of the healing of a lot of human misery.  It is crucial that such groups be not prescriptive; on the contrary, they need to trust that the person, who has so creatively protected herself to date, will also create the ways for her to express fearlessly her fullness.

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