When you suffer from a problem like binge eating disorder, you never really conquer all of your demons, particularly those of intrusive thoughts. As hard as you try to keep your thoughts positive and not focus on your body and weight, sometimes there is a spontaneous recurrence of your previous toxic ideas (intrusive thoughts). But when these things happen, and I promise you, they will, you have to take it in stride, realize that these thoughts are not correct and don’t need to be considered. Then you have to tell yourself what is actually true.
Binge Eating Intrusive Thought: Earning Love Through Being Thin
I’ve been immersed in the dating world for about six months now and it’s been fun, but stressful. I recently met someone that I really liked and really saw as having great potential for a relationship. Things progressed to a point and then he made it clear that things were not progressing any further. Disappointed and feeling rejected, I started going through the five stages of grief. When I got to bargaining, one of the things that occurred to me was that I should lose more weight. This was an intrusive thought.
As soon as I thought that, I had to stop and wonder why that idea had even crossed my mind. He had never said anything negative about my weight or my body and had certainly never given me any reason to believe that his lack of interest in dating me was due to my physical characteristics. But it was so deeply ingrained in my psyche that only thin people deserve love and only thin people can be loved that as soon as I was faced with a problem, my oh-so-helpful brain leapt to the conclusion that I had to change my body to change my life.
Intrusive Thoughts and the Lifelong Struggle with Body Image
When I was growing up, society made it very clear what they thought of fat people. They were lazy, useless, and ugly. No one could love them or be sexually attracted to them. In order to be a coveted mate, one had to earn it by achieving thinness. As hard as I’ve tried to fight this programming and as much as I consciously reject it, it’s still there, latent and waiting to strike in a moment of weakness.
Eating disorders are something that never truly go away. As hard as you work to overcome the damaging lies your brain has told you about the world, yourself, and how the world perceives you, the thoughts are always there. Just because they’re at the back of your mind, doesn’t mean that they’ve been vanquished, once and for all. These binge eating disorder thoughts can come back intrusively. It’s important to monitor your thoughts and be able to recognize irrational ideas that pop back in from time to time. You will always have the intrusive thoughts, but you don’t have to listen to them.