by Lizabeth Wesely-Casella

Know. Don’t Just Accept.


This post may be triggering to those with EDs.  It talks about the desire for control, changes in body shape and size, combating triggers and understanding internal dialog.  Please read with care and keep yourself healthy and safe.

no_bad_thoughts___by_sweeneyluva-d4xuxgeWe’ve all had stress; I’ve been under some lately.  Stress is a 6 letter, 4-letter word and we all know it.  Yuck stress.

A side effect of my recent stress is that I’m losing size and before we all say “Yay!” let’s think about this for a minute.  Who, exactly, is winning here if that’s why I’m changing shape – me or Mr. Stress-hole?

It’s not that I don’t want to be more comfortable when I move, when I polish my toes (we paint a house, we polish our nails…), when I cross my legs, when I participate in fun runs.  I DO, but I’ve got the Eliza Doolittle syndrome happening, meaning, I know too much to celebrate this specific change in my shape without taking a good look at why it’s happening.

Much like Eliza Doolittle (My Fair Lady/Pygmalion) I have studied and worked hard to learn about myself.  And again, having gathered that knowledge, we can’t conveniently un-know things in order to make life easier.  Eliza couldn’t go from being a “lady” back to being part of her previous street community and I can no longer take changes in my eating behavior for granted.  We both know too much to be blissfully unaware of the dangers we put ourselves in by settling for a state of ignorance.

So, what am I having to acknowledge when I look my size-reduction gift-horse squarely in the mouth?  I’m acknowledging that my old ED thoughts have taken over the asylum and that they are strong as well as persistent.  Damn.

Here are some things to know, or keep in mind, if you are struggling with BED the way I am:

  • Healthy bodies find their right size/shape/weight when they are properly nourished.
  • Proper nourishment does not include skipping meals or limiting food groups.
  • Eating at regular intervals keeps your body functioning properly.
  • Losing weight does not mean your life will be better or easier – your waistline does not change your life.
  • Skipping meals and starving are two sure fire ways of guaranteeing a binge.
  • If you are struggling to find control in your life, the most powerful control you can have is over taking good care of yourself, not in denying you body and brain proper care.
  • You cannot punish someone else by refusing to eat – it doesn’t work that way.
  • Depriving oneself of food is diet mentality and diets don’t work; rather, they cause harm.

With all of that said, where do I go from here?  How do I stop the old tapes from playing and create new and healthy habits to match my knowledge base?  I suppose I can give myself a little pat on the back for having been brave enough to acknowledge and analyze the thoughts that I’m having which are unhealthy.  Starting out with an “atta girl!” always helps me to get the ball rolling when I’ve got some heavy lifting to do.

Next, I’ve got to make myself eat healthily and be mindful that every bite is supporting me in both mind and body.

Beyond that, I need to work through the residue of the triggering events I experienced so that when I come up against similar challenges, the last thing they will have an effect on is my ED – any of my EDs.

Now, off to my therapist (if you don’t have an ED therapy resource, please consider any of those in the Resources tab) with a good grip on my self-knowledge and a mind ready to tackle some more hard work.  Time to get my knowledge on and healthy thoughts in!


  1. Bella

    Liz – this article had me thinking by golly. Esp this morning when I found my old pedometer by accident and thought ‘great, I’ll clip this on and see how many steps I’m getting in’ and I could hear you asking ‘Why B?’ and the answer was ‘to see if I’m doing enough to lose weight.’ I have really been pondering this and how it all relates with my eating disorders and it has helped me feel a little more sane right now. Certainly not healed or cured but it makes sense why my focus elsewhere (another site) doesn’t match some of the fervor of some others regarding ‘how many steps are you getting in today, how many grams of weight have you lost since your last weigh in ..’ when I’m thinking ‘I made it through the day without eating too much or not eating enough.’ I don’t think I’ll ever be Goldilocks and get it just right but this is giving me a piece of the puzzle I knew wasn’t fitting right. Thanks, Bella

    • Lizabeth

      Bella! What a wonderful thing to see you here! Welcome back!

      I’m glad this was a good post for you and that you are finding your own stride and one that gives you peace of mind. If the site is the one we know each other from, I understand what you mean about the focus on a set of results that, quite frankly, aren’t the results I’m looking for. Making it through the day having honored my body, hunger and emotions has lead me to a place where I know my body is where it should be. It doesn’t change and it does the things I want it to, like hug my dog and type messages to friends that I miss 🙂

      Thank you for the note and I hope to see you ‘around’ more often!


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