Tag Archives: self image

ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT : Fed Up! Group Sessions

2 Feb

The Fed Up Manifesto :

“I am FED UP with a world which measures my worth in kilograms.  I am FED UP by the ways in which I have reacted to these measures and judgements in the past.  I am FED UP! Today, I am moving forward, taking charge, and claiming my right to life, love and happiness.  Right NOW”

Date : Tues 1 March 2011

Time : 6 to 9pm

Place : Group Lounge, My Coaching Office, Melville, Johannesburg

Session Topic : Weight Loss Surgery

A frank discussion on elective weight-loss surgery.  An opportunity for clarity and enlightenment for anyone who is considering a weight loss intervention, anyone opposed to this surgery but seeking with honest intent to understand it, or anyone conflicted on the issue. The discussion will be facilitated by myself (Suzanne ‘Soo’ Patterson), an NLP Life Coach.  All attendees will have an opportunity to participate, without pressure to communicate beyond their comfort level.

This group is for you if :  You are a woman.  You currently struggle with your weight AND/OR you have struggled with your weight in the past and still consider your relationship with food to be complicated and tenuous AND/OR you consider yourself a food addict AND/OR you are in a relationship with a food addict AND/OR you are part of the loving support system of a food addict.

Special Guest : Heather (my sister and co-blogger here) (37 yrs) – 3 months after lap-band surgery

Fed Up is NOT a slimming club.  Fed Up is a confidential on-going support system for women struggling with issues related to food addiction and self esteem.  The Fed Up Sessions have a group therapy structure, and offer encouragement and therapeutic advice in your journey to self-awareness, victory over your addiction and the issues which underlie it.  You will NOT be weighed, you will NOT be measured.  You will not be asked to leave the group if you do not lose weight.  You will never be shamed, over praised or treated like a child.  You WILL be heard, understood, and given an opportunity to vent, facilitated by a kind a gentle process.

To book contact me, Soo Patterson 071  177 7030 or email talktosoopat@hotmail.com.
To preserve the group dynamic, places are limited.  R80 per person, includes 3hr group therapy session, session notes, Coffee, Tea & Biscuits.


Confessions of One who has NEVER binged…

1 Jul

Written by Suzanne mid 2008

(Note from Suzanne : I am posting something I wrote a couple of years ago.  I find this quite difficult to read, as  I don’t even recognise myself.  I had just started an “episode” and I wrote this to justify to a boyfriend why I was eating a single boiled egg a day.  I am two different people.  I am one type of person when I am in the grips of an “episode”.. and another the rest of the time.  I admit that an “episode” is never far away, and that the most random thing can set it off… that pic… below for example – the back roll pic.  UGGGH.  It makes me want to vomit that after a mere few months of not paying attention, I am a pork roll again.  I worry why I am embarrassed to post this, because I weigh 59 kilograms / 130 pounds, RIGHT NOW.  I feel like a fraud, are the eating disordered ever allowed to be chubby?  Is healing about achieving chubbiness?  Is that the Holy Grail?  Should I love my current pudge?  I don’t.)

I think the statement is "I am not weak.. like you"

I like everything about food, which may surprise you. I like the way it looks, smells and tastes. I like to cook, touch and be near it. Liking food was never the problem. Liking food in fact, was always the problem.

I don’t like to talk about anorexia. I don’t like to say the word out loud or even write it. Up until a year ago, despite the dark days gone by I have never referred to myself as such. It seems an overly dramatic term. I have never been hospitalised after all.. have never been fed by a pipe because of it.  I have never been anywhere near thin enough.  I have never had anyone gasp at my weight as I passed by.  I have never truly proved myself worthy.

I do however like to think about anorexia. I like to think about it a lot. I also like to read about, to watch movies on it, and to look at pictures of girls affected by it. I used to be a member of an ana website (yes, there is a supportive sisterhood) but because of the difficulty I have to admit to myself and others that I am anorexic (I prefer the expression “I have food issues”), I entered the site as an observer. I pretended.. absurdly enough.. to be a bulimic, so as to not attract too much attention to myself while deciding if they were worthy.. or a bunch of fakers. There are plenty fake anas about.. if a chubby girl tells you she is ana.. she needs a kick in the chops.. you don’t do this half way. I have no time for pretenders. As it turned out, I was really amongst some stellar examples on the site, but that is not why I didn’t stay.

In the caste system of eating disorders, bulimics are those chubby girls that wish they could be anorexic, but don’t have the willpower, those with a true understanding of the lifestyle consider them to be the girls that learn to crawl, but don’t keep the sport up long enough to learn to run. The anas on the sight didn’t recognise me as one of their own, so I never really fitted in there, and didn’t last for long.

Bingeing might be part of the recipe for some, bulimics in particular, but it has never been part of the recipe for me. I would never do something that disgustingly ill disciplined as gorging myself for hours. The idea is completely revolting to me. Throwing up is also so obvious.. it’s looking for attention, and that’s the last thing I want. I have thrown up a couple of times to try it, but its far too theatrical for me, and for the most part unnecessary. If I don’t want something in my stomach, I wont put it in there in the first place. I control food. Food does not control me. I do not have a problem stopping my hand full of food reaching my mouth. I do not need to bolt the refrigerator with a padlock. I just don’t eat it. I just stop. I don’t have to, and I wont. Load the table with whatever you like. Bring it on (in fact, I will enjoy resisting it). I do not need to touch a single morsel.

diet coke? You can live off that. The rest? A choice.

In the past, on one of the occasions where I had been trying to lose weight (hang on.. trying is the wrong term.. as I always succeed), and had decided to allow myself one meal a day at the company canteen. On my way, walking with a group of girls – one of the chubby ones.. the type that is always trying to fatten up everyone else… says “Oh Soo… I see you are coming to lunch.. I thought you were on a diet?” (she smiles smugly…delighting that I am weak like her). I stop walking… right there… turn around and head back to my office saying over my shoulder “You are right. I have suddenly lost my appetite. You girls go ahead. I don’t need lunch”. And I don’t need it. I really, really don’t.

The same applies if I am at a restaurant and decide to order a dessert. It arrives and I am pleased with it.. and pick up my spoon and take the first mouthful. My dinner guest says to me “Oooh.. you are attacking that with gusto! you must have REALLY been looking forward to that!” It instantly turns to shit in my mouth and I won’t even be able to swallow that mouthful. I push it away immediately.

Maybe my dinner companion understands the urge to shove a dessert down her throat like a pig at a trough.. maybe she is one of those that likes chocolate more than sex, perhaps that’s why she feels the need to make that comment. In my mind.. she is probably just gloating at a sign of weakness from me (see above). I am not. I do not need it… and it is not about proving it to her. It’s about proving it to myself.

honey, are you going to eat that?

I hate the way people comment when I have lost weight. “Oh.. you are looking great!” etc.. etc.. It bothers me because they didn’t say a word the week before, which in my mind reads as “Aww shit you look fat today, I better keep quiet about it”. Either you say something every time.. or say nothing all the time. I would prefer the latter.

Do not confuse this with not wanting to be looked at, or not wanting to matter. I want to be looked at very badly, I always have. People do look at me, and for the most part, they like what they see. It would be great if I was pretty enough that my body didn’t need to factor in, but my body has always factored in, and people who have known me for years expect me to look thin.. and many of the nastier ones would just love me to get fat.

This creates a certain amount of pressure.

Christmas would come early for those girls if I arrived at a party looking fatter than them. It’s NEVER going to happen. Being thin is the only high ground I have ever had, and yes I validate myself on it to a large degree. If I wasn’t thin.. what would I have? Heather is the pretty one, Suzanne is the thin one, that’s how it has always been. It’s carved in stone and bolted away in some deep place that can’t even be reached.

If people don’t like me thin, I don’t know what to do with that. I don’t know how to process it. So thin isn’t pretty to you? Where does that leave me? What must I do with that? It’s pretty to most other people.. I know this.. because they all tell me they envy me all the bloody time. If it’s not pretty, then that leaves me nowhere to turn.

thin = pretty. fat = ugly. Let's not monkey around.

I make a very revolting chubby girl. I have been a chubby girl.. I was a size 12 for about 5 minutes back when I was married when I thought I was happy. I look back on the pictures and it isn’t pretty. I look like Jabba the Hut and worse than that.. I was very.. very ordinary. My bone structure is very fine. I cannot get away with even being a generous size ten. It does not suit me. My face goes all round and I don’t have enough hair to balance my face. My head looks like a piece of dough someone has shoved on a stick. I also get a belly, because I don’t have much of a waist to start with.

Years ago I really applied my obsession aggressively. Before I entered the MNET Miss Bikini Comp I was on a milkshake diet for a month (I didn’t eat the evening meal though.. it seemed quicker to have the milkshakes and nothing else), and took a triple dose of laxatives before the finals in Plettenberg Bay to get my stomach really flat. I came third. Praise and affirmation for a job well done? Of course.

The girl who won  was thinner than me.

At my worst, I was using every method available to me and it was at a time in my life when my system was developing. I have messed myself up a bit, and I still need a proper diagnosis as to exactly what that means for me. It appears to mean no children.. but after the initial discussion with my doctor and her questions getting a little close to the truth, I never went to the specialist she recommended.

I chose to leave it.

That was 4 years ago, 3 and a half of which I was with my ex without using contraception (he has 2 kids already). I leave it because I feel that I have earned that condition, and that’s the price I am going to have to pay for all of this. I don’t expect anyone to understand, and I deliberately seek out men that don’t have baby ambitions so that the issue is not a deal breaker down the line. I would have liked to have had children and I mourn the loss of the choice, but moping and whingeing about it isn’t going to get me anywhere. I would also have liked to have competed in the olympics and I never did. boo hoo.

I refuse to consider my life to be “incomplete” just because I find myself in this position. Exercise helps me normalise, but then my obsessive focus gets directed there. During my modeling years I spent many months going to gym twice a day for three or four hours at a time. During those times, I could eat what I wanted, as I burnt it off immediately. When I climbed Killi I lost 6 kilograms / 13 pounds in 7 days, even though we were eating fried bread and tons of food three times a day. I like the high I get from exercise, the more extreme the better.. and I like the fact that no one judges you for going overboard in pursuit of a perfect body.

On that note.. no one needs to tell me that my body is not perfect and think that I need to hear that and get over myself. I have never ever ever thought that.. not even for a millisecond. The list of things I hate about my body could fill a few pages. I have been eating relatively normally for years. I will not pretend that my viewpoint of food has ever been normal.. but I have been fitting in nicely around regular folks for quite a while now.

I have had a bit of a flare up recently since starting the book, because I have been forced fed at the hotels and James freaked me out more by making an issue of it and calling me “Karen Carpenter”. Anything that draws attention to it makes it worse. What is my current status? well I think I am see-sawing somewhere in the middle. I would like this to not become the thing that defines me in the eyes of people who have just met me. I do not want to be pitied or looked down on. I want to treat it like its nothing.. and allow it to be nothing.