Islam and Body Image- The Ugly Companion of Prophet (saw)

“Beauty is how you feel inside, and it reflects in your eyes. It is not something physical.” Sophia Loren

 

Dear Readers,

 

A reader from Western Africa is struggling with body image issues, she asked me on some tips on how to improve body image. I find it very sad, when I hear girls saying ‘I hate my self’, ‘I hate my body’, ‘I am so ugly’. It’s shocking how some people are locked in their own personal jail, full of self-loathing, desperately wanting to get out, but not believing they can. This is not a call for attention, but a very honest evaluation of how miserable someone feels about himself or herself.  A broken view of the body results in a preoccupation with the body. Every time a woman turns on the television, strolls past a magazine aisle, watches the numbers rise on the scale, or spots that first gray hair, the battle wages on and is reinforced all over again. We know how surgical and non-cosmetic surgical industry in Middle East is flourishing.   People are using painful methods to alter their body’s natural makeup. This is a cause for alarm.Wouldn’t it be great to know the pressure to look good doesn’t have to rule your life? Celebrating rather than debasing your body is a wonderful way to live.

 

Unhealthy Body Image vs. Healthy Body image

An unhealthy body image is thinking your body is disgusting, unsightly or not good enough. For example, thinking that you look too fat even thought others tell you this is not true, thinking that you’re not pretty enough or muscular enough. It can also mean believing what you look like determines your value as a person. Someone with negative body image can become fixated on trying to change their actual body shape.

A healthy body image is being comfortable in your own skin, being happy most of the time with the way you look, and feeling good with yourself. It’s about valuing who you are not what you look like.

How do people get unhealthy body image?

The media has a lot to do with unhealthy body image. We are bombarded daily with pictures of photo shopped bodies that are unrealistic and unobtainable and basically fake – and these can make you feel bad about your body in comparison.

Other things that can influence body image include…

  • friends or family
  • celebrities
  • advertising
  • cultural background

 

Our Body Image and Islam- What Matters Most?

Rather than live a life oriented toward God, many people are oriented toward their appearances. Many women—and even some men—are starving themselves and mutilating their bodies to conform to a particular standard of beauty. The cause for alarm is health and spirituality. When one is  preoccupied with their bodies, it inhibits their worship.   The spiritual root of all body image struggles is disapproving of the way God made you. When you feel defeated and ugly, it holds you back from living your life and performing your daily duties. That is why it is important to see how your negative body image developed and for you to work through those emotions and thoughts . Then you can recognize the true beauty of life.

If you don’t realize Allah’s beauty, you will remain at your level of self-loathing. You’ll keep trying endless ways to fix your body flaws or continue to build up new reasons to hate your body.  And until that view of the body is healed, one will forever struggle to focus on anything else.

 

 

The Most Ugly Companion of the Prophet (saw)- A tale of Love and Mercy

I came across this great video on Youtube which was a real eye opener for me-  The “Ugly” Sahabi – low self esteem Youre priceless in The Sight of Allah’ . The video talks about one of the companions of Prophet Muhammad (saw),  Julaybib. He was small and short and disfigured. He had a hunched back and his face was described as being ugly.

One day he met the Messenger of Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) and asked: “O Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa salam), would I be able to enter Paradise even though my face is disfigured?” Yes, replied the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa salam). He then asked: “O Messenger of Allah, why will no one marry me to one of their daughters?”

Prophet Muhammad (saw) arranged for Julaybib to marry one of the most eligible women of the Ansar tribe. When Julaybab was killed in a battle, Prophet Muhammad (saw) cried and said  ‘Julaybeeb is a part of me and I am a part of him, he was an orphan and so am I.’ The Prophet was then seen smiling and then he turned his face. The companions asked the Prophet: “O Messenger of Allah, we have seen you do something today which we have never seen you do before. You cried, then smiled and then you turned away.” The Prophet replied: “I cried out of the love that I have for our beloved brother, Julaybeeb. I smiled because I saw Julaybeeb in Paradise.”

Indeed Allah Gives Grace to the Humble.

The message here is Julaybib was born this way, he was an outcast, a reject and he could not change some aspects of his appearance, but at the end, it was his heart and his humbleness that mattered most and not his outer looks . Prophet Muhammad (saw) loved him for who he was and not for his outer looks. Julaybib  did not waste his time on self-pity and fretting over things he could not change, instead he focused on getting on with his life despite all the trials and tribulations.  What we really need to remember here is that we too cannot change some aspects of our appearance. Our height, muscle and bone structure are determined by our genes; this is the way we are born. There is no right or wrong when it comes to body shape or appearance. Everybody is different in body size and shape and appearance and we can celebrate this diversity and individuality.

We are fooling ourselves if we believe having the perfect looks will make us happy inside. Some of the world’s most beautiful people are the ones most torn by heartache, broken relationships and even poor body image. The secret to true beauty is being at peace with who you are. We should be grateful for what Allah has given us.

Our striving for acceptance and recognition—and resulting failure—is the cause of body loathing. We see where we fall short in the “looks department” and blame God for making us the way we are.

Watch the Video below:

Body Image Thoughts- Our Ego/Pride

These thoughts on body image are whispers of the Demon of Eating Disorder and we should not pay any heed to them. The quest for perfection goes back to the time before the first man and woman were created. The true roots of a poor body image are found in the same source as misinformation and self-deception: Satan.

Someone once told me that Self-hatred is Ego/pride. It’s a me-focused pity party and an attempt to get right with God through our own actions. With self-hatred, we challenge faith, we challenge Allah, self-hatred leads to negative emotions and with these negative thoughts we astray from the right path, we forget to devote ourselves to Allah and we forget how blessed we are.

Perfection isn’t achieved through having flat abs or ideal body image. In fact, we can never achieve perfection when it comes to our bodies. So why do we strive so hard to attain it?

Image

 

Is your Body Image getting you Down?

It’s critical for you to acknowledge how often your negative body image has been reinforced during your lifetime. When a statement is reinforced over and over, it takes on a sense of truth, even if it is not true. Negative feelings, experiences and comments together act as blinders to prevent you from seeing who you really are. But you are not bound to the wrong image you have of yourself. You might need to talk to someone more in-depth about it. So Please do Seek Help.

Celebrating rather than debasing one’s body is a wonderful way to live.

Prayer is a powerful tool in getting free from the trap of negative body image. Right now, commit your heart through prayer to finding and doing what Allah says is best. Pray to Allah to Heal your Mind, Body and Soul:

Dear Allah, Creator of my body, I accept that I struggle to know and live out what is truly perfect. I can see how my heart is drawn to Demon’s message that perfect body and unhealthy weight is the answer.

I can easily get focused on wanting perfect beauty rather than wanting what you have decreed for me. I stand against the world of advertising, diet, the beauty industry,  and the demon himself that tell me time and time again that perfect body and beauty is a key to happiness.

I resist every force that would seek to distract me from who I really am and what You desire for me to do in and through this body You gave me. I reject the distorted concepts and ideas that make body perfection sound plausible and desirable.

I oppose every attempt to keep me from connecting with You. I open my heart for healing and I open my heart to let go off this fictional concept of beauty. Amen.

 

Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Body Image Taken from NEDA

  1. Appreciate all that your body can do.  Every day your body carries you closer to your dreams.  Celebrate all of the amazing things your body does for you—running,  breathing, laughing, dreaming, etc.
  2. Keep a top-ten list of things you like about yourself—things that aren’t related to how much you weigh or what you look like.  Read your list often.  Add to it as you become aware of more things to like about yourself.
  3. Remind yourself that “true beauty” is not simply skin deep.  When you feel good about yourself and who you are, you carry yourself with a sense of confidence, self-acceptance, and openness that makes you beautiful regardless of whether you physically look like a supermodel.  Beauty is a state of mind, not a state of your body.
  4. Look at yourself as a whole person.  When you see yourself in a mirror or in your mind, choose not to focus on specific body parts.  See yourself as you want others to see you–as a whole person.
  5. Surround yourself with positive people.  It is easier to feel good about yourself and your body when you are around others who are supportive and who recognize the importance of liking yourself just as you naturally are.
  6. Shut down those voices in your head that tell you your body is not “right” or that you are a “bad” person.  You can overpower those negative thoughts with positive ones.  The next time you start to tear yourself down, build yourself back up with a few quick affirmations that work for you.
  7. Wear clothes that are comfortable and that make you feel good about your body.  Work with your body, not against it.
  8. Become a critical viewer of social and media messages.  Pay attention to images, slogans, or attitudes that make you feel bad about yourself or your body.  Protest these messages:  write a letter to the advertiser or talk back to the image or message
  9. Do something nice for yourself–something that lets your body know you appreciate it.  Take a bubble bath, make time for a nap, find a peaceful place outside to relax.
  10. Use the time and energy that you might have spent worrying about food, calories, and your weight to do something to help others.  Sometimes reaching out to other people can help you feel better about yourself and can make a positive change in our world.

 “Your body is precious. It is our vehicle for awakening. Treat it with care.” ~Buddha

Body Image + Eating Disorder Healing with EFT Tapping EFT

 

Self Esteem Tips: Dealing with Body Image Issues

Downloads

10 Steps to Positive Body Image

 

10 “Will-Powers” for Improving Body Image

 

 

Sources:  http://au.reachout.com/what-is-body-image

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Eating From the Body INTERRUPTING THE CYCLE: EATING FROM THE BODY

Eating From the Body

INTERRUPTING THE CYCLE: EATING FROM THE BODY

Dear Readers,

A reader from Dhaka, Bangladesh asked me about hunger signals and eating for the body. There’s a great article by Sheira Kahn on ‘Eating from the Body’- It’s amazing and tells you how to distinguish between fact and fiction – it enables you to judge your hunger signals based on the needs of your body and not your mind. Jane Nodder also highlighted this point in her workshop on how to distinguish between mouth hunger and stomach hunger. Once you master this skill, you are in sole charge of your eating.

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About Me From age 15 to 19, I had a life-threatening case of bulimia. Thankfully, I stopped purging at 20. Hatred of my self and my body persisted, however, and I found myself conflicted over every bite of food I ate. Embarrassment about my body made it hard to buy clothes or seek employment. I thought about my eating and body problems all the time. Much-needed help came in two ways: a meditation school where I learned to fight off the inner critic, and a book on how to listen to hunger and fullness signals. Since my inner critic was so focused on my body and food, the work in the meditation school reduced the obsessive thoughts. Then, the book on hunger and fullness signals taught me how to listen to my stomach, not my critic, when making food decisions. Combining my experience as a bulimia survivor with the work mentioned above, plus my training in psychology has given me an insider’s view of the best solutions to eating problems. I have collected and adapted these solutions into a set of skills (about which I am beginning to publish). It is my pleasure and my calling to pass these skills on to you. Please call if you would like a free consultation about how I might help you with your eating and body challenges.

One of the hallmarks of an eating disorder is that the person may not be able to tell whether she is hungry or full. A British study in the late nineties illustrated, for example, that signals from the stomach don’t reach the brain of a practicing bulimic. After years of using her mind to overcome the natural sensations of the body, a person’s recovery must therefore include learning how to listen to those sensations once more, making food choices in cooperation with her body. In this way, the eating disorder cycle of deprivation and punishment is interrupted.

Eating From the Body

INTERRUPTING THE CYCLE: EATING FROM THE BODY

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The brain thinks it’s the best organ for making eating decisions, but it’s not. The brain holds a fount of other information so when you ask it what to eat, the brain reviews a host of thoughts such as what you had for breakfast, how many calories you burned off the night before, and the stupid thing you said in front of your boss today. It’s very confusing.

The stomach, on the other hand, is far from the brain. It knows when it’s empty, and gives very clear indications of hunger such as growling. It also will signal when it’s had enough by providing a sensation of being full. The stomach will never let you down if you listen to it. Letting the stomach say what and how much to eat is therefore an effective method for interrupting the physical part of the eating disorder cycle. This is what I teach.

Trying to decide what to eat for breakfast with the mind looks like this: The person asks, “Should I have cereal?” and the mind answers: “No, you can’t have cereal because you had too many carbs yesterday and you promised yourself no carbs today. Also, your upper arms jiggled this morning in front of the mirror. You could have cereal if you go to the gym, but you are already going to the gym to work off those chocolate chip cookies you ate before bed after you went running yesterday. You could have a glass of milk, but it has to be skim because of the butter in the chocolate chip cookies, and you said no fat today. You should skip breakfast altogether.” “BUT I’M HUNGRY!” screams the body. And they’re off, the mind and the body vying for top position, building tension until it snaps into compulsive eating or restricting.

Making an eating decision in cooperation with the stomach, on the other hand, looks like this: “What would I like to eat?” (Person places a hand on her stomach). “My stomach is empty. I have 45 minutes to eat. I’m hungry for… eggs and toast. The next time I’m hungry, I’ll eat again.” No tension builds in this example.

Sometimes people are afraid of their hunger signals. They think they can’t be trusted, that the stomach will tell them to eat and eat and they won’t be able to stop. That is only the case when a person has been deprived of food, or when she is trying to meet emotional needs with food. If a person is not deprived and emotions are sorted out from physical hunger, the hunger signals will even out and become reliable again. It is the very idea that one should not listen to the stomach that makes hunger signals go out of whack. On the other hand, giving oneself permission to eat when hungry – knowing one will stop when full – defuses the machinery that takes over and makes people either overeat or restrict. Instead of believing herself to be out of control and having to deprive herself, thereby increasing her chances of bingeing, applying this method allows a person to eat whatever she wants – as long as she really wants it. In this system, “wanting” food means the person is physically hungry when she starts eating, and comfortably full when she stops. It is eating outside of these parameters that leads beyond the realm of “wanting” and into the realm of compulsion.

With new behaviors around eating, different messages go to the brain. These fresh messages turn into alternative beliefs about the self, contributing to the formation of an identity outside of the eating disorder.

 

Source: sheirakahn.com

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Managing Food Triggers at Hajj- Eating for Spirit Body and Mind

Dear Readers,

 

A sufferer from Orlando asked me a question on how to manage food triggers and how to Stop Purging at Hajj.  Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam and is obligatory for all adult Muslims who can afford the journey and are in good health.  Every Year millions of people  from all corners of the world congregate in one location to perform this pilgrimage. It is important that people make all the necessary efforts to stay healthy and protect themselves from disease throughout the pilgrimage. You can attain this – through healthy eating, personal hygiene and boosting the immune system.

Can you imagine embarking on such a Holy Journey with Eating Disorder thoughts Running through your Mind? His whispers replacing Labaik allahuma labaik? Traveling with Eating disorders is very difficult. If you take an eating disorder out of its natural habitat, it is going to inflict all kind of mental torture on you. People tend to fall into two traps:  they  eat everything  or, they restrict. Don’t forget that people travel to Hajj with various kinds of illnesses. They key is in taking precautions and managing their symptoms by following the advise of a practitioner. Those who suffer from Eating Disorders, same rules apply to them.  You can only undertake this Journey, if your fit and healthy and NOT using any of the dangerous behaviors during the Hajj. 

Bulimic on Hajj

“I’ve been suffering from Bulimia in secret for five years now. On average I binge and purge three-four times a day and this is on my very good days- no body knows my bulimic secret.   We are leaving for Hajj on Sunday and I am panicking, I thought I’ll be OK, but the mere thought of not purging is driving me insane. There’s food everywhere and we are staying at hotels with buffet dining. My biggest trigger is buffet dining. I overeat and then I purge. If I don’t binge and purge, I simply go out of my mind, I feel the pain, I get shaky and I feel panicked. I hid this secret so well and I know at Hajj I could make myself sick ­anywhere and no one would guess what I was up to, but I am scared, for first time in my life, I am scared and not sure of myself.

 

Food Triggers at Hajj

 

One of the Main Trigger at Hajj is food. In the last decade, the global food industry has expanded extensively in Saudi Arabia.  Every step you take out of Ka’aba, you’ll be facing the shops, restaurants, street vendors all selling food, food and more food.  This is to accommodate Millions of pilgrimages and their dietary needs.

Buffet Challenge

There will be very elaborate and extensive buffet dining at most of the hotels.  The buffet is the worst temptation for people who suffer from Bulimia and Binge Eating Disorder. When faced with a table of varied foods it’s hard to show restraint, even a normal person gives in and over eats.  All this  presents a challenge for many who suffer from Eating Disorders, especially those who are in recovery and have a disordered relationship with food. This vicious cycle of binging and purging takes a toll on the body and emotional well-being. But don’t worry, change is possible. Regardless of how long you’ve struggled with Eating Disorder, you can learn to break the binge and purge cycle and what a place to break this cycle than Hajj?

Therefore, it’s advisable to have a recovery plan and a meal plan for Hajj.

 

Only One Way to Perform Hajj Safely

 A person with an eating disorder has to be taught a new way to think about food and learn how to eat correctly.

Hajj is the most complex of the Islamic rituals and involves, among other things, walking long distances and camping in desert tents.

With the five year of Bulimia, you are under nourished, you are putting your body- and your life at risk. The most dangerous side effect of bulimia is dehydration due to purging. Vomiting, laxatives, and diuretics can cause electrolyte imbalances in the body, most commonly in the form of low potassium levels. Low potassium levels trigger a wide range of symptoms ranging from lethargy and cloudy thinking to irregular heartbeat and death. Chronically low levels of potassium can also result in kidney failure. You need good solid nutrition to perform Hajj, Period!

 

Managing Bulimia on Hajj

Step 1- Throw Away Diuretics, Weight Loss Pills and Laxatives – Please do not take them with you. Knowing that you are harming your body just adds to the stress and anxiety. 

Step 2-  Meal Plan - Fight Your Eating Disorder Desires, Perish Your Ego by Following a Structured Eating Plan.

Step 3- No Calorie Restriction or Cutting out Food Groups. Dieting triggers bulimia’s destructive cycle of binging and purging. The irony is that the more strict and rigid the diet, the more likely it is that you’ll become preoccupied, even obsessed, with food. When you starve yourself, your body responds with powerful cravings—its way of asking for needed nutrition. It is important to eat a healthy and well-balanced diet at all times. Diet should consist of high fibre and complex carbohydrate foods like potatoes, pasta, rice, wholemeal bread and green vegetables, that will keep you feeling full for longer, and provide you with increased energy levels.

 

Step 4- Going Cold Turkey on Purging

Purging Only Reinforces Binge Eating.

I attended a workshop on Nutritional Approaches to the Management of Eating Disorders and Eating Distress in Richmond, and our course instructor Jane Nodder really emphasized on dangers of purging. It’s simply not acceptable. Purging is lethal and very dangerous. It can just take one off episode to cause serious imbalance in electrolytes and can cause a heart attack.

Step 5- Follow Islamic Etiquette of Eating. No Eating in Isolation or by your self. There is something deep and sacred about the act of breaking bread together. Please consume all your meals with your family in a dining area. During Hajj Eating is an opportunity to connect and engage with beautiful people and exquisite cultures.

Step 6- Let Go off the Fiction and Face Fact. Perish Your Ego and Do Every thing Opposite to the Demands of the Demon of Eating Disorder. Eating Disorder is not worth sacrificing your Life for.  

 

Relaxation Before Meals

Follow a Deep Breathing Exercise Before your Meals

Deep Breathing Exercise

1- Make your self comfortable in your room, make sure you are alone.

2- Close your Eyes and try to Relax.

3- Gradulaly slow down your breathing, inhaling and exhaling as evenly possible.

4- Place One hand on your rib and one on your abdomen, just below your rib cage.

5- As you inhale, allow your abdomen to swell upward (your chest should barely move).

6- As you exhale, let Your abdomen flatten.

Give yourself a few minutes to get into a smooth, easy rhythm. As worries and distractions arise, don’t hang on to them. Wait calmly for them to float out of your mind- then focus once more on your breathing.

When you feel ready to end the exercise, open your eyes. With practice, you will begin breathing with your diaphragm naturally- and in times of stress, you should be able to correct your breathing without too much effort.  Taken from ‘Coping with Eating Disorders and Body Image’.

 

Eating for Mind Body and Soul and a Beautiful Hajj

Eating Three Regular Well Balanced Meals with Three Snacks in Between. At Hajj there are no set timings. But you need to stick to Your structured Eating. DO not leave more than 2-3 hours gap between each meal.

Top Tip= Carry a bottle of water and a rich Protein Carbohydrate Snack with you all the time.

No Skipping Allowed

Postponing your snack, your appetite will increase, and this may set you off for a binge  and could set off the cycle of skipping meals.

 

Planning the contents of meals and snacks

In Saudi Arabia deciding what to eat, should not present too much of a problem. The whole world cuisine is there. But what you need to do is, plan in advance what you are going to eat. If your eating at the hotel, then make your selection carefully. Follow Eatwell plate method. Strike for balance.  In Mena and Arafat Please do Take your Snacks with you.  Do not skip.

Few Tips on Extensive Buffet Dining

 

Plan your buffet

Walk around the buffet table. Step Away sit and think- Ask yourself this Million Dollar Question: “What am I really Hungry for, What do I really want to Eat? Scan the buffet Table once again before putting food on your plate.

Best options; stick to your Eatwell Plate, strike for balance.

Sit away from the table as far as you can.

Chew slowly

Put your Cutlery Down in between bites. Breathe Relax and Offer thanks to Allah.

 

Remember- It takes around 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain that it’s full.

For desserts, pick one- Go for fibre based desserts.

Try to Limit yourself to only one trip to the table. 

 

Sample Meal Plan for Hajj

8:30 am  Breakfast - 2 slices of wholewheat toasts with Egg. A Glass of Fruit Juice, Or a Cup Of Milk or a Cup of Yogurt.

Or

Bowl of Cornflakes with milk and 2 slices of Toast.

SNACK: Choose wholesome foods, and mix-and-match protein and carbohydrates for a satisfying snack. You can buy them from shops near the Makkah and Medina.

11:30 am Snack- Banana with a small pot of yogurt. Or 2 Oat Cakes, Or a wedge of Melon, A fruit smoothie.

2:00 pm Lunch (This will be after Afternoon Prayers)- One medium pita, One serving of rice noodles or pasta or couscous with a serving of  curry, lentils (or a protein such as grilled chicken, fish etc) salad and vegetables.

Or

Grilled chicken on Medium Pita Bread with a serving of Salad and  Figs or a wedge of melon.

Or

A soup with Bread and Fruit Yogurt.

5:00 pm- Snack- 1/3 mixed nuts or a Handful of Almonds with a Date or a dry Fig. Or 1/3 cup dried figs.

8:00pm- Evening Meal- You will be completely famished by then.

Eat a starter to deal with bloat and constipation- Sounds odd right? But beginning your meal with a high fibre starter, for example a green salad a serving of melon, or carrot and celery sticks with hummus. Fibre is an indigestible carbohydrate that is very good for you as it aids the digestive process and passage of food through the gut – and it also makes you feel full.

Soup is an excellent starter choice

Blessing of sharing Soup and Bread

Curry with a serving of Rice, serving of yogurt and some salad.

Or

Felafel with bread, beans, vegetables and a wedge of melon.

10:30pm- Night Snack- Glass of Milk or a Cup of Yogurt. (No Diet Version) or a slice of bread with honey and butter.

 

Drinks should include plenty of water, fresh fruit, herbal teas and vegetable juices.

Bear in mind, this will take a lot of effort and determination. Always remember your doing this for your well-being, for your body, mind and soul. Do not eat the same thing every day. It is important to consume a wide variety of foods. Eating same thing means missing out on many vital building blocks of life, for certain foods build and regenerate only certain parts of the body. Your making healthier choices to nourish your body and to avoid complications with your digestive system. Your ED may hate you for making such drastic changes, each step you take towards recovery and well-being the demon will become more angry, so let the poor demon hate you, he has nothing better to do anyway.

 

Dealing with Anxiety

The Hajj duties can be demanding in terms of physical activities and mental effort

You may suffer from bit of anxiety.  Your busy performing all the Hajj rituals and all of a sudden your hit by thoughts on your body, weight or general appearance. You may feel panicky. The best thing to do is to ignore these thoughts. As Ahmed Hulusi said, “thoughts are harmless, they are mere thoughts and they cannot physically harm you”.

According to Christine Craggs Hinton: “when you find yourself in difficult situation, it is also helpful to stay just where you are, however uncomfortable you may feel. In remaining within the situation, you will learn that it is tolerable and that your anxiety levels will gradually decrease. When you avoid a difficult situation, it is hard to believe you can bear the anxiety and that it can slowly enn away. “

Dealing with Panic Attacks

You’ve had your lunch and your panicked, your brain is telling you that ‘you’ve eaten too much’ ‘your stomach is expanding’. There are millions of people around you. Your thoughts are getting worst. You may start breathing faster. Light headedness, palpitation, sweating, tightening of chest with the feelings of fear, and loss of control….

Immediate Solution- Paper Bag

“As soon as your breathing becomes fast and shallow, place the paper bag over your nose and mouth and try to breathe more slowly. Breathing into the bag will ensure that most of the exhaled Carbon Dioxide is returned to your lungs. It will also calm down your breathing.” Christine Craggs- Hinton

Reclaim Your Power: Let go Off the Control, Stop waiting for the Demon of Eating Disorder to Make you Happy. You have been blessed with an opportunity to become Allah’s Guest. Connect with Allah and Reach for the Blessings. Your in the best of the best places. . No one will ever love you as much as Allah loves you. With this in mind, Please take care and be Safe.

 

Below are the Diet and Dietary Guidelines for Hajj from MUIS website: Health During Hajj

Diet and the Hajj

Eating a healthy diet during the Hajj is vital for energy.

Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.

Constipation means you are not drinking enough water, not eating enough fruits and vegetables.

Diarrhea means you have eaten contaminated food. Always wash your hands before eating.

Dietary guidelines

Eat a variety of foods, especially fruits and vegetables.
– Fruits and vegetables contain fiber, which helps eliminate body wastes.
– Without consistent elimination, you can develop constipation.
– Without consistent elimination, you can feel bloated, weak, and irritable.

Eat 6-11 servings of grains every day

Eat 3-5 vegetable servings, 2-4 fruits every day.

Eat 2-3 servings of milk and dairy products, 2-3 servings of protein foods every day.

You do not need a lot of oil, butter or fat.

As much as possible, eat a variety of foods:

• Take every opportunity to eat fruits and vegetables especially.

• Fruit and vegetables contain fiber, which will help you eliminate your body’s wastes.

• Without consistent elimination, you can develop constipation, which can lead to hemorrhoids.

• Without consistent elimination, you can feel bloated, weak and irritable and then may be unable to face the physical challenges of the Hajj.

Eat 6-11 servings of grains every day

• One serving equals one slice of bread, one medium pita, ½ cup of rice, noodles, or couscous
Eat 3-5 vegetable servings and 2-4 fruits every day.

• One serving is like ½ cup cut or cooked vegetable or fruit, 1 medium fruit, or ¾ cup vegetable or fruit juice.
Eat 2-3 servings of milk and dairy products and 2-3 servings of protein foods every day.

• One dairy serving is like a cup of milk or yogurt or 2 palms full of cheese.

• One serving of a protein food like 1 egg, ½ cup of cooked beans, or a piece of meat the size of a cassette tape or a computer mouse.
You do not need a lot of oil, butter or fat.

Posted in Binge Eating Disorder BED, Bulimia, Eating Disorder and Islam, Eating Disorder recovery Recipe, Eating Disorder Recovery Tips, Eating Disorders, Eating Guidelines, ED Travels | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Starting A Journey of Recovery in Dhul Hijjah

 

 

“God had made Hajj as a connection to his Paradise”. Imam Ali

Dear Readers,

Eating disorders attack the mind, the body and the spirit.The longer someone struggles with an eating disorder, the more embedded the disease becomes in the psyche of the person. It becomes their identity, and the idea of giving up the eating disorder can feel like turning your back on your best friend. Those with eating disorders need to realize one thing – that recovery is always option. Eating Disorders are not lifetime sentences, full recovery is possible.

 

 

 

We should make the necessary changes to defeat the demon of Eating Disorder, and what better time to make such changes than present, during these blessed 10 days of Hajj, you never know it may change your life forever. We must internalise these changes and make a firm commitment to recovery, Inshallah. Always remember that the power is in your hands, only you and you alone can defeat this demon of Eating Disorder.

Take these Small Steps towards Recovery

 

Please Seek Help!

It’s important first and foremost that you seek some professional support. You are not alone. Remember you are not suffering in silence. There are millions of people world-wide who are suffering from this dreadful illness and many worst ailments. Help is out there, all you have to do is reach for it. Through connections and efforts, you can break the chain of vicious cycle of Eating Disorder that leads to depression and anxiety. New treatments are continually emerging when it comes to treating eating disorders. Over the last few decades, new forms of treatment have been discovered that help those suffering work on reducing their symptoms without having to reflect on their meaning. These treatments include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Interpersonal Therapy (IPT), and Thought Field Therapy (TFT).

These methods can help someone with an eating disorder move away from unhealthy behaviors before having to face the demons that cause the behaviors. Once the person regains a clear mind, they are better able to tackle the root causes of their illness.

Excuse Me Demon of Eating Disorder! You do not control the world, Allah does. Leave me Alone!

Control has been attributed as a key motivator behind eating disorders. Eating disorders can provide a sense of control and escape, allowing sufferers to temporarily forget depression, anxiety, stress, anger, and guilt. Ironically, the ability for one to exert control over food, accompanies their loss of control in relation to food. It is important to remind ourselves that we don’t control all the variables in the world. God does. He is the Wise, the All-Knowing. Sometimes our limited human faculties are not able to comprehend His wisdom behind what happens to us and to others, but knowing that He is in control and that as human beings we submit to His Will, enriches our humanity and enhances our obedience towards him. It is suggested that Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) can potentially assist a person’s need for control and help adjust maladaptive ways of thinking and behaving.

Begin the Day on a Positive Note

Get up early. Get up thanking God that He has given you another day. Alhamdu lillahil lazi ahyana bada ma amatana, wa ilaihin Nushoor (Praise be to Allah Who gave us life after death and unto Him will be the return). Invest in an audio tape driven alarm clock so you can get up to the melody of the Quran. Develop your to do list for the day if you didn’t do it the night before. Begin with the name of Allah, with Whose name nothing in the heavens or the earth can hurt you. He is the Highest and the Greatest. (Bismillahillazi la yazurru maa ismihi shaiun fil arze wa la fis samae, wahuwal Alee ul Azeem). The Prophet used to say this after every Fajr and Maghrib prayers.

Leave the demands of ED behind you five times a day

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said:” Prayer is beneficial to both affliction that have occurred and have not yet occurred. O servants of Allah, hold fast onto my prayer.”

 

Prayer is a crucial element of the system of faith.  If you have the ability to pray, then do so as much as you can, the benefits you will reap are beyond fathomable in the worldly sense. Allah has mad prayer the means to manifest the qualities He has ordained for His servants. Thus, it has been said ‘prayer is the weapon of the believer’.  Ahmed Hulusi- The Essence of Prayer

 

Use the five daily prayers as a means to become more connected with Allah and less attached to the demon of Eating Disorder. Start distancing yourself from the demands of Eating Disorder as soon as you hear Adhan, the call to prayer.  When you perform Wudu, keep repeating Shahada, the declaration of faith, as water drops slip down your face, hands, arms, and hair. When you stand ready to pray, mentally prepare yourself to leave your ED and all of its worries and stresses behind you.

Of course, your ED will try to distract you during prayer. But whenever this happens, go back and remember Allah. The more you return, the more Allah will reward you for it.

 

 

With Eating Disorder we have a dead and a very disordered brain (sorry but that’s a reality) . “….A servant may only be PROTECTED from Satan with the Dhikr of Allah” (Ahmed Hulusi The Essence of Prayer)

Dhikr replaces the negative thoughts of body image, eating, self-loathing and hatred in our mind. It increases brain capacity in the direction of the meaning of the word that is repeated.  How beautiful, when a thought ‘I am despicable, fat, ugly human being’ is replaced by something that is beautiful and serene.

What is more beautiful in the words of Ahmed Hulusi “Dhikr enables reaching a state of  certainty (Yakeen)”, certainty reality meaning that only realty is Allah and not the Demon of Eating Disorder.

Reciting tasbeeh, tahmeed, tahleel and takbeer abundantly to defeat the voice of Eating Disorder that constantly belittles us and controls us.

Avoid Media Overexposure, Fashion Tabloids: Switch to Books

Don’t spend too much time checking out the latest fashions on television or internet and catching up with celeb gossips. Spend more time reading good books and journals. Cut down media time to reduce your stress and anxiety.

Take an Oath to Love yourself and to Make Positive Changes in Your Life

Heal Yourself By Honey

Honey can be the new antibiotic for the 21st century! Thousands of studies and experiments proved this. The Holy Qur’an, however, proved it 14 centuries back.

Honey cures the following diseases:

                     Anxiety and lack of sleep can be treated by drinking a glass of water that has a spoon of honey dissolved in it (honey drink). Scientists found that drinking water with honey has a very calming impact on people.

One spoon of honey everyday can protect you from a deadly heart attack.  This has been proven by new studies made on honey where scientists noticed that honey helps to regulate the work of the heart.

Honey has a wonderful energy in regulating and reducing the symptoms of anxiety, polyneuritis, and other disorders that can be found in the body, in addition to its calming effects.

Work on your Impulsivity

If you feel compelled to binge or purge and feel you cannot control it, begin by trying to delay the binge or purge for 10 minutes by listening to music, calling a friend, or writing in your journal. If you cannot control your impulsivity, you will have a lifetime of regret ahead of you.

One of the  complaint made by recovering anorexics and bulimics is about the size of their stomachs and The Dreaded Bloat. Are you ready to address solutions to the Dreaded Bloat?

“You can’t reach for anything new if your hands are still full of yesterday’s junk.”

Stay Busy

If someone suffering from ED stays idle, while isolating himself from the world, then there is a greater chance of one being more depressed as it is said that “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.”. Starting a new hobby can act as solution for your ED anxiety by making you busy. Hobbies bird watching, knitting, reciting the Qur’an, learning, reading books, painting, and writing  are all productive hobbies.

Start a ‘Recovery Journal’

Fill it with positive and affirming thoughts. Take excerpts from Quran, Hadith. Use Rumi’s Mathnawi, Ghazali’s work. Write about why you want to recover, how your eating disorder has impacted your life, and anything else that will help to keep you motivated to recover. It’s totally up to you to choose what you write in your journal. Write a plan in your journal for how to manage feelings that trigger the binge and purge cycle. For example: “If I’m feeling angry, I will leave the room.” “If I’m feeling fearful, I will write in my journal what I’m afraid of.” If I’m feeling guilt or shame, I will talk with a friend.”If you do make this plan, you’ll start smiling more with increased awareness. If you don’t do this plan, you’ll stay stuck in your negative feelings and keep bingeing. It’s totally up to you to choose what you write in your journal.

 

Talk to Other People Who are Recovering/Recovered 

Mutual support can be motivating, and seeing someone else make progress or enjoying life might help to keep you inspired, too. Support groups can be a really great way of seeking support from people going through similar things. . Stay away from people who are emotionally abusive to you. If they even walk in the room, leave as soon as you can. Spending time with positive people is the way to grow your self-esteem and begin to heal. Negative people will just drag you down and leave you wondering if they’re right when they say, “You will never be all right.”

Spend Time Around Supportive People

Try to find people who are comfortable with their bodies and don’t spend all their time talking about dieting and food. These might be people who have qualities that you admire and want to develop within yourself.

Read Recovery-Oriented Books

These can help inspire and keep you motivated.

 

Don’t Forget that Suffering Purifies our Humanness

When we go through difficult times, when we have a financial loss, when we lose a loved one, when we struck by bad times, it brings out the real humanness in us, and we begin to ask the very questions that are most fundamental to us, “Why are we here?”, “What is the purpose of life”, “why me”, “What happened to all my plans and dreams, etc. We learn the frailty of our humanness. The Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “Look at the ones who are less fortunate then you, not at the ones are more fortunate then you.”

Efforts not Results Count in the Eyes of Allah

Our success depends on our sincere efforts to the best of our abilities. Unlike our disorder that demands results and is never satisfied, It is the mercy of Allah that He does not demand results, Alhamdu lillah. He is happy if He finds us making our best sincere effort. Thank you Allah! Just do what you can do and leave rest to Allah.

 Recovery is always an option, as long as you believe that you deserve it.

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Maximising Ten Days of Dhul Hijjah- Connecting Heart, Soul and Mind

 

“He (God) decreed upon you Hajj to his holy mosque, his divine right”. Imam Ali

Dear Readers,

A young sufferer in hospital for her Anorexia Nervosa asked me how should she spend her days of Dhul Hijjah.

“I am inpatient at the Hospital. I am not allowed to leave. I am gaining weight and its very depressing. There is no choice but to eat. If you don’t eat, then you have to drink three fortisips. All we do is dress up, sit and eat.” 16 Year old Female UK

When I was at the hospital for my Eating Disorder, my biggest consolation came from praying. Just before  lunch, I would go and do my prayer and I would feel very calm. Recovery from Eating Disorder is not just about eating, it also involves healing our mind, heart and soul. The sad thing is that with malnutrition and poor eating, we completely destroy our minds and this really interferes with our prayers and engagement with Allah. We often forget to do the basic things like reading Qur’an with meaning, reciting Tasbeeh, being kind, not being angry and taking care of ourselves, the demon has overcome us and make us forget the remembrance of Allah. The power of prayer is incredible, and it is at our fingertips if we would only use it.

The days of Dhul-Hijjah are the most blessed ones; therefore let’s make much from this opportunity. Lets all unite and  embark on a journey of recovery, health, happiness and a defeat to the Demon of Eating Disorder and offer our thanks to Allah who has blessed us immensely.

 

“O son of Adam, prayer is from you, response is from Me. Repentance is from you, forgiveness is from Me. To ask forgiveness is from You, to grant is from Me. To Thank is from you, to give abundantly is from Me. Patience is from you, to aid is from Me….What have you ever asked of Me that I did not give?”

 

To Make Most of these days of Dhul Hijjah, incorporate following in your Day:

 

Prayer Salah

“Prayer enables ordained favors to reach you; it is the greatest blessing.” 

Pray Five times a Day. Pray as much as you can. Garner the blessings of Dhul Hijjah by incorporating extra prayers in your day, such as extra Nafls and Salat ul Tasbeeh. Don’t forget to Thank Allah for giving you a chance to pray and to turn to Him.

Prophet Muhammad pbuh said: “To whom the gates of prayers have been opened, the gates of mercy have opened, and nothing more pleasing has been asked of Allah than welfare”.

 

Let’s Increase in Glorification & Remembrance of Allah

“No Charity is a greater virtue than engaging in the Dhikr of Allah”

Ahmed Hulusi: “Dhikr is the most beneficial thing one can do in this world”.

 

“O Believers! Remember Allah Much!”

“Dhikr enables reaching a state of  certainty (Yakeen)”

The following are some easy and very beneficial dhikr and glorification we can do throughout these blessed days and nights.-

  • Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Laa ilaaha illallahu Wallahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Wa lillahil Hamd
  • Subhanallah
  • Alhamdulillah
  • Allahu Akbar
  • Laa ilaha ilallah
  • La hawla wa la quwwata illa billah
  • Asthaghfirullah
  • SubhanAllahil azeem wa bihamdihi
  • Subhāna-llāhi, wa-l-hamdu li-llāhi, wa lā ilāha illā-llāhu, wa-llāhu akbar. Wa lā hawla wa lā quwwata illā bi-llāhi-l-aliyyi-l-azīm
  • Laa ilaaha illal-laahu wahdahu laa shareeka lahu, lahul-mulku wa lahul-hamdu wa huwa ‘alaa kulli shay-in qadeer
  • One can also recite the durood that one recites towards the end of one’s salaah or the shortest durood: Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallim.

Tip: Have something in your environment or on your person as a reminder for dhikr. It could be a special ring that you wear or a sticker placed on your desk or car wind shield.

Increase in Good Deeds

Do more good deeds than usual- be kind, love yourself and your family, offer gratitude to Allah, help your community, visit sick and elderly, help your mother with daily chores, be kind and generous to those who are in need, smile, and show immense kindness to yourself.

Give Charity

Show an Exemplary Character

 

 We must aim to be the best in character during these blessed days and nights and continue to do so for the rest of the year. We must not argue, swear, backbite, slander or gossip.

Tip: Make an extra effort to be good to your friends, family, and neighbours, and especially those of other faiths.
Respect and honour thy parents- Make an extra effort to spend time with them during these blessed days. Recite Qur’an with them, read a book together, discuss a lecture you heard, share your plans for the future and seek their input. Call them a few more times in the day if they live far away.

 

Make Dua

Dua/Prayer is a solution of all problems. Allah the Almighty, loves his creation more then seventy mothers. How can HE not listen to us when e are asking for from protection from Anxiety and depression.

Hadith al Qudsi: “If my Servant raises his hands in supplication to Me, I would be ashamed to return them empty”.

‘O Allah, I take refuge in You from anxiety and sorrow, weakness and laziness, miserliness and cowardice, the burden of debts and from being over powered by men.’

It is related that when someone fell ill, the Prophet Muhammad (saw) would recite one of these du’as for them.

Allahuma rabbi-nas adhhabal ba’sa, ashfi wa entashafi, la shifa’ illa shifa’uka shifa’ la yughadiru saqama.

Oh Allah! The Sustainer of Mankind! Remove the illness, cure the disease. You are the One Who cures. There is no cure except Your cure. Grant us a cure that leaves no illness. (Recommended to touch the area of pain with the right hand while reciting this supplication.)

As’alu Allah al ‘azim rabbil ‘arshil azim an yashifika.


I ask Allah, the Mighty, the Lord of the Mighty Throne, to cure you. (Recommended to repeat seven times).

 

 

Pray for Others to Heal Yourself

The Prophet was always concerned about other people, Muslims and non-Muslims, and would regularly pray for them. Praying for others connects you with them and helps you understand their suffering. This in itself has a healing component to it. The Prophet has said that praying for someone who is not present increases love.

Make the Quran your Partner

Reading and listening to the Quran will help refresh our hearts and our minds. Recite it out loud or in a low voice. Listen to it in the car. Connecting to the Quran means connecting to God. Let it be a means to heal your heart of stress and worries.

“O humanity! There has come to you a direction from your Lord and a cure for all [the ills] in men’s hearts – and for those who believe, a Guidance and a Mercy” (Quran 10:57).

Recite Al-Mu’awwidhatayn ; Surah E falaq and Surah e naas

Eating Disorders are internal  feeling of self-doubt and thinking one’s self  extremely low in esteem. Mainly depression that comes with Eating Disorder is nothing but the deceptive whisperings from the Demon of ED.  If one peruses through the meaning of Suratul Nas, it is  noticed that it is a  best prayer for protection from the whispering of the demon of ED.

The Holy Prophet (SAW) said:

“Do you not see that there have been Ayat revealed to me tonight the like of which has not been seen before. They are “Say: “I seek refuge with, the Lord of Al-Falaq.” (Surah Al-Falaq 113:1) and “Say: “I seek refuge with the Lord of mankind.’

(Surah An-Naas 114:1)

[Muslim]

Reciting Surah ul Nas will safeguard one from depression and uplift the mood whenever feelings of self-doubts surface; of one who suffers from depression.

 

Sleep the way the Prophet slept- This helps trust me…

End your day on a positive note. Make Wudu, then think of your day. Thank Allah for all the good things you accomplished, like Zikr and Salat. Ask yourself what you did today to bring smile to someone’s faceJ. For everything positive, say Alhamdu lillah (Praise be to Allah). For everything negative say Astaghfirullah wa atoobo ilayk (I seek Allah’s forgiveness and I turn to You [Allah]). Recite the last two chapters of the Quran, thinking and praying as you turn on your right side with your hand below your right cheek, the way the Prophet used to sleep. Then close your day with the name of Allah on your tongue. Insha Allah, you will have a good, restful night.

Help Others

When “you give happiness, you get happiness”. This is very simple formula to be happy. Giving one’s time to provide happiness to others by engaging in social causes have an  effect on a person’s mood, countenance and disposition.

It can be any act that you can do to make others happy and helping them. Helping someone else will bring and internal feelings of satisfaction and this will help you not to feel low of your self esteem. When  you start to put a smile on others faces, InshAllah you will  feel happy.

Be Thankful to Allah

“If you are grateful, I will give you more” (Quran 14:7).

Counting our blessings helps us not only be grateful for what we have, but it also reminds us that we are so much better off than millions of others, whether that is in terms of our health, family, financial situation, or other aspects of our life. And being grateful for all we have helps us maintain a positive attitude in the face of worries and challenges we are facing almost daily.

 

Remember that your responsibility is limited

While we need to carry out our duty to the best of our abilities, always remember that you don’t control the outcome of events. Even the Prophets did not control the outcome of their efforts. Some were successful, others were not. Once you have done your duty to your health, mind and body, leave the results to Allah. Regardless of the results of your efforts, you will be rewarded for the part you have played.

However, never underestimate your abilities. Understand the concept of Barakah (blessings from Allah) and remember that Allah can and Insha Allah will expand them if you are sincerely exerting your energies for the right path.

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Eating Disorders and Dhul Hijjah

Originally posted on Islam and Eating Disorders:

Dear Readers,

A reader from Kuwait asked me a Question on performing Hajj with your Eating Disorder and Fasting during this month. I’ve not been blessed with an opportunity to go on Hajj so far, so therefore, I cannot answer this Question fully. All I know is that if you’re suffering from an Eating Disorder, then this demon will travel with you to Hajj. I was in Saudi Arabia in 2009 and this demon was my companion. At that time, my Eating Disorder wasn’t diagnosed and I functioned just OK, but what I did experience on that journey was how this demon started losing its hold once I entered the vicinity of Ka’aba. But over the years, I learned one thing, the most damage eating disorder does is to your mind. Hajj is one in a life time opportunity, and you really need a strong mind, a mind that is…

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Weight Stigmatization in Muslim Families- Weight Stigma Awareness Week

 

Voices of Weight Stigma Awareness Week

 Do you treat people who are large in size the way Allah wants you to treat them?

Both the Quran and the Holy Prophet have told Muslims that the best among them is that person who shows the best behaviour towards other people.

Dear Readers,

I hope you’ll Stand up for BEDA’s Weight Stigma Awareness Week, dedicated to eliminating the stigma overweight and obese people face in our society. This week is also an opportunity for all of us to reflect on how we treat people, who are large in size. We often forget how our words can really harm people and cut deep at people’s heart. Ridiculing someone as fat or obese is not funny and is not acceptable in Islam.

Take a moment to think about if you’ve ever called someone ‘fat’ or made fun of someone who is large in size?

If the answer is Yes, then this is an opportunity for you to rectify your thinking and your actions. Calling people Fat, making fun of them is despicable and unacceptable and sadly this seems to be a common practice in our society. A reader from UK shares her experience of living in a family where name calling became so normal that now her nephews and nieces as young as 4-year-old call her ‘fatty Aunty’, ‘Humpty Dumpty Aunty’. To some it may seem like normal thing to hear people in family tease each other about their weight but let me tell you, even if said in jest, these  jokes and teasings aren’t funny. Cutting remarks can wound deeply. If people want to be a part of tolerant society, under no circumstances should they use these words (or any other, or any variation thereof, ) to describe other people. Period.

Islam recognizes the evil of harsh words, words that cause hurt,  and perhaps that’s why there is so much emphasis on guarding one’s tongue and keeping others secured from its invisible harm.

The Messenger of Allah, ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said,

 

“A true believer is not involved in taunting, or frequently cursing (others) or in indecency or abusing.”‘ (al-Tirmidhi)

Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari (ra) reported: I asked the Messenger of Allāh, ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam:

“Who is the most excellent among the Muslims?” He said, “One from whose tongue and hands the other Muslims are secure.”

(Al-Bukhāri and Muslim)

In an enlightening hadith (prophetic narration), the Prophet ﷺ tells us that no one with an ounce of arrogance in his heart will enter Paradise. In seeking to understand what arrogance means, the companions asked “O Prophet of Allah, what if a person likes to dress well?” The Prophet ﷺ responded, “Allah is beautiful and loves beauty. Arrogance is rejecting truth and looking down on people” [Muslim]


 

The old saying “Sticks and stones may beak my bones, but names will never hurt me” has been long acknowledged as less than accurate. -

 

 

Calling some one fat not only causes emotional pain, it can also shape the way we perceive ourselves. We tend to internalize messages we get from others and after a while these messages shape our beliefs about who we are. New research suggests that weight-based criticism in particular can have significant effects on how teens and tweens perceive their own bodies – even if they’re not overweight.

The thing is, all of this negative commentary can impact our health.

Parents and other adults who are “only trying to help” may do harm rather than good, as a recent study from the journal Pediatrics makes clear. More than 350 teens who had attended one of two weight-loss camps filled out detailed questionnaires about their experiences of being victimized because of their weight. It found, not surprisingly, that nearly all heavier teenagers are teased or bullied about their weight by peers. What was surprising was the number of teenagers who said they have experienced what amounts to bullying at the hands of trusted adults, including coaches and gym teachers (42 percent) and, most disturbingly, parents (37 percent).

Stop Calling me Fatty

I am a 27 year old Mother to a beautiful 3-year-old daughter. I suffer from Binge Eating Disorder (BED). Last year before this Disorder was officialy recognised under fifth edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), I saw myself as a greedy horse, lazy,ugly and stupid who simply could not stop eating. I’ve always been average/large in size (I really don’t know anymore) but I gained lots of weight after my marriage and the birth of my daughter. This weight simply would not shift. I went on so many fad diets to no avail.  The problem was my inability to stick to these diets and tense relationship with my husband.  Even before my marriage , I was low in self-esteem and lacked confidence, I agreed to marriage, because I believed in Happy Ever After. I always think if I was thin then my family and husband would not have treated me like a worthless person.  If I was thin, then my husband would have respected me, loved me and not call me names that hurt.

When I confided in my husband about my problem with eating (that’s what the help book said, confide in your loved one, get support etc) he turned malice. I gave him a perfect card to use against me. His perfect way of bringing me down is calling me fatty and bringing food home that I consider unsafe and binge food. His other form of teasing is ordering large pizza and leaving it in the fridge. I think everybody in my family knows, I binge. My mother knows for sure. At times when she visits me, she’ll see the evidence of binge in recycling bins and in the form of empty fridge and bare cupboards.

I am at a stage, where even looking at myself in the mirror has become a hard task. Despite walking out with distinction in my Degree, I cannot seem to break out of this loveless and this emotionally abusive marriage and my abusive relationship with food.

It hurts when people call me ‘fat’, I hate when my nephew calls me ‘humpty dumpty aunty’, I hate it when my mother tells me to ‘stop eating like a horse’, I hate it when at family functions, they joke on getting to the buffet table before me. I just want to say, it hurts, it hurts badly. I am a human as well. I have feelings as well. I have a daughter who needs a healthy stable mother, but every time, I try to do something for myself, these remarks come. ‘Your going to gym, what if the treadmill breaks’? I laugh it off, but inside my heart is weeping.

When I tried to end four years of bad marriage, my mother told me that no one in their right mind would marry a girl like me, she said, “be realistic, you have a young daughter, make it work, so what if he verbally abuses you and doesn’t contribute to household bills, marriage is for life-time, make it work, have patience”.  At that time, I was on a trial separation, it cost me so much to lower myself to the ground and ask my arrogant husband to come back and  to stay with me because our daughter needs love of both parents.

Now with shaky self-esteem, I take a First Step towards Recovery. It will be a journey at a snail pace but I’m going to make the move. The problem now is not just the weight but also my low self esteem and my anxiety. I look at my three-year old daughter, who is so influential and so cute and so adorable. She deserves to go out doors on swings, she deserves to be among children her age, she deserves to be healthy and confidant. So I do it for her. I no longer desire the acceptance of my husband or my family.  What I focus on is my behavior and my deeds. As someone said to me other day. “it doesn’t matter how the other person behaves in a fight; in the long run, it matters how you behave.”

Life is better when you think about how your actions will affect OTHERS instead of how your actions will affect you. – Luke Watson

 

 

 

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