The character, Madge, is a long time dieter and she has just met her inner Wise Self by the name of Viv. Together they are going to meet weekly as they map out strategies for Madge’s inner transformation around her food issues which, as all dieters know, are really life issues.
It’s just Madge’s first week, and she has been quite fired up to meet all her issues head on.
As usual when Madge embarked upon a new endeavor, the first couple of days were smooth sailing. She had written down everything that she has eaten, had included a few veggies in her food plan each day, and had not had any desserts (well, just two bites of Stan’s cake last night). She had even told her body that she was appreciative of it!
It was Wednesday night when she ran into trouble – big trouble! She and Stan were going to a cocktail party and dinner for Stan’s company. She wasn’t excited about gong because it was the kind of function that she didn’t feel terribly comfortable at. She didn’t connect easily with new people. She would try and make small talk, but as far as having a great time, that frequently eluded her. She was in the bedroom dressing. She had a skirt on and she had put on a top that was a little tight. Stan came in and asked her, “Do you really want to wear that top? It’s kinda tight, don’t you think??
Madge glanced at the mirror and she could see her back rolls and realized that the snug shirt was accentuating her rolls. Suddenly, she felt so crummy and ugly. Again she looked at her body and heard Stan’s words as well as her own powerful inner critic.
As fast as she could, she pulled off the shirt. I hate this, I hate how awful I feel right now, she thought. If she could have, she would have stayed home, but it was important to Stan that she attend. She rummaged through her closet and found a loose-fitting blouse that didn’t define her body fat.
The thoughts running through her mind were definitely not good. On and on the voice went, reminding her how disgusting her rolls were, what a failure she was, not to mention what a big fat ugly loser she was. She barely was able to observe the negative self-talk because she was so deeply caught in the throws of a vicious critical lashing out at herself that she could think much beyond that.
Reactions come from long held thoughts and beliefs.
Responses come from learning to make new conscious choices.
Very faintly, Viv’s words began to go through her mind. “It’s a process,” she could hear Viv say. “We are going to make the inner changes needed. Start building the positive. Watch when you are hard on yourself, when you speak negatively.”
Buy, try as she might, Madge could not get any traction with these thoughts. She was in a mood. She was defiant and rebellious – she didn’t care! Part of her didn’t care that she had this back fat, and part of her was furious that she did. She wondered at the possibility of ever really respecting and accepting her body.
Madge arrived at the party complete with attitude. When she walked in, her eyes immediately went toward the dining room where the buffet was all spread out. Crackers and cheese, chips and dip. Those little sandwiches with mayo spread next to them. Bowls of chips, bowls of Doritos with salsa dip. As she glanced to her right, on a separate table she spied the desserts. Well, that was it; she was off to the races. She ate her way through the party. Starting with the warm appetizers, Madge moved on to the small sandwiches along with several helpings of chips. All of this was accompanied by two good stiff drinks, which helped ease any consciousness left around her eating spree. She ended the food fest at the dessert table by eating several.
By the time Stan nodded to her to leave, she was just starting to return to consciousness. The food spell that she had just been under was lifting, and she felt like she was walking out of a dream. While driving home, Stan was chatting about various people he’s seen, conversations he had had. Madge, however, was only paying minimal attention. She was in a state of bewilderment. What a horrible, horrible loss of control. That’s not how I want to eat anymore, this is not who I want to be or how I want to look. What is the problem? What made me go over the edge like that?