Fasting to Stop Compulsive Overeating (progress!)
Forum: Fasting: Debate
Hi, all, I have been on this forum before and started here to succeed in fasting and thus start the long process of recovering my health... in the past 6 months I have developed the ability to fast almost 5 days straight. THis has had wonderful effects for my health. i am especially emotionally and mentally healthier, confident, clearer, able to engage with others more, to participate in groups/follow group conversations/ "get the joke" instead of wondering what people are finding so funny... an unusual citing of benefits of fasting but an important meantal healing for me.. and of course I feel better physically, too. Less tired and stronger. I have lost a bit of weight -- mybe a couple of pounds -- but I am confident that my healing is progressing and this, despite my being a thin person, is not a reason to stop. My body and mind and spirit clearly ask for further fasting... se Isabelle Moser for further validation of fasting for thin persons. I have had difficulty learning this skill of fasting, generally; owing to a very adhesive emotional dependence on food... I had some difficulty connecting with people/dealing with/moderating the reactions I got on this forum, but I am now ready to try again.
Today I wrote a huge manifesto and lost the first half of it, alas. The purpose was really to clarify things for myself. The crucial issue is that I become somehow really willing to stop engaging in anything that may be termed compulsive overeating behavior, as I pursue learning how to fast.
The first half of this essay I wrote said things to the effect that (1) I am mainly concerned, in life, with achieving the ability to fast sufficiently at will and at sufficient length to restore my damaged dignity (damaged by years of compulsive overeating) and (2) in relation to this, and in consideration of the legitimate need of some even quite thin persons to fast, I am opposed to pathologizing thinness or the desire to be thin, even in extreme cases... even in cases where so-called "anorexia" is diagnosed. I argue the extreme cases to create a thorough discussion and universalize my statements and to make a somewhat radical point... I do not mean to sound harsh or extreme but to work out something for myself. To solidify myself. to make headway against my own compulsive overeating, my recovery from which is often stalled by neurotic fears of "getting too thin."
I want to succeed at fasting and want to post practical notes on my fasting but have to sort out these philosophical matters first lest they keep getting in the way. Also, I think they are very valid and important for people to hear.
... I argue that -- to consider the extreme case -- an "anorexic" is to be considered unhealthy NOT for being thin but for being -- as all those individuals are -- a compulsive overeater. I argue that it is first of all morally unjustifiable to pathologize a person's desire to lose weight/be thin, no matter how thin that person be at the time in question. I say that I just choose to value a person's individual choice of thinness, no matter how extreme, over even that person's life, should it come to that; because the choice of thinness articulates a fundamenal spiritual need for dignity and is thus valid even if it supposedly compromises physical health -- which I argue in any case it never does; that in the fearful world of western medicine it is held to do so but that this is not valid. By contrast, the act of pathologizing the desire to be thin has terrible emotional and by extension even physical consequences.
(The part I did not lose follows):
...But it is not moral to make reference at all to a person's thinness (since thinness is a choice a person makes for his or her personal dignity: it should never be pathologized, merely respected, no matter how extreme): so let me redefine "anorexic" as a person REGARDED BY (DYSFUNCTIONAL) OTHERS as being "too thin"(though even with respect to mere physical health that is a meaningless term: in my research I have never discovered negative health effects related purely to thinness: even starvation, which supposedly results from food deprivation, is refuted by the many yogis who have learned to live without food)... Thus an "anorexic" is a person who has orchestrated in his/her life a situation in which OTHERS who have contact with her/him are possessed essentially of a determination to violate the so-called "anorexic," by forced or coercive feeding. The anorexic has thus arranged a constant reenactment of a trauma of violation... THIS REENACTMENT, NOT the desire to lose weight, is what consitutes the pathology of the "anorexic." An "anorexic" -- all so labeled are in fact compulsive overeaters, I believe -- should be regarded as being EXACTLY THE SAME as overweight compulsive overeaters: given that the "anorexic's" thinness is NOT to be pathologized, the thing wrong in the case of the "anorexic" is in fact the compulsive OVEReating. In fact, "anorexic" symptoms attributed to the person's thinness are in fact due to this compulsive OVEReating behavior. The solution -- the way to healing in the case of the "anorexic" is the same as for overweight compulsive overeaters -- fasting, and a dedication to refraining from self-violating eating -- because the only pathology of the "anorexic" is in fact compulsive overeating. The distinction made on the basis of the person's thinness is a false distinction -- morally and physiologically. Fasting will eliminate the situation of being compulsed against one's will to eat; and if a so-called "anorexic" recovers from compulsive overeating (which one must define as any self-violative eating, NOT merely eating which results in greater than "normal" body weight) never return to "normal" weights, this is UTTERLY IRRELEVANT and NOT an indication of disease but of a personal choice which it is immoral -- and also physically/psychically/physiologically damaging -- not to respect. A person can live in total health even very thin; but NOT if afflicted with the compulsion to overeat, i.e., use food as a drug... I am making arguments in support of my stance as it would apply to extreme cases. I do this to make a thorough argument. I believe my thinking is easily acceptable as a philosophy for everyone, that thinness itself is never dangerous and it is vitally important for the world to realize this... for the reason that it is SO DAMAGING to pathologize thinness or an "emotional" need (which is at some basis a physical need) to be thin. A person who needs to maintain certain thinness simply needs to do so -- to tend to a core need for dignity, empowerment, and control which should not be denied. I do believe an "anorexic's" conviction of needing to lose weight is a valid and healthy conviction, that it is the cry of the body to cease compulsive overeating and rest by fasting (and thus eliminating bacterial problems in the intestinal system, and thus end the craving to overeat or to eat when eating is not acceptable to the individual -- thus restoring dignity and empowerment to the individual by restoring the power truly to be in control of food intake and body size. These are valid needs for control, not pathological desires.) Thanks for reading. i do not want to sound harsh but did have to articulate all this. I do hope to hear from you. Submitted I hope not caustically, and inthe hope of connecting with others.
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