Balloons pop. Balloons deflate. Their pieces fall to the ground or lodge in trees and bushes. Colors fade. The physicality of the balloon is fragile. The balloon is designed for a short life span and then succumbs to the forces of nature and collapses.
Your body is not a balloon. It can be strong, and healthy and survive many harsh experiences. It can be lovely, and uplifting and provide you with joy - the joy and exuberance of health.
But if you treat your body as if it were a fantasy, a balloon always colorful, intact and rising, you may suffer severe disappointment when your body calls out its need for care.
Eating Disorder Thinking
Eating disorder thinking tries to find loopholes in reality. For example, you try or actually believe that you can starve and have a healthy, pain-free body. You believe that you can overeat certain foods or binge without gaining weight. You believe you can purge or over-exercise with no medical repercussions. You believe you can act out your eating disorder and have the body of your dreams.
When your body responds realistically to the treatment you give it by becoming skeletal, gaining weight, bleeding, getting sick, suffering weak or broken bones or worse, you feel betrayed. The reality is that your eating disorder thinking lied to you. If you are in the thick of your illness, you believe your body is betraying you. Your pretty balloons are falling.
Key to Recovery
Your mind can play tricks on you, but your body will always tell you the truth. Understanding that fact is fundamental to your eating disorder recovery.
- Can you identify your mind tricks that rationalize your eating disorder behaviors?
- What is going on when you are angry with your body's response?
- What can you change so that you can be kind to your body?
Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.
Written by Joanna Poppink, MFT. Joanna is a psychotherapist in private practice specializing in eating disorder recovery, stress, PTSD, and adult development.
She is licensed in CA, AZ, OR, FL, and UT. Author of the Book: Healing Your Hungry Heart: Recovering from Your Eating Disorder
Appointments are virtual.
For a free telephone consultation, e-mail her at