Eating Disorders: Hating Myself



Hating Myself

We have to learn to be our own best friends because we fall too easily into the trap of being our own worst enemies.
Roderick Thorpe

Dear Readers,

Hating Myself: Hating is a strong word, and self-hatred is a pure destruction of mind, soul and body. If you want to change the way others treat you, you should first change the way you treat yourself. Unless you learn to love yourself, fully and sincerely, there is no way you can be loved. Once you achieve that stage, however, be thankful for every thorn that others might throw at you. It is a sign that you will soon be showered in roses.” Elif Shafak


People who suffer from ED are one of the nicest people on this planet earth.  What really saddens me how I come across the most beautiful people on this planet earth and how they all feel trapped and limited by their ED. It ranges from feeling worthless, unwanted or as overwhelming as feeling a complete failure. So what do some of us do? We change ourselves and we try to present this changed person to the world. With an ED, this change goes to an extreme level, as you keep on trying to mold yourself into these unrealistic standards of perfection set by the demon of ED and you shape your whole personality around it, and this simply spells your doom.

Brandon Bays, Author of The Journey said something very brilliant: “But, if we’re very lucky, life presents us with a gift, ‘a wake up call.’ Something takes place, when for a moment we crack through the hardened surface, look past the layers of muck and catch a glimpse of the radiant brilliance  shinning from deep within.”

And that’s how true recovery happens, when one day we wake up and we realize our own beauty, our own uniqueness and our own self worth and we no longer measure our worth by numbers on the scale or size of our waist. When you believe in your self, honor yourself then you will spend rest of your life journeying inward into this exquisite beauty and freedom, Inshallah.

Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.
Benjamin Spock

This post is not about body image or distorted self-image but simply about loving yourself and respecting yourself and this is for someone very special in Malaysia and all those who struggle to love themselves.

Self Love and Self Respect = Defeat of the Demon of ED

It’s not what you go through that defines you; you can’t help that. It’s what you do AFTER you’ve gone through it that really tests who you are. Kwame Floyd

I’ve never come across a sufferer who’ll tell me they respect themselves or love themselves. The Demon’s whispers have overtaken their mind and they believe all the bad things demon is telling them. The state of well being is what we continually aspire to and this well being comes from self love and self respect. Recovery becomes one long never ending road, when you don’t love yourself, respect yourself and honor yourself.

In ED, many try to earn love from others by pleasing them or by giving into the slavery of the demon of ED. They wait day in and out for this demon to tell them they are doing a good job, they are perfect and they are special, but that never happens. According to Matthew Manning: “The problem is most people are looking for love to come from outside them, yet our ability to love can only come from within.” Very often feelings of being unloved and unlovable go back to early childhood. Some people live out their lives looking for the love they didn’t get as children. Always Remember: ‘It’s never too late to have a Happy childhood’. Of course you can’t go back to your childhood and do it all over again, but you can start giving the love now that you didn’t get then.

Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
Veronica A. Shoffstall

The primary task of self love, self respect is to reprogram your emotional  brain so that it adapts to positive instead of continuing to react to negative thoughts and experiences. The emotional brain contains natural mechanisms for self healing. It’s important we learn to feel connected to ourselves. Being completely alone, in the company of the demon of ED can further sink us into the dark world of misery,  self-doubt or worse self-hatred. Our aim in life is to live in harmony and to find and sustain a balance. Imperfection and ugliness are not part of the nature of things but only in our regard of them. The more we are at peace with ourselves, the more we are disposed to beauty of life. Everything then becomes beautiful.

“We cannot know (or worship) Allah until we know ourselves.”

The best way to put more love into our lives is to start giving love, and the best place to start is by learning to love ourselves.  Matthew Manning

Stop Hating Yourself: Guidelines for Putting More Love Into Your Life

This exercise is taken from Matthew Manning’s Book, ‘The Healing Journey’. Below you’ll find my answers. Apologies in advance if my answers leave you feeling confused and embarrassed.  This exercise is so good. I did this several years back and recently with a girl from Baku, Azerbaijan. It was so good for us to compare our answers and we just felt loved. Every time you feel low or sad. Do this Exercise.

 If I am not for myself, who will be for me?

And If I am for myself alone, then what am I?

And if not now, then when? Hillel, Ethics of our Father

Be Kind to Yourself.

Every life is unique.. and every life is difficult. We are often surprised at our own hostility towards our self.

  • If only I were beautiful like xxxx
  • If only I were a genius like xxx

If only I was this and that… the list is endless. Encourage and praise yourself and don’t be harsh on yourself if you don’t come up to your own expectations.

The more you like yourself, the less you are like anyone else, which makes you unique.Walt Disney


Talk to Someone.

ED is not something people can nor should they go through alone. Human beings are group animals and talking things through with other people can be helpful in several ways. It can take some of the edges off a problem and instead of going round and round in circles, you can start to see new solutions and possibilities.

Positive Affirmation Card from Yoga Session

I am a great believer in this. I feel so sorry for people who had to listen to me and put up with my endless talks on food, good food, bad food,  weight, calories, fat and how from tomorrow I was going to be a healthy/new/changed/recovered person etc .

My Friend Sheila listened to my ED chatter for 7 years

My Friend Sheila listened to my ED chatter for 7 years

But letting it all out was the key for me to defeat the Demon of ED. I talked about my ED everywhere, in library, in coffee shop, community center, on swings, in my Dad’s car, till the demon himself told me SILENCE PLEASE!

ED over Cappuccino Ed talk Even at Art Gallery ED Talks in Cafe Ed Talks in Community Cafe

Remember Love

List at least three times in the past when you felt a surge of loving feelings as you thought of or talked to someone, or gave them love.

1    Joining my friend Eileen Nicholson for lunch. It was a simple gesture of being there for each other which further deepened our friendship and our love for each other. Every time I think of her, I feel love. She made the Lunch and I ate like a Good Girl.

Honestly I've No Idea where That Giant Slab of Butter Came From

Honestly I’ve No Idea where That Giant Slab of Butter Came From

2   When I think of my Mother whose in Islamabad, I feel Love.


3     Last year, Naina was very unwell. She really thought she was going to Heaven. Before I left home for Yoga or anything, even procrastinating I would go and visit her. She really felt Loved. And She told me, otherwise I wouldn’t have known.


Think of Three people who Could use Your Love

Recall those loving feelings you had in the above list. Send that love out to those three people.

Maria. A beautiful travel companion in Trip to Jordan. Everyone Loves her. But She’s very ill. The more Love she Gets, the Better it is. I send my Love to Her.


Annie. She’s in hospital in Islamabad. She’s suffering from ED and Bipolar Disorder. I send her my Love.

A Very Sweet Girl in Belgium. She’s going through hard times, exams and lots of stress. I send her my deep deep love.

Remember unexpected love. Think of three times someone gave you love that was unexpected

I was in London and this was right after coming out of Hospital and my social skills were zilch. I avoided social gatherings at all cost and this lady Sukaina, simply hugged me and welcomed me into her heart and into her life. This was just totally unexpected. She’s infectious.

Unexpected Love

I was pleasantly surprised, when our Afghan tenants in Islamabad (whom I’ve never met) sent me a gift of beautiful hand crafted Jewelery. They live upstairs and we live downstairs. There’s a language barrier. But there’s love without boundaries and barriers.

I can never ever forget this unexpected respect and love I received in Jordan. I was in Jordan and our Mr Coach Driver gave me one of the most beautiful gifts of my life, a ceramic tile with last four verses from Qur’an.

My wonderful

Express Love

Think of someways you could surprise and delight someone tomorrow with an expression of your love.

We must love in order not to fall ill.

Sigmund Freud

I know this sounds hard, but it could be something as simple as sending flowers to your dear friend, or visiting someone ill with a get well soon present or simply sending someone a Thank you card or even a text message telling them how much they mean to you. Last year, Nasim Nahid lost her husband. It was a sudden death, totally unexpected. Do you know what really touched me about Nasim? How she kept on giving love and expressing love. She said she felt love everywhere. She surprised her father with early birthday wishes and present. Look at the infectious smile on their faces.

LoveSurpriseWe need to value our gifts and who we are, and at the same time to value others and their gifts with equal honesty as well.We can accept who we are without either vanity or self-depreciation. 

True humility is not thinking less of ourselves than what we are, but not needing to focus on ourselves at all because we are comfortable with ourselves and our focus is elsewhere. Danish Ornish

Thank You For Reading!


About Author

Islam and Eating Disorders founded in 2012 – run by Maha Khan, the blog creates awareness of Eating Disorders in the Muslim world, offers information and support for sufferers and their loved ones.


  1. Beautiful post. Your words are so inspiring and I’m sure that you help many, many people suffering from eating disorders or even those who are trying to help a loved one whom suffers from an eating disorder. I believe that if you strongly and genuinely believe that you can fight your disorder you CAN fight your disorder. It’s all about having faith!

  2. Very inspiring article. Eating disorders are a big problem these days, and I hope it stops. No one should worry about their looks, they should be happy the way they are. ED can be stopped, but we have to realize the problem first, and that’s the way kids young women react to media, they need to realize they don’t need to look a certain way to fit in.

  3. Great work! This is the type of info that should be shared across the web. Shame on Google for now not poioisintng this submit higher! Come on over and seek advice from my web site . Thank you =)

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