by Carol Fredrek
Your relationship to food may interfere with your life and prevent you from enjoying everyday activities. You may feel out of control, anxious, or distressed when you are around food.
You measure your self-esteem by how you look or find yourself preoccupied with your weight, letting the numbers on the scale impact or even define your sense of self. It can get tiring when you feel like you need t0 control so much in your life.
Food and weight preoccupation can lead to severe physical and emotional problems. Any food and weight issues that limit your ability to live a full life and joyful life are of concern.
1 You’re terrified of being overweight
There is no perfect body. We come in all shapes and sizes. Feeling fat is really saying “I don’t like myself”.
Journaling can help give you a voice. Ask yourself “When do I feel fat?”, “Does it come and go or is it always there?”, or “Do I feel bad about myself when certain things happen or when I am around certain people?”
Listen to what your inner critic is saying. How does this make you feel? And what do you do with those feelings? There is no quick fix to changing these core beliefs but it is important to begin to pay attention to your thought patterns, challenge them, and begin to feel a sense of empowerment. A feeling of “I can”
2 You go on eating binges and are unable to stop
You have emotional triggers that set off a binge such as stress, anxiety, not feeling good enough, self-loathing, or feeling depressed. You feel guilty when you binge. Guilt and shame are core to the binge-purge cycle. You might purge to get rid of these uncomfortable feelings by fasting, making yourself vomit, laxative abuse or over exercise.
Ask yourself “What are my triggers? Is it a certain situation, a certain person, or a feeling I am uncomfortable with?”
Mindfulness is a strategy that might help interrupt the cycle for the short term. It can bring you back to the present. Journaling, a guided meditation, taking a walk, or calling someone are also ways that might help break the cycle.
This might be a time to take out a pad and pencil and write down the thoughts and feelings you had throughout your binge-purge cycle. You will want to challenge the negative beliefs. Focus on your strengths
3 You constantly diet
Dieting doesn’t work. Almost all dieters gain back the weight that they lost and many dieters gain back even more weight. .
There are realistic ways to get to a healthy weight. You can learn about healthy eating and establish a pattern of normal eating. This is where it is really important to work with a dietician that specializes in eating disorders.
They will understand the dynamics of dieting and compulsive eating.
Try not to label foods as “good” or “bad”. This will make you feel guilty and ashamed. Use different labels like “sometimes food”. All foods have a place in your life
4 You don’t like your body
You complain of being fat, feeling fat, and looking fat, when actually you are a healthy weight or underweight. You also have an extreme dissatisfaction with your body. It is important to get rid of your scale so that you can stop measuring your self esteem based on the numbers on the scale.
Use “body positive” affirmations that promote positive attitudes toward your body. It is difficult to challenge beliefs that you have held for so many years but you can do it with the support of others or a professional.
Negative body image can trigger an eating disorder
This preoccupation with food, body, and weight can lead to obsessive thoughts that feel out of control.
You don’t need to do this alone. Book a FREE 15-minute phone consultation and we can talk about your struggles. If you are ready to book an appointment go to the Book Now button to schedule a 60 minute counseling session.