Disordered eating affects every facet of our lives. It makes us feel out of control, detached from ourselves and others and can cause serious illness in the body.
Do you feel a lack of control when you're around food?
Do you skip meals, or do you severely restrict your food intake?
Are you overwhelmed by thoughts about your body shape or your weight?
Many people are aware of what an eating disorder is, but disordered eating may sound less familiar. Disordered eating is not a diagnosis, but a phrase used to describe a range of problematic eating behaviors. The signs and symptoms of disordered eating are similar to those of an eating disorder, although they will vary with frequency and severity.
While disordered eating may not result in the extreme symptoms seen in a diagnosable eating disorder, it has the potential to negatively impact a person's life. For example, someone with disordered eating may miss work, school, or personal events because of anxiety or discomfort around food, or because of a compulsive exercise routine. Their fixation on food and exercise may affect their ability to focus, impacting their performance at work or school.
Disordered eating can also take an emotional and physical toll on a person. Negative self-thinking can impact their mental health, and their poor eating behaviors can affect them physically, such as their cardiovascular and digestive health. Disordered eating also puts the individual at substantial risk of developing an eating disorder.
If you find yourself struggling with:
- Frequent dieting or compulsive calorie counting
- Severe food restriction or skipping meals
- Obsessive exercising, or exercise to "punish" for overeating
- Feeling anxiety or guilt about certain foods or food in general
- Binging and/or purging
- Self-worth because of your weight or body shape and weight
- Feeling out of control around food
… then you may be suffering from disordered eating.
What causes people to engage in harmful eating habits can be complex and vary from person to person. Individual therapy can help people examine their past to understand what led to these behaviors and learn to accept and love themselves as they are. We can also work together to create healthier behaviors and develop coping mechanisms for challenging cues or triggers.
If you're struggling with disordered eating and need support and guidance, I can help you create healthier habits for both your body and mind. Please call me today and let's schedule a time to talk.