Eating Disorders – Time to Talk Tuesdays

Did you know that not everyone that has an eating disorder is Anorexic or Bulimic? Some people that have eating disorders use it as a coping mechanism or is a symptom of another disorder? This post maybe triggering to some people.

I have an eating disorder but it is neither of the two main ones; in fact other than it just being a disorder I don’t think it has a name. I seem to have elements of both Anorexia and Bulimia, but my main thing is control I need to feel like I am in control when I have none when it comes to my emotions or body dysmorphic disorder symptoms.

Just recently I have been majorly triggered by myself actually; not by doing this series but by getting on the sad step and weighing myself just sent me over. I without even thinking about it restricted my calorie intake to 600 and had to forcibly eat something else to keep my stoma in working order. I actually couldn’t care less that my body was going into starvation mode and my body was in agony. But I fought hard to get my ileostomy and I don’t want it to stop functioning and require worst care scenario more surgery.

The second I become stress or anxious or feel like I don’t deserve nice things because I have cocked up in some way I fall straight into the eating disorder trap of not eating to regain control or as punishment. I feel pretty stupid just typing that but I can’t be the only person that does it.

I recently read an article which makes a very valid point about how people that have eating disorders and body issues have difficulty in expressing, processing, and coping with their emotions. I know I clearly do; for instance when I feel low and sad I will binge eat like there is no tomorrow and then set myself firmly in a vicious cycle of hating myself then restricting.

I have gone through my social media accounts and unfollowed people/profiles and reported ads that are diet focused or negative to the word fat which is a describing word people! it by itself has no positive or negative connotations until YOU put them there. In reality I know deep down weight is just a stupid number that has no reflection of me as a person and I can easily rationalise and notice what I am doing is daft; doesn’t mean I can stop it dead.

Someone very close to me is also suffering with similar issues suggested I look up intuitive eating; I was sceptical because I am prone to obsessing over food and the like hence the fact I refuse to go to slimming groups. But I decided after my therapy session the other week I decided to look into it and it sounds pretty interesting here are the 10 principles of intuitive eating from the official site:

  1. Reject the Diet Mentality Throw out the diet books and magazine articles that offer you false hope of losing weight quickly, easily, and permanently. Get angry at the lies that have led you to feel as if you were a failure every time a new diet stopped working and you gained back all of the weight. If you allow even one small hope to linger that a new and better diet might be lurking around the corner, it will prevent you from being free to rediscover Intuitive Eating.
  2. Honour Your Hunger Keep your body biologically fed with adequate energy and carbohydrates. Otherwise you can trigger a primal drive to overeat. Once you reach the moment of excessive hunger, all intentions of moderate, conscious eating are fleeting and irrelevant. Learning to honour this first biological signal sets the stage for re-building trust with yourself and food.
  3. Make Peace with Food Call a truce, stop the food fight! Give yourself unconditional permission to eat. If you tell yourself that you can’t or shouldn’t have a particular food, it can lead to intense feelings of deprivation that build into uncontrollable cravings and, often, bingeing When you finally “give-in” to your forbidden food, eating will be experienced with such intensity, it usually results in Last Supper overeating, and overwhelming guilt.
  4. Challenge the Food Police .Scream a loud “NO” to thoughts in your head that declare you’re “good” for eating minimal calories or “bad” because you ate a piece of chocolate cake. The Food Police monitor the unreasonable rules that dieting has created . The police station is housed deep in your psyche, and its loud speaker shouts negative barbs, hopeless phrases, and guilt-provoking indictments. Chasing the Food Police away is a critical step in returning to Intuitive Eating.
  5. Respect Your Fullness Listen for the body signals that tell you that you are no longer hungry. Observe the signs that show that you’re comfortably full. Pause in the middle of a meal or food and ask yourself how the food tastes, and what is your current fullness level?
  6. Discover the Satisfaction Factor The Japanese have the wisdom to promote pleasure as one of their goals of healthy living In our fury to be thin and healthy, we often overlook one of the most basic gifts of existence–the pleasure and satisfaction that can be found in the eating experience. When you eat what you really want, in an environment that is inviting and conducive, the pleasure you derive will be a powerful force in helping you feel satisfied and content. By providing this experience for yourself, you will find that it takes much less food to decide you’ve had “enough”.
  7. Honour Your Feelings Without Using Food Find ways to comfort , nurture, distract, and resolve your issues without using food. Anxiety, loneliness, boredom, anger are emotions we all experience throughout life. Each has its own trigger, and each has its own appeasement. Food won’t fix any of these feelings. It may comfort for the short term, distract from the pain, or even numb you into a food hangover. But food won’t solve the problem. If anything, eating for an emotional hunger will only make you feel worse in the long run. You’ll ultimately have to deal with the source of the emotion, as well as the discomfort of overeating.
  8. Respect Your Body Accept your genetic blueprint. Just as a person with a shoe size of eight would not expect to realistically squeeze into a size six, it is equally as futile (and uncomfortable) to have the same expectation with body size. But mostly, respect your body, so you can feel better about who you are. It’s hard to reject the diet mentality if you are unrealistic and overly critical about your body shape.
  9. Exercise–Feel the Difference Forget militant exercise. Just get active and feel the difference. Shift your focus to how it feels to move your body, rather than the calorie burning effect of exercise. If you focus on how you feel from working out, such as energised, it can make the difference between rolling out of bed for a brisk morning walk or hitting the snooze alarm. If when you wake up, your only goal is to lose weight, it’s usually not a motivating factor in that moment of time.
  10. Honour Your Health–Gentle Nutrition Make food choices that honour your health and taste buds while making you feel well. Remember that you don’t have to eat a perfect diet to be healthy. You will not suddenly get a nutrient deficiency or gain weight from one snack, one meal, or one day of eating. It’s what you eat consistently over time that matters, progress not perfection is what counts.

I think this may be quite useful for me with my eating habits as it seems to encourage mindful eating and have a better relationship with food instead of using it to try and bury my feelings or trying to regain control when really there isn’t any to regain. This coupled with keeping my pact with another friend to eat 3 meals a day and at least one snack – accountability is definitely amazing for keeping yourself in check with anything.

Do you suffer or struggle with eating issues or disorders? How do you manage to cope and deal with them when they strike?

If you didn’t catch last weeks instalment of the mini series please click here

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