Do you feel a loss of control when you're around certain foods?
Do you skip meals, or do you rigidly restrict your food intake?
Are you consumed with 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 an obsessive exercise routine. Their obsession with food and exercise may affect their ability to focus or concentrate, impacting their performance at work or school.
Disordered eating can also take a mental and physical toll on a person. Negative self-thinking can impact their mental health, and their poor eating habits can affect them physically.
If you find yourself struggling with:
- Frequent dieting or obsessive calorie counting
- Rigid food restriction or skipping meals
- Feeling anxiety, guilt, or shame about certain foods or food in general
- Obsessive exercising, or exercise to "punish" for overeating
- Binging and/or purging
- Self-worth or self-esteem because of your weight or body shape and weight
- Feeling out of control around certain foods (such as Sugar and Flour)
… then you may be suffering from disordered eating.
Many people who use food as comfort or control developed these habits at an early age. When we are children we don't have a lot of power or control so we learn how to deal with our feelings with food. Overtime the solution becomes the problem, leading to a cycle that is very difficult to break without support.
If you're struggling with an eating disorder or disordered eating and need support and guidance, a licensed therapist can help. Give our office a call today, and let's schedule a time to talk.