Are You Struggling With Your Eating Habits?

Are you not eating enough? Do you obsess over calorie intake and suffer from poor self-image?  Is it difficult for you to reach out to others about your eating habits? Perhaps your focus on calorie intake and output consumes thoughts throughout your whole day. Are you skipping meals on a regular basis? Maybe you find yourself avoiding new restaurants or social events that center around food due to anxiety. Do you wish you could cultivate a normal relationship with food and feel good about yourself?

Issues surrounding eating are a serious problem in our culture. They are unhealthy for both the body and mind. They affect both men and women, from teenagers to adults. Many people seeking treatment for disordered eating are curious about its differences from an eating disorder. The condition is the precursor to an eating disorder, and it may start through counting calories and experiencing self-esteem issues. You may also be increasing your exercise routine or putting yourself on strict diets. And, you may have gotten to the point where food, calories, exercise and self-image issues consume your entire day.

The above listed symptoms may not indicate a full diagnosable eating disorder. However, they are signs you may need treatment for disordered eating. You may feel isolated or embarrassed, not wanting to share your struggles with food and related anxiety with your friends and family members.

Many People Struggle With Eating Habits

If you’re seeking treatment for disordered eating, you are not alone. In America, 25 percent of men and 45 percent of women are dieting in one way or another. The condition affects 35 percent of normal dieters. Amongst those struggling with the condition, anywhere from 20-25 percent develop partial or full eating disorders. Amongst teenagers, 33 percent of boys and over 50 percent of girls are attempting to lose weight. The condition affects many people, regardless of gender, race, age and socio-economic status.

Since the arrival of social media in our culture, self-image issues have become an increasingly fragile part of our lives. While social media is meant to bring us together, it can also cause feelings of isolation and alienation. Additionally, it can make us measure our progress and lifestyles against others, especially when it comes to self-esteem and body image issues. Because of this additional pressure, many people develop habits that require disordered eating treatment. This kind of pressure can create anxiety over everything from what, where, when and how you choose to eat.

Additionally, the growth of orthorexia (obsessing over eating only healthy foods) has changed the way many people view their eating habits. Seeing others caught up in crazes such as “clean eating” can cause feelings of inferiority about your own eating habits and increase feelings of isolation.

The good news is that there is help and hope to develop a healthy relationship with food. An experienced and understanding therapist can help you get to the root of your issues with food, improve self-esteem and create an empowered path forward.

Treatment Can Provide You With Support, Guidance And Relief

It’s important to learn to eat intuitively—to listen to your body’s needs rather than follow the latest dieting craze. While these types of cultural influences can negatively affect the way you view food, the condition can also be indicative of deeper, internal issues that need to be addressed. 

If you're ready to change your eating habits for the better, disordered eating treatment can help.

In therapy sessions, you will have a safe, nonjudgmental space to identify, explore and address the thoughts and feeling you have around food and your body. Together, we can investigate your relationship with food and why your eating habits have changed. It’s possible that your eating behaviors have been negatively impacting your overall physical health as well as your emotional wellbeing. This can happen when you cut out entire food groups or diet too strictly.

It may often be the result of a larger issue, such as loss of control or anxiety. In sessions, we can work collaboratively to identify and understand the root causes that impact and trigger an unhealthy relationship with food. A key part of treatment is gaining an understanding of the patterns of unsettled eating behavior. It’s also important to discover what triggers your anxiety, which can be anything from social situations to the habits of others. Together, we can identify and disrupt those behaviors.

Throughout this process, you can increase self-awareness and develop a better understanding of your eating habits and their effect on your body. You can learn healthy ways to cope with the stress and anxiety that often arise when you stop dieting, especially if the act of dieting has been a coping method and routine for most of your life. In sessions, I’ll also help you focus on your strengths and develop tools to shift into more positive and empowering thinking patterns. This can help to increase overall self-esteem. 

I have been working with people suffering from various types of addictive behaviors for the past eight years. I understand how important, while overwhelming, overcoming the stigmas and reaching out can be. But, learning the skills to process challenging feelings and develop positive eating habits is essential. Together we can look deeply into the root of your relationship with eating before it develops into a full eating disorder. With support, guidance and a willingness to self-explore and make meaningful changes in your life, you can develop a healthy relationship with food.

Although you may understand the need to explore your relationship with food, you still may have questions and concerns about therapy…

My problem isn’t not bad enough to seek professional help.

By visiting this page and researching treatment for disordered eating, you—or someone you know—is likely struggling. As of now, your physical health may not be affected by the condition, or you may feel you do not meet the criteria for any diagnosable eating disorder. While this might be a good position to be in, seeking help now can help to prevent you from developing a diagnosable eating disorder and suffering the physical and emotional consequences that come with anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating disorder. Furthermore, treatment for disordered eating can help to normalize your eating habits, reduce anxiety and provide you with valuable skills and relief.

What If I Gain Weight?

Treatment for disordered eating is meant to normalize your overall relationship with food. When seeking treatment, your number one priority should be getting your eating habits to a normal level. In other words, it’s your physical and mental health you’re healing. This has nothing to do with your overall weight. One of the more common symptoms regarding these eating habits is the connection between weight and self-worth. A primary goal of our work together will be to break the connection between the number on the scale and how you feel about yourself.

I’ve been dieting as long as I can remember. What if I can’t change?

Many of my clients have told me that they have been dieting as long as they can remember. The condition is a tough habit to break out of. However, like many before you, you can break the dieting cycle and gain valuable coping skills and insights into yourself. With the support and help of counseling, you can learn and develop the tools needed to prevail.

If you are looking for treatment for disordered eating or know someone coping with it, please contact me. I invite you to call me at 704-659-6861 for a 20-minute free consultation. I’m happy to discuss your specific needs and answer any questions you have about my practice and disordered eating treatment.