Find peace with food and overcome disordered eating.
Eating Disorder Therapist
Overcome disordered eating and find peace with food
Getting your thinking sorted around food
by Harriet Frew on September 1st, 2014

What do you do when you find yourself eating way more than you know your body really needs? You have said yes to those delicious cream éclairs when your body said no. You’ve had that second portion of Pinocchio’s lasagne because you didn’t want to waste it. You ate several fish-fingers from your children’s tea dipped in ketchup. You polished off the strawberry cheesecake from the dinner party. It was just asking to be eaten!
 
There is absolutely nothing wrong with all the above. Yes you might not want to be doing this every single day if you hope to achieve a healthy and sustainable weight. But all the above are part of normal eating. Naturally slim people will engage in all of this eating and think nothing of it.
 
If you are used to following rules or diets or controlling your eating, then you might have lost sight of this. Therefore, when you find yourself indulging, it sends you into a spiral of self-doubt and self-criticism.
 
If you want to change this, how you THINK about the eating episode is absolutely essential in determining what happens next with your eating and how you relate to your body.
 
The ‘I’m out of control around food’ approach
 
If you are a dieter, controlled eater, perfect mindful eater – then when this happens you are probably thinking thoughts like: -
 
‘I’ve broken my healthy plan. I’ve fallen off the wagon. I’m a greedy pig. I’m fat. Why can’t I listen to my body? I’ve blown it so why not eat lots more. I’m a failure for messing up’.
 
These thoughts do not lead to happy feelings. Upset, anxiety, anger, shame, guilt, embarrassment, disillusionment to name a few.
 
When you thoughts and feelings go like this, then you are not really in love with yourself one bit. You might actually feel quite self-destructive and like beating yourself up a bit more. Motivation to take care of yourself; listen to your body; be kind and compassionate – they are probably very low down your list. You might even weigh yourself to really prove how awful you have been.
 
Starving or restricting as compensation or more over-eating to dissociate and switch off are likely outcomes.
 
The self-caring and loving your body approach
 
When your eating has become very uncaring towards your body, this is the time when you need to work hardest of all to get back on track and be compassionate and supportive of yourself.
 
People often worry. ‘If I’m compassionate to myself, won’t I just eat everything in sight as I’m letting myself off the hook?’
 
Actually, in reality, the answer is no. When you really tune in and centre and come back to listening to what your body needs, then stuffing down or starving are not feasible options. Why punish yourself further? Why restrict when it will only lead to a downward spiral, and likely over-eating?
 
So next time your fall out of tune with your body – be compassionate. Be kind.  Stop and pause. Do something really special for yourself in the moment.
 
If you overate and enjoyed it – then celebrate that. You are not going to eat like this every day. When nothing is banned, there is no need to eat like it was your Last Supper. You have the choice to eat these foods again tomorrow if you really want to.
 
How can you think more helpfully?
 
‘I really enjoyed that food. Now I’m really full. Maybe I don’t want to eat like this every day, but hey life is for living and that was great’.
 
You will feel happier, in touch with your body; more peaceful; less critical. More self-caring.
 
When you are not rebelling against rules, paradoxically, you will probably eat less and will not feel the need to stuff food down through feelings of deprivation. Being too strict is not sustainable. Flexibility built in is essential with any eating plan. Ultimately, food is to be enjoyed and one of life’s pleasures.
 
Do you relate to this? Have you managed to work on your thinking around eating? Please post below.
 
If you would like to get in touch about working with me to explore some of these issues further, I would love to hear from you. I am passionate about helping you to eat all the foods you love; and feel great about your body without disordered eating or dieting.
 
Best wishes
Harrietx
 


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Find peace with food and overcome disordered eating.