Find peace with food and overcome disordered eating.
Eating Disorder Therapist
Overcome disordered eating and find peace with food
But they made me eat it........
by Harriet Frew on September 8th, 2014

Do you ever find that your relationship with food seems to be going fabulously well, until you are around other people? You might have had several weeks of really tuning in; listening to your body; stopping that emotional eating and then suddenly, back in the company of your loved ones; close family; best friends; work colleagues; everything goes awry. How frustrating! Just when you think you have finally cracked this whole food thing, you are suddenly eating extra cakes at 10am or creeping back into diet mode, just because ‘they’ have influenced you.

I am writing this as I am in the process of moving house and out of my normal routine. I have noticed how my eating patterns have changed, ever so subtly when in the company of loved ones. Drifting back into old habits, wanting to please my lovely Mum, wanting to join in and be the good girl to name a few.

4 ways others might influence you

1. You imitate the eating of others. You are with a friend who is polishing off the sumptuous buffet and you consider this gives you permission to eat everything in sight too, regardless of how much you like the food or how hungry you are. 

Or maybe your Mum is dieting and you think you should be too and before you know it you are cutting out carbs and weighing out portions.
Of course, you feel that it is not your fault that you have lost your way. How could you not alter your eating to fit round them?

2. You don’t want to offend the other person. If someone has slaved over a dish you feel obliged to eat it. If someone is on a diet, you feel that you should support them. If everyone else is drinking, then why not? 

3. You are worried about what others think of your eating so you are extremely strict and controlled with your eating in public, but then in private this is entirely different. You want to appear ‘holier than though; in control and restrained around food’. You are ashamed to eat normally or eat a range of foods in front of others. What might they think? 

4. You go back home and fall into old eating patterns that are outdated for you. You might eat out of familiarity, comfort and habit so losing touch with your body and your personal preferences. 
4 ways to lessen the influence of others

1. Take responsibility – set your own food rules and eating agenda as part of your overall self-care and respect towards your body. You don’t have to become obsessed about food or a food bore, but you can still stick broadly to some main principles for the majority of the time. 

2. Don’t concern yourself with what others are eating. You are only seeing a small picture of their overall eating habits. You really don’t know what else they eat and when. 
3. You cannot please everyone all of the time. Other people really do not care about what you are eating half as much as you do. If someone reacts negatively to you being assertive around food, this is not your problem. If someone is coercing you into dieting or over-eating or eating foods that you do not want to eat, then have a curious approach to their relationship with food. What is going on here? 

4. When you fall back into eating patterns that are unhelpful for you due to family/friend influences, be kind and compassionate with yourself. You might choose to relax and go with the flow of eating for a while with increased self-awareness. Or you might choose to be more assertive about eating patterns or food choices that are really important for you. 

Do you relate to this? How are you influenced by others? Do post below and share your thoughts.
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.

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Find peace with food and overcome disordered eating.