Find peace with food and overcome disordered eating.
Eating Disorder Therapist
Overcome disordered eating and find peace with food
When food is LOVE
by Harriet Frew on June 14th, 2016

When food has become your number one love
When your relationship with food is out of sync, food is much more than simple nourishment, an enjoyable social-pleasure or a sustaining fuel. Instead, your relationship with food has become heavily loaded with a burden of emotional intensity. It is the thing you focus incessantly on and devote time and attention to. You look forward to it, dream about it and fixate on it. It so aptly fills a void that you might not even recognise exists. It is yours alone to manage and it doesn’t question, demand or want from you. It brings comfort and pleasure even if only fleeting. At other times, you despise and detest how food takes over your life - the way it preoccupies your every waking moment and affects how you feel about yourself.
Underneath the layers of food and body image obsession, usually lays a longing to feel better about the self.  A longing to feel connected with others and accepted ‘warts and all’ for who we truly are.  
Isn’t that what we try to find through weight loss or sculpting the perfect body or controlling our eating?
‘When I’m X kg, then I can finally get on with life and stop putting things on hold anymore.’
Does it work though in fulfilling these deepest needs? Often, it offers a seductive, momentary glimmer of self-esteem as we fit into a smaller size or exert iron-control in eliminating all sugar. Then, once ‘achieving’ the new way of being, the judge becomes all prominent.
‘You are only okay if you stick to these rules.’ The ‘achievement’ brings intense pressure and conditional acceptance with it.
Helpful questions to explore why food has become the number one love: -

  • What has happened in my past that has influenced how I feel about myself today?
  • What has influenced my level of trust and connection with others?
  • What feelings am I burying because I feel that ‘I shouldn’t’ feel this way?
  • What am I missing in my life right now?
  • What is important to me that I am not expressing?
  • What do I need to say 'no' to?
  • Do I feel connected and supported by the people around me?
  • Can I share myself and feel accepted by my family, friends or partner?
  • What is it that I need to help me feel more fulfilled day-by-day?
  • What is stopping me from allowing myself to get what I need?
  • What things bring me authentic joy and happiness? 
A perfect body or diet-plan is all very well, but unlikely to help you meet your deepest needs of feeling loved and accepted for who you are.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to be a healthy weight and get in shape. However, when it becomes so intrinsically linked to self-worth and being ‘good enough’ then food has become wildly misplaced in its role. You are hoping that it will meet a need that it can never fully achieve. You are digging a hole to find a treasure that isn’t even buried on that spot.
When you strive to meet your needs through control of food, this also takes over with such a preoccupying vengeance, that it prevents you from engaging in other potentially meaningful life experiences.
So what is it that you need right now to help bring more joy and self-acceptance into your life? If you are feeling very stuck with this question and meeting dead-ends, then this could be the time to seek further support through counselling.

Counselling can help you identify why you are using food to cope and to find more productive ways of managing. It can support you in beginning to live again, instead of feeling controlled by food. 

Posted in Confidence, Counselling, Eating disorder, Emotions, Happiness, Identity, Recovery, Roots of behaviour, Self-care, Self-esteem, self-help, Values    Tagged with Eating Disorder, values, fulfilment, when food is love, meeting your needs, joy, pleasure, happiness, food, friendship, relationships, connection


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Find peace with food and overcome disordered eating.