Are you struggling with food issues/binge eating disorder?
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Kate Heavey BA (Hons) MBACP Adults and Couples
18th April, 20160 Comments
Are you obese and fed up of it? Do you have food addiction issues? Could you have a binge eating disorder? Is your food intake having an effect on your social life? Do you feel incredibly lonely? Where is joy and self-love in your life right now as you read this article?
We continue to hear in the news about how we are a growing society of obesity and is there any surprise as we look at how society has become more isolating with many people now connecting socially on the internet alone.
So what are the essential features of binge eating disorder/compulsive overeating:
- Eating a large amount of food in a relatively small amount of time compared to others.
- Feeling disgusted, depressed and guilty afterwards.
- Eating until feeling uncomfortably full (or even past this point).
- Seeing food as a reward for stress as opposed to a satisfier for hunger.
- Using food for comfort and strength even when not hungry.
- Prefering to eat alone due to feelings of shame and embarrassment.
- Unable to control what you eat/how much you eat once starting.
It may be you deal with your food intake in unhealthy ways such as vomiting, laxative abuse, slimming pills, excessive exercise or severe restriction yet they have become a part of your life.
Would it surprise you to know that compulsive eating is part of the cycle of addiction which fuels addictive behaviour? The cycle consists of:
- Pain – hiding emotions, feelings, fears and being at dis-ease internally and externally.
- Drug of choice (food) – bingeing, overeating, compulsively eating, obsessive dieting, restricting, grazing, etc.
- Temporary oblivion – ‘hand to mouth’ action temporarily keeps feelings numbed out with a temporary high. Also there can be a state of disconnection/oblivion/comatose.
- Negative consequences – whether this is health, employment, social connection/isolation, relationships, sex life, finances/debt, etc.
- Guilt/shame – feeling unlovable, not being able to look the world in the eye, undealt issues from past, lack of self-control, believing others are looking at you because of your size, self-loathing, low self-esteem, not feeling worthy, continually feeling bad, etc.
Many who have got to this stage feel there is no going back, that their way of eating is set for life yet I pose you a question… how would it be to not live like this?
Seeking professional help and talking through what is going for you can help you understand what underpins your food obsession and what is fuelling it.
This is where counselling or psychotherapy comes in. Both offer a safe confidential environment for you to talk about what you may think the problem is.
Counselling and psychotherapy sessions offer connection in a safe non-judgemental place where you are listened to, encouraged, supported and tentatively challenged in a holding professional relationship.
Weekly sessions (more if required) encourage self-acceptance, increased self-worth and empowerment so you can make uniformed choices about whether to continue bingeing on your drug of choice.
I will leave you with a parting question…
Do you feel powerless over your food and is your life unmanageable because of your food intake?
About the author
Kate is a qualified counsellor/psychotherapist with private practices in Ripley and Cranleigh, Surrey. She has many years of experience working with the cycle of addiction (alcohol and food).
Kate's aim is to work with clients in a non-judgemental, respectful, honest and real way. As well as being a counsellor she is a fellow human being.
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