Eating disorders - Lies, deception and values
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Harriet Frew
30th September, 20150 Comments
“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
You value honesty and speaking the truth. You value relationships with your family and friends.
You value learning about new and stimulating subjects. You value achieving and getting recognition for your efforts. You value your career and work/life, pouring your heart and soul into contributing to what matters to you.
You value your health. You don’t want to take your strong and flexible body for granted.
You value your children and spending time with them. You value your pets.
You value laughing and having fun.
You value beauty and appreciating wonderful things.
You value happiness and seeking out every last bit of joy that life has to bring.
So why aren’t you living by your values, you wonder? You know you compromise these things that you hold so dear nearly every single day. You feel sad to think about it, as it was never a conscious decision to do this.
Gradually, your eating habits and the size of your body seem to have become the most important values in your life and all encompassing. You recognise this and rationally, it just doesn’t make sense. But it also feels so hard to let go of.
These are some of the ways you might compromise your dearest values:
- secret eating
- cancelling social engagements
- avoiding meals with friends
- spending your money on binge food
- getting into debt
- exercising for hours on end
- ignoring the phone calls or text messages
- holding back the truth
- not being open with people you love
- turning down opportunities to study or learn
- staying in a safe job which doesn’t really fulfil your potential
- feeling miserable and depressed because of your body size or what you have eaten
- pushing others away
- giving up on what really matters to you.
You have probably found that trying to find happiness through the pursuit of body perfection or controlled eating has not brought you the fulfilment you ultimately desire.
However, you might feel as though you are completely lost in the jungle of life and that you have no map or reference point to help guide you back along a meaningful path. Maybe you feel that you have wandered so far off the path that you can’t see how to possibly get back to it. Maybe you feel undeserving of pursuing the goals that were once meaningful to you. You gave up hope long ago.
This is when therapy can offer you a safe and supportive place. It can help you to understand how you became lost in the first place and to think about how you can move your life back towards more value based living again.
About the author
Harriet Frew is a counsellor, blogger, writer and enthusiast in supporting people with eating disorders. She has worked in the NHS; private practice and in the voluntary sector; working in the field since 1999. Harriet now works privately in Cambridge and London.
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