For many people, disordered eating in all its many forms has often become a way of coping with difficult emotions. Sometimes it’s the only way we can comfort ourselves, or feel in control of anything in our lives. Food can impact us in a number of ways and I think it’s important to recognise both what we use food for and what we don’t use it for.
Food is necessary for us to live, but it can be used in many other ways, which at certain times in our lives feels very comforting and safe, but can actually be detrimental to us. We can feel as if we are in control of things if we are controlling food, but in reality it’s actually food that is controlling us.
Some of us eat to mask feelings of loneliness, sadness, boredom and rage. As we are eating we feel comforted and anaesthetised, and then we want more and more, but afterwards we can often feel disgusted with ourselves, hopeless and out of control.
The longer we remain in this cycle of eating or not eating, the more isolated and unhappy we can feel. Disordered eating is often a symptom of early emotional problems which need to be uncovered to enable us to have a healthier relationship with food and to use it for its real purpose, to nourish ourselves.
Uncovering why we use food in the ways we do and deciding to let go of this coping mechanism can often feel scary, and this is why the therapeutic relationship with a counsellor is so important. My aim is to provide a safe and consistent environment where you can first build up trust in our relationship. In this non judgemental atmosphere, I hope you will become able to feel safe enough to begin to explore with me your difficulties and feelings which can lead to real insight into your troubled relationship with food. Alongside this, we can look at some practical ways to help you manage eating and emotions in a more healthy way and we can also provide nutritional information and help, if you feel you need it. The emotional, practical and nutritional approach in dealing with disordered eating is what drew me to the Weightmatters practice. Often, with disordered eating, we need more than one approach to help us get out of the destructive cycle.