COUNSELLING FOR DISORDERED EATING
Disordered Eating is rampant in our culture and occurs on a spectrum. It can include anything from dieting and counting calories, to emotional eating, to eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. Perhaps you’ve never been diagnosed with an eating disorder or you’re in recovery from an eating disorder but yet you still struggle to accept your body and/or to enjoy food without feeling guilty. An unhealthy relationship with food often prevents us from enjoying eating and feeling present in our everyday lives. Controlling our food or bingeing on food may provide us with short term relief, but in the long term, it often keeps us feeling stuck, miserable, or disconnected from ourselves. Our relationship with food may be preventing us from connecting with joy and purpose in our lives. Disordered eating has been normalized in our culture and, as a result, is often very difficult to recognize. Some of the ways that disordered eating may affect your life include:
Food is constantly on your mind and you can’t stop thinking about it no matter how hard you try
Feelings of guilt and shame around food
Feeling out of control around food
Fears around eating certain foods such as carbohydrates or sugar
Difficulty enjoying food or eating out
An obsession with exercise
Feeling disconnected from yourself and your body while you are eating
Disordered eating can come from many things including traumatic events, experiences in your family of origin, a history of dieting and/or restricting, all combined with living in a culture where we are continually told that we need to be thin in order to be happy and healthy and that our worth depends on the size, shape, and weight of our body.
As a certified intuitive eating counsellor, my counselling approach includes rebuilding trust with your body so that you can enjoy food, tune into feelings of hunger and fullness, and feel present while you are eating. Counselling will also focus on developing a more compassionate relationship with yourself and your body so that you no longer feel ruled by your inner critic or by feelings of guilt and shame. Together, we will explore the function of your disordered eating. For many of us, our relationship with food serves an important function in helping us to feel like we have control in our lives and/or that we are in control of our emotions. Restricting or using food may have helped you to cope with some difficult life events, but it may no longer be serving you, and might actually be preventing you from living the life that you want to live. In counselling, we will explore other, more adaptive ways of coping, so that you can bring more joy, balance, and purpose into your life.