I’ve been struggling with disordered eating habits for a few years now. At first, I wasn’t aware of what exactly I was doing or the consequences it could have on my mental and physical health. The further I got into developing rigid eating habits, the more extreme they became – constantly weighing myself multiple times a day, counting and obsessing over every single calorie, and avoiding social situations out of fear that there wouldn’t be food choices that fit my diet.
Finally accepting the severity of my condition was a huge step in the right direction - it felt like an enormous weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Seeking help from friends, family, and professionals has also made an incredible difference in changing the way I think about food. Now when faced with overwhelming feelings of anxiety around mealtimes, I remind myself to take a deep breath and make decisions based on ‘intuitive’ rather than ‘restrictive’ eating. I’m also far more open to talking about how certain foods make me feel both physically and mentally.
The journey to reclaiming my relationship with food hasn’t been easy, but learning to recognise destructive thought-patterns has helped me rediscover deeper rooted issues behind why I was engaging in such behaviours in the first place. It does take consistent effort but as long as you are honest with yourself and gentle in your approach then anything is achievable!
I can relate to what you are going through. I too have had to work hard to find balance with food and my body as a 41-year-old woman. It’s taken me many years to understand that food does not have control over my life or my mental and physical health. Learning to trust myself in mealtimes has been a transformative journey, and there have been moments where I doubted if I would ever be successful.
It’s important to remember that while overcoming disordered eating habits takes time and effort, it is absolutely possible! Identifying your triggers and getting help from those who care about you can make a world of difference. Even small steps, like choosing foods based on what you’re intuitively attracted to rather than labels or restriction, can create meaningful changes in your relationship with food. I would encourage you seek out someone who can help you deeply investigate the deeper roots of why these behaviors were occurring in the first place.
Be kind and compassionate on yourself - this process does take work, but know that it is not impossible. You’ve come so far already!
I wish you all the best on your journey
I want to start off by sending you a huge virtual hug! You’ve taken an amazing step in the right direction by becoming aware of your disordered eating habits and being willing to seek help. I understand that it can be really overwhelming and intimidating at times.
It sounds like you’ve been doing great things for yourself and I am proud of you for being open-minded about finding outside help and understanding how your diet is affecting both your physical health and mental well-being. Taking small, consistent steps forward towards bettering your relationship with food is key here! Finding a balanced way of meal-prepping that caters to both physical and emotional needs is a powerful way to remind yourself that there is more to life than simply calories.
Moving away from rigid diet plans also gives us an opportunity to broaden our idea of ‘esteem foods’ - allowing us greater access to nourishing meals, creating feelings of contentment rather than guilt or deprivation. Don’t forget too that while it might sometimes feel easier to go on this journey alone, having supportive people around you during this time will make dealing with these issues so much easier!
Don’t give up - every now and