Anyone who has suffered from an eating disorder knows that it can affect every aspect of how a person lives, feels and sees themselves and the world around them. It attacks our emotions at a very fundamental level because it links our sense of self-worth and our very identity with food and how we consume it.
Eating disorders are a distorted way of coping with emotional difficulties. Food becomes a weapon against others and ourselves, we use it to reward ourselves and punish ourselves – but one thing’s for sure, we cease to eat for enjoyment and nourishment.
Eating disorders affect most women and many men to some degree. If you “reward” yourself with chocolate after a hard day or tend to see food as “good” or “bad”, you have a degree of disorder relating to food, although it will not impinge on your life sufficiently for you to seek help. However, if you find yourself constantly thinking about food, feeling high levels of anxiety over food choices, eating emotionally very regularly or if you find your sense of self-worth changes depending on how and what you eat, it is time to talk to someone.
When we are in the throes of a serious eating disorder – when we feel we have lost control – we forget that we have a choice.
We always have a choice. The key to change is learning new habits and new ways to cope, new ways to reward ourselves and create new things to look forward to. We learn to link our sense of self-worth to positive things such as our achievements and break the link between eating and our emotions.