An eating disorder can take many forms and is generally an obsession and preoccupation with food, weight loss and can be either under eating or overeating. It has become an epidemic in Western countries and often does not get diagnosed because the sufferer can be quite secretive about it and there is of shame and stigma attached to it. However, it is entirely possible to recover from eating disorders and there are steps and strategies that can be put into place to change both the mental and physical aspects that fuel the eating disorder.
What are the Main Eating Disorder Symptoms?
The main symptoms are, but not limited to:
- A preoccupation with food
- Obsession with weight loss
- Secretive eating
- Not eating much in public
- Spending a great deal of time reading weight loss websites
- Planning meals far in advance
- Depression related to weight
- Inability to stop eating beyond the point of being full
- Withdrawal from social activities
- Lack of interest in life
These are just some of the symptoms but there are many others, depending on how the disorder is manifesting itself at any particular time. The disorder can take the form of anorexia, binge eating, compulsive overeating, over exercising bulimia or a combination of all of them at different times.
Causes of Disordered Eating
There are numerous causes of eating disorders that can range from emotional issues, addictive tendencies and biological factors.
However, one of the main causes of eating disorders that often shows up with sufferers is the dieting mentality and rigid and restrictive eating plans. The way that this manifests is that there is first a desire to lose weight, followed by restrictive dieting rules, a feeling of deprivation and quite often starvation. As the diet progresses the dieter suffers from a slowed metabolism, severe cravings, low level depression and feelings of loss of self control as the obsession takes over.
Eventually the dieter breaks the diet, begins binge eating, puts back all of the lost weight and has to endure feelings of failure, hopelessness and reduced self esteem.
Of course the sufferer will always blame themselves for their lack of willpower but this is an entirely false proposition. It is the diet itself that did not work, just like 98% of diets don't and has very little to do with willpower or strength of character.
How to Begin Permanent Recovery from Disordered Eating
Beginning permanent recovery from disordered eating requires an acknowledgment of its existence and the recognition that dieting behavior and mentality propel the eating disorder, lead to greater obsession and a worsening of the eating disorder symptoms.
To recover from an eating disorder it is necessary to regulate the eating behavior as well as to eliminate the dieting mentality which creates a complete shift in thinking about food and weight, a lessening of the obsession and the ability to get back in touch with natural hunger and satiety instincts.
Essential tools for Recovery
- The main focus should be on intuitive eating
- Use support groups or a therapist to express emotions and concerns
- Take positive actions to conquer negative thoughts
- When negative thoughts do come in - Focus on what you are doing right
- Eliminate reading food related websites
- Eliminate viewing weight loss sites and magazines
- Focus on finding positive inspirational recovery stories
- Get inspiration and advice from others who have recovered
When beginning recovery from disordered eating it is crucial to have enough support for the times when you feel that the disease is taking control over you. Also, be careful not to do too much at once, acknowledge your achievements and focus on what you are doing right, but also remember that permanent recovery does not happen overnight so you will need to practice patience and acceptance of where you are at.
It is possible to Recover from Eating Disorders in a way that gives you lasting freedom and elimination of the obsession with food and weight. Find out more about how to recover from an eating disorder and put a positive plan of action in place that actually works.
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