Use Food for Comfort, Acceptance or Control?
We use food as a coping mechanism as we overeat because we are unhappy with ourselves or want to feel a sense of comfort or control in our lives. We choose unhealthy foods to compensate for feelings and emotions that may otherwise seem over whelming. We also have used food as a form of acceptance, breaking bread with friends, eating because everyone else is and you don’t want to say “no”. Wanting to be part of the crowd. We avoid eating or eat and then purge because we feel we cannot measure up to the ideal body image. Another reason for binging and purging is a means to stuff the feelings and then eliminate them. Unfortunately, what started out as a way to feel in control of one’s life becomes the complete opposite and it controls you and takes over your emotional, physical, mental, well-being like you could have never imagined.
More common but lesser known challenge is “Disordered Eating”. Disordered eating affects 3 in 4 American women ages 25 to 45, according to a survey of 16,000 sponsored by SELF-magazine in partnership with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Disordered eaters may engage in excessive dieting, eating when not hungry, eating in secret, skipping meals, and primarily eating fattening, over-processed, “comfort” or convenience foods. This can result in low energy, trouble concentrating, anxiety, depression, and/or being moderately overweight or underweight. Although disordered eating is considered less serious than eating disorders or obesity, it can lead to both.
According to the National Eating Disorders Association, as many as 10 million females and 1 million males living in the US today have anorexia or bulimia. Up to 24 Millions more suffer from an eating disorder including over eating, binge eating and disordered eating.
It all boils down to a state of being that we are trying to achieve through food and/or lack of it.
If you need to get a handle on your fear of being not good enough, please reach out. We can help you can get on with your life.