I understand how struggling to maintain a comfortable shape or weight whether it is to lose or gain weight can be a despairing full time job for some and how this can affect you emotionally and make the task of day to day living, choosing clothes or mixing socially painful experiences. Also for many destroying their confidence, self- esteem, relationships and for some they feel ashamed as well as exhausted from the endless struggle.
Virtually all those I help have been on every kind of possible diet and know all about counting calories or what to eat to be healthy and many have had professional guidance and support and yet none of the changes they make become permanent.
In therapy food is not the issue or something I would need to discuss unless you wanted to because if you don’t already know changing your relationship with food has very little if anything to do with food. Food is simply a “habit” or you might say it is your “go to” place to cope with something else that is going on inside you.
You might have a sense of what it could be or like many have no idea where to start.
Therefore no wonder all kinds of diet plans eventually fail. Only when you can identify and work through the deeper underlying issue will you be able to change how you use food. I say this because the forces which drive you to eating or not eating are far more powerful than your thinking or will power.
Some common symptoms which suggest a deeper underlying cause:
- Eating quickly to feel full up.
- Controlling all that you eat/starving yourself.
- Feeling hungry again shortly after eating.
- Using food as a treat or “pick me up”.
- Eating when bored, angry or upset.
- Having to finish the packet /bar.
- Denying what you have eaten.
- You find yourself eating out of habit.
- Compulsion to keep eating despite knowing the consequences.
- Making yourself sick after eating.
- Having a distorted image of yourself that you control by how you eat.
In therapy we will explore your life and struggles enabling you to understand what the driving force and silent motivation is that lies beneath your relationship with food and what the real role is that food plays in your life. Then by working through the underlying issue and building on your existing qualities we work to making the positive internal changes which remove the desire to use food as you do.
What we won’t do is focus on changing your eating habits because doing this without addressing the underlying work will lead to failure.
So thinking about food as ” self medication” and asking yourself what you might be feeling or thinking about if you didn’t eat as you do is pointing you in the right direction and some of what therapy us about.
If you resonate with any of what you’ve read, it is possible counselling can make a real difference and whilst it can be a tough journey at times, change is possible and you deserve a quality of life not blighted by food!