Make an Appointment: 310-853-2489 | [email protected]

  • banner image

    Eating Disorders and Body Image Issues

    Do you feel a loss of control when you’re around food?

    Do you skip meals, or do you rigidly restrict your food intake?

    Are you consumed with thoughts about your body shape or your weight?

    Many people are aware of what an eating disorder is, but disordered eating may sound less familiar. While you may not have an eating disorder, you may be struggling with what’s referred to as Disordered eating. 

    Disordered eating is not a diagnosis but a phrase used to describe a range of problematic eating behaviors. The signs and symptoms of disordered eating are similar to those of an eating disorder, although they will vary with frequency and severity.

    While disordered eating may not result in the extreme symptoms seen in a diagnosable eating disorder, it has the potential to negatively impact a person’s life. For example, someone with disordered eating may miss work, school, or personal events because of anxiety or discomfort around food, or because of an obsessive exercise routine. Their obsession with food and exercise may affect their ability to focus or concentrate, impacting their performance at work or school.

    Disordered eating can also take a mental and physical toll on a person. Negative self-thinking can impact their mental health, and their poor eating habits can affect them physically, such as their cardiovascular and intestinal health. Disordered eating also puts the individual at high risk of developing an eating disorder.

    If you find yourself struggling with:

    • Frequent dieting or obsessive calorie counting
    • Rigid food restriction or skipping meals
    • Feeling anxiety, guilt, or shame about certain foods or food in general
    • Obsessive exercising, or exercise to “punish” for overeating
    • Binging and/or purging
    • Self-worth or self-esteem because of your weight or body shape and weight
    • Feeling out of control around food

    … then you may be suffering from disordered eating.

    What causes people to engage in harmful eating habits can be complex, and vary per the individual. Individual therapy can help people examine their past to understand what led to these behaviors and learn to accept and love themselves as they are. You can also work together with a therapist to create healthier habits and develop coping mechanisms for difficult cues or triggers.

    If you’re struggling with an eating disorder or disorder eating and need support and guidance, we can absolutely help you  create healthier habits for both your body and mind. Give our office a call today, and let’s schedule a time to talk. Our therapists, many recovered themselves from food related issues and eating disorders are here to help you on your road to recovery. 

    The 10 Phases of Eating Disorder Recovery

    Understanding where we are at helps us see both where we have been and also where we have yet to go. For many, they will find a phase that they are comfortable, set up camp and decide that is as far they will go. That is your right to decide how far into recovery you want to travel. I do believe, however, that when we reach phase 10, we have the greatest chance of a happy, full life. I would encourage you to find your phase and explore it. Do you recognize having gone through any of these phases?

    10 Phases of Eating Disorder Recovery

    1. I Don’t Think I Have A Problem
      1. It’s my body so leave be alone
      2. There are a lot of people who are a lot thinner (worse) than I am
    1. I Might Have A Problem But It’s Not That Bad
      1. I only throw up once in awhile
      2. My physical didn’t show anything wrong so I am okay
    1. I Have A Problem But I Don’t Care
      1. I know throwing up isn’t good for me, but it’s working for me so I don’t care
      2. I could change if I wanted to, but I don’t
    1. I Want To Change But I Don’t Know How And I’m Scared
      1. I want to eat normally, but I am afraid I will get fat (gain weight)
      2. I want to stop bingeing, but I can’t figure out where to start
    1. I Tried To Change But I Couldn’t
      1. I told myself that I would not (fill in the blank) but I found myself doing it again
      2. I don’t feel like I can really ever (change) get well, so why keep trying?
    1. I Can Stop Some Of The Behaviours But Not All Of Them
      1. I could stop purging but I will not be able to eat more
      2. My eating has gotten better, but my exercise is out of control
    1. I Can Stop The Behaviours, But Not My Thoughts
      1. I can’t stop thinking about food and bingeing all the time
      2. I keep counting calories over and over in my head and still want to lose weight
    1. I Am Often Free From Behaviours and Thoughts But Not All The Time
      1. I feel fine all day, but under stress I revert back to my unhealthy behaviours
      2. I was fine, but wearing a bathing suit triggered my eating disorder thoughts, and with it some related behaviours
    1. I Am Free From Behaviours And Thoughts
      1. I feel mostly okay in my body and am able to eat things I want and not feel guilty or anxious afterwards
      2. Once I had stopped the behaviours for a period of time, at some point I realized that I was no longer having the thoughts or urges
    1. I Am Recovered
      1. For a long time now, I no longer have thoughts, feelings or behaviours related to my eating disorder
      2. I accept my body’s natural size. My eating disorder is a thing of the past.