We all have a relationship with food in our lives (we think about what we eat and ask ourselves if we are eating properly). Some people find this relationship with food difficult.
You are probably not having a good relationship with food if you aren’t eating a balanced diet for a long time (you are eating more or less than you should to be healthy) or if eating is something that concerns you, makes you feel stressed or bad about yourself.
This difficult relationship with food could be related to an excessive focus on your weight or shape (you might count all calories, are always checking the scale, exercise excessively, and lie about the food that you eat). Or, on the other hand, could be because you are living through something difficult in your life and you are using food to cope with your feelings. In either case your eating patterns can have a negative impact in your health.
Some of the feelings that you might experience if you have an eating disorder are:
- Felling low, depressed
- Feeling unable to think about things other than food
- Feeling that you have to be perfect or have the perfect body
- Feeling that you are never good enough
- Feeling tired and disinterested
- Feeling ashamed or guilty
- Feeling that you are out of control or maybe feeling addicted to controlling your food as a way to feel in control of your life
There are different types of eating disorders:
When a person has Anorexia Nervosa they limit and reduce food or stop eating. They can use laxatives or over exercise in order to have an unhealthy weight (their weight is much less than it should be).
When a person has Bulimia Nervosa they are usually overeating in one moment (binge) and then they try to get rid of the food they ate by making themselves sick or using laxatives and exercise excessively. Between binges they could starve themselves. Their weight keeps the same or they alternate between being overweight and underweight.
When a person has Binge Eating Disorder they eat large amounts of food compulsively, and usually unhealthy food. Their weight usually increases.
All type of eating disorders have a negative impact on your body and health. Eating disorders are difficult to manage on our own but you can ask for support (with your GP, and with counselling).