I cannot imagine not eating for the taste or textures of certain foods. I enjoy baking and sharing food with others. In fact, Thanksgiving is my favorite tradition because of the gathering and the various foods available. Gathering around food is a large part of my family’s culture.
Although disordered eating is not a mental health disorder, for me, the behavior certainly relates to my level of distress. I have seen the same behavior in my mother. It concerns me. I wonder if I will become unhealthy and limited in my quality of life if I do not practice healthier, alternative behaviors to cope with distress. I am able to hide 15 pounds easily since I am tall. I have been the ideal weight until age 45. Now, I struggle to maintain a healthy waistline. I don’t focus on weight, but the waist.
I am sure I am not alone, for I have counseled clients with an unhealthy relationship with food, Binge Eating Disorder. This was the first time I really understood my unhealthy correlation with sugar and caffeine. I appreciate the opportunity to learn from my clients and their struggles. I have them to thank for recognizing this relationship of binge eating and distress.
I now say to myself, “it is a process when I want to make changes in my behavior and it is the one step at a time that I can do.” I hope others find my story helpful and know you are not alone with unhealthy relationships with food.
I continue to give myself permission to enjoy desserts within reasonable limits. I set small and achievable goals to manage my distress. I stock my office and home with fruits I enjoy, I take walks for breaks, and I play my music to decrease the tension. The most important behavior change is practicing mindful eating. I take longer time to eat and refrain from eating while working on my computer, watching tv or having a conversation. This permits me to focus on the mindful eating practice which decreases stress and elicits a sense of locus of control in my life.