Eating Disorders come in all shapes and sizes. They can feel like your steadfast companion, your most powerful self, your darkest secret, your cry for help and so much more. They are a last ditch effort at solving a problem that was created outside of conscious awareness.
Eating disorders are fueled and fed by our diet obsessed culture, which celebrates intermittent fasting, ketogenic diets and juice cleanses. Because our culture is disordered around food, it is all too common to struggle with compulsive thoughts, feelings and behaviors around eating without anyone calling attention to it. Since we have such a myopic view of health, perhaps you have been wasting away, and no one has noticed. Perhaps you have been eating one meal every 12 hours and you are being celebrated for your weight loss, which makes you think you better keep on. Perhaps you haven’t eaten solid food in a week but because your BMI is still “overweight” you feel there is more work to be done.
Eating disorders are ultimately disorders of attachment to self and others. If we look beneath the symptom, whether it’s binging, purging, restriction, over exercise (etc) the driver behind the symptom often has deep roots in desires to be seen, fears of being seen, conflicts around taking up space, and a lack of agency in one’s life. In working with me to address disordered eating, we will address both the symptoms themselves and their underlying function. Because eating disorders take on a life of their own, one can confront a sense of grief and loss upon losing their eating disorder, something which often provides a false sense of security. Afterall, people are unpredictable but you know that you can run off that bagel you ate for breakfast.
Food serves so many functions in the 21st century, and it exists in such abundance. This is both a privilege and burden. With choices come expectations and pressures to “fit in.” We can get lost in muck and lose touch with our unique needs, wants, desires, cravings, and bodies. Part of the work of recovery is to reconnect with your intuition and listen to the wisdom of your body. If you are tired of living for your next meal, and ready to start living, therapy is an excellent place to start.