Until you either just get too beat down by the constant dieting or eating disorder behaviors or have guidance to help you see, we often don’t have a clear view of the “positives” or drawbacks of why we are doing what we do with food.
I ask, what would happen if we were to see what you are giving and getting from the eating concerns? Most clients say they have found this helpful to take some time to do this as it comes from their experiences, giving them insight as well as a place to makes changes.
Here is an example: (you can substitute binging, purging, over-exercise, etc; in this example I used food restriction)
Pro’s of Food Restricting Con’s of Food Restricting
It’s comfortable Always thinking about food
Thinness is admired Rarely eat relaxed; always in my head about food
It looks better for my frame Worry that people think I am self-centered bc think and worry about food and weight all the time
I am known for something Wish I could eat what I want/like
I am successful Feel guilty about certain foods
More confidence Feel anxious in social situations, especially around food
I can control this Tired a lot
Attractive Fear being fatter
I get to be the smallest in the room Unsure really if I am eating enough or too much
It gets + attention It gets - attention
People worry about me
Actually, this is a short list, however, a good place to start. If you really dig in and ask yourself, what your life is really like, you will come up with many outcomes caused by restrictive eating (or binging, purging, exercise mis-use, etc).
This is part 1. The next step, which we will talk about next week, is what to do with the info. Here’s a hint. You have to figure out ways to get the pro’s without the eating disorder and diet belief system and work through the cons.
So until then, I ask you to work on your pro/con list, which will help you get grounded on why we sometimes hold on to the first level why dieting, restricting, binging or purging when we also know it is causing suffering in our lives. Before you feel down about what you find, know that it is normal and that there are tools to help you get free from the food rules to help you move forward.
First steps first. If you found this helpful, please share it with others.