It’s not about food
Although we might struggle with disordered eating, obsessive exercise and body image, those are often just symptoms of an underlying issue. This often is the feeling of not being enough. Not being clever enough, not being pretty enough, not being popular enough, not being successful enough, not being interesting enough or maybe all of the above. When we feel unable to live up to our own and society’s unrelenting high standards, we often turn to ways to cope that are harmful. Whilst this is a completely natural response from an emotional management perspective, such behaviours can quickly become habitual because they provide a way of feeling like we can achieve something, like we are in control and that other things in our life are less important. We don’t like to think about these things because it’s uncomfortable. It’s easier to focus on the surface level stuff but if we don’t dig deeper, we set ourselves up for a lifetime struggle, jumping from one diet to another, punishing ourselves with gruelling exercise regimes and attempting to manipulate our bodies to the way we think they should be. Doing the work underneath is hard but it is the only way to resolve these issues. What I can say is that the other side is amazing and something I couldn’t even envision when I was deep in my struggles.
If things are tough right now, know that they can get better but it does take a lot of effort, time and patience. You’ve got this!