When weight loss and eating healthy become an obsession, you're going the wrong way. This extreme obsession can lead to much worse physical and mental conditions than where you started instead of helping you. So how do we find out if we are actually getting obsessed and acquiring an eating disorder?
Here are 5 signs to look out for-
1. You are always thinking about your diet, what you ate and how it's going to affect your body. Being aware and being obsessed are two different things. We just need to be aware of what we eat and nothing more.
2. You are always weighing yourself for any difference in your weight. Basically, you're getting scale-obsessed.
3. You don't share your diet regime with anyone because of the fear of being judged. You're scared people are going to tell you that you are being too strict with yourself and hence, you keep it all a secret.
4. You seem to be spending more time with yourself than with friends and family. You could be avoiding get-togethers and parties because of your devotion (obsession) to your diet.
5. Your self-esteem is a reflection of your weight. This is very dangerous! You seem to feel happy about yourself only on days you manage to stick to your diet and flip when you don't.
These are simple signs that show you've become obsessed. Ask yourself honestly, is that the case? Even if a tiny part of your brain says yes, then you have an eating disorder.
What's An Eating Disorder?
An eating disorder is a mental disorder which is caused by abnormal eating habits that leads to a negative effect on a person's physical and mental health.
The causes for eating disorders are not always clear. It could be in your genetics even. Mostly, it occurs due to the pressure of the society where you see people and idealize their body so much, that you get obsessed with having something similar. But you should know that every body-frame is built differently.
Anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, muscle dysmorphia, binge eating disorder (bed), other specified feeding or eating disorder, compulsive overeating, Prader-Willi syndrome, diabulimia, selective eating disorder, also called picky eating, drunkorexia, pregorexia, gourmand syndrome are a few examples of the severities of eating disorders.
How Can We Treat These Eating Disorders?
There is no specific treatment for eating disorders; it all depends on the severity of the disorder itself.
Here's a list of a few suggested treatments for eating disorders-
• Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
• Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
• Cognitive Remediation Therapy
• Dialectical Behaviour Therapy
• Behavioural Therapy
• Interpersonal Psychotherapy
• Cognitive Emotional Behaviour Therapy
• Music Therapy
• Recreation Therapy
• Art Therapy
• Nutrition Counselling and Medical Nutrition Therapy
But most of all, it matters on how you are willing to treat yourself on the inside. All the care starts in your mind, by getting rid of the obsession.
1. Ditch your diet! Get rid of what is the root of all trouble. Concentrate on eating healthy and maintaining your current weight. Be happy with who and what you are. This is one of the most basics steps to take to treat an eating disorder.
2. Stop being a food safety police in your mind! Listen to your body instead of monitoring your food intake. Stop cross-checking the nutritional values of all the food you consume. The best way would be to start thinking about other things if you catch yourself wondering about your food again. Go out and meet your family and friends; other conversations will keep you from your safety behaviour around food.
3. Have some self-trust! You need to give yourself permission to eat whatever you want, whenever you want, and how much ever you want. This might sound dangerous to you, but if you do let yourself do this, then you will see that you think about food much less than normal. This because you've already fed your body and mind what it wanted. This means, no unhealthy cravings, no binge-eating, and no overindulgence.
4. Understand what your body wants, and not what you want to give it! We feel like we know ourselves very well, and we made some bad decisions. Our body requires its nutrition in a certain amount and we deprive it of that when we go on mindless diets. So, understand what your body needs.
5. Risk it! Change is a must for every human to grow. And to overcome eating disorders you need to make changes in your thoughts, let go of your safety behaviour patterns, and the baseline should be: you need to start eating. This will help you develop a healthy self-esteem, self-care practices, and self-efficacy.
Be positive about the change you are going to make in your life. Find the right company to do it with. It is going to be difficult, but it's necessary.