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Are You Constantly Worried About Your Weight Or Body Image?
Do you think about food all the time? Is insecurity about your weight and body image causing you to under or overeat? Do you judge yourself after a meal or feel guilty later because you’ve overindulged? Have you ever resorted to purging, vomiting, or exercising excessively to compensate for your eating habits?
Perhaps you’re the concerned parent of a teenager who uses food as a means to cope with difficult emotions or to avoid challenging situations in their life. And despite attempts to control your weight or control their impulses, the weight and behaviors simply come back anyway. Or maybe you are worried because your teen is insecure about their weight or body image even though you constantly reassure them they look fine.
If you or your teen are experiencing any of these thoughts and behaviors, you may be struggling with an eating disorder and poor body image. When a person has an eating disorder, they focus too much on their weight and body shape, causing them to engage in dangerous eating behaviors that may impact their body’s ability to get the nutrition it needs.
Difficulty dealing with feelings and emotions are the primary reason for eating disorders, especially in teens. Negative perceptions and beliefs about body image can be causing them to feel depressed, anxious, have low self-esteem, and may be keeping them from forming close relationships with others. If you or your teen feel you’re overweight, you may isolate yourself from others by avoiding social activities and interaction with others for fear you will be judged because of your physical appearance.
Eating disorders can be detrimental to your body. They can harm your esophagus, digestive system, muscle tone, and teeth. Other health consequences may include lower energy levels, electrolyte imbalances, dehydration, and serious diseases, such as osteoporosis, diabetes, and heart or kidney failure.
You may have tried exercise, and other plans that have been ineffective. This is because they don’t teach how to recognize the difference between emotional and physical hunger so you can learn to work through your feelings without involving food.
Do you wish you could live with greater confidence and stop obsessing about food, your body image, and weight? Are you looking for a way to help your teenager develop a healthy relationship with nutrition that improves their health and their sense of self-worth?
It’s Common For Some Teens And Adults To Struggle With Body Image Or Eating Issue
An eating disorder can be difficult to manage and overcome by yourself. You may not think you need treatment, but abnormal eating patterns may be a sign of unhealthy behaviors caused by societal or professional pressures. These pressures can be triggering an eating disorder.
Eating disorders often develop in teens and young adults, although they can also develop at other ages. Negative body perceptions often stem from social media, television, or print media advertisements that create unrealistic expectations for beauty.
Perhaps as a child you were treated unfairly because you had a different body shape than other family members, or maybe you grew up feeling that you needed to look a certain way to be accepted by your peers or attractive to potential mates.
Past family trauma, values, and culture may have also negatively influenced your relationship with food. Some families use food as a reward or consequence. For instance, you may have been forced to finish everything on your plate in order to have dessert; if you didn’t finish, you were sent to your room without it. As an adult, this could be causing you to eat everything that’s put on your plate, even if you’re not hungry.
Certain professions with high standards on appearance can also affect your relationship with food. These jobs have an obscured perception of a certain image you must maintain in order to attract the right customers.
Fortunately, with the right anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating treatment from an experienced therapist you or your teen can understand the eating disorder so you can start nurturing your mind and body in healthier ways.
Eating Disorders Treatment Can Help You Develop Healthy Eating Behaviors That Can Improve Your Quality Of Life
Eating disorder therapy can help you understand and process your relationship with food and body image. We’ll work on creating new ways of viewing yourself with acceptance and compassion that will help you understand your motivation for eating. We’ll also identify and replace negative thoughts and behaviors stemming from the eating disorder while teaching you to recognize hunger and fullness cues. This is going to allow you to base your food consumption on what your body needs to be healthy rather than what your body will look like.
Eating disorder treatment is going to allow us to separate the eating disorder from your real self so that we can focus on identifying what you want for your life, feeling better about yourself, and more importantly, being healthy. I’ll offer you and your teen a safe and compassionate environment where you can share your weight challenges, how you feel about the way you look, and how the eating disorder is affecting your life, relationships, and career.
During our first session, we’ll identify the eating disorder type. The most common eating disorders are anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating. With anorexia, people experience severe fear of weight gain, so they obsess over being thin and develop unhealthy eating habits to keep a thin figure. Bulimia is characteristic of a person who is afraid of weight gain so they binge and purge after eating, use laxatives, or exercise excessively. Binge eating is when a person consumes a large amount of food in a short period of time: they can’t control their eating and end up feeling disgusted about themselves.
We’ll also explore negative core beliefs, underlying trauma, and your current emotional state to understand how they relate to your eating habits and to create a treatment plan specific to your needs. During each session, you’ll learn techniques that will help you replace negative thoughts about food and body image. My ultimate goal is to help you develop a healthier relationship with food and how your body looks.
The following sessions is where we’ll start acknowledging and processing any trauma-related emotions that may be driving unhealthy eating behaviors. This will allow you to resolve and overcome pain rather than numb it with negative thoughts or behaviors, such as obsessing over body image or binge eating.
I incorporate various approaches that will help you repair any unhealthy connections between mind and body image. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) will help you recognize how your thoughts impact your feelings and behaviors so you can train your brain to manage situations differently. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) teaches mindfulness and reinforces positive self-talk to help you regulate painful emotions and decrease conflict in relationships.
Internal Family Systems (IFS) will help you understand different parts of yourself so that you can learn to accept and nurture them. Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT) will teach you how to live your life in line with your values. And Appetite Awareness Training will help you identify your level of hunger and fullness as well as your reason for eating.
I’ve been helping teens and adults with eating disorders for over 15 years in various clinical settings. My goal for each client is for them to be free of their negative eating habits and to learn to love their body regardless of size. Full recovery from an eating disorder is possible if you take the steps necessary to trust your body, be true to your values, and let confidence, rather than insecurity, define the life you deserve and want.
You may be interested in eating disorders treatment but have some concerns…
Will my weight change?
Your weight might change, however this is not the goal of treatment. I’ll teach you how to nurture your body in healthier ways to improve your physical and emotional well-being without focusing on your weight, which in reality is not the sole indicator of good health. With therapy, you can discover that you can be healthy and happy at any size.
Can I afford the sessions?
Consider the cost of not seeking treatment and the impact it’s already having on your relationships, your physical health, and other possible long-term implications. When considering all these consequences, eating disorders therapy will be worth the investment.
How will changes to my appearance after the eating disorders treatment impact my life and career?
My focus is on ways you can recognize the value of your body and the things it allows you to do in your life: healthier bodies work better. After completing your sessions, you’ll have the awareness necessary to understand that you don’t need a certain body type to perform your best or have a certain career. With my help, you’ll be able to concentrate, have more energy, and improve your self-confidence—and this will help you to be more creative and happy.
You Can Improve Your Relationship With Food And Live A Healthy Life
If you’re ready to overcome an eating disorder, please contact me at (303) 709-5897 for a free 15-minute consultation.