Regardless of their nature, all solutions to eating disorders point to the same thing—your mind.
Doesn’t matter what your particular eating disorder is: anorexia, bulimia, overeating, compulsive eating, binge eating, addiction to sweet sodas or junk food, (insert your particular food disorder here).
If you ask me, even mindless eating (which is very common in America) is also a food disorder. But I digress. Let’s get back to “real” eating disorders.
Anorexia comes with an intense fear of food and weight gain. Anorexics will starve themselves and eat less than what their bodies need, all in an attempt to maintain or lose weight. Bulimics have anorexia behaviors, but they binge on food and vomit (or take laxatives) afterwards. Compulsive eaters are like bulimics; only, they do not purge afterwards. All three disorders can cross: bulimics may starve, anorexics may purge, and compulsive eaters can do both.
Regardless of the type of eating disorder, the essential issues behind them are the same: guilt, shame, powerlessness, loss of awareness, inability to accept oneself, and lack of self-love. Understanding these issues will help one overcome their particular eating disorder. After that, group therapy such as the kind offered by any good OA (Overeaters Anonymous) group would prove highly beneficial.
As will energy-psychology.
Is food killing you? Can’t stop thinking about food? Do you break out into a sweat every time you think of food you shouldn’t be eating? Do you have nightmares about food?
If so, you suffer from an eating disorder.
Food was meant to nourish and sustain you. It was meant to fill you with joy. But as soon as food (a source of life) turns into an addiction, it becomes a source of “death.”
If you have a severe food disorder, then food has turned into poison. It’s become your “drug” of choice, worse than cocaine.
You abuse food everyday. You’ve fallen off the wagon. Again! And you’re sick of it. You wanna quit.
You just don’t know how.
Do you really want to quit your food disorder? Then, I’ll give it to you in one-word. Are you ready?
Here it is: acceptance.
If you really want to solve your eating disorder, you must first accept your eating disorder. Right here, right now. No ifs, ands or buts.
The way to win your battle with food is… to stop fighting and accept it.
Not easy is it?
So we fight… and we lose. Or as the Wisefool would say, “Anyone can fight, few can accept.”
But what does “accept” something mean anyway?
It means to accept the situation “as is,” the pain, the anguish, the gut-wrenching emotions, everything—without wishing it were different.
Food’s killing you, and of course, you want to change it. I get that. But real change in life is impossible without acceptance. (Sorry, I don’t make the rules. 🙂 )
It’s a paradox!
All real and lasting life changes require acceptance. Doesn’t matter what you’re dealing with. Why should food be any different?
So what keeps you from accepting your particular food disorder?
That’s right, mate—guilt!
Guilt is what stands between you and self-acceptance. Actually, it’s more than guilt. Because where there’s guilt there is, you guessed it—shame. (Shame is deeper than guilt.)
So the real problem is not your food disorder, it is the shame and guilt behind the disorder. Don’t give up your disorder, give up your shame and guilt instead.
Which, of course, is easier said than done.
Not easy, but definitely possible—if you know how.
Somehow, you must end all your guilt-trips and self-shaming around food. Do this and you’ll put an end to your particular eating disorder. It’s truly that simple.
Ok, but how does one end the guilt and shame around food?
One word: pleasure!
The easiest way to banish guilt and shame is to bring in the pleasure.
Or as the Wisefool would say, “Take pleasure in your poison before your poison will set you free.”
Remember the old saying, “Be afraid and do it any way.” Ditto with pleasure. Be guilty and run with pleasure anyway.
So what I’m proposing is the polar opposite of what everyone is busy telling you. “Just say NO” they tell you. These folks have good intentions. They want to help you. Problem is… it is not working. And guess what?
It will never work!
I already told you—guilt and shame. Reject your food disorder too soon, and you’ll only make it more that much more attractive to your subconscious mind. Rejection breeds guilt and shame.
And you, my friend, can never win a fight with guilt ‘n shame. No one can.
Fools rush to say “NO” to their poison. Wise ones, however, say “YES” before they say NO. They get inside their addiction and become one with it.
They take ownership of their addiction before they even attempt to give it up. Then poof! they can give it up. Just like that.
You must OWN your addiction before you can give it away.
Otherwise, it’s like giving away furniture you do not own. Not smart!
All that said, there’s an invaluable tool out there that can help resolve your food disorder: energy psychology. I’ll talk more about it in another post. Meanwhile, google it, read up on it, learn how to use it with your particular easting disorder.
Better still, consult a competent energy-psychology practitioner.
All the wisdom in the world cannot help one overcome one’s hidden food compulsions. Your emotional brain (limbic system) is much older and way more powerful than your feeble rational brain (prefrontal cortex). Reason, no matter how sound, stands little or no chance in the face of overwhelming emotion. Your hidden energy system will trump your intellect each time, every time—until you make peace with it.
This is precisely where energy-psychology can save the day. It can become your lifeline to sanity and lasting happiness. A few good sessions with an energy-psychology practitioner can help you collapse the guilt, shame, and other hidden emotions that fuel your specific eating disorder and/or seemingly benign food compulsions.
Together with the book Oh, Shut Up And Eat: the 4 healthy eating habits of lean ‘n happy people., energy-psychology techniques will prove to be invaluable in repairing the fabric of your relationship with food and rekindle your joy in eating.