Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Eating Disorder

A Vicious Circle

An eating disorder is not simply a problem with eating. It is a vicious circle of low self-esteem, extreme concerns about shape and weight and strict dieting. An eating disorder has been called a “low self-esteem disorder”. Issues around body image are often more to do with self image and low self-esteem. Most people who develop an eating disorder are only unhappy about their bodies because they are unhappy about themselves. Controlling their eating habits, either by not eating or restricting their eating (anorexia), or by eating and then making themselves sick (bulimia), or over-eating(compulsive eating), is their way of trying to control their feelings of low-self esteem. These bad eating habits are usually a symptom of deeper issues. A way to recovery, is to come to a level of self-acceptance and to become aware of and challenge low self-esteem and to stop the bad eating behaviours. The following model shows the pattern of this vicious circle:

Eating Disordered Thinking

Cognitive Distortions Of Eating Disorders

  • If I eat something at night, it will all turn to fat because I will not have time to burn it off before I go to sleep
  • If I lose more weight I will be much more attractive.
  • If I was thinner, I would be happier.
  • If I was thinner, I would be more successful.
  • Vomiting gets rid of all the calories I ate earlier.
  • If I eat lunch I won’t be able to eat dinner later.
  • If I eat eg 2 pieces of pizza, people will think I am a pig.
  • If my clothes feel tight after eating it means I have put on weight.
  • My clothes are tighter, I know I have gained weight.
  • If I gain 2lbs it means I am going to continue to gain weight every day and get fat.
  • I ate breakfast and that was ok, but then I had a cake at 10.00am so I had to vomit.
  • But, cake (or popcorn, or ice cream or whatever) are a bad food.
  • Eating normally (i.e, breakfast, lunch and dinner and snacks), even if it amounts to only 1200 Calories when I am 5’4” will, make me fat.
  • I am a bad person (weak, selfish, greedy, irresponsible, inadequate, stupid, dull, etc, etc,) If I lose weight I will be different.
  • I can’t cope with feeling bad, I have to be sick.
  • I deserve (eg chips, biscuits, ice cream etc) because I have had a hard day.
  • I didn’t binge or purge because I was afraid of gaining weight. I just wanted to space out.
  • I have an obsessive craving to binge. After I have eaten I want to eat more.
  • I feel fat, therefore I am fat.
  • I feel so lonely, I should eat more.

No comments: