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“The most liberating thing about beauty is realizing that you are the beholder.”
Are you terrified of gaining weight and yet food is all that you can think of? Does your self-esteem fluctuate with the number on the scale? Are you spending hours each day counting calories and looking in the mirror? Are you using food as comfort and entertainment to combat loneliness, boredom, sadness, anger, and stress? Are you restricting your food during the day only to eat extra-large portions at night? Perhaps you feel stressed and anxious when grocery shopping, cooking, eating and exercising. You may be overeating when you are not hungry. You may be constantly hiding and ashamed of your body.
You are not alone. Eating disorders affect people of all races, ethnicity, gender, age, class, immigration status, and sexual identities. In the U.S., 9% of the population, or 28 million people, will struggle with an eating disorder in their lifetime. Researchers have estimated that up to 40% of women and 30% of men are dissatisfied with their bodies. The National Center for Health Statistics data showed that 17.1% of Americans are on a diet and 49.1% of adults tried to lose weight in the past year. Data also showed a spike in eating disorders, especially among young people, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Although struggle with food and body image may seem commonplace, it is one of the most dangerous and deadly mental illnesses, second only to opioid overdoes.
You may have been struggling with a full-blown eating disorder or a constant dissatisfaction with your body and a difficult relationship with food. Wherever you land on the spectrum, you are tired. You may be tired of unsuccessful diets and calorie counting. You may be tired of all the time, energy, and money it takes to manage your weight. You may be done with body image issues holding you back from your full potential. If you are ready to break free from this cycle of guilt and shame, an eating disorder specialist can help. Together with a skilled therapist, you can get to the root of the problem and finally be free of this burden.
Navigating these patterns can be painful and confusing. Schedule a free 15-minute phone consultation to find out more about eating disorder treatment with one of our compassionate counselors.
We live in a world where we are constantly bombarded with messages about what our bodies should look like. Our appearances are used to judge our attractiveness, capability, value, character, and morality. In this appearance-driven world, it is no wonder that so many people struggle with their relationship to weight and food. You may come from a family with a long history of body image concerns and/or intergenerational trauma. Research suggests that up to 74% of the risk for eating disorders is genetic. You may have been dissatisfied with your body for so long that you do not remember a time when eating was effortless or when standing in front of a mirror felt positive.
Body image concerns and struggles with food may impact your life in small and large ways. It is not uncommon to have struggles with food and body image for years without seeking help. Our society has made it so normal to be on diets and pop culture has created a false hope that we can be thin if we put our minds to it. It may take a long time to realize that this struggle is not necessary and you are ready to be free.
Common symptoms of eating disorder are:
Imagine a world where body image no longer mattered. How would your life be different? What would you do more or less? How would you relate to yourself and others?
Freedom from this struggle with food and body image will mean that you are no longer constantly thinking about your body and what you eat. You will eat when you feel hungry and stop when you feel full. You will look at your body with gratitude for what it can do for you rather than how it compares to society’s standards. You will find the confidence to do the things that bring you pleasure.
Here at Thrive for the People, our eating disorder specialists use the Health at Every Size approach to treatment. Your therapist will explore with you the emotions attached to food and body image, identify coping strategies to manage your emotions, and tune into your body’s innate wisdom and wholeness. The Health at Every Size approach can be summed up by these principles:
Eating disorder treatment can be expensive. However, excellent treatment with a therapist who is a great match for you is worth the financial investment.
The constant struggle with your weight and food is costly to your time, energy, money, and emotions. You may have spent years on diet and exercise programs that did not work and replaced your wardrobe multiple times with fluctuations in your weight. You may have experienced heartache, disappointment, and shame from all the ups and downs of losing and gaining weight. There are compounding negative impacts on your life and health over time. Your struggle with your weight and food may have held you back from going after that promotion at work, establishing the healthy romantic relationship that you want, and spending quality time with friends and family. If you are a parent, your struggle with your body may influence how your children treat their bodies and view their self-worth.
You may be experiencing the negative consequences of an eating disorder on your physical health such as:
The ultimate cost of an eating disorder is your life. Eating disorders are one of the deadliest mental illnesses. It is the direct cause of death for over 10,000 people a year.
You will know that you are making progress in eating disorder treatment and on your way to recovery when:
You do not have to live with the cycle of judgment, guilt, and shame over your body. Constantly worrying about what you are eating, feeling guilty for breaking yet another strict diet, or holding a negative body image can impede your creation of a life worth living. If what you’ve read here resonates and you live in the Seattle area, we encourage you to reach out and contact us today. We would be happy to answer any questions about eating disorder treatment or counseling for body image concerns. We can schedule a free 15-minute phone consultation and begin exploring how psychotherapy can help you on your journey toward healing.
Schedule a free 15-minute phone consultation to see if we are a good fit.
5306 Ballard Ave NW, Suite 212,