When Too Much is Not Enough © Martyn Carruthers
You are unlikely to cure an eating disorder with willpower alone.
Compulsive eating seems not so much about food as about control. Who controls you when you lose control? The answer is usually a “younger self” or a person to whom you feel bonded. Do you know how to mature a “younger self”? (Perhaps one that you dislike – e.g. one that makes you eat chocolate?). Do you know how to be yourself?
Who has Eating Disorders?
People who attempt to cope with unpleasant feelings by eating, or by avoiding eating, may be told that they have eating disorders. Eating disorders can be deadly – some eating disorders are associated with a 10-15% mortality rate and a 20-25% suicide rate. Sometimes, anorexia and bulimia may be perceived as slow suicide.
Your eating habits often reflect your current environment, family history, relationships and lifestyle. We help motivated adults change feelings and emotions that motivate unhealthy eating habits. We help people find solutions for emotional and relationship issues that so often underlie eating disorders.
People who react to stress by overeating, purging or dieting may have underlying guilt, depression, codependence, identity loss or limiting beliefs etc. Many people try to fill an existential emptiness with food. Others try to satisfy some unloved inner children.
We find that eating disorders often seem to express what people cannot express in other ways. People who are abnormally overweight or underweight may be said to have serious eating disorders, for example: anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and compulsive overeating. They may:
- avoid eating even if hungry
- are afraid of becoming fat or thin
- vomit or use laxatives after binge-eating
- cannot stop eating – even when not hungry
It is too easy and trivial to say that people with eating disorders merely want attention. We find that interesting factors become conscious if we explore, “Whose attention is wanted in what way?”
Medical solutions for eating disorders seem to miss these underlying needs – although medical solutions may be essential in an emergency, including:
- Diets and fasts
- Hospital, if physical condition becomes extreme
- Nutritional counseling to help design healthy meals
- Psychiatric medication to help manage chronic emotions
Contact us to solve relationship problems and emotional issues.
Manage Relationships & Emotions
Are food addictions about food or about behavior? If you are sensitive to yourself and you HAVE to eat something (especially “junk” food) – check the AGE of the compulsive side of you and consider what was happening in your life at that age.
Compulsions often make sense in the context of some part of your younger life. Many compulsions “bond” people to other people, to other times or to other places. And consider the billions invested to magnify your compulsions – to deliberately mess up your mind for their benefit.
We help motivated adults explore their values, set priorities, choose their goals and take steps towards their goals. The steps of this journey include:
- clarify life goals
- end inner conflict
- change limiting beliefs
- improve their relationships
- manage negative emotions
- solve relationship problems
- repair toxic mentorship (therapy damage)
Anorexia Nervosa & Starvation
Some people take extreme measures to be thin. They may use starvation and excessive methods of weight loss. Medical symptoms associated with anorexia include emaciation, slow pulse, kidney problems and digestive problems. Here are some ways to recognize anorexia nervosa:
1. Avoid eating
- You deny or suppress feeling hungry
- You eat insufficient food for your health
- You avoid social meetings that involve food
2. Body has a very low weight
- You feel fat although people tell you that you are thin
- You deny the serious consequences of low body weight
- You cannot maintain a healthy weight for your age and height
3. Obsess about dieting and weight loss
- You obsess with exercise
- You fear gaining weight or being fat
- You weigh yourself several times a day
Relationship issues associated with anorexia and self-starvation often seem to include a despair or guilt about the death of a close relative, a vanishing twin or about the end of a partnership.
Since my sister was murdered I couldn’t eat. I missed her so much …
I felt like part of me died with her … I held her in my heart.
You helped me set her – and me – both free. Czech Republic
Bulimia Nervosa & Binge Eating
Some people trying to cope with negative emotions may binge eat and then vomit in an addictive cycle. The food binges may be with sweet and/or high fat foods. They may eat impulsively, but not with other people. Their obsessions may be triggered by distress, relationship problems, boredom, prolonged dieting, or dissatisfaction.
Binge eating may temporarily numb unpleasant feelings, but people may then feel a sense of failure or shame about their loss of control. Some people vomit or take laxatives after a binge.
Some potential medical complications of bulimia include cardiac arrhythmia, esophageal tears, electrolyte imbalance and gastrointestinal problems. In simple words – bad news for the body.
Are you caught in a cycle of binge eating and depression?
Do you use food to cope with uncomfortable feelings?
Do you eat in an attempt to control depression or anxiety? Do you eat to try to fill a feeling of emptiness? Perhaps you eat to forget relationship problems or to alleviate boredom? There may be better solutions … once the real causes are recognized.
Compulsive eating may temporarily relieve unpleasant feelings, but any relief may be followed by guilt, shame and depression. Many people constantly struggle with diets and yet be unhappy with their weight. They may try each new diet hoping that it can cure their emotional compulsion. They may lose some weight temporarily, but they will probably regain their lost weight – and maybe more.
They may eat normally with other people and overeat in private later. They may overeat late at night or in fast food restaurants. They may have secret supplies of junk food hidden in their homes or offices.
I was always hungry. I just couldn’t stop eating. I failed every diet. Eating was the only way
I could stop feeling empty … I was very overweight. You helped me find myself again
… now I am full of me and I’m looking good … now I eat to live! Philadelphia
Medical complications from compulsive eating include diabetes, hypertension and heart problems. Some people try extreme remedies for this conflict by having their jaws wired to prevent eating, or parts of their digestive tract by-passed to prevent digestion. Contact us for simpler solutions.