Do you starve yourself all day and then binge at night, eat in private because you are “on a diet” or skip meals and pick at snack foods all day? Do you turn to fatty, sugary junk food when you’ve had a bad day or does thinking about food and what you’re going to eat take up a significant chunk of time in your day?
While some people have no emotional connection to food, seeing it simply as fuel, many others spend significant periods of time thinking about food, eating more than physical hunger dictates. Struggles with food don’t just happen to those who are over or underweight, it is possible to be at a healthy weight and have issues with the way that you view food.
From the time we are babies we learn that food is a form of nurture, we associate the comfort of our parents with being fed. For some people this link remains strong into their adult lives, and as life gets stressful and responsibilities mount up the act of ordering a pizza when you’ve had a bad day brings feelings of comfort. Other people have strong associations between specific foods and memories that make them feel safe and loved – perhaps your grandmother always gave you sweets when you visited her and now when you’re feeling sad and stressed you turn to sweets for an emotional pick-me-up.
Unfortunately relying on food to change your mood often backfires with people reporting that they feel guilt, shame or self-loathing after they comfort eat. TV chef Nigella Lawson recently said that she has noticed this pattern amongst her friends and says that many people are now using ‘healthy eating’ as a way to cover up disordered eating patterns.
The culture of dieting has also been criticised with experts stating that depriving ourselves of the foods we enjoy and exercising excessively can lead to increased risks of developing disordered eating patterns such as fasting, binge eating, intentional vomiting, laxative use and cutting out whole food groups.
If you’ve been struggling with your eating patterns or your thoughts about food seeing a qualified hypnotherapist can help. By understanding the conflicts between what you want and what you’re doing you can break through barriers that may have been leading you to sabotage yourself for years.
Working together with your hypnotherapist you will develop new habits and coping mechanisms that aren’t based on food, focusing on making healthy changes to your diet and lifestyle that will remain with you for the rest of your life.
Why not contact a hypnotherapist near you? Simply use the NCH directory by clicking here.