Many feel some discomfort or concern about their body image from time to time. It’s a normal experience for most people. But when those concerns become fixations on body weight, food intake, and weight loss, it becomes a problem. These may be signs of a potential eating disorder.
Eating disorders are serious medical conditions that cause extreme, obsessive concern about food intake which results in abnormal eating behaviors. Your mind instinctually protects the longevity of your body, but an eating disorder challenges that instinctual drive.
Over time, your disordered eating behaviors break down your natural hunger cues. Instead of allowing your body to do its job, you force it to survive by adapting to your irregular eating patterns. Legitimate hunger cues take a back seat as your disordered eating behaviors take over.
After you’ve lived with an eating disorder for months or years, the idea of trusting your body to function naturally probably feels scary. It’s not easy to let go of the illusion of control that an eating disorder provides. Shifting trust can help overcome your eating disorder.
Building body trust is a vital part of eating disorder recovery. You can’t have a successful, healthy relationship with food if you don’t trust your body to do its job. How can you rebuild that necessary trust with your body?
Coping With Negative Body Image
Processing negative body image is the first step to building body trust. Negative body image is at the center of most disordered eating behaviors. When you recognize something you want to change about your body, you find ways to make it conform to your constructed ideal. Food and exercise are two main tools you can use to alter your physical appearance which lead to disordered behaviors.
Developing self-compassion can help you cope with negative body image. There is no such thing as a perfect body no matter what the media might say to convince you. As you start to process your negative body image, you can begin to build body trust. Your body is a powerful thing, responsible for moving you through the world. When you trust it to do its job and fuel it properly, you’ll be amazed to find what it is capable of.
Healing Your Relationship With Food
Healing your relationship with food is another step to building body trust. Your body needs a wide range of nutrients to function properly. Disordered eating behaviors tend to restrict many of these vital nutrients, though. You’re left feeling lethargic, sluggish, and struggling to focus. If you want to build body trust, healing your relationship with food is a key piece of the puzzle.
Many people with eating disorders have very specific foods they eat and entire groups of foods they avoid. You probably have particular types of food you’re comfortable with and others that you won’t eat. But a wholesome, nutritious diet includes a wide variety of foods you may not be used to eating. Working through these difficulties is a necessary part of trusting your body.
Asking for Help Along the Way
As an eating disorder progresses, isolating from friends and family is a common symptom. It’s easier to avoid explaining eating behaviors, food avoidance, excessive exercise, or other symptoms when you spend most of your time on your own. But it can be almost impossible to work through your relationship with food and body image concerns on your own.
At the same time, asking for help can feel almost as impossible as trying to handle your condition on your own. Asking for help means admitting that you have a problem which goes against everything your eating disorder wants. However, asking for help also means you’re going to be another step closer to building body trust and taking back control of your life.
Finding the Right Support
Asking for help is the first part of the solution; finding the right support is the next part. How do you know where to seek support? What is the right way to build body trust and overcome your eating disorder? If you’re ready to seek support for your eating disorder, you need to find a facility that offers both caring and comprehensive treatment.
Effective treatment must recognize the complex relationship between the mind and the body. Without acknowledging this difficult relationship, you won’t be able to build body trust effectively. Treatment that takes this into account will provide the effective solutions needed for long-term recovery.
Eating disorder treatment isn’t always a straightforward process and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Facilities like Toledo Center for Eating Disorders provide the type of care and support you need. Toledo Center understands the wide range of difficulties and complications that eating disorders cause and how best to treat each of these aspects.
Toledo Center for Eating Disorders bases our approach around evidence-based therapeutic interventions to provide recovery that lasts. If you’d like to learn more about the programs available at Toledo Center, reach out to us today. Our admissions counselors will outline your options and help you decide on the best fit for your needs! You never need to deal with your eating disorder alone again – Toledo Center for Eating Disorders is here to help.