EATING DISORDERS

People are not defined by labels. An “Eating Disorder” is only a part of you. It is telling the rest of you that something is very wrong. There is a great freedom to be had in understanding this. You are not your weight nor what you ate or didn’t eat today. You are capable and filled with wondrous things. By working together, you will ultimately regain a trust in yourself that gives you the freedom to express exactly who you are without apology or fear.

OUR EATING DISORDER SPECIALISATIONS INCLUDE:

  • Anorexia nervosa is a type of eating disorder characterised by weight loss and, at times, distorted body image. Weight loss is normally characterised by difficulties maintaining an appropriate body weight for height, age, and stature. Individuals usually restrict the number of calories and the types of food eaten. Anorexia can affect people of all ages, genders, sexual orientations, races, and ethnicities.

  • Bulimia nervosa is a serious eating disorder characterised by a binge-and-purge cycle. This cycle consists of frequent episodes of binge eating followed by efforts to avoid gaining weight, often by extreme means such as vomiting or exercising to excess. This can cause damage to your digestive system and create chemical imbalances in the body that harm the functioning of major organs, including the heart. It can even be fatal.

  • Binge eating is the most common eating disorder. It is a characterised by recurrent episodes of eating large quantities of food, often very quickly and to the point of discomfort. At the same time, you are feeling powerless to stop and a loss of control during the binge. Individuals you binge eat experience shame, distress or guilt afterward.

  • Emotional eating happens when eating is used to satisfy emotional needs, rather than to satisfy physical hunger. This emotional hunger can’t be filled with food. Eating may feel good in the moment, but the feelings that triggered the eating are still there. You often feel worse than you did before because of the unnecessary calories you’ve just consumed.

ABOUT BULIMIA

Bulimia nervosa is a serious eating disorder characterised by a binge-and-purge cycle. This cycle consists of frequent episodes of binge eating followed by efforts to avoid gaining weight, often by extreme means such as vomiting or exercising to excess. This can cause damage to your digestive system and create chemical imbalances in the body that harm the functioning of major organs, including the heart. It can even be fatal. While it is most common among young women, bulimia can affect women and men of all ages. When you’re struggling with the eating disorder, life is a constant battle between the desire to lose weight and the overwhelming compulsion to binge eat.

You don’t want to binge, as you know you’ll feel guilty and ashamed afterward, but time and again you give in. After the binge ends, panic sets in and you turn to drastic measures to “undo” your overeating, such as taking laxatives, vomiting, or going for an intense run. No matter how trapped in this vicious cycle you feel, though, there is hope. With treatment and support, you can break the cycle, learn to manage unpleasant emotions in a healthier way, and regain your sense of control.

BULIMIA SYMPTOMS INCLUDE:

  • Frequent episodes of consuming a very large amount of food followed by behaviours to prevent weight gain, such as self-induced vomiting.

  • A feeling of being out of control during the binge-eating episodes.

  • Self-esteem overly related to body image.

Many people with bulimia also struggle with co-occurring conditions such as:

  • Self-injury (cutting and other forms of self-harm without suicidal intention)

  • Substance abuse

  • Impulsivity (risky sexual behaviours, shoplifting, etc.)

Eating disorder symptoms are beginning earlier in both males and females and, at any given point in time, 1.0% of young women and 0.1% of young men will meet diagnostic criteria for bulimia nervosa.

THE DIAGNOSTIC CRITERIA FOR BULIMIA ARE:

  • Recurrent episodes of binge eating. An episode of binge eating is characterised by both of the following:

    • Eating, in a discrete period of time (e.g. within any 2-hour period), an amount of food that is definitely larger than most people would eat during a similar period of time and under similar circumstances.
      • A sense of lack of control over eating during the episode (e.g. a feeling that one cannot stop eating or control what or how much one is eating).

  • Recurrent inappropriate compensatory behaviour in order to prevent weight gains, such as self-induced vomiting, misuse of laxatives, diuretics, or other medications, fasting, or excessive exercise.

  • The binge eating and inappropriate compensatory behaviours both occur, on average, at least once a week for three months.

  • Self-evaluation is unduly influenced by body shape and weight.

 

WHY DO PEOPLE DEVELOP EATING DISORDERS?

Many Western cultures glorify thinness. American pop-culture is filled with weight-loss programs, diet trends, and body-shaming. These messages can provide fertile ground for eating disorders. Some people come to believe thinness makes a person desirable, while fatness makes someone unworthy. In such cases, eating disorders are ultimately concerned with one’s self-worth.

People with eating disorders often experience anxiety, low self-esteem, and a strong need to please others. They may feel pressure to achieve perfection, not just with their bodies, but in every facet of life. Other individuals are responding to past trauma, using food to regain a sense of control. A family history of eating disorders may also increase a person’s potential for unhealthy behaviour.

The reason why we eat emotionally or overeat is because we want to change how we feel.

There is another path to feel better, and this path, might generate fear.

​Remember, every fear has a benefit – it tries to keep us safe. However, most of them are irrational and are just stopping us from living. It is up to us if we want to let fear imprison us; or we can use it as leverage to make a change.

I would be honoured to help you making that change.