Did you know that as many as 3 out of 4 women have some sort of eating issue? And that doesn’t even include the men (and children) who also struggle…
In 2008 Self Magazine did a study with renowned eating disorder expert Cynthia Bulik, PhD and found that eating issues impact as many as three out of four women in the US.
The study grouped them into six categories:
- Calorie Prisoners are terrified of gaining weight, tend to see food as good or bad, and feel extremely guilty if they indulge in something off-limits.
- Secret Eaters binge on junk food at home, in the car – wherever they won’t be found out.
- Career Dieters may not know what to eat without a plan to follow.
- Purgers are obsessed with ridding their body of unwanted calories and bloating by using laxatives, diuretics or occasional vomiting.
- Food Addicts eat to soothe stress, deal with anger, even celebrate a happy event.
- Extreme Exercisers work out despite illness, injury or exhaustion and solely for weight loss.
Since the time of that original article, “clean eating” has become one of the most popular trends of the day. Taken too far, this leads to a “Orthorexia” – another type of disordered eating in which the person is essentially bound by food fears and spends inordinate amounts of time, energy and money to ensure they’re eating the “right” things. Yet even clean eaters have trouble managing their weight, let alone walking in balance and freedom when it comes to how food is incorporated into their daily life.
The common denominator is an undue focus on diet.
Focusing on calories or weight numbers naturally leads to restriction, which may lead to initial weight loss but is more often followed by binges on “off-limits” foods, followed by more restriction (if you have the self-discipline for that), and more binges. Once the cycle is in place, it can be very hard to break out of, which is why so many people swing from one end of the continuum to another, and back again, often gaining more weight with each jaunt around the cycle. This leads to increased emotional distress, shame, anxiety and depression, which further perpetuates the cycle. Sound like a trap? It is. But there IS a way out.
Intuitive Eating = Freedom
The key to long-term health lies in abandoning diets or restrictive ideas about food and shifting to an “all things in moderation” approach. We were born with a natural ability to sense and respond to Hunger and Fullness Cues. Dieting and disordered eating confuse these natural signals which leads to mental, emotional and even physical distress. The good news is these signals can be rediscovered, and our God-designed bodies can once again find their rhythm.
We can help you get there…
Since 2002 FINDINGbalance has been committed to helping people repair their relationship with food so they can get on with the life they were created to live. Instead of selling an eating plan or diet product, we arm you with truth about how your body was designed, and offer community for you to begin to find support to apply that truth in your own life. Click on the menu above to review resources designed to help you in your journey toward freedom.