This week marks national eating disorder awareness week. Eating disorders are complicated mental health and societal issues. The National Eating Disorder Association NEDA estimates that 30 million Americans suffer from a full-blown eating disorder. Many more struggle with food addiction, compulsive overeating, binge eating and other eating disorders that never get counted because people deal with them silently. This year’s theme is Let’s get Real. Addressing stigma and honestly discussing eating disorders are at the forefront of prevention and early treatment.
Some of the signs to watch out for:
- preoccupation with food, calories, food, carbs, fat, or dieting
- overconcern with health or healthy foods
- obsessing about appearance, size, shape or perceived body flaws
- refusing to eat certain foods
- refusing to eat with others
- skipping meals
- food rituals
- withdrawal from friends or family
- mood swings
- frequent or extreme dieting
- frequent noticeable weight fluctuations
- menstrual irregularities
- dizziness, fainting, fatigue
- difficulty concentrating
- changes in sleep or eating habits.
- dental problems
- dry skin or changes in skin or hair
Each eating disorder has its own set of symptoms
Anorexia is characterized by severe caloric restriction, excessive weight loss or the desire to be a very low weight. People with anorexia may be very rigid around food, and exercise.
People who have bulimia may show signs of excessive binging or purging. They may try to compensate for eating by purging, over exercise or the use of diet pills, diuretics, or laxatives. They may try to restrict calories throughout the day to reserve calories for night time eating or binging. They may have bruises on their hands from purging. People with bulimia may use low-calorie beverages, gum, or other low-calorie substances to stave off hunger.
People with binge eating disorders may eat in secret or hide food wrappers and other evidence. People with BED may hoard or hide food. They may be able to eat normally throughout the day but binge at night after dinner until bed.
For a full list of eating disorders and symptoms visit NEDA website.
Energy psychology can heal eating disorders.
Healing from eating problems or food addiction starts with an awareness of the problem and a desire to heal and love yourself regardless of your behavior. I start by helping people understand the origins of their behavior. How did food become a substitute for things you needed but didn’t get. We work on identifying symptoms, triggers, and self-care. Triggers can be emotional, environmental, social, or physical, or food related. Some people choose to remove triggers until they are stronger and gain coping skills.
Tapping, TAT, NLP, and HBLU
Tapping refers to tapping on endpoints of meridians. These are acupressure points that have a calming influence on the body. Stress is a big trigger for people so tapping to reduce stress is a big help.
TAT is another acupressure technique which allows you to let go of the past and forgive yourself and others.
NLP or neuro-linguistic programming refers to the way our minds encode information. By mapping the submodalities, you can replace old or unwanted behaviors with new adaptive ones. These interventions take a few minutes and last.
HBLU is a mind body and soul healing modality that allows you to find and heal resistance and self-sabotage.