This week is Eating Disorder Awareness Week. Eating Disorders can be about lack of control, unwanted emotions, traumatic events like abuse, lacking human connection and more… all things that have increased in this last year and with the added strain on the NHS, people aren’t asking for help.
I have a personal attachment to eating disorder awareness as I suffered from anorexia when I was 14 years old and then bulimia from the age of 18. All eating disorders are often misunderstood so it can be really important to learn about them, especially if you know anyone who is struggling. If you understand more, it’s easier to help in the right way. Everyone is unique and may need different types of help, so I’d say the best start is to listen and be there for someone. For me, I didn’t receive the right treatment for a good recovery until I was about 21. I personally think treating an eating disorder should focus on the person’s feelings rather than their behaviours around food. Abnormal or disrupted eating patterns are outward symptoms of deeper emotional issues.
Binge-eating disorder is probably the most misunderstood eating illness that 1 in 50 of us will experience in our lifetime. Charities such as “Beat Eating Disorders” are a great source of information, as well as seeing a GP or therapist. I have worked with teenagers suffering from eating disorders so feel free to get in touch if you feel an emotional coach would be helpful.
Most people know that a healthy diet can uplift your spirits and improve your mood. People who eat fruit and vegetables tend to live a healthier and happier life. Food is such a huge subject and advice changes all the time, with still many myths lurking about and being passed down by generations. I’d never advise what to eat or what to avoid, as that differs from person to person.
One food and drink related thing most people agree on is that we should all drink plenty of water! If you want to change your mindset with any changes you’d like to make, but it feels overwhelming, the solution is to make small changes over a long period of time. E.g., instead of thinking from tomorrow you’ll drink eight glasses of water a day, start by drinking a glass of water before each meal for a week.