Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Eating Disorders - Breaking The Cycle Of Patterns And Behavior

We all develop behavioral patterns early in life. We start to identify individual circumstances with specific behaviors. One very common behavioral pattern is with food.

Occasionally we might associate celebrations, happy occasions or holidays with food. We rely on food to reproduce the feelings of togetherness and love that we had on those festive occasions.

We may have been told that if we're good or if we gobble up everything on our plate we can have dessert.
For this reason, dessert got to be a prize, a recognition of accomplishment.

We stumble through a tough day at work anticipating a reward that waits for us at the end of the day.

Food may also be used as a distraction


For example, we could possibly have been told as a child at the doctor's office, that if we didn't cry and carry on when we got a shot, we would get a lollypop as a reward.

So we concentrated on getting the lollypop as opposed to feeling the dread or pain of the needle. We totally stifled the pain and centered on the jackpot, the candy.

Is it any surprise that afterwards in life, when we feel physical or emotional displeasure, we surmise that a candy bar will force us to feel better?

On the other hand, we may also be using food as a coping mechanism for the stress in our lives.

However, after a while, our ominous eating behavior mostly makes the anxiety worse. And then we discover that we have a whole lot less time and energy to cope.

We turn up a great deal of associations between food and behavior when we're young. Some are gratifying, yet a number have become subconscious core convictions or patterns that sabotage our daily life.

If we're not cognizant of these associations, we can't detect what is genuinely bugging us.

The first step in changing these patterns is awareness. How can we change something if we're not even aware of it?

What is an eating disorder?

Folks with eating disorders have developed the practice of depending on food to cope with lifes dilemmas. They use food as a way to stifle unwelcome feelings or thoughts.

They may very well use food to get around some unsavory part of life by eating all day. This is called compulsive overeating.

Some may binge, putting away considerable amounts of food in a short period of time. Binge eating generally starts as a response to a diet.

Others may limit their food consumption with a rigorous diet until they get to be so malnourished that they can not think clearly or physically manage. Resulting in their long-term well-being or even life itself, is endangered. This is anorexia.

And then we have the ones that overeat and then eliminate the food. This is bulimia.

The Cycle

Right from the start of our eating disorder, we managed to manipulate undesirable feelings by occupying our mind with idea conceptions of food or weight loss.

The difficulty with this is that as our feelings get smothered continuously, the pressure inside builds.
We don't apply other techniques of coping and soon food turns into our only coping mechanism.

We grow to be hard-wired to turn to our disorder every time that an event emerges. After some time we haven't any room for any more feelings.

We may very well notice ourselves responding to everything around us by turning to food. We don't recognize our anxiety, so our desperation keeps growing because we don't do anything to alleviate it.

We presume food is the dilemma, when all and all, we have been using food to cover up a whole different hornets' nest. And now it just doesn't work anymore. We find that we have become stuck in a cycle with no way to stop it.

Breaking the Cycle

The answer to breaking the cycle is to understand that there is a connection between your emotions and eating behaviors.

Unhealthy eating patterns are merely a symptom of the problem and not the root cause and negative self-criticism regarding previous experiences only supports the cycle.

The cycle does break and can be broken at any point. All you need to kick off your recovery, is the willingness to open your mind to another path to follow and then take the necessary steps for change. 

To determine the root cause, you have got to pinpoint the reason you are turning to food or to an impulsive restriction of food. Then you are able to procede in dealing with this underlying cause.

So we have to single out the thoughts that trigger the undesired activity of pigging out when we are not physically hungry or starving ourselves when we are actually hungry.

Now that we have this information, we can begin to rustle up acceptable replacements for these triggers.
Starting off with baby steps, through repetition, we will be able to form new habits.

You should start out simple right out of the gate. Start changing those destructive patterns by taking a little time throughout the course of the day to congratulate yourself for all those things you do well.

You've already spent way too much time and energy criticizing yourself in the past. You should acknowledge all of the good stuff you achieve every day!

As time passes, these repetitive affirmations will launch a brand new more wholesome cycle of behavior.

This routine of encouraging yourself will assist you to become more in tune with your emotions and steer clear of those negative influences. You see, now you can work with yourself as opposed to against yourself.

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