Are You Worried That A Love For Food Has Become An Unhealthy Obsession?
Is eating the first thing on your mind when you wake or the last thing you think of when lying down at night? Are you constantly thinking about the next time you’ll eat, planning exactly what you’ll have and when you’ll have it? Maybe you find yourself stashing away snacks, binging in secret or hiding the evidence of your eating from others? Or, you might purposefully eat less in front of others to avoid judgment, and then binge when you’re alone.
Are you afraid that you have developed an unhealthy relationship with food, but you don’t know how to break the cycle of behavior? Do you eat compulsively or in excess, plan your day around meals or even feel anxiety at the thought of not being able to find food? Maybe you experience uncontrollable urges to snack throughout the day or consume food to control stress and anxiety, only to feel guilty later. Are you spending excessive amounts of money on food, putting on extra weight or stuck in a cycle of unsuccessful dieting? Perhaps you worry about your self-image, lack of personal control or the negative effects that overeating can have on your body. Do you wish you could stop the obsessive eating and enjoy a “normal” relationship with food?
Eating Disorders Are An Unfortunate Trait Of American Culture
Breaking food addiction and emotional eating habits can be as challenging as recovering from most drug addictions. However, unlike illicit drugs and alcohol, we need food to survive. And, food is everywhere in our society. It’s in commercials between segments for cooking shows. It’s on the signage along the streets we drive to get to work every day. It’s even in the air emanating from the cafes and restaurants that line the sidewalks we have to travel. From the fatty fast foods cooked to order to the sugar glazed confections and candy bars in the checkout line—we are constantly immersed in and surrounded by food.
Making matters worse, these addictive foods all have a powerful impact on our physiology that exacerbates their addictive nature. Fatty meats, deep-fried foods and sugary snacks all affect the nervous system by increasing serotonin and dopamine levels in the body. These chemicals stimulate our brains with sensations of pleasure and a sense of reward, making us think that what we are doing is good for us when in actuality, it could be detrimental. That’s why breaking the cycle of compulsive eating can be so difficult and why so many people struggle with their relationships with food.
Thankfully, you are not alone, and research has shown that there is a way to break the cycle of compulsive eating. With an experienced and compassionate therapist, food addiction treatment can help you develop and maintain a healthy relationship with food.
Treating Food Addiction Can Have A Powerful Impact On Your Wellbeing
Counseling for eating disorders can give you a sense of empowerment over your life and have a profound effect on your happiness and health. Most people don’t naturally have the ability to understand why they have a particular food obsession or eat compulsively. However, counseling for eating disorders can help you understand yourself better, address underlying emotional motivators and offer you tools for identifying and minimizing triggers for overeating.
The reason we eat to feel better is because it works, in the moment—even if it harms us in the long run. Counseling for food addiction can help you better understand your brain chemistry and develop strategies and techniques to “rewire” your brain so that food no longer serves as a coping mechanism. Over time, you’ll be able to separate emotional hunger from physical hunger and learn how to tolerate emotions and physical sensations without turning to food.
In our sessions, we’ll start with talking about how your particular relationship with food affects you. For example, we’ll investigate how food makes you feel. Are you eating out of anger, loneliness, stress or grief? Are you concerned about feeling out of control and feel that you are spending too much money on food? Are you worried that your food habits are going to affect your physical health? Maybe you scrutinize your appearance every time you look in mirror. We’ll identify where your relationship with food originates—was food a constant feature in your childhood? Do you have a particular food that triggers addictive behavior? Through our discussions, we can find answers and develop tools that can help you reframe your thinking about food and step out of self-defeating patterns of behavior.
Every person’s experience with an eating disorder is different, so I always tailor my sessions to each individual client. You might respond well to a psycho-dynamic approach, through which we look at the conscious, subconscious and unconscious motivations for your relationship with food. Or, you may respond better to cognitive behavioral therapy, which focuses on creating real-world strategies for changing responses to emotional or physical stimuli. For others, somatic techniques can help target subtle physical sensations, triggers and responses to stimuli that may be contributing to obsessive eating. As we work together, I will draw on my training to offer the tools and techniques that can best serve you.
I’ve been helping my clients with emotional eating and food addiction recovery since 2005, and I know that you really can change your relationship with food. With guidance and support, you can understand your behavior and motivations for overeating, and in so doing, fundamentally change the way eating affects you. You can develop effective and positive coping mechanisms and a healthy relationship with food.
I’m considering counseling for food addiction, but I still have some questions and concerns…
How do I know if counseling can help me? Maybe I just need a little more willpower.
Food addiction is not about a lack of willpower or self-control. It’s about not having effective coping skills to deal with certain feelings or stimuli. It’s about not having the tools to manage stress, loneliness or feelings of inadequacy, or not understanding where the desire to overeat comes from. Treating food addiction is more than treating a habit. It’s about treating the person. It’s about revealing motivations for addictive behavior and rerouting thought patterns toward something beneficial and healthy. The knowledge and empowerment you can receive from counseling for compulsive eating ensures that your natural capacity for willpower is put to good use.
Treating food addiction seems expensive.
If you’re considering treatment for food addiction, the odds are it is already becoming an expensive habit. Over-eating means over-spending on meals you didn’t necessarily intend to have. Fast food breaks and sugary snacks here and there may not seem expensive, but they can add up quickly. Coupled with the price of gym memberships, equipment, weight loss gimmicks, doctors’ visits and potential future medical expenses, the costs can quickly grow. Even though you may have to invest in an initial expenditure, you could be saving an invaluable amount of money and time in the future, especially where your health is concerned.
Does this mean that I’ll need to be in therapy forever?
Therapy doesn’t have to be a lifetime commitment. Each client is different, so I always tailor my treatment approach to the individual. You may only need a little time and education to get the tools you need in order to gain control. Or, you may want additional, ongoing guidance. In fact, I’m usually only a phone call or text away in case you need support or even someone with whom to share a small dietary victory. I’m here for whatever you need. The important thing is to reach out, ask for help and get on the road to recovery.
I Don’t Think I Have A “Full Blown” Food Addiction, But I Emotionally Eat A Lot
Eating emotionally is very likely an indicator that you are using the relief that food provides for masking something in your life. And, make no mistake, eating provides a very real psychological and physiological sense of relief. Whether it’s high job stress, depression or a difficulty processing strong emotions—your emotional eating fills a need. It’s just not a healthy or productive way to solve problems. Working together, I can help you identify, explore and unravel the reasons for your eating habits and offer you healthier strategies for managing your feelings. In time, you can learn to address and overcome the triggers that cause you to eat emotionally and, in turn, make lasting improvements in your overall physical and mental wellbeing.
I Want Help But I Can’t Come See You In Person
No problem! Let’s do a video session. I am a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Texas. That means I am licensed to treat anyone living in Texas. So, don’t let a disability or not living in Austin prevent you from getting the help you need. Call or email me today to set up an appointment.
You Don’t Have To Manage An Eating Disorder On Your Own
If you’re struggling to maintain a healthy relationship with food and need support, help is available. Please use my contact page to message me, call or text at 512 289 9409 to schedule a free 20-minute phone consultation to see if counseling for food addiction or emotional eating in Austin, TX is right for you.
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