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Body image


Unsure-But-Sure-All-At-Once    

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Hey there, I've been struggling with body image for the past year and a half or so and I feel on the brink of an ED but I'm not really sure. I guess I'm an emotional eater, but now I'm worried that it's gone too far. I feel like I'm constantly worrying about a flat stomach and if my middle seems too fat. I know I'm really strong because I'm often doing two or three sports at once, but I'm struggling with figuring how much I need to eat, listening to my body, and overfocussing on food. I figure if I restrict my food it will impact my performance, but now I'm worried I have BED. I'm struggling a bit with how to sort this out and if anybody has had similar experiences or has advice. I've tried mindful eating, and I implement those techniques when I'm eating my main meals, but I often snack when I'm not hungry. It might also be because of stress, because I'm always stressed with a busy schedule and school...I really don't like these feelings of feeling fat and afraid to gain weight. 

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9 hours ago, Unsure-But-Sure-All-At-Once said:

Hey there, I've been struggling with body image for the past year and a half or so and I feel on the brink of an ED but I'm not really sure. I guess I'm an emotional eater, but now I'm worried that it's gone too far. I feel like I'm constantly worrying about a flat stomach and if my middle seems too fat. I know I'm really strong because I'm often doing two or three sports at once, but I'm struggling with figuring how much I need to eat, listening to my body, and overfocussing on food. I figure if I restrict my food it will impact my performance, but now I'm worried I have BED. I'm struggling a bit with how to sort this out and if anybody has had similar experiences or has advice. I've tried mindful eating, and I implement those techniques when I'm eating my main meals, but I often snack when I'm not hungry. It might also be because of stress, because I'm always stressed with a busy schedule and school...I really don't like these feelings of feeling fat and afraid to gain weight. 

Hi @Unsure-But-Sure-All-At-Once,

It sounds like you are quite pre-occupied with your body and that food is on your mind a lot of the time. Is that fair to say? Because this preoccupation can absolutely be a sign that there is something going on with you and you are doing so well for being mindful of this. How often would you say food and body image is on your mind?  I am attaching this article from healthline as I think it sheds an important light on what could be considered a disordered eating behaviour https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/common-eating-disorders#do-you-have-one

Sometimes eating disorders are tricky to navigate as you might experience symptoms without having a full blown eating disorder. But according to recent research on of the most common eating disorder out there is EDNOS (Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified), which just shows that it is worth looking into these things.

Have you considered going to a doctor or nutrition specialist and talk about this? 

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10 hours ago, Duckie said:

Hi @Unsure-But-Sure-All-At-Once,

It sounds like you are quite pre-occupied with your body and that food is on your mind a lot of the time. Is that fair to say? Because this preoccupation can absolutely be a sign that there is something going on with you and you are doing so well for being mindful of this. How often would you say food and body image is on your mind?  I am attaching this article from healthline as I think it sheds an important light on what could be considered a disordered eating behaviour https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/common-eating-disorders#do-you-have-one

Sometimes eating disorders are tricky to navigate as you might experience symptoms without having a full blown eating disorder. But according to recent research on of the most common eating disorder out there is EDNOS (Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified), which just shows that it is worth looking into these things.

Have you considered going to a doctor or nutrition specialist and talk about this? 

Hi Duckie, thanks for replying.

I feel like food and body image is on my mind pretty much all the time, which isn’t very comfortable because I want to spend my time thinking about other things. But it’s always there.

I did take a look at the article and I have done an ED quiz from Psych Central that asked similar questions and it did say that it might be best if I got it checked out by a doctor. I don’t have all the symptoms mentioned in the Healthline article but I feel like the preoccupation and concern with body image and food is verging on unhealthy. 
 

I have thought about going to a doctor but I’ve brought it up with my mom and she doesn’t seem to think it’s a problem because I’m eating healthy and I exercise a lot. However I haven’t told her about being concerned with my weight (which is healthy but doesn’t feel like it). I haven’t considered a nutrition specialist though. And also, I don’t know how a doctor can help exactly. Would they just ask similar questions, like how often is it on your mind, have you done things to try to lose weight, exercising excessively, restricting, etc, to determine whether it’s actually and eating disorder? I don’t really know how it can be treated. The article said talk therapy, but it feels like it’s never ending at this point and talking about it won’t help. But there are many factors like stress that can affect it, so maybe talking about it can relieve the stress and the impact it has on my eating?

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On 2/9/2024 at 8:57 PM, Unsure-But-Sure-All-At-Once said:

Hi Duckie, thanks for replying.

I feel like food and body image is on my mind pretty much all the time, which isn’t very comfortable because I want to spend my time thinking about other things. But it’s always there.

I did take a look at the article and I have done an ED quiz from Psych Central that asked similar questions and it did say that it might be best if I got it checked out by a doctor. I don’t have all the symptoms mentioned in the Healthline article but I feel like the preoccupation and concern with body image and food is verging on unhealthy. 
 

I have thought about going to a doctor but I’ve brought it up with my mom and she doesn’t seem to think it’s a problem because I’m eating healthy and I exercise a lot. However I haven’t told her about being concerned with my weight (which is healthy but doesn’t feel like it). I haven’t considered a nutrition specialist though. And also, I don’t know how a doctor can help exactly. Would they just ask similar questions, like how often is it on your mind, have you done things to try to lose weight, exercising excessively, restricting, etc, to determine whether it’s actually and eating disorder? I don’t really know how it can be treated. The article said talk therapy, but it feels like it’s never ending at this point and talking about it won’t help. But there are many factors like stress that can affect it, so maybe talking about it can relieve the stress and the impact it has on my eating?

Hi @Unsure-But-Sure-All-At-Once,

How are you doing? It sounds like food and body image is on your mind so often that it might be keeping you from enyoing your life at times. Is that fair to say? 

I am happy you found the article helpful and that you took this quiz. Sometimes it's not about what behaviours you have implemented, but rather to work proactively to ensure your preoccupation doesn't turn into a full blown obsession. Because it takes a lot of time to develop and eating disorder and the thoughts are the beginning to disordered eating behaviours. So I definitely think this is worth talking to a doctor about. I am happy you are prioritising yourself and your mental health ❤️

Sometimes seeing one kind of healthcare practitioner, whether it's a doctor, a counselor, a health care practicioner or a nutritionist might be the way in to getting more professional help. Your mom might not be concerned at the moment, because she is seeing mostly healthy behaviours from you, and I know from personal experience how hard it is to explain that how we eat and exercise is more an effect of a deeper problem than the problem itself. It might be worth booking your own appointment and/or trying to involve your mom in how much this is affecting your life and concerning you at the moment. Because this is something that can be worked on proactively rather than waiting for you to develop disordered eating. Does that make sense?  It is of course always helpful to talk to someone professional about how this is affecting your life, so I would recommend talking therapies just as much. Would you be able to do a self-referral?

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On 2/11/2024 at 3:29 PM, Duckie said:

Hi @Unsure-But-Sure-All-At-Once,

How are you doing? It sounds like food and body image is on your mind so often that it might be keeping you from enyoing your life at times. Is that fair to say? 

I am happy you found the article helpful and that you took this quiz. Sometimes it's not about what behaviours you have implemented, but rather to work proactively to ensure your preoccupation doesn't turn into a full blown obsession. Because it takes a lot of time to develop and eating disorder and the thoughts are the beginning to disordered eating behaviours. So I definitely think this is worth talking to a doctor about. I am happy you are prioritising yourself and your mental health ❤️

Sometimes seeing one kind of healthcare practitioner, whether it's a doctor, a counselor, a health care practicioner or a nutritionist might be the way in to getting more professional help. Your mom might not be concerned at the moment, because she is seeing mostly healthy behaviours from you, and I know from personal experience how hard it is to explain that how we eat and exercise is more an effect of a deeper problem than the problem itself. It might be worth booking your own appointment and/or trying to involve your mom in how much this is affecting your life and concerning you at the moment. Because this is something that can be worked on proactively rather than waiting for you to develop disordered eating. Does that make sense?  It is of course always helpful to talk to someone professional about how this is affecting your life, so I would recommend talking therapies just as much. Would you be able to do a self-referral?

Hi Duckie,

Thanks for the reply again and sorry for this late one. It is really making me feel heard and understood, because I’ve talked a bit more about it with my mom, but she doesn’t really seem to understand—she said she’s sad I’m feeling this way, but I don’t need to. But saying that doesn’t make the feelings go away! 

It’s gotten better, but I’m still finding it hard. Sometimes it’s fine and other times it’s not, which is confusing for me. I’m glad to hear that there are ways to help me with this before it gets too bad. I’m not sure if I can do a self-referral, or if I have to be over 18 to do that. I can look into that. 

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18 minutes ago, Unsure-But-Sure-All-At-Once said:

Hi Duckie,

Thanks for the reply again and sorry for this late one. It is really making me feel heard and understood, because I’ve talked a bit more about it with my mom, but she doesn’t really seem to understand—she said she’s sad I’m feeling this way, but I don’t need to. But saying that doesn’t make the feelings go away! 

It’s gotten better, but I’m still finding it hard. Sometimes it’s fine and other times it’s not, which is confusing for me. I’m glad to hear that there are ways to help me with this before it gets too bad. I’m not sure if I can do a self-referral, or if I have to be over 18 to do that. I can look into that. 

Hi @Unsure-But-Sure-All-At-Once,

No worries about the late reply. Our door is always open for you 😊 Well done for finding the courage to talk to your mom about it. It seems she wants to help and understand, but might not be able to at the moment. Sometimes we can hide our issues for so long that it can become normal to the people around us. I'm sure she will understand one day. And I understand her response would upset you, because you are not choosing to feel this way. We do need to feel our feelings and allowing ourselves to grow from the pain they cause at times.

I'm happy you feel at least a bit better about it. No journey of healing is without its setbacks and it is OK to have a bad day every now and then. If you aren't able to do a self-referral, maybe your mom could help you? Because regardless if she understands the issue or not, she might value that your are being resourceful and looking into ways of helping yourself.

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