Healthy eating can easily become an obsession. Some people take diet pills, others may try other ways of ‘getting healthy’ only to find it spirals out of control quickly. Excessive exercise, veganism, vegetarianism, paleo diets or any other way people find to lose weight can become obsessive and compulsive to the point of being dangerous with possible long term negative health consequences.
The Shame Game
When people try fad diets to lose weight and become overly focused on weight, it can signify deeper issues. Shame is one of the more difficult emotions which revolves around food. Labeling food as ‘good’ and ‘bad’ can lead to anxiety over choosing food for meals. Addiction is not a neat or tidy way to focus on eating. Sometimes people lie, steal, cheat or even get into legal trouble to keep the truth hidden about obsessive eating patterns. Shame over bingeing, purging, dieting and trying to keep up an unhealthy body to fit an image can lead to further disillusionment and body dissatisfaction which can lead to severe issues psychologically and physically.
Dark Side of Miracle Diets
Dropping a few pounds during a diet can bring excitement about the fact it may be working. The feeling can become addictive over time with a person trying to keep achieving the good feeling of losing weight or looking better in the mirror. Motivation for the program can shift from getting healthy to obtaining a slim figure or lots of muscles, depending on the person. Once progress is noted, it can become a way to track day by day what is happening to the point where any deviation from the diet is a reason to feel shame and further restrict calories to the point of extreme weight loss.
Real, healthy and raw foods are not bad when eaten as part of a balanced diet. Diet plans can be overly restrictive and taken too far for people who have addictive personalities or fall into the trap of trying to eat overly healthy rather than focus on balance. Eating disorders are serious and may have life-threatening consequences. It is an illness which is becoming more understood but is still hidden in the shadows by those who struggle with shame and fear around being discovered. No cure exists for an eating disorder. What can help is professional therapy and support to recover from the illness but it will always be in the background, as with any addiction. It is necessary to focus on the best ways to cope through finding support, help and recovery or treatment programs which can provide assistance for the long road to being healthy.
Hired Power supports individuals with a supportive environment to tackle addiction head on. Call us at 714-559-3919 to find out how we can help partner with you to provide the best path to recovery.