Our culture has so normalized disordered eating (hello, intermittent fasting!), it can be hard to know if you’re struggling with a problematic relationship with food. Sometimes people with eating disorders are even praised for having “self-control” when it comes to food. While that kind of reinforcement might feel good in the moment, often there is a sense of something is wrong that can be hard to completely ignore.
If you feel like your life is consumed by food—thinking about it, eating it, avoiding it, craving it, or having anxiety about it—then that’s a red flag that something is indeed wrong. And you don’t have to have a clinical eating disorder to have food issues that are interfering with your life. Chronic dieting is also a problem. If you’re suffering around food in any way, there’s likely disordered eating of some kind, which is absolutely valid and worthy of help too.
On the other hand, people who have a healthy relationship with food don’t obsess about it. They don’t experience fear, guilt, and stress over their eating. They are intuitive eaters, which means they respond to their physical and emotional cues around food, and eat in a way that feels good to their bodies and is emotionally rewarding.
Which group describes you better?
I hope if it’s the first group, you’ll take steps to moving toward becoming an intuitive eater because life is SO much better living in food freedom. Some steps towards food freedom could include:
- Downloading my free intuitive eating jumpstart guide
- Reaching out to talk to us about therapy (for Texas residents) or coaching, or
- Checking out the recommended resources for some good books and podcasts
Still not sure if you might have an eating disorder? Check out our Eating Disorder Self-Test.
Disclaimer: The Eating Disorder Self-Test is not intended to diagnose any conditions, but might be a useful tool in determining whether you have problem and need to seek help. This quiz is also more likely to pick up on disordered eating related to body dissatisfaction, which is not a symptom of all types of eating disorders.
I’m Cherie Miller, MS, LPC, founder of Nourished Soul Center for Healing and @foodfreedomtherapist on Instagram. We offer therapy and nutrition counseling for chronic dieting as well eating disorders like Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge Eating Disorder, Orthorexia, ARFID, and other food issues. As anti-diet professionals, we are passionate about intuitive eating and Health at Every Size philosophies. Contact us here to schedule a therapy or nutrition appointment.