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Do you think you might have an eating disorder?

Do you think you have unhealthy eating patterns but you’re just not sure?

It’s so easy to start overthinking every single thing we eat, every thought we have about food, or every eating habit that we have. Sometimes we can actually make a healthy relationship we have with food unhealthy, just by overthinking it all.

Food is a huge part of life – it literally keeps you alive – and I don’t want you to stress over it and overthink it. Because in all honesty, that sometimes triggers the start of an eating disorder.

Someone could be eating the foods they love and enjoying food as nourishment and pleasure, but then they start to overthink it all. They start to overthink every food choice they make, every food pattern they have, and soon it turns into an unhealthy obsession – an eating disorder.

That was part of how my eating disorder started when I was younger. I was dealing with migraines quite frequently when I was younger – now I know that stress triggers migraines for me, but I did not know that then. After lots of doctor visits and unsuccessful attempts at relief, I started to question the food that I was eating. Changing the food that I was eating in attempts at finding what was causing my migraines soon turned into an unhealthy obsession and it also gave me something that I could control when I felt so out of control that was the very beginning of the journey with my eating disorder.

Now, I’m not saying that obsessing over your food or being conscious about your food choices is going to always turn into an eating disorder.

However, I do think that it is something to be aware of. If you find yourself slipping down a road of over-thinking and obsessing over your food, try to take a step back. Take a step back, identify what’s causing this over-thinking, and then get the help that you need.

No matter what, I want you to have a healthy mindset towards food. So much of an eating disorder starts in our minds and how we’re viewing food. We can have all of the right intentions – losing weight, getting healthy, fixing health issues, etc. – but end up in an unhealthier place because it turns into an unhealthy relationship with food (whether an eating disorder or not). Here are some ways to judge if you have a healthy relationship with food.

When you have a healthy relationship with food and view food as your friend, you:

  • Enjoy the foods you eat.
  • Eat what you want and honour your cravings.
  • Stop eating when you’re full – not before, not after.
  • Feel good physically and mentally on the foods that you eat.
  • Don’t obsess over when/where/what you eat.
  • Feel comfortable eating around other people.
  • Some indicators that you have an unhealthy relationship with food:
  • You obsess over what you eat.
  • You only eat “healthy” foods.
  • You eat on a schedule.
  • You’re more comfortable eating alone.
  • You feel sick (physically or mentally) after you eat.
  • Eating makes you anxious.
  • You skip meals during the day.

Look at these to do lists and notice which statements best describe your relationship with food. If you feel like you’re struggling with an unhealthy relationship with food, don’t beat yourself up. Have grace for yourself, find someone that you can talk to, get the help that you need, and please reach out if you need a friend! I am your friend, and food is your friend too!

Abby Horst

A podcaster, wife, health/wellness coach, beach lover, and musician. She specialises in nutrition education, meal planning, and developing sustainable habits. She passionately works with her patients to help them build healthier and happier relationships with food, exercise, and themselves.

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