How can Be Body Positive help me overcome my disordered eating?
The aim of this website is to support young people to identify and reflect on their eating behaviours and work toward a better relationship with food and their bodies through self-guided modules. Modules include exploring topics linked to food and eating behaviours and body image.
What is disordered eating and how is it different from an eating disorder?
Eating behaviours can be described within a spectrum from optimal eating to eating disorders, with disordered eating sitting somewhere in the middle. Disordered eating can include normalised eating behaviours such as skipping meals, overeating, undereating, binge eating and extreme dieting. It can also include other behaviours associated such as obsessive or excessive exercise.Eating disorders, on the other hand, are diagnosable conditions characterised by persistent and extreme disturbances in eating behaviour. There are different types of eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID) and others. Eating disorders are accompanied by intense negative thoughts, feelings and behaviours towards food, weight and body image. In summary, disordered eating is a more general term that encompasses a broad range of eating behaviours, while eating disorders refer to specific, diagnosed conditions with specific symptoms and criteria.
Why is early intervention so important?
Disordered eating – a term used to describe eating difficulties that don’t require a clinical diagnosis – is becoming more common and can often be the first signs of someone developing an eating disorder.The NHS is treating record numbers of young people for eating disorders, so the need to intervene before diagnosis has become a matter of urgency.As ELFT clinician, Erica, says: “A better eating disorders’ prognosis is linked to a shorter duration between onset of illness and start of treatment. Early intervention is therefore important to allow targeted support at a time when symptoms are more malleable and less entrenched, at times preventing the deterioration of the symptoms to developing into a full-blown eating disorder.”
What are some coping strategies I can use today?
There are many coping strategies for disordered eating, including:
Mindfulness and self-care practices, such as yoga, meditation, and exercise
Talking to a therapist or support group to process feelings and emotions
Practicing self-compassion and positive self-talk
Engaging in hobbies and activities that bring joy and fulfillment
Challenging negative thoughts and beliefs related to food and body image
Focusing on nourishing the body with balanced and satisfying meals
Reaching out to friends and loved ones for support
Following body positive accounts on social media, such as @bodiposipoet or @antidietriotclub
Seeking professional help, such as seeing a registered dietitian or seeking treatment for an eating disorder.
It's important to remember that everyone is different and what works for one person may not work for another. It's essential to find the coping strategies that work best for you and to seek help from a mental health professional if needed.