Disordered eating includes a wide range of irregular and chaotic eating patterns where often hunger and fullness are ignored, including anorexia, bulimia, chronic restrained eating, compulsive eating and habitual dieting. Disordered eating can harm your health: emotional, social and physical. It may cause fatigue, depression, decreased mental functioning and concentration. It can lead to malnutrition with risk to bone health, physical growth and brain development; it affects both males and females.
Some possible warning signs:
- Preoccupation with food, weight and/or body shape
- Weight fluctuations i.e.: excessive weight loss/gain
- Diuretic or laxative abuse
- Mood swings or increase in anxiety
- Change in eating habits i.e.: restricting food intake
- Avoiding eating in front of others
Take this test if you think you could be suffering from an eating disorder:
- Do you make yourself sick because you feel uncomfortably full?
- Do you worry you have lost control over how much you eat?
- Have you recently lost more than 15 lbs in a three month period?
- Do you believe yourself to be fat when others say you are too thin?
- Would you say that food dominates your life?
What you can do (a wellness plan):
- Physical self-care (exercise, nutrition, sleep)
- Lifestyle habits (routines, goals, stress reduction, relaxation)
- Social Support (friends, family, colleagues)
- Spiritual connection (prayer, meditation, community, finding purpose/meaning)
- Mental/emotional self-care (journal your feelings, use positive self-talk)
- Talk about it (with trusted family, friends, professionals)
- Know you are not alone
- Remind yourself that healing takes time
- Educate yourself on Eating Disorders (ie: self help groups, books, internet)
- Counselling Services at Brandon University