Self Image Issues & Eating disorders
Are you unhappy about your weight, whatever it is? Do you lose a few pounds and then pile them back on again, because you eat due to being unhappy? Do you look in the mirror and are disappointed by what you see? Are you unhappy about the changes in your body due to ageing? Do you suffer from Bulimia or Anorexia? The Option Process® Dialogue can help you uncover the reasons why you might use food for comfort or the reasons you feel the way you do, and help you find another way to be happy.
Alternatively try out a workshop out there is one specifically for this. Here you can explore your issues in a safe environment and take tools away to help yourself overcome them.
Eating disorders are often described as a modern day problem, arising from the catwalk culture of the last thirty years, and with images in the media being shown to influence some people’s body image. The problem is longer standing however, with clinically significant eating disorders being described by physician and minister John Reynolds in 1669 and philosopher Thomas Hobbes in 1688.
So why is this? For a large number of people, their relationship with food is a microcosm of their relationship to their entire lives. When someone believes that their life is out of their control for instance, they may seek to regain it by attempting to exert greater control over other parts of their life by strictly limiting what and how much they eat, or alternatively when someone feels that their life is empty, and they are a victim to the emptiness, they may endeavour to fill the void with food.
I will use the model on the 'Underlying principles' page to describe how this process fits with eating disorders. These are just some, there can be many reasons why we do what we do. I have had clients with eating disorders steming from low self confidence, discomfort with sex (and sexuality), failed relationships, parents having food issues, fears of intimacy, childhood experiences and many more...
This example also demonstrates how the same stimulus each invokes a different response in three different people as they have different beliefs. Therefore it is not what everyone says about Jane that causes the eating disorder it is what they decide to believe about themselves. So therefore since we chose our beliefs we can choose again, hence it is very empowering!
How can the Option Process dialogue help you here? What are the benefits of helping yourself this way?
See below the previous stimulus with a happiness fuelling belief.
Sometimes there are many beliefs supporting any one behaviour. This method of counselling allows you to identify all those beliefs and then change them to more useful beliefs. As you put your new beliefs into action and practice them more you will see yourself developing new “habits”.
The beauty of this process is that you go at your own pace, I am not here to tell you what to do or how to do it, I believe you are your own best expert and have your own answers. My job is to use a non-judgemental approach of questioning to help get to a more comfortable place, and work towards what you want for yourself. When you make decisions about what you want, and how you are going to work towards it, you are more motivated to achieve it and consequently more likely to be successful than if someone else was telling you what to do.
The greatest advantage is of the Option Process dialogue is that it enables you to get comfortable with the underlying issues, meaning that instead of battling with your weight, body image, ageing or illness you can approach the issue with comfort and ease. Most people find when they just let go and trust the process they go a lot further than they could have imagined!
How to get started?
Start creating an awareness of your emotions and behaviours e.g. take note of what you were thinking when you last binged?
Create a list of your wants for yourself: what is it that you want for yourself longterm?