Being healthy is something that we all want.
Without it, we struggle to do basic things in life…like having the ability to walk up a flight of stairs, or taking your kids out to the park. That’s why a key part of maintaining good health is about replenishing your body with the food resources that you need to go about your day.
Unfortunately, 90% of women and 40-60% of men carry some degree of dissatisfaction or anxiety over their body’s appearance because it’s not the ‘perfect’ image of health they envision their physical form to be.
And for some, that becomes a triggering event leading to destructive changes in their food patterns, which result in varying degrees of disordered eating or an eating disorder. That’s when the quest for ‘good health’ becomes a mental game of self-sabotage…and, ironically, when health is no longer even the focus.
It’s no secret there are social constructs that have warped health into a distorted desire for specific physical forms believed to be remedied through restrictive diets.
But there’s more to it than meets the eye.
While we can blame external factors that play a role – social media, magazines, celebrities – let’s not overlook something that is deeply rooted within: a lack of self-compassion under moments of perceived inadequacy.
And whether it’s culturally- or biologically-driven, these thoughts and mental patterns are what lead some to believe they can maintain a false sense of control over their body’s so-called imperfections through the way they eat.
I know this well, because I have been there myself.
It’s in those very moments that we must recognize our struggles of inadequacy are all part of our basic human need to strive towards something in life. It gives us a sense of purpose, but does it deserve a place in your life when it’s doing more harm than good?
We could all use a little more love and kindness in the world these days, let’s start with the compassion we are willing to ourselves.
If you or someone you care for is struggling with an eating disorder or disordered eating, please consider reaching out for professional help and treatment. Many resources are available to connect you with the help needed to begin a recovery journey, such as the National Eating Disorder Association.