Food Struggles

Normal Eater, Emotional Eater, Food Addict

It is important to understand the difference presentations of Compulsive Eating. This is not how everyone views the 
different perspectives on helping client's lose weight or alternatively to manage bulimia and emotional eating. Deciding to embark on treatment or coaching is a truly important choice. Below are some descriptions of different styles of eating.

 NORMAL Eating Client may have problems with weight (even obesity) if you do not eat the appropriate number of calories (and exercise moderately) to maintain an ideal, healthy weight. The problem for normal eating clients is primarily physical: If you choose to eat a balanced diet, exercise moderately and get support for lifestyle changes, you can lose unwanted weight (or gain weight) and keep weight in a normal range. Basically, willpower, education and lifestyle interventions works.

EMOTIONAL Eating Client  You often have similar problems with weight but find powerlessness to follow directions to lose (or gain) weight and restore your health even when you want to. For those with diagnosable eating disorders – i.e., anorexia, bulimia or binge-eating disorder – the underlying problem is mental-emotional: It’s not what you are eating but rather what is eating you. Problem eaters use food to numb or medicate their feelings. What works for problem eaters is a moderate food and exercise plan, as well as developing psychological skills to cope with feelings, addressing root cause physiological contributors and brain balancing.

FOOD Addiction Clients become chemically dependent on specific foods or on food in general. The way your body processes food is bio-chemically different that that of normal eating clients and emotional eating clients. Many food addicts are predisposed to becoming addicted to food – especially to sugar, flour, wheat, fat, salt, caffeine, and/or excess volume to any food – just as alcoholics are predisposed to being chemically dependent on alcohol and drug addicts to heroine, cocaine or prescription drugs. As the disease of addiction progresses, food addicts exhibit powerlessness over physical craving and develop distortions and obsessions of the mind that keep them in denial.

Diets alone don’t work. Simple therapy alone does not work. What works for food addicts is surrender. Surrendering, through physical abstinence, the foods to which they are chemically dependent. Surrendering to rigorous honesty with all their thoughts and feelings about food. Surrendering to whatever structure and support is needed. Ultimately, surrendering to the process of a spiritual experience, i.e., the type of psychic change that has given relief and healing to thousands of chemically dependent individuals.

Most food addicts have weight problems – the majority are obese, though some are a normal weight or may even be dangerously underweight. Many also have unresolved emotional trauma similar to those who are diagnosed with eating disorders, e.g. anorexia, bulimia, binge-eating disorder. In short, most food addicts have problems similar to those of normal eaters and problem eaters, but for food addicts, their addiction to food must be the primary focus.

If food addicts just diet, they may lose some weight but inevitably will gain it back. If food addicts do not commit to being rigorously honest – preferably with another food addict or with a healthcare professional that understands food addiction – they may make some gains in therapy, but will eventually relapse into the food; this will make them even more anxious or depressed. To be successful in healing from food addiction, one needs to first accept that they are food addicted and then, once again, deal with this first.

Most successful, long-term recovering food addicts approach their physical abstinence and deeper internal healing as an almost spiritual discipline. It is also important to develop psychological skills to cope with feelings, address root cause physiological contributors and brain balancing.

© Copyright Phil Werdell and Mary Foushi, 2007

Tiffany will help you understand what you are going through. She has helped many people uncover the problems driving them to binge eat. You too can learn to have fun, happiness, and fulfillment in your life again. You can break the cycles of binge eating and learn to treat yourself and your body with love and compassion. Read more about binge eating disorder and return when

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