Having a perfectly healthy relationship with food is more than most people can claim.
But if your relationship with food and body image has been affected by an eating disorder, then you know all too well how dangerously unhealthy life can become.
Losing extra weight can become a struggle in itself, but not for the reasons that most would assume. Taking active steps towards weight-loss, if not kept in check, can frequently support an eating disorder. Often this can happen unknowingly and very much under the radar. So it’s important to set firm boundaries to be sure this doesn’t happen. Here are a few tips to help you keep your weight-loss goals in check.
Your Relationship with the Scale
When it comes to dieting and weight-loss, a frequent temptation is to become overly concerned with it all. The misleading thought is that you’ll finally feel okay once you lose one more pound. But one more pound is never just one more pound. One more quickly turns to one more, and so on and so forth. It kind of sounds like a commercial for chips, doesn’t it?
Rather than setting an indefinite goal, like the chip marketers do, make a tangible one. Determine a reasonable weight for yourself and stick to it. Once you reach that weight, set a new goal to maintain that desirable weight. This will help battle the feelings of negative weight-related feelings.
Gauge Your Health in a Fun Way
Although your physical weight is the main goal of this particular endeavor, the biggest benefit from a weight-loss program is a healthier lifestyle. With that in mind, it’s important to gauge your weight-loss on other platforms. Keep it fun, too.
For instance, take note of how the shape of your body changes as you trim down fat and tone up your muscles. This transformation goes against the typical weight-loss mindset, as muscle mass is heavier than fat mass. But it’s undeniable that it can change your body shape to one that you generally desire more.
Consider a Wider Variety of Weight-loss Silver Linings
Nearly every weight-loss program includes diet and exercise at its core. While both are conducive to weight-loss itself, they each have their own benefits as well. In fact, weight-loss is often thought of as a secondary benefit altogether.
Adopting a healthier diet can improve your mood, increase your concentration, and even improve the appearance of your skin and hair. Along those same lines, exercise can increase your energy level, stabilize hormones, and give you a profound sense of accomplishment.
Rather than viewing your weight-loss endeavor as just a way to lose extra pounds, think of all of these wonderful silver linings, too.
Have Several Important Heart-to-hearts
The trouble with losing weight after you’ve previously struggled with an eating disorder is that the lines between the two are easily blurred, especially when you’ve not set firm enough boundaries for yourself. This is where a trusted friend could support you in maintaining some perspective.
By talking with a friend about your eating disorder struggle and your weight-loss goals, they will be able to help you stay on track. It’s important to choose a friend with whom you can be completely honest and trust wholeheartedly. And you both need to be okay with having a heart-to-heart conversation on a regular basis. If you do start to cross those notoriously blurred lines, you can depend on your friend to help redirect you back to a healthy place.
Take the first step…
If you are ready to address your food and body image issues and how they may be affecting your life, I would like to help. Please contact me via phone or email so we can discuss how we might work together to achieve your therapeutic goals as quickly and effectively as possible.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Linda K. Laffey, MFT