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Re: Help for food and eating issues

Hi @Tiny_leaf , that sounds really difficult Smiley Sad

 

try and limit my exposure to things I find triggering. Often this looks like hiding ads /posts that pop up on social media, or sometimes mentally checking out of or making an excuse to physically leave a conversation. It helps a bit. Another option for conversations is rehearsing a phrase such as 'I find talk about dieting pretty triggering, could we not talk about it please?' to use when necessary (but I know that might be way too anxiety provoking to be useful to a lot of people, myself included. I'm just bringing it up because you'd totally be within your rights to do that if you were comfortable with it). As for ads on tv, is there anything you can do to keep your mind off them until the block of ads is over? Maybe listening to a song, drawing with the tv muted, working on a DIY project, or playing a game?

 

I spent a couple of years with really disordered eating, then several years working to change the unhealthy ideas and habits to healthy ones. Now it's been a couple of years of the healthy ones being my default. Here's a couple of things that helped me (in addition to limiting exposure to triggers):

 

- increasing my exposure to healthy messages (a big part of this was rereading journal type entries I'd written on good days capturing my commitment/reasons to change, and also listening to positive/ inspiring music). There's also body positivity blogs out there that might be useful. (I know this might not be for everyone, sometimes any messages associated with the topic at all might be triggering)

 

-Finding other things that I'm passionate about to put my time and energy and thoughts into so they don't just lock onto food and weight etc

 

This is such an important conversation especially at this time of year, thanks for bringing it up. I hope you get some helpful things out of it Heart

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Re: Help for food and eating issues

@hellofriend I don't have a huge amount of energy rn, but I just wanted to say thank you for that, it was definitely good to read. 

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Re: Help for food and eating issues

Hi @Tiny_leaf , just wanted to check in with how you're doing with this? It  really can be such a problematic time for people who find talk of weight loss and dieting triggering, because it seems like it's everywhere at the moment. I have found that one thing that can be helpful as far as social media goes, is to intentionally follow a lot of people who share positive messages about things, such as the Health At Every Size movement, and also hide advertisements that are unhelpful/ triggering, that way you should eventually see less of them.

 

I think you speak to a much bigger issue though, society still seems to really push ideas of weight loss/ transformation/ dieting being something to aspire to, especially in the new year, even when we know that these things are often unhelpful Smiley Sad 

 

There's been some great advice on this thread, we are always here for support when you need it Heart 

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Re: Help for food and eating issues

@Janine-RO it's hard because my mum listens to all this diet stuff and doesn't realize how shit it is for me.

 

(TW because I'm about to share an example of that)

 

Like bought some vegetable tempura (fried vegetables, really good) and mum was just like "oh I was going to get that but it's fried and too fatty" just as I was about to eat it.

Like thanks mum. Now I'm spiraling into needless anxiety instead of enjoying my food.

 

Or like I'll spend ages worrying but eventually reach a point where I can get myself to eat x food and it takes effort and pep-talks and then mum's just like "x isn't very healthy is it? You should really be eating y food more"

Y tends to be either a sensory nope or something that's completely unavailable to me by the way.

 

And when you go into what actually is healthy it's so freaking complicated and no-one agrees and it's just a rabbit hole that leads to me being hungry and miserable.

 

(I'm rambling a bit sorry it's just been a bit intense today)

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Re: Help for food and eating issues

Hi @Tiny_leaf , 

 

That sounds really tough with your mum - I think it can be pretty common, unfortunately. Do you think your mum is aware of the effect her comments may have on you? I know it can be a really tough conversation to have, do you think you'd be able to let her know that you find comments like that about food triggering? I totally understand if it wouldn't be a conversation you're comfortable having, though. 

 

(Also - vegetable tempura is one of my favourite things in the world!! I went to Japan a few years ago and ate some of the best tempura of my life, I'm still trying to find somewhere in Australia that comes close!)

 

Have you heard about the mindful approach to eating? I really like it, because it aims to get rid of all of the guilt, shame, conflicting information, and worrying about what we eat. Instead, it encourages us to be present, and accepting while we eat,: "Mindful eating simply invites us to be present while cooking or eating, allowing us to truly savor our food without any judgment, guilt, anxiety, or inner commentary" . 

 

Because I think you're spot on, there can be so much conflicting and complicated information about what is 'healthy', and I'm hearing that this is making you feel even more distress around eating. 

 

I hope you were able to enjoy some of that delicious tempura goodness in the end Smiley Happy

 

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Re: Help for food and eating issues

@Janine-RO well I gave it a shot by asking mum why weight loss ads were so common, when ...(insert basic HAES principles here).

My brother felt the need to interject with ill informed opinions to... idk, show off...? , which really slowed down the conversation. (and yes I did just put ...  ? and , right next to each other and no grammar is not my greatest strength)

If nothing else it convinced her that equal access to healthcare is more important than weight loss.

 

As for vegetable tempura, try fancy Japanese restaurants. They can be a bit expensive so probably not possible to eat every night unfortunately, but I've had some really good, traditional Japanese tempura and oh, my, gosh. Magical.

 

For me my parents said that if I wanted to be vegetarian I had to properly research nutrition. Me being me managed to get halfway to being a nutritionist (not literally but I did go into way too much depth), freak out about the complexity of it all and manage to associate food with anxiety. 

As for mindful eating that's something I've been meaning to look into for a while...

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Re: Help for food and eating issues

@Tiny_leaf  I'm sorry to hear that the conversation with your mum was made a bit trickier with your brother interjecting, that sounds pretty frustrating - but it's great that you were able to chat a bit about some of the health at every size principles, and it sounds like you were able to help her to see that there's some complexities there that she hasn't been aware of. I think that's really fantastic - hopefully it will plant a seed for her. Like you've said, unhelpful ideas about food/ dieting/ weight can be so deeply ingrained in us, so I think it's excellent that you were able to have a conversation with her that challenged those thoughts a bit. 

 

I used to live near a pretty fancy Japanese restaurant, and their tempura was out of this world! The best I've had outside of Japan, and now I am craving it Smiley Wink 

 

I think you show a lot of self-awareness about how researching this stuff can increase unhelpful anxiety around food - maybe mindful eating could be a good thing to check out when you have the chance Smiley Happy 

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Re: Help for food and eating issues

@Tiny_leaf  I struggle with an eating disorder and the adds on tv lately have been stressing me out so much it is literally every second add is about weight loss and it drives me mad and often makes me feel like I am about to start crying my mother is also very unhelpful and she is constantly talking about weight loss and quite frankly she has made my eating disorder so much worse over the years but even when I have tried to talk to her she doesn’t understand and never changes so I have given up and just use selective hearing when around her. Anyway I just wanted to say you are not alone. But I probably won’t get to involved with this thread as it is kind of very triggering for me and I couldn’t read a lot of it. Oh and I did want to say it is strange about the butterfly foundation they have been the only helpline that hasn’t been super rude to me. Sometimes they don’t help and they do sometimes make things worse but they haven’t been rude, still I am not saying your experience is not valid it is but i find it ironic that as someone with such a hate for helplines the one I hated least has been terrible for someone else. 

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Re: Help for food and eating issues

Idk if this is relevant for anyone else, but often if I can't find something I can enjoy and make easily I really struggle.

Recipes for kid's lunches/ savory birthday party food tends to be more useful for me than recipes for adults, because parents like things that they can cook easily and that tastes  good enough that their kids will eat it.