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Eating

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Strange as it might sound, healthy eating becoming unhealthy is a growing concern for those who deal with eating disorders.  It might seem unusual that someone who is on a mission to become a healthy eater can spiral into the realms of unhealthy eating, and we are not talking about those who simply fall of the bandwagon and go back to food that they had once binned as being bad for them.  So just how does healthy eating become unhealthy?

 

Not Just a Bad Day

 

We all understand that the perils of commencing a healthy eating plan or diet can lead us to days where we only want to reach for the junk food and gorge on our body weight in food in just a few hours.  That isn’t the problem here though.  This is something that spirals from obsession to an eating disorder that is known in the medical world as orthorexia. Still a relatively new term you will be forgiven for not having heard of it, but rest assured simply reaching for the chocolate or eating a family bag of crisps when you meant to stick to a low-fat diet is far from this eating condition.

 

Obsession Takes Over

 

A person that takes healthy eating into the land of unhealthy eating develops a fixation on what they are putting into their bodies.  It starts with the best intentions and a typical mindset.  For whatever reason, and it is different for all of us, they decide to clean up their eating and head for a new way of consuming their food.  Some people start by going sugar-free, or cutting meat and becoming vegetarian.  Other try not eating wheat or gluten, and some opt for organic everything.  Keith from personal trainers in London Right Path Fitness says all of which can be perfectly healthy and are not wrong ways to eat by any means but orthorexia is different.

 

When a person starts to obsess about every element of the food, they eat issues can arise, and rituals can develop that see them become so totally preoccupied with their diet and body image that things can start to go wrong.  It comes down to a form of control that might offer them something they feel has been missing in their lives.  Habits surrounding food can be made very safe and healthy whereas others can spiral into downright dangerous.  By using food and exercise as a control people who suffer from this eating disorder can be completely unaware that things are not going well.  The focus is the result and the fact that they have only eaten three organic carrots boiled in purified water while having run 10 miles on the treadmill might strike them as a resounding success, but you can see how that would damage the body over a longer period.

 

A healthy diet should always be about balance.  If you go out for a meal and eat something, you wouldn’t normally, a healthy approach is to see that as a one-off.  If you or someone you know is obsessing over every mouthful and often denying themselves as a particular food is not available, it might be time to seek help.

There are millions of people all over the world suffering from eating disorders.  However, it is a term that is still widely misunderstood with many people assuming that it is just a phase or someone who has taken their diet too far.  Eating disorders are much more complicated than people might think, so in this blog, we will break down and look at what they are.

 

It is Not a Choice

 

An eating disorder is a recognised medical condition that comes under the umbrella of mental health or psychiatric illness.  It does not just stem from someone choosing to eat less, or indeed eat more.  Eating disorders tend to fall into the category of chronic (long-term) illness and the person suffering cannot just ‘snap out of it.’  The gender and age of the patient are indiscriminate as all ages and genders can be just as likely to suffer as anyone.  It is something that can develop at any time and is often, but not always, born out of a triggering event.  The cause of the eating order is the key to seeking help and getting better, so patients will be offered talking therapies to help them make sense of what has happened.

 

Four Recognised Disorders

 

If a patient presents to a doctor with issues surrounding eating they are potentially going to be diagnosed with one of the four recognised conditions.  Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, Binge Eating and Other Specified Feeding and Eating Disorders (OSFED).

 

Until recently people were most aware of Bulimia or Anorexia and they were considered to be the classic definition of eating disorders in the public mind.  However, recent cases of binge eating have been highlighted in television documentaries, where people are shown eating themselves from obese to the grave.  People are now more open to accepting that there are three conditions,  but few are aware of the last one, which is the catch-all diagnosis for individuals who do not fit the clinical profile of any of the others.  This does not mean in any way that these people are not suffering as much.  All eating disorders are serious, and the medical community places no more importance on one of the diagnosis than the others – they are all considered serious issues that need professional help.

 

Hidden Conditions

 

A classic symptom for all those with eating disorders is the desire to hide their behaviour from the world.  For some, it is considered self-punishment and discipline that they, in their mind, deserve, whereas others just deny or dishes the behaviour as they either do not realise they have an issue or do not want help.  It is important that eating disorders can be identified as the damage to the body is more than mental health care.  Organs and body systems can be permanently damaged by behaviours associated with each condition, and if the patient is unable to access the correct help, can become seriously ill or even die as a result of this damage.

 

The good news is that recovery is entirely possible.  So if you or someone you know seems to be showing some symptoms of issues with food, it is worth trying to advocate that they seek medical advice as soon as possible. Try to get them to understand that there is nothing to be ashamed of; it is a medical condition, not something they have done wrong.

Dread. It’s a sensation that a lot of us are sadly all too familiar with, and for some, it is more prominent in their lives than it is for others. We’re taking a look at the feeling of dread, and what it feels like, along with some positive techniques that you can use to overcome it.

What is dread?

Dread is characterised by a feeling of great fear and also apprehension. To dread something is to be waiting for it to happen and worry about it constantly. One of the most significant problems with dread is that it can be an all-consuming feeling and one which isn’t that easy to get rid of. We all feel dread at various points in our lives, although some people are known to experience dread with more frequency than others. Further compounding the issue is that we aren’t taught how to deal with fear from an early age, so a lot of people struggle with this kind of adversity when it becomes an issue.

So, how do I overcome this dread?

Thankfully, people have come up with a few tips and tricks over the years to try and help people to learn to overcome dread. One of the first things that you’ll need to do is to take a deep breath and calm down.

From there, you need to think carefully about these feelings of dread and why they’re upsetting you. Think about what it is that you do dread. Is it a person, or the place? Is it a bad memory which has altered your view of the situation? You need to know what the problem is before you can face it.

Try and look at things logically. What is there to be afraid of? What is there to dread? Logic is one of your best friends in these kinds of circumstances, as people find it easy to become panicked and scared when they only use their emotions to try and deal with a problem. If there’s no logical reason to dread the events which are going to happen, you need to try and tell yourself that as much as possible. Repeat it like a mantra. Make sure that you know exactly what the issues are, and that you don’t have to be afraid.

Alternatively, talk to someone about how you feel. When we talk about things and say them out loud, it goes a long way in rationalising and processing what we fear. Feelings which are kept bottled up and hidden away are the ones which can be a problem. What you need to do in this instance is calm down, tell someone what you dread and why, and then accept their support and understanding, and hopefully, it’ll help you to confront your feelings in a better way.

Overall, dread is something which no one wants to feel, but it is also something which can be a huge part of our lives. Knowing how to combat these feelings of dread, and even accepting that it is okay to be afraid, will help you to feel better about the situation you’re in, and also aid in coming through everything and being a stronger person for it.What