Exploring Food and Body Image Issues
An unhealthy relationship with food and/or our bodies begins and continues for many different reasons. Food may be used as a coping mechanism to ease negative feelings, emotions, and circumstances, to have control in one area of our chaotic life, or to change our body to fit an imagined standard that will bring fulfillment, peace, and acceptance.
We may be living a double life, secretly acting out, ashamed of our lack of control, our bodies, our destructive and irrational behaviors. We may rationalize our behaviors, justifying our unhealthy relationship with food as “health conscious.” We may jeopardize our relationships, health, jobs, morals, and values to continue in our self-destructive behaviors.
Characteristics of Someone Struggling with Food and Body Image Issues, May Include but
Are Not Limited To:
- Inability to discern when physically hungry or physically full
- Excessive or compulsive consumption of food (bingeing) and/or getting rid of food (purging)
- Self-induced starvation, excessive use of laxatives, enemas, “diet” pills, or medications for weight loss
- Excessive and/or unhealthy weight loss
- Obsession with body weight and shape
- Spending the majority of your day thinking about food, when you’ll eat, what you’ll eat, how your body looks, how much you weigh, etc.
- Belief there is one or more perfect diet, program, plan, pill, or exercise that will be “the answer”
- Low self-esteem and/or negative body image
- Emotional disconnect from self, others, and God
How We Find Recovery
Through a relationship with Jesus Christ as Savior and Higher Power, and by working through the 8 recovery principles and the Christ-centered 12 steps, we can find freedom from our hurts, hang ups, and habits.
Characteristics of Someone in Recovery for Food and Body Image Issues, May Include but
Are Not Limited To:
- Accept Jesus Christ as higher power
- Working the 12-step recovery process diligently and consistently
- Shifting our worship from food and our bodies to God
- Finding healthy coping mechanisms for negative feelings, emotions, and circumstances
- Developing a healthy identity and positive self-worth that comes from God, not our bodies or others
- Learning to love ourselves as God loves us, so knowing we are worth the work it takes for Him to heal us
- Emotionally connecting with God, self, and others and developing safe relationships
- Viewing food as fuel for our body, and as something that God gave us to enjoy
- Learning and listening to our body’s cues for hunger, fullness, and what foods to eat
- Discerning the difference between physical and emotional hunger
- Decreasing obsession with food and body, replaced with self-acceptance, contentment, peace, and fulfillment from God
- Developing a balanced, healthy approach to food and health
- Healing our distorted beliefs about food, ourselves, or our bodies