We can help you with
FOOD AND BODY IMAGE ISSUES
Do any of these scenarios sound familiar?
Most people who have an unhealthy relationship with food tend to find themselves stuck in at least one of a number of typical patterns.
- You’ve tried one diet after another, but either can’t stick to them or eventually gain the weight back. Each time you decide to go on a diet, you tell yourself this will be the time you finally lose the weight. And every time, you eventually lose motivation, start “cheating,” have a hard time staying disciplined, or give up altogether. Or, you manage to stick to it long enough to lose a fair bit of weight, but you quickly find yourself back to your old habits and gain it back.
- You’re constantly eating, or eating “all the wrong” things, and the pounds keep piling on. How many times a day do you peek inside the fridge or cupboard, looking for something to munch on? It’s impossible for you to walk past a vending machine or fast food joint without stopping to get a little treat. You even keep a supply of junk food in a drawer at work in case you get hungry. You know this isn’t healthy, but you can’t seem to help yourself.
- You consistently turn to food every time your emotions run high. A fight with your partner, a bad day at work, pressure from a looming deadline, or out-of-control behaviour from your kids, all send you running for the nearest tub of ice cream. You know you shouldn’t be doing this, but you don’t care, because the relief you get from eating is so powerful.
- You eat because you’re unhappy, but you’re unhappy because you eat. You’ve become trapped in a vicious cycle where you use food to comfort yourself when you’re down, but then you feel guilty for eating, which only causes you to want to eat more. You have no idea how to break free from this cycle of guilt.
- You have an unhealthy relationship with food. Maybe you have a hard time controlling how much you eat, not stopping until the whole bag of chips is gone or you feel sickeningly full. Maybe you hide food from people, stashing it in secret places around the house or eating in private so no one can see you. Maybe you use anything from a bad day to a cause for celebration as an excuse to eat. And maybe you were given unhealthy messages about food from your family, who always forced you to finish your plate or used food as a substitute for love.
- Your relationship status with exercise: it’s complicated. Maybe you use exercise to punish yourself for being overweight or having eaten something you “shouldn’t have.” Maybe you get excited about a new fitness program, but quickly give up after a few days or weeks, finding excuses not to do it. Maybe you don’t exercise at all, and have gotten so far out of shape the idea of getting moving again terrifies you.
- You hate the way you look. While nearly everyone (especially women) has one or two things they’d like to change about their appearance, you can’t stand your body shape or size. You feel incredible shame about your appearance, even avoiding social situations because you “have nothing to wear,” or places that require wearing fewer clothes, like the beach. Upcoming social events send you into a panic, when you desperately try to drop a few pounds. You avoid mirrors like the plague and seeing photos of yourself makes you want to cry. Learning to “love your body” seems like an impossible goal, achievable only by those with a trim figure.
If one or more of these scenarios is true for you, please read on. You’re in the right place; we can help you.
Will it work for you?
The clients who get the most out of working with us typically share many of the following characteristics. If these fit you, you are likely someone who can overcome your emotional eating.
- You are ready to deal with the problems that cause your emotional eating, and have acknowledged that the weight is just an outward manifestation of an emotional hunger, not a physical hunger.
- You are willing to face the difficult feelings, memories or situations that fuel the emotional hunger.
- You are finally ready to stop the endless cycle of dieting, and let your body find its natural weight.
- You are no longer willing to tolerate the vicious cycle that leads you to overeat, and the guilt that comes along with it.
- You are not looking for a quick fix; you know that real healing is a process that takes time, energy and commitment to a long-term solution.
- You are open to asking for and receiving help to move past this problem; you’ve tried so many different things, and you realize that new results require new approaches.
- You are willing to challenge yourself or be challenged to learn new ways of coping and let go of old habits.
- You are ready to heal the hunger! By breaking free from this pattern of emotional eating and learning to cope with your emotions in other ways, you will not only become healthier and happier, but slimmer too!
Results you can expect
When you work with us, you can expect to get at the root of your emotional eating, stop the endless cycle of overeating, dieting and gaining back weight, and get you back in control of your emotions. You will finally learn why you eat, stop dieting once and for all, stop depending on food for comfort, and develop a healthier relationship with food, your body and your emotions.
We are committed to helping you achieve these results:
- Figure out what’s behind your pattern of constant eating. By exploring the situations that trigger your eating patterns, linking them with specific emotions, and defining why you use food to deal with them, we can begin the process of breaking free from your dependence on food. No more mindless eating, no more constant snacking, and no more sabotaging your efforts to be healthy.
- Stop obsessing over food. No more hours wasted daydreaming about what you’ll be eating. You’ll also learn to break free from those terrible cravings that consume you, where you can’t think about anything else until you eat that particular food. You’ll also stop beating yourself up about the fact that you struggle with food in the first place, and learn how to eat to live, not live to eat.
- Stop dieting once and for all. No more restrictive diets that leave you hungry, no more falling off the wagon and feeling guilty, and no yo-yo patterns of weight loss and weight gain. This will be the time you finally say goodbye to dieting and hello to a healthier way of living.
- No more turning to food every time your emotions run high. You will learn how to manage your emotions in healthier ways, and stop using food to cope with difficult feelings and situations.
- No more using food to comfort yourself. You’ll learn to work through your feelings of depression or emptiness, and find a better way to live. More importantly, you’ll learn how to truly love yourself. Because you’ll be happier and more satisfied with your life, you won’t need to eat to push away those feelings of unhappiness.
- Break free from the guilty cycle of overeating. By learning to separate food from your emotions, and finding other ways to make yourself feel better, you won’t have to overeat. And because you’ll stop overeating, you won’t feel so guilty, preventing you from yet another food binge. With time, that vicious cycle will become a thing of the past.
- Develop a healthy relationship with food, your body and your self. You’ll learn how to eat more mindfully and consciously, and be better attuned to your body’s signals. You’ll gain more control over how much you eat, stop seeing how much you eat as a reflection of who you are, improve your self-esteem and self-confidence, develop a better body image, and stop using food as a natural response to life’s ups and downs or as a substitute for love.
We can help you!
If you’re looking for help that works, for the long-term, then you’re in the right place! We go beyond just “managing symptoms” and offer strategies to heal from the root and develop the skills for lasting change.
Psychologist and Co-Director
Psychologist and Co-Director