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In my experience, it is easy for your diet to become an obsession and it could mean your diet is turning into a disorder. If you are worrying if you or a friend may have similar issues then read on and see if you can resonate with any of the issues I had.
I have shared before how I found losing weight tough and because my mind was not in the best mindset it was then tough to maintain that weight loss as I still felt the overweight Jen that I had been, my mind just had not caught up! You can read more about that side of things on my about me page and in my BMI article.
Did I have a disorder?
Whilst in some respects I would like to say I didn’t have a disorder, I wasn’t ever diagnosed with anything, I am not sure that is wholly true. I know that I became really obsessed and in a very unhealthy way.
I was very conscious of the frequency and quantity of when I went to the toilet, especially on official weigh days. I weighed every day at home, often a few times a day. I used laxatives if I felt I was constiptaed or just hadn’t been as much as I had thought I should.
Other signs I had an unhealthy obsession were that I was anxious about eating out as, other than jacket potato I felt it was too much of a risk to eat anything I couldn’t be sure was ok. My clothes and how they felt made me anxious too, if my jeans had been in the tumble dryer and felt tight I worried that I had gained weight and even if I had been on the scales earlier in the day would go on again, just to check.
Far too much of my life revolved around food, my weight and the toilet! This is one of the main reasons that now I am determined that whilst I am very aware that I am overweight and want to lose weight again that I do it carefully, sustainably and safely. It has to be right for me mentally as well as physically.
The fact that I felt fat wearing the dress below and felt I still needed to lose weight shows I guess how ill I was without realising it.
Why do I feel you need to recognise the signs?
Part of me wants to share this with you honestly because by sharing and admitting it in writing I have to accept this happened and to change moving forward. The other part of me knows that I am not alone and others may well have experienced similar circumstances.
I really hope that anyone reading this understands that at the time I did not realise how mentally unwell and obsessed I was and does not judge me for that, I judge myself enough already!
If you or someone you know may be getting obsessed and on the brink of a disorder rather than just healthily losing weight then these are the signs I think you should watch out for. Of course I am no professional but I do talk from personal experience.
If you only do one of the following it may not be much of an issue but something to keep an eye on, if you do many, as I did, then maybe it is something to address. could your diet be turning into a disorder?
If you feel you need counselling or private psychiatry then please do not feel afraid to seek help. It would not be making you a failure, merely that you accept you are struggling.
11 signs to watch for
Toilet trips are something you count or monitor more than usual.
You are using the weighing scales more than once a week.
When you are getting weighed you only wear the same clothes.
You have used or considered using laxatives or similar medications to improve the weight on the scales.
If the weight on the scales is not what you want to see you consider skipping meals.
You consider yourself a failure if you break the strict rules you set yourself.
When the scales show you have gained weight, even just half a pound, you are going back over everything you have eaten, toilet trips and exercise in your head to find where you may have gone wrong. (The reality is the bodyweight fluctuates you have probably not “gone wrong”)
When people say you have lost enough weight you still feel like you should lose more.
The number on the scales that you want to be is set in stone and you know you will not be happy until you get there.
You consider gaining weight or being overweight as a reflection of your personality and something to be ashamed of.
Thinking about your weight, what you eat and drink and the exercise you do has taken over your life so much that you can not do things you used to enjoy.
Do you do any of these?
If you do now would be a great time to chat to someone close to you who you trust and see if this could be becoming a problem. Could your diet be turning into a disorder? I was not open with Stuart about many of these things I did and the ways I thought about things.
The reality is though that During the last few months of my 10 stone weight loss, the reality is I did or felt all these things. I had become unwell and obsessed and essentially had a type of eating disorder without realising it.
I hope by sharing my experiences and story it helps you to seek help sooner than I did. I am currently having some counselling to look at a number of issues including my self-esteem issues and relationship with myself and food.