Hilary K. Robison, LCSW
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Overeating is sometimes described as an addiction to food. Individuals tend to use food and eating as a way to hide from emotions, fill a void inside of them or cope with the daily stresses of life. Overeaters sometimes hide behind their physical appearance, using it as a shield against relationships with others. They often suffer from feelings of guilt for not being "good enough" and shame for being overweight. Overeating usually intensifies these feelings of shame leading to successive bouts of eating in order to cope.

The majority of people with eating issues desperately want to lose weight and have been on a million and one diets. These diets are often, at least partially successful but the resultant feelings of deprivation usually lead to binging and overeating. There is also a co-existing schema of "good" and "bad" foods, and a judgment of one's self as being "good" or "bad", according to what one has recently eaten. Therefore, one of the most important aspects of treating overeating is developing a healthier relationship with food and one's body. This includes redefining food as fuel, instead of emotional comfort; becoming more mindful about how one treats one's body, in terms of both food intake and exercise; and acceptance of one's body, even if it is currently bigger than you want it to be.



 
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