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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

It Runs In the Family: The Origin of Eating Disorders

@ Greggory Jantz, PhD

Sometimes I think the reason we eat by candlelight is because we have elevated food to a cathedral-like religious experience. Our "places of worship" are the open-all-night pavilions dedicated to the sale of fat, calories, and cholesterol, and all-you-can-eat troughs of food consumed by people for whom three full plates are never enough.

Those with food obsessions believe that:

Food is relief from stress
Food is reward for pain
Food is the epitome of success
Food is the wafer and wine for the religion of the obese
Food is comfort in a time of storm
Food is life!

When people with eating disorders come to see me I ask them how much time they think about food. They often say "about 110 percent of the time." That's one of the most honest statements they'll ever make during treatment. They do spend the majority of the time thinking about food: about when they are or are not going to eat, what they are or aren't going to eat, and where they are or are not going to eat. But the feelings of control these individuals think they have are nothing but a fraud. In fact, the eating disorder is controlling them, consuming their relationships, ruining their self-esteem, destroying their health, and wasting their time. Ultimately, attempts to control food are failing to control pain, anger and fear.

We often think we cannot live without the ingrained patterns of our past - whether they be good or bad, positive or negative. But people who lose weight permanently know that if they are to grow in every area of their lives they must look at every area of their lives.

All of this begs the question: Why?..finish reading article

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