Restrictive eating is a lot about control

Updated: Jun 2

For me weight loss dieting is at one end of the Restrictive Eating Continuum, Anorexia Nervosa is at the other end. Of course, for some people a weight loss diet may be necessary and even life-saving, but for the many women there is a compulsion to diet even when their BMI is within normal range. This was the case for me, I was at the top end of the scales for my height and build, but I was still classed as physically healthy. I say ‘physically’ healthy as mentally, there was a very unhappy person living inside me and this was why the compulsion to diet started, that and wanting to fit in. Many of my friends wanted to change something about themselves, but it was seeing my Mother, unhappy about her own appearance that created that part of my reality, that it was normal not to wholly love yourself just as you are.

I went through twenty years of my life wanting to lose half a stone. If only I could lose those 7lbs my life would be perfect, I would be happy, I would meet the man of my dreams and have a rewarding and successful job. Everything seemed to hinge on being a particular number on the scales. Looking back at it now it feels such a pointless waste of time, energy and money, but of course I couldn’t see that at the time – it was part of my identity, part of how I navigated the world, a crutch I used to make myself feel acceptable.

It took an illness to wake me up to it, and that illness brought a whole new way of eating for me, and ultimately freedom with food, and the irony was that my body knew all along what it’s ideal weight was for me and that came about when I let go of needing to control. However, not before I went through a period of Orthorexia, a compulsion to eat healthily, which took my weight to a very low level. For compulsive dieters, there is often an anorexic inside them waiting to be met. That is what the Food & Freedom Journey is about, meeting those unmet parts of us, those parts inside us that are deeply hurt, not understood, not loved, not seen or heard and we finally give them a voice through taking part in this journey.

To your freedom.

With warm wishes,


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