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  • Writer's pictureLaura Mamerow

Staying in Control

Needing control can lead to types of disordered eating. Here are some tips for feeling in control in an uncontrollable world.

It’s no secret that disordered eating can be caused by more than wanting to be thin. Another cause of disordered eating is to feel in control. We are living in a time right now where it is hard for anybody to feel in control of many aspects of their life. We don’t know when we are going to be seeing our family and friends again, we don’t know if future plans we had made are going to be able to happen and for some it’s also leaving a lot of career and financial uncertainty.

More people than you may think use disordered eating to provide some sort of relief to all of the anxiety that comes with uncertainty. I am here to remind you that disordered eating leads to a false sense of security and more anxiety. When you are not nourishing your body properly, your body can’t function properly. Your body needs energy, carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals. Without these things your body will essentially slow down all of it’s processes to conserve energy and this can result in harmful consequences. These include a slower heart rate, low blood pressure, loss of bone mass, muscle loss and weakness and severe dehydration to name a few. Another reason is the effect that it has on a person’s mental health, mood and behavior. Anxiety comes from disordered eating due to the body’s stress systems not getting the nutrients they need to stay in balance and cope with life. Heightened obsessiveness also comes from disordered eating. This means schedules become more rigid, such as not being able to be somewhere there is certain food or needing to carry out strict fitness routines. This also includes food rules such as food needs to be eaten in a certain way. Concentration becomes impaired and purposeful tasks become harder to do. Obsession about food and weight also tends to happen. Irrational thinking is also the result of poor nourishment. These are just several things that may happen to a person and everyone is affected by under nourishment differently.

Here are some things that will help you feel more in control and ways to to nurture yourself without listening to those strong disordered eating thoughts. Follow a routine that best serves you. I feel best and the least anxious when I get up before my kids, do some mindful movement and stretching, meditate and say some affirmations. Find a way to make sure you are getting a good night's sleep. This may mean shutting off electronics earlier and getting to sleep earlier. Make a list of the things you need to do and divide it into different days of getting them done. When we look at the big picture of our lives it can get a little overwhelming. If we break it down into parts it seems more manageable and less stressful. Surround yourself with those who are positive influences in your life and make you feel good about yourself. This includes what you see on social media. Lastly, this one can be awkward at first but it can also be super powerful. Go stand in front of a mirror and tell yourself positive statements out loud. I promise that if you do this consistently you will begin to believe those positive statements and it will become less awkward.

Implementing structure by positive choices can make a huge impact on your day. I hope that everyone is able to find some joy and positivity in this crazy, uncertain world right now!

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