Is this really the best we can do?
This week I have had a number of people speak with me in private about how fitness has completely ruined their relationship with food and their body.
This saddens me, but also makes me very angry.
What makes me more upset is these clients could have been better supported so that the negative thoughts and behaviours that were consuming them were stopped before they got any worse.
What makes me angry is some of these disordered eating behaviours come directly from highly restrictive meal plans, weight-based 8-week challenges and exercise prescribed to “burn calories”
From my work in the field as an eating disorder counsellor, I know that the negative thoughts that can pop up in 8 weeks, can take a LIFE TIME to repair, to bring someone back to a place of neutrality around food and fitness.
If you are noticing any of these behaviours in yourself and recognizing that these behaviours are making you feel unhappy and worthless please re-consider.
Let me tell you if this is you, there is a better way, and you do not need to feel like this every day.
Weighing yourself daily and your mood being dictated by the number on the scale
Spending hours obsessing over calories or macros
Feeling guilty or avoiding social situations totally due to your food fears
Spending alot of time in front of the mirror analysing your body and body fat
Feeling guilty about missing a training session since you don’t have a chance to burn calories
Being distracted and not able to sleep because you are so hungry
So what can we do? Here are my suggested steps in the right direction.
Training facilities and trainers need to have a though screening and intake process assessing someone’s relationship with food particularly if they are going to be giving any sort of nutrition advice
Trainers need to understand the warning signs when people are starting to develop negative thinking patterns around their food and body. And secondly, they need to be ok to speak with their clients to ask them to take a step back or speak with someone who can help them.
We all need to understand that there is no “look” to someone who is struggling with their relationship with food. You cannot tell how healthy someone is just by looking at someone.