As a naturopathic doctor and functional medicine practitioner who specializes in women’s health, digestive health, and mood support, why am I dedicating so much time posting on eating disorders when it’s not nearly as trendy and popular as say, anxiety or thyroid disorder?
I believe the subject doesn’t get enough attention. Nor do we don’t get enough education on what a healthy relationship with food and our bodies looks like, because so many are trapped in what it isn’t.
Our culture’s relationship with food is dysfunctional and I want to call it out, even though I know it’s controversial to do so. I feel that diet and wellness culture are making matters worse, and I have to speak up.
Rather than being tolerant of different ways to nurture ourselves based on our own preferences, needs, culture, and of course, health, many nutritional influencers are preaching that their way is the way for us.
Similar to religious fever, wellness experts are throwing out fear bombs on the negative health consequences that will result if their dietary rules aren’t followed and giving promises of healing all bodily symptoms if they are. In fairness, many are doing this out of their own beliefs and good intentions.
As stated previously, my concern is that our current approach to nutrition, health, and fitness, if not carefully scrutinized, could be perpetuating and fueling health anxiety, false anxiety, and eating disorders.
Many may be suffering with eating disordered behavior because it is unrecognized, or, worse because it is becoming socially accepted and normalized. Importantly, you can’t tell if someone has an eating disorder based on their body size. Many people struggle with disordered eating and look “normal” or are even larger bodied. Due to the fact they aren’t “skinny,” they may not even consider that their eating behavior is disordered.
In my latest article, I continue with my series on eating disorders. I discuss:
– why I believe eating disorders are such an unpopular topic
– the contentious food debates
– to eat or not to eat?… that is the question
– why I’ll keep bringing up eating disorders
– two other categories of eating disorders, Binge Eating Disorder and Other Specified Feeding and Eating Disorders
– my summary so far on eating disorders
I am in a field that promotes food as medicine, and I do still believe it is, but it’s also more than that. Food is not just a hodgepodge of nutrients that either enhance or hinder body and brain health. Food is also a source of pleasure and reward, cultural identity, and a means to promote gathering and relationships. I think these latter things need to be embraced. The mind-body connection is just as powerful in modulating our wellness as macronutrients.
It is my hope that this series will help people to pause and start to disentangle from their dysfunctional relationship to diet and wellness culture and move into a peaceful relationship with their bodies and themselves.
I’ve seen many of my clients have major turnarounds when we stopped focusing on the dietary rights and wrongs and placed attention on what is truly nourishing to them on the body-mind-spirit level. Not only did they get healthier, their lives and moods improved.
Click here to access the full article and video summary.
Please help me get the message out by sharing this information widely.
If you struggle with mental health or an eating disorder, please reach out for support.
You may also wish to consider implementing holistic resources and partnering with a naturopathic doctor.
For example, I offer mind-body support for general mood issues using a functional medicine and wellness-oriented approach. I also practice a non-diet, HAES approach to nutrition.
This material is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prescribe for any illness. You should check with your doctor regarding implementing any new strategies into your wellness regime. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. (Affiliation link.)
This information is applicable ONLY for therapeutic quality essential oils. This information DOES NOT apply to essential oils that have not been tested for purity and standardized constituents. There is no quality control in the United States, and oils labeled as “100% pure” need only to contain 5% of the actual oil. The rest of the bottle can be filled with fillers and sometimes toxic ingredients that can irritate the skin. The studies are not based solely on a specific brand of an essential oil, unless stated. Please read the full study for more information.