By Ofira Shaul
Are you struggling with your self-esteem? As a teenager you may struggle with getting good grades, making friends, starting to date and pleasing your parents. Many times the pressures of being a "perfect" teenager can be difficult. When you allow these struggles to get the best of you, low self-esteem may be the result. A low self-esteem not only affects how you interact with others, but also how you interact with food. Unfortunately, some teenagers develop an eating disorder.
Take a look at this example. You are having one of those days where nothing seems to be going right. You failed your geometry test. After class, your boyfriend said that he wanted to just be friends. To top it off, you get in trouble for having a messy room. This is the point where a negative relationship with food may begin. Feeling hopeless and unloved, you turn to the one thing that you feel is always there for you, food. While eating a large amount of food you begin to feel a sense of relief. This type of behavior is a sign that you have an eating disorder.
What happens after that? You may begin to feel ashamed about the negative relationship that you have with food. You may start to feel that your weight or your looks are causing you to be rejected by your peers or your family. You may even go into a perfectionist mode and attempt an extreme diet. You may think that this is the only way you can feel loved. You begin to develop negative thought patterns about becoming successful through weight loss. This may continue until the next time you feel beat down and again turn to food.
The cycle of binge eating and dieting is very common in teenagers with eating disorders. The teenage years can be a very tough time, and you may base your self-worth on the thoughts and actions of others. If you diet you may become obsessed with your weight and overall appearance. You may begin to feel that you can only be successful if you are skinny and go to extreme measures to make sure this happens. However, most diets fail! When this happens you may begin to develop negative thought patterns about your abilities. If you are a teenage with an eating disorder, you can start to regain control over your life by ending your diet.
The steps to regaining control of your life are simple. If you are a teenager with an eating disorder, you can achieve a healthy relationship with food. First, stop dieting. Then you need to transform your negative thought patterns. You need to develop strategies such as hanging out with friends, listening to music and participating in other activities you enjoy when you are tempted to eat for emotional reasons. By following these steps you will begin to learn to listen to your body. Your body will tell you when it is full and when it is hungry. Listen to it and allow it to be your guide to eating.
If you have an eating disorder, you can begin to develop a healthy relationship with food. The negative cycle can stop when you begin loving yourself and allow someone you trust to help you through the process.
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