Don't go on fighting with your body. You will need it for a long time. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can help you understand what is happening when you are stuck. Every step you take to improve counts!
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) focuses on identifying distorted thoughts and modifying dysfunctional beliefs. When we don't examine our thinking distortions can significantly influence our emotions and behaviors around body image.
Here are some key areas where we can use CBT to address these issues:
Challenging Negative Thoughts:
Struggling with overeating and body image is usually rooted in pervasive negative thoughts about appearance, self-worth, or eating habits. CBT can help with methodical exercises to dig them out and correct them.
Steve: "I never have time to exercise. I can't do it."
Let's challenge his thinking: Everyone has the same amount of time.
Understanding and Modifying Beliefs:
CBT can assist in exploring and changing deep-seated beliefs about body image, weight, and self-esteem, which are often at the core of overeating behaviors.
Steve: "There is nothing healthy to eat around my office".
Let's challenge his thinking: He could store many healthy foods, there is probably a refrigerator or a shelf.
Developing Healthy Coping Mechanisms:
Overeating is frequently used as a coping mechanism for emotional distress. CBT helps in developing healthier coping strategies that do not involve food.
Steve: "I like to have lunch with coworkers, it relaxes me".
Let's challenge his thinking: It's important to separate food from time with coworkers. Those are two different areas offering him different results.
CBT encourages individuals to test their beliefs and fears in a controlled manner, such as gradually facing feared or uncomfortable situations related to body image or eating.
Steve: "Everyone knows me this way if I change nobody will like me".
Let's challenge his thinking: Put on sneakers, and go for lunch, but after lunch go for a walk. Start with 5 - 10 minutes. Slowly increase walk by 5 minutes a day. Afterward, stretch and see what is the catastrophe. You: _________________
Mindfulness and Eating Awareness:
CBT can incorporate mindfulness techniques to help individuals become more aware of their eating habits, hunger cues, and satiety signals.
Steve: "I eat fast and I eat more than I need, I know I need to change".
Change: Eating mindfully, slowly. Enjoying every bite.
Keeping a food and mood diary can help understand the triggers of overeating and the emotions associated with it.
Steve: "I never kept a journal, but I guess I could write down triggers".
Change: Writing down what happened before an overeating episode can help better prepare to face the stressful situation.
Make sure to work with your healthcare professionals, such as a dietitian or your physician, and your counselor when addressing issues related to eating and physical health. Start with a visit to your physician.