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You Are What You Eat


The title of this blog post, based on the popular saying, may be one with which you agree or one with which you take issue.  What is less contentious, however, is the fact that many people struggle with their weight and patterns of eating.  Here in the U.K. a government Health & Social Care Information Centre report published in 2015 stated that 67.1% of men and 57.2% of women nationally were either overweight or obese in 2013.  Some may argue that this is a personal lifestyle choice, whereas others may feel it is more of a public health issue.


Rather than being the fuel that powers our bodies through our daily routine, for some food is relied upon to provide comfort following distress, a reward for achieving a particular goal or a treat for relaxing with after a hard day at work or study.  Losing weight and shaping up can be harder if food meets needs that would otherwise go unfulfilled.  Many people seeking the support of Ashwood Therapy to overcome unhelpful eating habits seem to eat to plug other gaps in their life; for example, loneliness, boredom or low self-esteem.  The problem however, is that the attempted solution to those issues mentioned above can quickly become a difficulty in itself.  If what is needed is to face up to a particular situation, make changes in a relationship or work through difficult feelings, eating will of course only temporarily provide relief.


The body’s natural feel-good rewards released when we take physical exercise are a superb guard against low mood.  Unfortunately, exercise can be harder to access when we add extra pounds, and so that natural boost can seem out of reach.  For some it can become easy to continue eating when they feel full, especially if that is a habit they have been in for a long time (even from the early days of their infancy).  Whatever calories we don’t burn will hang about in our bodies, tipping the scales upward a little more.


While it may be tricky to change how we eat, I believe it is possible, with determination and support.  Managing our calorie intake is of course essential, yet there can be other factors at play also.  As a professional therapist I have seen at first-hand how when an emotional issue is addressed the need to overeat can sometimes disappear almost on its own.  If you have tried dieting unsuccessfully or have been struggling with making unhealthy lifestyle choices, have you ever thought that one of the ways of tackling your waistline might be to look more closely at what is happening in other areas of your life?



Rob Oglesby MBACP (Accred) B.A. (Hons) BSc | Ashwood Therapy


Ashwood Therapy provides a discreet, confidential and professional online counselling service by encrypted video call, live instant messaging and secure email.  More details, including tips on wellbeing and information on current counselling session pricing, can be found at www.ashwoodtherapy.com


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You Are What You Eat | Ashwood Therapy Blog