I'll share below an insight into my brief experience with disordered eating, some insight into underlying factors to consider and why adopting a Nutritionist to assist your health journey is a great idea.

Dee Lawson

7/13/20235 min read

I remember as far back as being in my mid teens and struggling with my body image. As a ‘curvy’ girl who was a swimmer and had the physique to match, I remember being EXTREMELY self conscious of having what I deemed as larger thighs than the girls I would swim with. No big deal right? Except when your Dad used to call you thunder thighs and squeeze your pockets of fat and laugh thinking that this banter isn't damaging to a teenage girl who was feeling insecure of her weight.

Upon reflection, I think it maybe just started with eating too much and then wanting to reverse it so I decided to make myself sick by sticking my fingers down my throat to get rid of the food I had just binged on. Although I now recognise that it was more a phase than an actual adapted lifestyle, I consider myself to have experienced that season whereby I would use food as a reward and punishment to both feed the dopamine hit as well as numb the consequences from the family life that I was surrounded by.

Fast forward to today and the insight I have gained by obviously studying a degree that looks at both the psychology and etiology of risk factors of disordered eating as well as identifying triggers in myself. It's another experience I am weirdly grateful for that led me to the path of becoming a Clinical Nutritionist and another reason why health is my highest core value. Health is all encompassing so if we have physical health and not mental health then it's not really balanced yeah? And then what's the point?

This is often how disordered eating begins, as a response to an external environment and a means of being able to control at least something, which is the binging, purging or restriction. Not to dim the light on this extremely sensitive subject, but to also point out that the external environment is one of the biggest drivers for our internal dismay. In fact, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) the year 2020-2021 recorded that one in twenty Australians (5.1%) aged between 16-85 had experienced disordered eating at some point, check it out HERE. That number also represents females as being at higher risk than males of developing an eating disorder and mainly due to the perception of their shape or weight.

Let's ponder on this. If you are a woman aged over 35 (which most of my clients are), can you resonate with having an unhappy relationship with your body at some point during your life? This could even be now. Can you resonate with the above and can think of a time whereby your physical shape or weight got in the way of you doing something you truly wanted to? Can you relate to any of the above and see where you may still be restricting or living less than your desires due to not wanting to be in public looking as you are - hello my shorts over bathers women!

What I'm trying to point out that for whatever reason we are looping in these thought patterns of not being the goal weight, not being bikini body ready, not wanting to project body insecurities onto our daughters, not wanting to turn the lights on when being intimate with our partners, avoiding clothes shopping, using food to comfort and soothe rather than addressing the issues or whatever the unhealthy looping behaviours and thoughts are for you - the time to address it all is now!

I propose that we stick the stigma of needing to look a certain way to which we idolise as being the ‘Goal’ and focus more on our health status and reducing the risk factors associated with that more so than being able to fit into those skinny jeans from when we were 25 - by the way clothes sizes are smaller so idolising a size of clothing is also not going to work as easy.

If any of this is triggering you, I urge you to read below and see if and where you can implement them as a starting point.

5 QUESTIONS to ask yourself when you identify you have an unhealthy relationship with your body and food;

💚 Are you able to identify if you are living your life in alignment with what you want to feel like rather than look like? As in are you considering wanting to FEEL more energetic and sleep more soundly to wake up actually refreshed rather than wanting to fit into clothes from 8 years ago?

💚 Are you fuelling your body correctly to support you in your health goals? As in are you restricting your eating so much that when you are eating, you aren't being mindful of what the actual quality is and therefore not doing your body any favours for getting to that health goal?

💚 Are you looking at all facets of your health? Emotional, mental, social, spiritual, financial, environmental, intellectual and physical? Are all things being approached to compliment the goal of achieving that coveted health status?

💚 Are you really putting effort into what it is you truly desire for your health? Or are you mainly being good to the point of restriction and then having a ‘blow out’ moment to which it's feeding this ”Start again Monday” cycle?


💚 Do you have support set up so that you can achieve whatever the health goal set out is? If not, ask yourself where you can outsource in order to be successful? When we are busy we look at ordering groceries online and hiring a cleaner and possibly an ironing person. Same as this, have you appointed a Nutritionist to address whatever the health goal you're working on? Adopting an experienced health professional who works with food in a specified way is going to be far more productive for you then signing up to an 8 week challenge but not addressing the behavioural loops still underlining the fact the challenge was needed.

Reach out through my bookings page if any of this resonates and you would like to look at a deeper level of appointing some assistance with getting some health goals on track.