Your Relationship With Your Body, Food and Exercise in Body

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Eating well and staying active are important in maintaining a fit and healthy lifestyle. However, if any of the following warning signs sound familiar you may need to look towards getting help to build a positive relationship with food, exercise and your body.

Food

  • You constantly think about food and what goes into your body
  • You have a certain limit on how many calories you can consume in one meal
  • You refuse to eat anything with a certain level of fat or sugar
  • You eat more than you think is ‘normal’ or ‘good’ and then either make yourself throw up, or not eat the next day
  • You eat excessive amounts of food in a short time, even when you aren’t hungry
  • You may find going out for meals with friends or family really difficult because it’s stressful thinking about what you’ll have
  • You could be lying about what you eat, hiding food, or pretending you’ve already had a meal

Exercise

  • You exercise multiple times a day
  • You regularly exercise to exhaustion
  • You feel anxious, irritable, distressed or depressed when you can’t exercise
  • You exercise despite being ill or having an injury
  • Your motivation behind exercise is all about the miles you run and the calories you burn
  • You find that when you perform poorly, you go out and exercise more rather than giving your body some rest

Your body

  • You constantly compare yourself to others
  • You talk and think negatively about your body
  • You don’t accept or believe people’s comments about your appearance
  • You scrutinize your body in the mirror, or avoid mirrors completely because you get too upset
  • You avoid social gatherings because you think everyone will be judging you
  • All you can think about is your body’s ‘imperfections’

SCOFF

Doctors sometimes use the SCOFF questionnaire to help recognise people who may have an eating disorder. This involves answering the following five questions:

Scoff: Do you ever make yourself vomit because you feel uncomfortably full?

Control: Do you worry you have lost control over how much you eat?

One stone: Have you recently lost more than one stone (six kilograms) in a three-month period?

Fat: Do you believe yourself to be fat when others say you are too thin?

Food: Would you say that food dominates your life?

If you answer “yes” to two or more of these questions, you may have an eating disorder.

If you are concerned about your attitude towards food, exercise and your body you can try chatting to an adult you trust, one of your friends or your GP, about how you feel. You could also contact help services including ChildlineGet Connected, and Samaritans.