I’ve noticed over decades of treating compulsive, emotional, and restrictive eaters that many of you do not take care of your bodies very well. Dysregulated eating is only one symptom of poor self-care which includes many ways you don’t keep your body healthy and in good working order.

Effective self-care means doing whatever you need to do to improve the quality of your life in the long run. Much of it falls under the realm of prevention in terms of life style choices. Preventive self-care involves everything from wearing warm enough clothing when you are out in the cold and using an umbrella in the rain to getting regular dental and medical check-ups. One way to work on staying healthy is by reading about what is good for your health and what is not. You can do this online or through books. Websites of the American Heart Association (http://www.americanheart.org/) and cancer prevention sites such as http://www.avoidcancernow.com/ have excellent preventive information. There are many reader-friendly books that will guide you toward making healthy choices and away from unhealthy ones. Among the best is Avoiding Cancer One Day At A Time, by Lynne Eldridge, MD which will tell you everything you need to know about preventing cancer and living a healthy lifestyle. I highly recommend this book because of its breadth of information and readability.

I hear clients say that they hate going to the doctor, dentist or hospital. Well, no one likes going to these places. They go because it will benefit them, because the negatives (time, money, etc.) far outweigh the positives. If you’re someone who doesn’t get the medical attention you should, it’s time to ask yourself why. Doesn’t it sound silly to say you don’t go because you don’t like to? Do you refuse to go to work because you don’t find it a pleasant place to while away the hours? Do you avoid putting gas in your car because you hate spending time at the pump? Of course not! You do these things because they are in your self-interest.

If you’re having difficulty sticking with this blog because it’s tapping into how poorly you take care of your body, stop a minute and reflect on why this might be. Do you understand what gets in the way? Do you not feel deserving of care? Do you think only of how you feel in the moment and not of consequences? Do you lie to yourself and say that you don’t have the time, money, etc. to take care of your health effectively? The same blindness to the pitfalls of dysregulated eating is at work when you fall into denial about what you need to do to take care of your body. Do it because you’re worth it!