Eating Disorders & Addiction in Men
Eating disorders and food addiction in men are much more common than society tends to portray. Many men struggle with either compulsive eating, binge eating and other eating disorders. These men are all around us and come in different shapes, sizes, colors, etc. Men who struggle with compulsive overeating or an addiction to food will have made numerous commitments to themselves to rectify their perceived problem. The commitments could have been to making better food choices, living a more active lifestyle or to losing weight. However, the commitments never seemed to stick or work.
Question of Power?
Similar to all addictions, the addict or compulsive overeater does not have a problem with food or whatever they are addicted to. Food simply has become the vehicle by which the man has decided (even if unconsciously) to give away his power. In the moment that the addict is deciding to eat the cookie, or box of cookies, or boxes of cookies; in that moment the addict has made the cookie more powerful than himself. Of course this is not the case. There is no food item or types of food items that are more powerful than the human being deciding to eat them. This does not mean that recovering from a food addiction is simple or easy. It is however very important to establish the objective truth of the situation. A man (or individual) is more powerful than any food item or addiction (even if they do not feel that way in the moment of choice).
Treatment for Eating Disorder & Addiction in Men
It must be said that in the moment of acting out there is tremendous pleasure. Prior to purchasing the food items of choice and the process of sitting down (preferably alone) and eating them is a wonderful (almost exhilarating) feeling for the active addict. In that precise moment there is a temporary relief from whatever pain may exist in the man’s life. The addiction, even though destructive, has also served an important function of numbing out pain even if only temporarily. Men have given away their personal power to food and they have done so because they feel they are lacking in power in some area of their life. This is where the focus of the treatment must reside. With the guidance of a therapist or a support group the man must start the process of uncovering where they are truly lacking power in their lives. Once they establish those areas they can then focus on restoring health in those specific areas. The net result is that the man begins to feel more powerful and the need for the cookie (or any other food items) begin to diminish. Working through an addiction is hard work and takes time so the process is not linear. Like most addictions, it is very difficult, if not impossible to do the work alone.
Additional Resources for Eating Disorder & Addictions in Toronto, ON
- Overeaters Anonymous (OA) – 12 step group in Toronto (free)
- Bellwood Health Services – reputable treatment centre in Toronto
Men Therapy Toronto
Counselling & Therapy Services for Men
“Men have given away their personal power to food and they have done so because they feel they are lacking in power in some area of their life. This is where the focus of the treatment must reside. “