Ask Jigsaw: Obsessed about food | Advice for Young People | Jigsaw

Ask Jigsaw: Getting obsessed about food

Ask Jigsaw: Getting obsessed about food

Thursday, 16 July 2020

Because of exams i get stressed and because i cant exactly control what marks i get i sometimes turn to food as a thing i can control. everytime i eat something i think is this going to make me fatter or i should run to burn off what ive eaten or i dont need to eat this today. ive never properly restricted myself or looked properly at a scales everyday because im scared that i would get too obsessed so its just a battle everyday to eat and not think about what its doing to me. sorry this probably isnt a big deal but i just thought id say it x

-Louise

Hi Louise,

Many of us want to feel that we have a sense of control in our lives. Hence, when important things in our life can be affected by the actions of other people or events it can create feelings of anxiety, worry and stress. It sounds like in order to cope with the stress, you have started to focus on food and eating habits. I can hear in your question that you are worried about this, and probably recognise that this focus is not healthy.

An icon of a paper and pen on a teal background
Claire
Jigsaw Clinician
Habits can be easy to fall into and difficult to break.

Being worried means it’s time to talk

Habits can be easy to fall into and difficult to break. Therefore it is great that you have identified that you don’t want to fall into becoming obsessed with food. The fact that you’re worried is a good indicator that you should talk to someone about what is going on. Is there a family member, or someone in your college or school who you could speak to? It might be a first step in finding more healthy ways to cope with the feelings of stress that your exams are invoking.

You mention worry about food making you fatter. For this reason, you are thinking about burning off calories. Concern about body image is not unusual among young people. You can read a bit more about body image and developing body confidence.

If you are restricting your food, or are becoming obsessive about weighing yourself, it is important to address this as early as possible. The charity Body Whys has some helpful information about eating issues and disorders which might be useful to help understand more about this area and how to get support.

Best wishes,

Claire, Jigsaw Clinician

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