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Food plays an important part in our lives. It is a topic which is often thought and spoken about because eating is not simply just one of our primary needs. Our relationship with food often changes- sometimes we may try to eat more healthily, sometimes we have cravings and may even eat too much and at other times we might find it hard to eat and lose our appetite because of stress or other difficulties. Some people also eat when they are feeling unhappy or frustrated as it can be comforting to turn to food to feel better. Changing your eating habits every now and again like this is common, and doesn’t need to worry you. However, if you aren’t eating a regular balanced diet over a longer period of time, it could start to become a problem for you. Having an eating problem can be very hard to cope with but it’s important to understand that eating problems aren’t just about food. They can be about difficult things in your life and painful feelings, which you may be finding hard to express, face or resolve. Focusing on food can be a way of disguising these problems, even from yourself. Since eating problems can noticeably affect your body, you may feel that people around you focus mainly on your actions, or on the physical impact they have. However, you might feel that your problem is more complicated than the people around you realise.

Claire is a gestalt psychotherapist at Willingness. She works with adolescents and adults. She has a special interest in mental health. She can be contacted on claire@willingness.com.mt.