Understanding Your Eating

Author: Julia Buckroyd

Date Of Publication: 04/10/2013

Julia Buckroyd is a psychotherapist who has been working in the field of disordered eating for nearly thirty years. In her book she aims to help the reader “make sense of their use of food”, providing a conceptual framework for understanding disordered eating and “Stop and Think” exercises to facilitate the reader in identifying what experiences may have influenced the way in which they “use” food. As Buckroyd writes this is not a book of strategies for “how to alter your food intake” or to change “your eating disorder behaviour and your thought patterns in relation to food”. Rather it is for those people who feel that it is “important to make sense of their own food use as a preliminary to changing it”.

The conceptual framework Buckroyd explores focuses extensively on experiences within childhood and whilst growing up. Buckroyd acknowledges that this focus may lead some readers to think she is “blaming” parents and caregivers and responds by suggesting that her intention is “not to blame”, Rather, she suggests she wishes to invite the reader to think about what influences there have been and the impact of these influences.

As with all approaches, this will shed light and inspire understanding for some people whilst others may feel the focus on early experiences is irrelevant or even unhelpful. The insight potentially gained through the exercises may also evoke a range of emotional responses, from feelings of pain to a sense of relief and increased self-compassion. Recognising that it can be hard to work alone to address disordered eating and the issues around it, Buckroyd invites the reader to think about whether there may be someone to accompany the reader in working through this book, such as a trusted friend or a counsellor, and for those that would like to consider this option, she provides details about finding professional help for disordered eating.

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