Eating Disorders: When We Eat Problems Without Realizing It

The author of the book, clinical psychologist Irina Ushkova wrote about a serious illness - an eating disorder

The author of the book, clinical psychologist Irina Ushkova wrote about a serious illness – an eating disorder

The publishing house “Komsomolskaya Pravda” The taste of freedom book. A book for people who are too preoccupied with their weight and shape, focusing on external beauty, the advertising ideal. Some go on diets, some break off diets. They train endlessly in gyms. And then they find themselves in euphoria, then they fall into a serious depression due to failures.

Author of the book, clinical psychologist Irina Ushkova wrote about a serious illness – an eating disorder (EDD). She is not only a professional who is seriously dealing with this problem, but she herself struggled with it for several years.

In fact, the book is a methodological guide for those who are trying to bring their body to the ideal, but constantly fail. And also for their loved ones who see the suffering of a loved one and want to help. We spoke with the author about how to stop being a hostage to beauty standards and start living a healthy and tasty life.


– In the preface, you are extremely frank about how difficult it was for you to understand that you have an eating disorder, and what a long road it was to realize that this was not the norm. It seems to be a lifelong journey. Do you think this book will help readers to find their way faster?

– No, RPP is definitely not a lifelong road. Even for me, when I did not understand and did not really know what it was, when there was no advice from professionals, this path did not take too long. But, unfortunately, even in a short time, you can ruin your health with numerous improper diets. Therefore, I believe that my book can become that assistant for many who will explain what is going wrong, point them in the right direction, suggest that there are problems with eating behavior. And most importantly, it contains practical advice, specific actions that will help you not to break loose and will lead to the expected result.

– Are there any important moments when a person should think? What bells should alert?

– One of the main ones is if you weigh yourself every day and the result on the scales does not please you. A louder bell is if you weigh yourself several times every day: after meals, before meals, after sports, and so on. That is, this fad is already seriously interfering with your life. The second is if you start to refuse some meaningful things, for example, do not go to an important event, because there will be a lot of food and you can break loose and overeat. Or you refuse to meet friends because you miss a workout. This means that there is already a deviation in behavior that obscures many important areas of life.

The publishing house

The publishing house “Komsomolskaya Pravda” published the book “Taste of Freedom”


– From your book, I learned such a thing as fatphobia – dislike and even hatred for people with an excess of extra pounds, in other words – too fat. And, I’m afraid, almost everyone has it: our world is now too healthy-oriented and being fat is shameful and shameful. Why is this phobia dangerous for both fat and thin people?

– Yes, fatphobia is dangerous for people with a large body, and for those who are close to beauty standards. And the danger lies in the fact that we all begin to be afraid to get better, even a thin person. And this is the powerful fuel that fuels the fire of RPP, and then a person begins to do everything in order not to become the one who is mocked. And what is also characteristic of our society is to blame overweight people for laziness, lack of will, self-discipline. This is a race that drains the emotional reserves in favor of the RPP.

– EDD is a multifaceted disease bordering on depression, phobias and other psychiatric forms of illness. On the one hand, the book will help you understand that everything in general is not so bad for someone (for example, I read it and exhaled – not everything is as neglected as it seemed to me). On the other hand, a suspicious person will read it and aggravate his condition. When you were working on the book, were you afraid of such an effect?

– There is always such a possibility, with any author. But most often people with eating disorders already understand that something is wrong with them, they are tormented by this condition, and they read a lot about this condition, subscribe to public pages, search for articles on the Internet. And if an anxious person reads a book and finds signs of eating disorders, then I recommend contacting a specialist – a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist with a specialization in eating disorders. The specialist will definitely give an answer whether you should worry about this or everything is in order.


– There is a popular belief that an eating disorder is incurable, they say, you will still break loose and get fat again. Are there any rules, actions that will help maintain a normal weight?

– In fact, eating disorders are less related to weight. Having recovered, a person can remain at the same weight, as was the case with me, he can lose weight, or he can gain weight – it all depends on the initial data and the final results. But such a myth does exist. And I will debunk it in the book. Of course, it is possible to get sick again, so the main thing is not to create provoking factors, situations for the development of an eating disorder. After all, the meaning of the treatment of eating disorders is in understanding the origins of the problem, it is more of a psychological story, although it is heavily involved in nutrition. It is important to remember that diets do not contribute to maintaining weight, they contribute to its fluctuation with a tendency to increase.

– The most important thing in any struggle and overcoming oneself, one’s weaknesses is not to break loose. What helped you?

– Not quite the right approach to the problem. When it comes to eating disorder, it’s not about weaknesses or fighting with yourself. Usually, by the way, such people have an iron will – in order to keep themselves within the framework, one cannot be weak. But it is more important to understand what led to such a dysfunctional way of coping with life’s difficulties. And try to find more effective and compassionate (first of all, to your body, your health) ways to solve life’s difficulties.


– Are there any general tips on how to learn to accept yourself and your body? We are not talking about body positivity now, but about how to stop striving for an unattainable ideal? How to love yourself with small flaws?

– In the book, a whole eye is devoted to this, and there are more than 10 steps that need to be taken gradually. And, I’m afraid, a few words are definitely not enough here. But the first thing we must understand is that life is diverse. This is not promotional material, where models appear exclusively of one height and one physique. Life is not retouched and processed in Photoshop. We are all different. Secondly, it is important to find another point of application of efforts, to shift the focus from your body. Of course, if we are talking about athletes, models, then this is a more complicated story. But for ordinary people, functionality is more important than the beauty of the body. Pay attention to what the body can do, what it can give you, what it is comfortable with. Don’t force yourself. Take care of your body, love it, whether it matches your ideals of beauty or not.

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