Image is a peer led self-help group for people living and dealing with eating disorders. The self-help group is about people helping themselves on a pathway to recovery.
Image exists to support, listen, accept and to befriend.
Image works alongside B-eat (The National Eating Disorder Service).
Image have trained and qualified people including a councillor and holistic therapist.
Image has no pre-determined programme and the clients have autonomy for each discussion. The role of the facilitator is merely enable discussions and promote support.
Image is supported by DORA, your mental health champion, and facilitated by Shearer Thurlby who herself has been affected by eating disorders since her teens. The general public had little knowledge of anorexia nervosa and bulimia at that time, but Shearer, now in her sixtieth year, recognises that more help is available today.
Shearer also recognises that DORA as been a great help to herself and Image since she first walked through their door almost 10 years ago.
Image meet every Wednesday: 19.15-20.45 at DORA The Annex, Holywell Health Centre, Holywell Street Chesterfield, all adults are welcome to attend.
What is normal eating, and what isn’t?
If ‘normal eating’ is eating when you get hungry, without giving it much thought, the vast majority of people probably don’t eat normally. We all have different eating habits. You may have one large meal a day, or lots of small snacks. At times, you may experiment with food, cutting out things you feel may be bad for you, trying out new foods, or fasting. While pressure or stress affects people in different ways, it is common for your eating habits to be affected when you feel stressed or under pressure. This may mean you crave a particular food (such as chocolate); lose your appetite; eat more for comfort; or even become unable to eat at all – feeling ill if you do. Most people get back into their usual eating habits, once the difficulties have passed.
However, if you go on eating too much or too little over a period of time, you may be in danger of developing an ongoing problem with eating or an eating disorder. You may find food becoming increasingly important in your life, until, in some cases, it becomes the most important thing. You may deny yourself anything to eat, even when you are very hungry, or you may eat constantly, or binge .You may find that the subject of food, or how much you weigh, can be on your mind all the time. Food can become a sort of addiction; affecting your life in a very negative way. Being ‘addicted’ to food presents huge problems, because you need to eat to live; so if you have an eating problem, you have no choice but to wrestle with this problem every day.
It’s important to understand that eating problems aren’t just about food and eating. They are about difficult problems and painful feelings, which you may be finding hard to express, face or resolve. Focusing on food is a way of disguising these problems, even from yourself.
At first, it was such a relief not to worry about anything else. The eating disorder started as a coping mechanism to help me avoid my other problems. But, in the end, it became the biggest problem of all.