Back to: Eating Disorder Survival Guide for Parents and Caregivers
What Does “I am Full” Mean
“I am full” is a common phrase used to indicate that one has eaten enough food and no longer wants more. However, in the context of an eating disorder, this phrase can take on an entirely different meaning. For individuals struggling with disordered eating, “I am full” may mean something much deeper than simply having eaten enough food.
For someone with an eating disorder such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa, the phrase “I am full” may represent a sense of being overwhelmed by emotions or thoughts related to body image, food, dieting and/or weight control. This feeling of being “full” can lead to feelings of guilt, fear and distress due to the inability to meet societal standards for beauty or health.
Some people with eating disorders may also use the phrase “I am full” as a way to justify their restrictive behavior or to conceal their disordered eating habits. They may say they are full even when they are not, to avoid eating more, or to avoid raising suspicion from others. It is important to note that in an eating disorder context, “I am full” may not be an accurate representation of a person’s true physiological state of hunger or satiety, it can be a manifestation of the illness and the distorted thoughts, feelings and behaviors that come along with it. Individuals with eating disorders need professional help to change their relationship with food and to learn how to listen to their body’s signals of hunger and fullness.
Coping strategies are essential for anyone dealing with an eating disorder. One such strategy is called “I am Full” and it can be used to help those recovering from an eating disorder learn how to recognize their body’s signals that they are full.
The concept of “I am Full” derives from the idea that, in order to recover from an eating disorder, one needs to learn how to listen, interpret, and respond appropriately to their body’s hunger and satiety cues. This coping strategy helps individuals identify feelings of fullness or satiety so they know when it is time for them stop eating. By recognizing these signals early on, individuals can start taking steps towards a healthier future.
Conclusion: Taking Control
The term “I am full” is a statement that can be used in many different contexts, but it has special significance when it comes to eating disorders. For those struggling with an eating disorder, “I am full” can often be a difficult concept to embrace. Many feel that they have lost control of their body and the ability to stop when they are truly satisfied. However, by taking back that control and learning the true meaning behind these three simple words – “I am full” – individuals with eating disorders can begin to take charge of their health.
Understanding what it means to be truly full can have a tremendous impact on one’s physical and mental wellbeing. Eating until satisfied is essential for maintaining healthy weight levels, as well as for feeling emotionally balanced after meals.
Personal Note: This was a big one in our family. I’m full became an almost daily catch phrase used whenever our daughter didn’t want to eat. It was often accompanied with “my stomach hurts” or a variety of other GI complaints. Thinking back, I had no idea that this was the start of her full fledged eating disorder. I just assumed she was a teenager and had had her fill and I wasn’t going to push it. I wish I knew it was code word for “I don’t want to eat and I refuse to eat”. It continued on for about 4 months until 3 consecutive ER admissions and an astute physician to help us realize what was really being said.