A common misunderstanding about eating disorders is that it’s all about food. It’s not. People may think it’s all about the food because even the diagnostic title is about food: eating disorders. However, eating disorders are highly complex diseases created and maintained due to a variety of biological, psychological, social, emotional and physical reasons. One of the reasons I love working with eating disorder clients is because each client’s experience is unique and often complex.
I recently had a seemingly benign conversation with a well-intended, good friend:
Friend, “Anna, do you want to run a race together?”
Me, “When are you thinking?”
Friend, “Sometime in the next few months?”
Me, “Oh, no, I wouldn’t be able to do anything until at least next summer. I haven’t started exercising since having Liam.”
Friend, “How come? Liam is 3 months old?”
Me, “Because whenever I exercise, I lose my milk supply.”
Friend, “Oh. Anna, if you need to exercise for your mental health then you should! Babies have been thriving on formula for decades now!”
Many of you have seen Robbie Tripp’s Instagram post about his wife, Sarah, which recently went viral. In the post, he professes his love for his wife and her curvy body.
The negative mind. Ed. The demon in your head. The eating disorder voice. There are lots of ways of describing the negative thoughts that individuals with eating concerns experience, but they are all essentially describing the same phenomenon which are the thoughts and urges that compel us to make choices that we know rationally are not in keeping with our well-being.
We live in a voyeuristic world where reality television is the norm. We sit on our couches and watch real people’s lives fall apart as they are confronted by worried loved ones during interventions filmed by camera crews. We follow individuals as they move through addictions treatment, and we weigh in with contestants as they try to win money for starving themselves. (more…)
What if I told you that you didn’t have to depend on strict controls when eating? That you could trust your body and know when you have had enough to eat? That you could actually stop eating when you are full without feeling deprived or desperate for more? What if I told you that you could have ice cream without guilt, carbs without mortal fear? What if I told you that you didn’t need to read the latest fashion magazine in order to know how to feed your body? That you don’t have to obsessively count calories in order to be acceptable? And that you don’t have to pay a fitness guru big bucks to make sure you can fit in your swimsuit this summer? (more…)
I watched my daughters eat their dinner tonight. My daughters have significantly different body types and are four years apart in age. And both know how to eat intuitively. Both respond to their hunger and fullness cues without any second thought.
This is a question I frequently hear from clients as they struggle to overcome their eating disorders. I usually respond to this question with one of two answers: “Yes it is! I wouldn’t work with clients with eating disorders if I didn’t know that was true.” Or “Yes it is, because I live it.”