I often hear people say that they have to be strong without understanding the havoc that trying to be that way all the time wreaks on life. First off, it’s impossible. We are not meant to be men and women of steel. Leave that job to superhuman comic book heroes, please. We are meant, rather, to live in emotional balance—sometimes we need to be strong and sometimes we need to be (gulp!) weak. Unfortunately, our…

Read More Strong Is Not the Way

I just spent the day at South Beach in Florida. Wow! What an incredible place — sun, sand, and water! My friends and I had lots of fun “people watching.” (People definitely don’t wear as much clothing here as my buddies back in Tennessee.) We saw lots of swimsuits, short shorts, and other little items of clothing at South Beach. I commented to my friends about how the people — regardless of body shape and…

Read More The South Beach Diet?!

I assume that all of you who drive know what it means to ride the brakes: your foot rests lightly on or hovers above the pedal so that you can stomp down on it in a flash, or you keep tapping it so that you never pick up speed. This kind of hyper-vigilance comes from a fear of driving too fast and/or of not being able to brake quickly enough. The same kind of over-reaction…

Read More Riding the Brakes

One pattern I’ve noticed over the decades is how many overeating problems there are among very successful women. You might even be one of them–an amazing, overachieving, talented female who holds a high-powered job, has an exciting, satisfying career, and/or is a leader in your field. You can’t help but impress people with how much you’ve achieved in your lifetime and what you get done in a day. Well respected and admired, you nevertheless frequently…

Read More Learning to Let Loose

I just spent time in both Dallas and Nashville participating in conferences for eating disorder professionals. I met amazing doctors, therapists, dietitians, researchers, and others who have dedicated their lives to fighting Ed. If you are one of these special “Ed-busters,” thank you! If you know a special someone who works tirelessly in the fight against eating disorders, please pass along my gratitude. Without these people who work passionately in the trenches, I would not…

Read More Thanks to All Ed-busters!

Clients and class members often say they can’t believe they’ll ever eat “normally.” Sometimes they sound sorrowful and others times their words are accompanied by a chuckle; either way, I know that hopelessness is breaking their hearts. Although it’s perfectly understandable that someone who’s been a disordered eater for decades would doubt their capacity to go the distance and become a functional eater, being convinced only ensures failure. Most people don’t examine why they’re sure…

Read More Why Do You Think You Won’t Recover?

I know that many of you read books about eating (like mine!) to help you resolve your food problems. However, other books that don’t specifically target eating can work wonders in moving you toward recovery. For now, here’s a taste of the wisdom from my favorite “self-help” books. From time to time, I’ll provide you with more titles. Two books by Daniel Goleman offer highly readable descriptions of emotions from a biological and sociological perspective.…

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Hi everyone. After I recovered from my eating disorder, I realized that I actually do have feelings. I am a sensitive person with emotions. Yesterday I felt extremely saddened by the continued news coverage from Virginia Tech. I was especially touched, because I was spending the day on a college campus. (I spoke to a group of amazing students at Saint Mary’s College last night.) I deal with feelings of sorrow today in healthy ways…

Read More Why do We Care?

In the recovery process, there are markers—psychological shifts—that indicate progress towards “normal” eating. Just as children must achieve development milestones, so must eaters who are journeying from dysfunction to function. If you’re wondering how you need to change to recover, here are some markers to look for. The first marker is true acceptance that your way of eating is unsound and unhealthy. If you’re ambivalent about how destructive your eating is, your internal conflicts will…

Read More Psychological Markers

My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone touched by the massacre at Virginia Tech. As I walked through airports today, there was both a unique solitude and a sense of unity felt by everyone as televisions blared news reports of the day’s events. I remember that same feeling on September 11, 2001. I remember feeling guilty on September 11, 2001, for having to focus energy on my recovery — for having to go to…

Read More Take Care of Yourself