An artist friend of mine used the term failing forward while talking about a student of hers who was making mistakes learning how to paint but was nevertheless progressing. I immediately fell in love with the term. It captured everything I believe about this thing we call failure. Working in the field of drug addiction for years, I avoided using the term relapse, with its connotation of back sliding. Clients were terrified of relapsing, as…

Read More Failing Forward

I had coffee with my friend, Aaron, tonight. He is a recovered alcoholic, and he always inspires me with his insights. Tonight he shared some words with me that are often heard in Twelve Step meetings for alcoholics. I think those of you struggling with eating disorders will relate to the words below: What other people think of you is none of your business.Change only happens when the pain of holding on is greater than…

Read More Learning from the Alcoholics…

In this culture, it’s hard not to get fixated on food (never mind weight), from ongoing bombardment of TV advertisements, supermarkets circulars, magazine recipes, and doctors’ advice. What really can get you hooked is how we seem to be talking food all the time (I know it really isn’t all the time, but it sometimes feels that way). Recently, I’ve started to pay extra attention to how often the subject comes up. Please don’t take…

Read More Stop Fixating on Food

Thanks to everyone who responded to my last post and shared their recovery journey with me. I was thrilled to hear from so many people. You are all amazing! I was deeply touched to connect with so many inspirational woman. I am no longer looking for people to participate in the story. But I still want to hear from you. So keep blogging… Jenni

Read More THANK YOU!

Whether you grew from an adorable toddler into a knockout or morphed from an “ugly duckling” into a “swan,” you may have become addicted to looking good. Because this culture worships and rewards beauty, if you’re attractive (especially if you’re female), you may be so hooked on receiving admiring glances and gushing compliments on your appearance, that you may not realize how attached you are to them. You even may be greedy for praise and…

Read More Addiction to Looking Good

One of the things you must do to recover from an eating problem or disorder is to establish or take back power over your body. It is yours and no one else’s—not your mother’s, father’s, or spouse’s, and you need to understand this on a very deep level before you can move toward physical and emotional health. A book I read recently might help you reclaim what is rightfully yours. Written by Jessica Valenti, Full…

Read More Feminism and Eating Problems

Even though this message is blazoned across The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) homepage, few people understand this very important fact. Too often, anorexics, (not to mention bulimics and binge eaters) are blamed for their own illnesses, and have to bear the unfair judgments of other people on top of the intense pain, loneliness and hopelessness that go with the disease.

Read More Eating Disorders are Illnesses Not Choices!!!

When you’re caught up in the heat of the moment and feel desperate to eat (not out of hunger), you may not realize that it’s not food you crave. Food can be the answer to every question, the solution to every problem, the response to every impulse. You eat because you believe you can’t have what you want that isn’t food. Food is accessible, so it’s not surprising that you reach for it automatically thinking…

Read More Wanting, But Not Food

Dear Reader

Just last week, during the course of my reporting, I met an inspiring man named Buddy Howard. Buddy’s daughter Stephanie nearly died from anorexia at age 11, but with the help of the entire family, some great doctors at Johns Hopkins and Duke, and four years of hard work on Stephanie’s part, she overcame her disorder.

Read More Buddy Howard: Fighting the Food Police

(Please note post dated January 22, 2008. I am no longer looking for participants. Thanks!) I am looking for participants to share their experience with having an eating disorder for an upcoming story in a national magazine. Participants must fit the following criteria: 1.) female, age 21 or under2.) normal weight to above-average weight range during struggle with anorexia and/or bulimia3.) willing to have photo appear in magazine Participants will be interviewed over the phone…

Read More Do You Want to Share Your Story?