Here’s a question I often ask clients. As I tell them, it’s really a trick question: Is it better to be independent or dependent? If you’re like many of my clients, I bet you answered with “independent.” The answer is that being independent is not better than being dependent. They are of equal value. We need both qualities to live long and prosper. As Kenny Rogers croons in his hit song, “The Gambler,” “You gotta…

Read More Learn How to Be Independent and Dependent

A few years ago, I was privileged to be in attendance at a panel discussion regarding spirituality and eating disorders entitled, “Spirituality and Religion in Eating Disorder Treatment and Recovery.”  One of the panelists was Dr. Michael Berrett, who I greatly respect as a person, a dad, a compassionate thinker and an eating disorder specialist.  I thought I would share a portion of Dr. Berrett’s remarks, because, while they clearly were directed at the professionals…

Read More What About Love?

While attending a presentation of educational scholarships for deserving women at a local women’s center where I volunteer, it struck me that each of the several dozen women who had received scholarships had nearly the same thing to say: that though life had been very hard, they had never given up hope that they would make a better one for themselves. Hearing them, I got to thinking about how dysregulated eaters sometimes fall into victimization,…

Read More On Never Giving Up

There is not one single right time to add a mentor to your support team. A mentor is not a substitute or replacement for professional treatment. But a mentor can offer a perspective on eating disorders and recovery that is valuable and unique, and in this way can provide much needed encouragement and support. Some of you may never want or need to add a mentor to your support team, maybe because someone on your…

Read More Identifying Your Mentors

We’ve long known that the language used to describe people can strongly impact how they’re viewed and how they view themselves. In social work school, I was taught to describe clients as people “with” or who “have” a condition—people with addictions rather than addicts or people with schizophrenia rather than schizophrenics. This is called people-first language. The editors of the journal Obesity recently developed a statement about the language to use in describing people who…

Read More Using People-first Language to Avoid Obesity Stigma

When I first started my personal journey to recovery, every day was a life-or-death, dog-eat-dog battle against the mean, angry, controlling force that had seemingly taken over my body, mind, heart, and spirit (aka Ed). I had little time or energy to entertain thoughts of someday becoming a person who might ever be capable of having anything to give to others. Today my story has changed, and because of all of the energy and time…

Read More Why Recovery Takes the Time it Takes

Do you know that worrying is a habit? Anything we do repeatedly over time becomes habit. Because worrying is only a mental pattern to which you’ve become accustomed, you can stop doing it and learn a more constructive way of thinking and behaving. Your brain neurons grow according to what you do. One of my favorite authors, Ruth Rendell, British writer of psychological thrillers, wrote dozens of books. By continuously developing new plots and plot…

Read More Break the Worry Habit