Setting Realistic Expectations

Setting realistic expectations during the recovery process–and accepting what that reality means for recovery–particularly early recovery–can be a challenging and humbling experience. Many of us in recovery/recovered (interchangeable for me) were very used to setting or having set high expectations in our lives prior to recovery–and they were realistic in the sense that it was […]

“Urge Surfing”

An important concept the patients learn at Renfrew is Urge Surfing. That is, you ride the wave of the urge to use ED symptoms until it passes. For so many years, I couldn't see that there was a psychological surfboard on which I could ride the crashing waves of my urges and cravings. I would […]

Dis-Ease or Disease?

     At least two times a week, my clients will inquire about whether an eating disorder is a disease, like in alcoholism, or if this is a disorder one can fully recover from and never have to think about again. Looking into their eyes, eyes that reflect a desperate desire to know that they […]


I recently attended a conference where psychologist Ann Kearney-Cooke gave a fantastic lecture about body image and decoding the language of <i>I feel fat</i>. Her philosophy is that a situation occurs–it could be you just tried on a pair of jeans that were tight or something completely unrelated, like you got angry with your sister–which […]