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I remember this day like it was yesterday — I cried for hours upon hours. I refused to let a morsel of food pass through my lips without a punishing and exhausting workout. My body was an enemy that needed to be controlled and punished. My mom would often come down to the basement and just watch me run with tears in her eyes. Somehow I managed to get into grad school for the department of Physical Therapy.

My black and white thinking would not allow me to accept anything lower than an A. I would spend all my spare time studying in the library, trying to use up every ounce of concentration I had towards my studies. I remember chewing a stick of Trident gum and reading the calories. Then one morning the Dean of the Physical Therapy program called me into his office and told me I could no longer complete my Masters at that time. He was expelling me. Candido, the faculty are very concerned with you.

At this moment, my world fell apart. All my marbles were placed into being the best Physiotherapist Vancouver had seen, but now what. Was I going to work at a Starbucks for the rest of my life? I cried for days. This, was my rock bottom. After all these years of internal arguing, mental clutter and resistance, I was able to admit that I had a problem.

I was falling apart. This was when, I surrendered. One thing I had to remember was that this eating disorder required so much of my will power and discipline to get into, I KNEW I had that same power and strength to get out. With the support from my mom I found therapy, structure, and hospitalization at the St. Paul Hospital Eating Disorder program. I more or less lived there for 2 years. During that time I went through intense cognitive, behavioural, and group therapy. My eyes seemed giant because of my gaunt face. I had no feelings — just a constant numb, stale mood.

The plan was to have me make small, manageable changes in my behavior. Well, these changes were neither small or manageable. They asked me to do things that horrified me, like eating regularly whether I was hungry or not. To me, however, eating more often sounded like a quick recipe for weight gain. No matter what they said and how much sense it made, I told myself I could never do any of it. Being thin and perfect was more important.

Asking me to just change my eating-disordered thinking would be about as successful as asking someone with a tumour to change their cancer cells back into healthy ones. Whenever I went to eat something, the eating disorder always had something to say, dictating what I was allowed to eat.

Semester’s best: Dark truths about the hunger to win

My dietitian said that I was fainting because I was weak and needed to eat something. But my eating disorder said that I was just being lazy and that everyone was trying to make me fat. My therapist would guide me and challenge some of my thoughts. It took years of working with the treatment team at St. At first, recovery felt like making a path through untamed woods. I had to keep going over and over the same original path to forge a trail and shift my thinking.

One thing I had to remember throughout this journey was that this eating disorder required so much of my will power and discipline to get into, I knew I had that same power and strength to get myself out. And I can confidently say, for the past 3 years, that I did just that, and recovered. During recovery, there are days where your determination and willpower are put to the test. Especially during hard or difficult times in your life such as exam time, moving, changing schools, parents divorce, etc. And for me, as you already know, it was with an eating disorder.

I honestly think the key to building resilience is continual learning and self-awareness. So the more I learned what my triggers were, what I was good at and where my vulnerabilities lied— the easier it was for me to adapt. Likewise, the more I knew what strengthened me and the support and resources I possessed, the easier it was to adapt. I had to practice these techniques and take accountability. My support network put positive and high expectations on me.

This challenged me beyond what I thought I could do. My therapist recognized my strengths, mirrored them, and helped me to see where I was strong, which kept me in a hopeful frame of mind. New doors always open and it takes strength to walk through them, and awareness to even notice one has opened. You need to take an active role in the process of recovery.

However, you must also consider strategies to avoid a negative outcome during the process. At one point putting me in a food court alone with idle time is like putting an alcoholic in a bar. So it was important for me to plan ahead and keep busy at all times because idle time was always a disaster waiting to happen.

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Introduction Who is affected by eating disorders? What causes an eating disorder? Why are eating disorders dangerous? What is an eating disorder? Recovery… One thing I had to remember was that this eating disorder required so much of my will power and discipline to get into, I KNEW I had that same power and strength to get out. She describes her aching soul, "I tucked my pain away deep inside, hoping that one day it would just go away.

That day never came. She spends over days in residential treatment and in-patient facilities, and was prescribed 15 different medications and electric convulsive therapy to no avail; her depression was termed "treatment-resistant. Lindsay's story is a harrowing one. But through the intervention of her therapist and her ongoing trusting connection to him plus the correct medication, her life turns around and she begins to recover and rediscover her zest for life. The deep and valuable lessons of Lindsay's book are: Lindsay's own transformation from hopeless to hopeful is a powerful example.

Parents Guide to Defeating Eating Disorders: Ahmed Boachie and Karin Jasper. Eating disorders are creative solutions to inner turmoil. Those teens who are vulnerable to depression, anxiety, or have been wounded by the social mandate to get thin at all costs often find in their eating disorder a way to give meaning to their lives and a structure to organize a shaky sense of self. Parents may want to scream at their child, "Will you stop this nonsense and just start eating again!! Ahmed Boachie and Karin Jasper, Canadian therapists, appreciate this frustration but convey to parents how eating disorders truly are an illness that progressively hijacks the personality, autonomy, and health of a teenager.

Parents Guide to Defeating Eating Disorders begins with "A young person with an eating disorder may ask for help and then deny that she wants it, like someone who has an intruder in her home and calls , but when help arrives, finds that the intruder is standing at her back with a gun, forcing her to say everything is all right after all. After some time living with the illness and giving up hope of being rescued, the young person may also start thinking of the intruder as her protector, believing that it is better to live with the eating disorder than to give it up for some other coping mechanism which may not work.

In this case, when a professional treats a young person with an eating disorder, the young person experiences the professional as an unhelpful or dangerous alternative to her protector, the eating disorder. The authors help parents learn to take over the controls for their child's eating so the whole family becomes part of the solution to heal the teen. Boachie and Jasper strongly believe in the need to utilize creative analogies and metaphors to enliven and encourage parents and teens on the road to recovery.

Reviewed by Mary Anne Cohen. Amanda Sainsbury-Salis before she became Australia's leading weight-loss scientist. Frustrated with her repeated failures to lose weight, she turned to the study of molecular science and has produced ground breaking research into weight loss regulation which she describes in her book, The Don't Go Hungry Diet: The scientifically based way to lose weight and keep it off forever.

Conventional methods of weight loss dictate: Amanda as she calls herself sets out to prove that long term restrictive eating slows down weight loss while at the same time it increases ravenous hunger and cravings for fattening foods. She calls this the "Famine Reaction. When dieting reaches this plateau and hunger begins to reassert itself, Dr. Satisfying your hunger will "reassure" the Famine Reaction that you don't plan to starve your body.

Amanda also demonstrates how to activate the Fat Brake which can help blunt your appetite and boost the metabolic rate. She writes, "If you can master the simple art of eating only when you feel physically hungry, then your Fat Brake will work miracles to prevent you from gaining weight. Amanda offers a compelling and valuable physiological approach to disarm and thwart the Famine Reaction.

However people's overeating is emotionally complex and goes deeper than the systematic principles of how to scientifically lose weight. I would have appreciated the author's acknowledgment that depression, anxiety, grief, and sexual abuse can cloud a person's ability to identify hunger and fullness as well as her acknowledging the valuable and healing role that psychotherapy can play in helping people clear the channels to connect with inner sensations of hunger and fullness.

An Australian family chronicles the devastating descent of their daughter into anorexia. Until that time, the family - parents and three children - enjoy one another, go on vacations, have dinner together, and lead regular normal lives. But then, Summer, age 13, develops anorexia which puts her in the hospital's emergency heart unit, followed by time in the inpatient eating disorder unit, and then eventually back home where she continues to require intensive care and monitoring from her family.

We see a family desperately struggling to bring their daughter back from the brink of death, "Our family was just holding it together by a string and Summer was holding the scissors. All names in the book have been changed for privacy.

Through poetry, drawings, and journal entries, the family recounts their harrowing journey from hell to hope to healing. The family credits the Maudsley Method with helping them rescue their daughter. This approach does not view the family to be at fault and believes the best place for a child to recover is in her own home with ongoing family love and support. Grace describes Maudsley's three prong approach: The family remains baffled as to the origins of Summer's anorexia so we do not get insight into how and why the girl developed this life threatening disease.

However, the family does share in detail the recovery process: In this workbook, Dr. Carolyn Ross adds a unique voice to the field of eating disorders. Ross specializes in a holistic approach which embraces the comprehensive healing of the client's body, mind, and spirit. In her book she explains the curative role of macro and micro nutrients, vitamins, and dietary supplements; explores the role of complementary medicine such as acupuncture, massage, and yoga; discusses the value of various types of psychological help such as interpersonal, Dialectic Behavioral Therapy, and CBT therapies as well as the role of medication.

Self-rating scales throughout the workbook help the reader identify their personal roadblocks to recovery, and she provides strategies to work through them. Your soul self is the anchor that sustains you in recovery. I gently explain that it takes a lot of calories to stuff down your real self and fake your way through life! Readers of this workbook will learn how to design their own personal stress management plan. Ross wisely recommends, "In all things, choose the thought or action that makes you feel the most whole.

This book explains why exhorting the binge eater to just exert more self-control is so much easier said than done. Overcoming Binge Eating for Dummies is a collaborative effort between a psychotherapist and a nutritionist that provides a road map to help the binge eater transform the feelings and behaviors which promote the disorder.

The authors highlight the underlying and complicated reasons that fuel a binge eating disorder by delving into a wide range of subjects including medicine, psychology, physiology, nutrition, addiction theory, and cultural expectations. One example of the roadmap to help the binge eater is the concept developed by Peter Drucker in his "Management by Objectives" called S. Specific what exactly do you want to accomplish? Other valuable insights include: If there is one shortcoming to this book, the authors neglect to give credit to those experts whose original material they cite, nor do they supply a bibliography.

Better is Not So Far Away: Better is Not So Far Away is about overcoming the internal conflicts many people feel about even wanting to get better. Sometimes staying trapped in an eating disorder or in a state of self injury feels like the only way to cope with pain, abuse, or trauma. The numbing effect of bingeing, purging, or starving anesthetizes suffering and provides temporary comfort.

Psychotherapist Melissa Groman captures the agony and the ecstasy inside the heart and soul of women with eating disorders in a way that is rich, vivid, and deeply poignant. She describes the wrenching hurt and anguish that lead people to binge, purge, starve, or cut themselves. She writes, "When you take every measure possible to distance yourself from your feelings and from your hunger and pain, you miss out not only on the experience of learning that you can survive, but the experience of finding out who you are.

The author identifies and describes in detail the six feelings that bring people to their knees: She teaches that recovery is a conscious choice to be made over and over again through self reflection, journal writing, cultivating patience, self compassion and spiritual awareness. But it has to come out of you or you will continue to starve or stuff your body," she encourages. By practicing 'feeling your feelings' you will develop a six-pack set of abs in your psyche.

Groman has written a compelling and original book. The Feeding Ourselves Method: A series of 4 CD tapes. Once upon a time, we were born self-regulating creatures who cried when we were hungry and stopped feeding when we were full. We were naturally in touch with our needs for food and instinctively knew when we were satisfied.

No little baby ever piped up with dismay, "I can't believe I ate the whole thing! The Feeding Ourselves Method by Alice Rosen takes us on a journey to re-learn and re-claim what was once our birthright so we can restore a balanced and healthy relationship with food.


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In this audio tape series, Ms. Rosen helps us identify our hunger and satiation along a continuum from starved to stuffed. Rosen, "Our bodies inherently know when, what and how much to eat in order to maintain life. She offers an extensive compilation of exercises and assessments as well as walking us through guided meditations and journal writing assignments to heighten our awareness of our bodies and emotions.

She draws upon the tradition of the early pioneers of the non-diet, non-deprivation approach including Carol Munter, Jane Hirschmann, Geneen Roth, Ellyn Satter and others. Through this tape series, we learn to legitimize all foods as we triumph over dieting and deprivation.

These tapes will help us return to inherently trusting ourselves with food, our emotions, and our bodies' truest needs. Controversy abounds in the field of eating disorders about whether food is an addictive substance for certain people. Vera Tarman and Philip Werdell contend, both from their personal experiences as well as their professional knowledge that, yes, for some people food can be as addictive as drugs or alcohol.

They describe how eating problems fall along a continuum from 1 normal overeaters some may even be obese , to 2 emotional eaters who self-medicate their depression and anxiety but can learn to achieve moderation with all foods, to 3 food junkies who must abstain from their trigger foods such as sugar, wheat, and processed foods because of their chronic, progressive addiction. Trigger foods ignite a fiery and voracious appetite that makes us want to eat, eat, eat.

Tarman and Wardell have methodically researched the neurochemistry behind their claims that food junkies have no "stop switch. Eating plans are designed to eliminate individual addictive trigger foods. Abstinence from trigger foods then paves the way for deeper recovery through the Twelve Steps. This intriguing and controversial book, with many illustrative case studies, may well provide the missing piece of the puzzle for those who have repeatedly failed to free themselves from the chains of food addiction.

A Mindful Eating Program for Healing. Breathing exercises, meditation, and a "body-mind-heart scan" are offered. When I'm bored, I'll do something I love. This book will teach you to become an expert on you! In all her books, Ms. In Outsmarting Overeating, Ms. Practice living with intent and awareness in the here and now.

Building and maintaining relationships.

See a Problem?

Problem solving and critical thinking. Setting and reaching goals. Balancing work and play. In this valuable book, Ms. While traditional talk therapy is the most frequent method of healing, this DVD highlights two alternative techniques: In the Introduction, Anita Johnston describes how eating disorders are a language, a hidden code for unexpressed needs. This hidden meaning of eating disorder symptoms can often emerge in "body therapy" through art, poetry, dance, drama, movement, and music which taps into these unexpressed body symptoms and can be combined with traditional therapy to help women tell their stories.

Carol Dietrich, a creative arts therapist and marriage and family therapist in California, leads a group of women in designing masks and costumed characters to externalize their eating disorder selves and then interact and confront them. It is powerful to observe the women searching to find their authentic selves through these body-based techniques which help to loosen the grip of their eating disorders. As a "talk" therapist myself, I would have liked to see how these creative arts treatments are woven and integrated into a broader psychotherapy. Perhaps Volume 2 will show us how! Natenshon, a psychiatric social worker, weaves together the "neurological, physical, nutritional, behavioral, chemical, emotional, developmental, psychological, and relational issues" which richly illuminates the depth, breadth, and complexity of eating disorders.

In this sophisticated exploration, Doing What Works also describes a wide range of treatment strategies including guidelines for family therapy, group therapy, child therapy, hospitalization, medication, and mind-body techniques Feldenkrais and Anat Baniel methods so the therapist can formulate an individualized and integrated approach for each client. Natenshon encourages the therapist to actively reach out to connect with "the client's core self which has been imprisoned by the impenetrable armor of the eating disorder.

In these times of managed care, where treatment results are often measured numerically for effectiveness, the human dimension of the therapy relationship can get undermined. But it is this human dimension that forms the key and most crucial intervention that Ms.

Natenshon draws on to heal her clients; she is not afraid to show her affection and her authentic self to foster the growth of the client's most authentic self. In Doing What Works, Ms. Natenshon illuminates her commitment to teach, heal, and to inspire hope for both the client as well as clinicians eager to deepen their knowledge of the eating disorder field.

The Predatory Lies of Anorexia: Phillip Seymour Hoffman also succumbed to a drug overdose this year. These sad losses highlight how possible it is to die from addiction, and how recovery is not simple or automatic just because you say you want it. Therefore, we need to pay careful attention to recovery stories of people like Abby Kelly to learn as fully as possible what the ingredients are that pulls someone out of the brink of despair and makes them choose recovery.

In her memoir, The Predatory Lies of Anorexia: A Survivor's Story, Ms. Kelly recounts her exhausting fifteen year ordeal with "my addiction to the disease of anorexia. Kelly recounts her three inpatient hospitalizations, extensive counseling, and thoughts of suicide.

Gradually she chooses recovery through her growing belief in God. I'm beautiful just the way I am. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Hungry by Jessica Edwards Skinner

Every person's recovery is as unique as a fingerprint. In her book, Abby Kelly, now free from anorexia for five years, tells her unique story of her commitment to prayer, Jesus, and religious transformation which led her eventually to embrace the beauty of her body and her soul and to turn her back on the false and "predatory lies" of anorexia.

Reclaiming Yourself from Binge Eating: And Leora Fulvio explains that healing from a binge eating disorder is like breaking up with a boyfriend with whom you've had a dysfunctional relationship. She describes binge eating as if you were enmeshed with "Ed" your eating disorder who pretends to care about you but, as in all abusive relationships, is out to see you suffer.

Recovery from binge eating is about separating from the tyranny of Ed and learning to live in peace and harmony with your food, your body, yourself. In Reclaiming Yourself from Binge Eating: Fulvio, a marriage and family therapist, helps you negotiate your break up with binge eating and invites you to reflect on 34 steps that impart knowledge, hope, and guidance for recovery.

These 34 chapters include an exploration plus an assignment and cover topics such as: To support your growth, Ms. Fulvio recommends cultivating a mindfulness and meditation practice: By letting yourself feel your feelings, even the really difficult ones, you increase your capacity for sitting with painful and even distressing moods, thoughts and sensations. When you are more able to sit with these feelings, you don't feel driven to do something about it.

There is nothing to be done with feelings other than feel them. Fulvio's book will help you move away from your bondage to bingeing and grow more fully into healing and wholeness. Table in the Darkness: When I first read that Ms. Blum credits Jesus Christ with helping her recover from an eating disorder, I was concerned that as a non-Christian I might not be the best reviewer for this book and that it would only appeal to a limited audience.

Blum's autobiographical story is written like a compelling novel, and we quickly come to identify with her struggles to find love and self acceptance. Through her candor, humanity, and resiliency, she transcends writing a book solely for a Christian audience. Youngest child of divorced parents, Lee often felt mistreated by her family. Alcoholism, parental infidelity, and cruelty led Lee to focus on cutting her lettuce into a million pieces.

Her description of the lies and secrets in her family leads us to viscerally understand how focusing and obsessing about that lettuce can soothe us in the broken places of our being. Bits of lettuce lead the way to further starvation and bulimia, as her quest for thinness becomes her personal search for the Holy Grail. Following a suicide attempt, Ms. Blum realizes she cannot continue her inner fight with her eating disorder without surrendering her will to God.

She embarks on an arduous journey with a talented therapist, medication, and an increasing commitment toward renewing her life. She identifies how her eating disorder developed as a refusal to feel her pain, but "by choosing my life, I began to have tears and laughter. Blum has triumphantly affirmed her victory over her eating disorder. Table in the Dark is a true testament to her rebirth. The Healing Journey for Binge Eating: In this workbook, Ms. Market offers a roadmap to help people recover from binge eating and to heal their relationship with food.

This book is divided into five parts: In addition to this workbook, Ms. Eight Week Journal Companion. This eight week journal prompts readers to practice a morning and evening meditation each day in order to become more self reflective and aware of their feelings, thoughts, and inner messages from their bodies. This journal also teaches readers the habit of creating a daily goal to focus and strive for. Both the workbook and the journal encourage readers' participation in an interactive format through structured writing assignments.

Readers are guided toward clarifying their personal self-defeating attitudes and behaviors and are provided with strategies to create new intentions and healthy rituals. As we continue to seek self-attunement in our relationship with food and our most authentic selves, Ms. Market's books can be used for self-study, in a group, or with the assistance of a therapist. Armed with Ms Market's two books, let the healing begin!

Gurze Books, , pages People repeatedly - but often fruitlessly - promise themselves they will finally get their eating struggles under control.

Suggested Books to Read For Eating Disorders

The title of Karen Koenig's book refers to this familiar resolution, and she explores why emotional eaters, filled with determination to improve their hurtful behaviors, wind up failing time after time. In this, her seventh book, Ms. Koenig offers a key approach for long lasting change: This is a book for those people who yearn for weight loss and body satisfaction but may have difficulty appreciating the conflicts within themselves that sabotage and defeat their best efforts. Why would someone want to derail their best efforts to be happy? Koenig shows readers how to identify "the ouch of self-recognition" and to discover what blocks normal eating.

She describes seven keys to unlock your self-defeat and create lasting change: What are your beliefs, your needs, your truths? In a lively, engaging style, Ms. Koenig illuminates these psychological solutions to help you get unstuck so you can live a fruitful and compassionate life every day of the week - not just Starting Monday! Healing Your Hungry Heart: Joanna Poppink candidly acknowledges that almost 30 years of her life were controlled and consumed by bulimia.

Now fully recovered, she is a marriage and family therapist who shares her personal road to recovery and the tools she uses to help others heal from a wide range of eating disorders. Healing Your Hungry Heart compassionately explains how eating disorders develop as a way to comfort yourself and help you survive emotions you find too raw and unbearable. When something threatening in your life overwhelms your existing coping mechanisms — such as the death of a loved one, divorce, abuse — you may turn to bingeing, purging or starving as a way to detour, numb, and soothe yourself.

Recovery is about learning to identify and honor your boundaries and limitations, not just with food, but with money, work, sex, sleep, and by expressing yourself honestly and authentically in relationships. This involves "saying no to what is not good for you and yes to what nourishes you. Poppink emphasizes the need to sustain your progress by practicing an ongoing healing program. Recovery must be tended to every day to avoid slipping back to disordered eating.

She shows how daily practices such as mindful breathing, affirmations, journal writing, and connecting with your spirituality can serve to expand your awareness and your ability to treat yourself with care. Psychotherapy can help you develop these new coping mechanisms to better withstand pain and anxiety without resorting to emotional eating. In this warm and gracious book, Ms. Poppink fulfills her promise: Reading Calmanac Calming Almanac is like sitting down for a cup of coffee with a quirky, funny friend who shares her philosophy about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and how to achieve that happiness without the tyranny of dieting and self hatred.

Deah as the author refers to herself is a champion of the Health at Every Size Movementwhich encourages people to focus on healthy eating rather than lamenting about the size of their body. Deah's Calmanac combines a personal diary with a twelve month interactive guide. Her goal is to help readers transform their negative body image and disordered eating into a "body-positive" way of life. Each chapter month has four components: The author's musings on eating and emotions.

Themes to be aware of during the month. Important Dates to Remember: Opportunities for activism or possible triggers that may arise during that month. Using her extensive experience in expressive arts therapy, Dr. Deah includes arts and crafts suggestions for readers to explore their personal body image issues. In a culture where dieting, weight loss, and plastic surgery are touted as the routes to achieving happiness with yourself, Dr. Deah encourages the reader to become more responsive to hunger, fullness, and mindful eating and to love one's body without apology, judgment, or shame.

Her primary theme throughout: Body Acceptance is the true antidote to self hatred. Deah exhorts us to embrace: Eating Disorders for Dummies by Susan Schulherr is part of the wildly popular Dummies book series about everything under the sun. Mixing great in-depth knowledge of her subject with humor and, at the same time, showing respect for the seriousness of eating disorders, Ms.

Schulherr provides everything you wanted to know about eating disorders but were afraid to ask or didn't even know to ask! This book could easily be dubbed The Encyclopedia of Eating Disorders due to its rich and comprehensive orientation to all things eating disordered. Schulherr offers a detailed picture of who gets eating disorders and why.