(Eating Disorder Recovery) for Dummies.

Take a complicated subject you know more about than most people, and explain it to a friend who knows nothing about it at all.

Well it seems amazing to me that today I celebrate my 200th post. I am also proud to say that is has only taken me 276 days to reach this milestone. Not a bad effort for someone who—works full-time and is writing a book.

It is the topic of my book that I thought may work well with today’s prompt—my thing is—how eating disorder recovery is possible. I have worked in the field since the 1980’s and have many years experience supporting people living with and recovering from an eating disorder. But what are they and how does one recover?

Eating disorders are psychological and physiological disorders that takes over the lives of those living with them as well as their families. They are characterised by an obsession with food, weight and body shape. There are 4 types:

  • Anorexia Nervosa
  • Bulimia Nervosa
  • Other Specific Feeding and Eating Disorders
  • Binge Eating Disorders

People living with an eating disorder use a mixture of various behaviours to control their weight, numb their feelings and control their lives. Behaviours used that need to be manged in recovery are:

  • Restriction
  • Bingeing
  • Self-induced vomiting
  • Laxatives
  • Excessive exercise

Recovery involves stopping the use of these behaviours and replacing them with healthy coping skills. But how?

There are 6 stages of recovery. It is an individual journey and  can take between 2-7 years from the commencement of when people decide to recover. This in fact may be several years after the person was diagnosed.

The stages of recovery are:

  1. Nutrition Management
  2. Stopping Eating Disorder Behaviours
  3. Feelings management
  4. Passions
  5. Relationships
  6. Intimacy

My book—Inspiring Hope: How Eating Disorder Recovery Is Possible covers all of these areas and many more. Breaking the hold an eating disorder has is difficult. It requires addressing many individual issues some of which are initially unknown. There is no map for the journey, but it is definitely one that needs professional help. The quicker help is sought, the better. However seeking help late doesn’t mean someone is not treatable — even if you have had an eating disorder for years. Committing to recovery and connecting with a treatment team is what makes a difference. This is always hope.

Possible Inspiring Hope cover


11 thoughts on “(Eating Disorder Recovery) for Dummies.

  1. There is hope. Personal victory over an eating disorder tells me it’s possible. Today eating disorders seem to be rampant – from my 8 year old niece (now a healthy 18 year old) who thought she was disgustingly fat, to my 12 year old daughter (now in her 30s) being told by an interfering grandparent that she should reduce the amount of food on her plate – even the seemingly insignificant comments impact on hypersensitive children. 2 teenage bouts of an eating disorder and my daughter is now ok. Every time a person looks at your plate with disapproval it sends a message that we’re doing something wrong. It’s a modern tragedy visited again and again in a society that focusses on minutiae instead a global view of life. Phew – off my soapbox now!

    • Unfortunately they are on the increase but having said that there is a lot more support around than there was 20 years ago so that is a good thing. Knowledge and education are missing and make such a difference.

  2. I love someone with an eating disorder and I have watched and tried to help her with her internal and external struggle, for sixteen years. What if it doesn’t have anything to do with weight or body image? What if the disconnect from the mind and body is so vast that it’s more like a demon gnawing away at the brain? I ask these questions because this is what she feels. I’m never going to give up helping her and I look forward to reading your book when it’s finished. Thank you for addressing this misunderstood phenomenum that gets treated so horribly in society. My loved one and I really appreciate it.

    • Eating disorder are complex, individual and defy logic. They are like a monster and recovery is about learning to fight your monster which may be very different from someone else’s eating disorder monster. Don’t give up on her and seek your own help if you need to. The more support she has the better however it isn’t an easy journey for anyone who is involved.

      • I agree with everything you said. I’m working on those very things. Have you had any experience dealing with ED’s that are OCD ADHD based? I will never give up on her she’s my family and will hold a part of my heart inside her for always. Thank you so much for your response. Have you heard of CBT and IMGR used to treat eating disorders?

        • CBT is a major base for eating disorder recovery. I am not sure what IMGR stands for but it may be a different name for things we use in Australia. Many Eeating disorders have a OCD and or ADHD base. The cause doesn’t vary the base of the treatment however it may vary the other issues that need to be dealt with. Nutrition is always the base.

          • Thank you for answering my questions. And yes I agree about the base being either OCD and/or ADHD. I just found out about the book Intuitive Eating and I’ve contacted two bloggers that have survived their ED’s. I’m also researching more so I can find out what IMGR is in regards to therapy. I’m in Canada so the basis in treatment is group therapy, individual, arts and crafts, and for severe cases the use of a NG tube. My loved one has struggled for 16 years and I will keep helping, hoping, praying, that she will survive this monster living in her head. ❤️

          • I agree she does, I’m the only one she says who cares enough to see her besides her disease. I’m reading, researching, and contacting resources to help her.

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