Thursday 22 December 2016

You cannot choose to have an eating disorder but you can choose to fight against it!


                         It's your battle, your fight and your victory!

 You might have heard people saying: " you chose it for yourself"! 
As, if those who suffer from a severe headache, just as an example, have chosen it for themselves....
Having an eating disorder is not something that you can just choose. That is why it is a mistake to believe that anybody could " just get over it"!

 When I lived with anorexia for over 15 years, I was told that it was just a kind of hobby...and I chose it purely to annoy my parents and friends. I was told that all those around me, suffered a great deal, because of me.....and I was asked if I would please stop this such a nuisance game of mine.

 Now, as a therapist, when the relatives of somebody with an eating disorder tell me how hard it is for them to watch their beloved ones struggle. ( which no doubt must be devastating.) I ask the question, whether they have actually considered how hard and difficult it must be for their loved one, who is living with the diseases. ( Let's agree with the fact that it is hard for both the sufferers and the carers.)
Recently, somebody told me that:" Gosh, it must be so difficult to help somebody with an eating disorder!"
My instant reply was: " Not as difficult as living with an eating disorder!"

Whether you have an eating disorder or you know somebody who is struggling with it right now, one thing you have to accept is, that the eating disorder is an illness! And it is real!
An illness that nobody can just pick and choose. It is not your fault to have it. It is not a "dieting that went wrong"....nor it is a matter of wanting to be pretty!
Believe me, when you have an eating disorder, you think anything but yourself being pretty!

There are many people out their with body image issues and I think I can even say that that there is no one person on this earth who would have never experienced body dissatisfaction at some point in their lives. However, they have still not ended up with an eating disorder. There are also people who strife to be pretty and beautiful but have never lived with an eating disorder.

We may not fully understand and know why and how people develop an eating disorder, but the truth of the matter is, it is an illness. And a very serious one!

Those who are suffering, experience a tremendous amount of emotional and most cases physical pain. The sufferer will not talk about it, nor would he/ she like the disorder being taken away from they believe that this is the only way that they must or can live.

If you are battling with an eating disorder right now, then you are going to understand exactly what I am about to say. It is basically a " love -hate" relationship.

Your eating disorder serves a purpose in your life. Therefore, it makes you strongly believe that you need it. 

However, it is a lie! Nothing that your eating disorder is promising you will ever going to happen. The only thing will remain is that you carry on existing and not living the life that you're meant to live.

You see, I get believe you need Ed. because you cannot even remember life without Ed. And your Ed. seems to protect you from things that part of the 'real world' that you are so fearful of. With Ed. you can just watch the world go by because Ed. can offer you can make you feel that time has stopped. And this feels soothing and comforting. After all, how would even your day start without your eating disorder?

However, the truth is that your Ed. is also tormenting you with its constant voice in your head. Playing games with your painful memories, keeping your thoughts trapped and focused on only the negative. Ed. seems to know what to say when you are thinking about food...Ed. knows what to do with the food you are about to eat. Ed. knows how to focus and believe the negative thoughts about yourself. Ed. knows what you are going to choose and who you are going to listen to. Your eating disorder can train you to be the best in how to disguise the truth about your feelings, thoughts and actions.  Ed. knows how to twist words in your head until you have a completely different meaning of them. 
Ed. knows how to direct your focus so you can hate yourself,  punish yourself and how to make you and stop you from crying. 
Ed. knows how to pull you to the left and right at the same time.
  Despite, all the misery and sadness and pain that Ed. gives, Ed. convinces you that you are better of with IT than without fact, you believe that there is no way to live without your eating disorder!

But please hear me out! There is a way! 

The way by no means is easy, but it is do-able and you can do it too!

All you need to do is: choose the fight! You need to make a decision to choose life! To live the life that you want to have.
There is nobody who can do for your recovery as much as you can. 

It is your fight and your recovery.

 Nobody will ever be able to take away your achievement. Your victory will be yours forever.

Please, Believe me when I say this:" you have everything that it takes to recover!" All this time you have put all your energy and power to follow your disorder, now you can use the same energy and power towards your recovery and once you start doing that you will be unstoppable!

Do I hear you say that, "but how do I start?". 

You can start with one step at the time. 

 First and most important step: accept that you have got the eating disorder's grip on you. Accept that you are not in control over your eating, no matter how long you've believed that you were.
Reach out for support, do not feel you have to do it alone. As I've said you have all the power that you need to fight against your disorder, but still it is good to have a supportive network, where you feel safe, being understood and empowered.
Look for support until you find the one that is the best for you! Because you are worth it!

Make a decision today, put on your armour and get ready to fight for your life!

You can seek for help on We are based in Vancouver BC. Canada. Online therapy is also available no matter where you are in the world.

Wednesday 2 November 2016

13 Facts about Eating Disorders


1, Eating disorders are real.
2, Eating disorder kills, regardless of shape, size age or gender.
3, Anybody can develop an eating disorder.
4, Man can struggle with an eating disorder too.
5, You can have a mindset of somebody with anorexia nervosa even if you are  not thin.
6, When you have an eating disorder you have an eating disorder, there is no  such as having a little bit of an eating disorder.
7, Your BMI cannot tell anything about your relationship with food, therefore,  you can have an eating disorder with any BMI score.
8, Your shape doesn’t matter, you can have six packs and still struggle with an  eating disorder.
9, Media is not the cause of an eating disorder but it can be triggering for those      who are struggling with an eating disorder.
10, One can never be sick enough or thin enough when anorexia rules their lives.
11, Emotional eating or Emotional not eating is one aspect of an eating disorder.
12, Having an eating disorder means a lot of hiding and a lonely existence. 
13, You CAN completely recover from an eating disorder.

Wednesday 29 June 2016

Mindfulness to "Bodyfulness"

               Do we need to be only mindful about what we eat or should we be "bodyful"?
I don't know how you feel about eating nowadays, but sure it doesn't seem to be as simple as it once was.

As of late, everything we eat has been tangled up with numbers, rules and contradictions. It is almost a sin to even think about granny's delicious Sunday cake, or to dive into a hearty meal whilst celebrating a special event. We are told that we must eat our "fives a day", and avoid almost everything that used to be our main source of energy. Of course, there is no question about the fact that times have changed. Only few of us start the day at dawn out on the field, and return by sunset. We are not as active physically, but more so mentally, which also takes up a considerable amount of energy. Let's face it, life is not simple! But why must we make something as simple as feeding ourselves so complicated?

Let’s just take a moment and remind ourselves what the definition of food is.
According to Wikipedia, "food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for the body. It is usually of plant or animal origin and contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fat, proteins, vitamins, and minerals. The substance is ingested by an organism and assimilated by the organism's cells in an effort to produce energy, maintain life or stimulate growth.”
According to the Webster dictionary, “food is something that nourishes, sustains, or supplies.”

Before I go any further, I want to make sure that it is understood that I am not trying to approach this subject from a nutritional point of view; however, nutrition is the key to stay alive. I am not going to delve deep into the number of calories one must take in and the amount of macro and micronutrients that one’s body might need for living. We can hear and read about it often enough online and in health magazines, or seek advice from a practitioner. I am trying to provoke thought and open the doors to consideration about the entire experience of eating. We may be told by any number of sources how many calories we must eat per a day, for example, but we should aim to focus on the quality of the food as opposed to the amount of calories the food contains. Unfortunately, I, and many others have not always thought this way.

Having a medical background myself, I had been deeply influenced by what is "healthy" or "good for me". I have often found myself in a mental debate while sitting at the dinner table; trying to decide whether to consume what I would simply enjoy eating, or to politely excuse myself and munch on something specifically designed in the name of a healthy diet.

When I was young, I spent lot of my time on our farm and in the vineyard. I loved the autumn, not just because of the satisfying feeling we had when looking at our crops, but because of the special time we had during the harvest. It was one of those occasions when the whole family would get together and work from early morning until dark. Even though we had to get up early, we had the privilege of listening to wise old tales from the adults whilst harvesting the grapes. I remember feeling so tired and hungry by lunch time, and we all, young and old, jumped for joy when we saw my father's car arriving with delicious food. Adults had to get water from the well, but us kids could only watch from a distance, as it was very deep and they were worried that we might fall in. The kids were washed and scrubbed first, and then we waited patiently in line for food to be placed on our plates. Everything tasted delicious, even food that we typically didn’t like at any other time. There was everything from chicken stew, homemade pasta, and salad, to homemade cherry pie. We often ate sitting on the sand, or wherever one could find a place to sit. There were jokes to be told and songs to be sung. At this time, eating was like a ceremony.

Not one of us were thinking whether the food was "unhealthy" or how many calories it contained. Nor did we check labels or asked mum how much of whichever ingredients were added to the dishes. We didn't eat with our head, we ate because we needed to have energy to go on working for another 6 to 8 hours. We ate because our body needed it; simple as that. What was most magical about this experience was everyone being together to share the meal, hearing the stories, and having a good laugh.

More recently, the notion of having families sit down at the table to eat together is almost extinct. We may say we have no time, but the truth that is we hardly make the time. Eating barely seems to be an enjoyable activity anymore. We go into the grocery store and purchase according to the labels. Granny is no longer called for the recipes to the family's favourites. We no longer eat simply because our mouth is watered by the smell of a freshly baked loaf of bread. We eat because we are told to do so and we are treating this activity as one of the many tasks that we have on our list of things to do over the course of the day. Thus, eating has become an agenda.

Everything around food is so complicated nowadays that we no longer know when we are hungry. We are unable to listen tour bodies and rely on what they tell us. Rather, we rely on what we learn and hear through the media, and above all, what our emotions tell us. Yes, there is no doubt that there are people who might benefit from "watching" what they eat. Personally, I doubt if that will make much difference for them long term unless severe allergies are a factor. Just think about it: How many smokers give up smoking because they know it is not good for them? They are sitting and puffing away, being completely aware of their behaviour - and so what? Does anybody care that the label says "smoking kills" right there on the packet?

Sadly, our modern lifestyle is not just demolishing the meaning of sharing and eating, but also what food is in the most basic sense. It seems the more we focus on food and eating the further we get from it and the more complicated it becomes. Perhaps what we need is to find our way back to our body and reconnect. Learning to recognize when we are hungry and what our body needs is vital, because our individual needs are all different and we cannot put everyone into one "box".

Most importantly, once we learn to appreciate our body for what it can do for us and treat it with love and respect, we will regain that ability to listen and have the instinct to give it what it needs. A holistic approach, including mind, body, and soul is essential; everything must work together to reach healthfulness and happiness. As with all good things, this does take time and patience, but can be achieved through trying new activities, practicing meditation, and being more involved in the process of cooking and learning where your food comes from.

So, here’s some food for thought (pun intended): What changes will you make in order to become more connected with your body?