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Marcia Herrin
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Jay, relapsing is a normal part of recovery. Learn from your hard times. Do things differently next time and in time your eating disorder will be history. Marcia
Dear CatMiller, read today's blog (6/12/11) for more about stats. My heart-felt congratulations on your recovery from anorexia. Marcia
Hannah, you've asked a challenging question that I am going to tackle in my blog today (june 12, 2011). Sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you. Marcia
Laura, I advise my patients in your situation to eat meals and snacks with enough calories from foods that don't aggravate their GI symptoms. I hope that helps, Marcia
Lisa, what a wonderful account of how wise parents handled a tricky situation. I am glad your daughter is recovering. Marcia
Nicola, It is great to hear from you again and as usual you ask good questions. Below is my answer to your question about how to heal from an eating disorder when recovery involves physical pain from digestion, constipation and bloating, not to mention temporary changes in body size. In this respect recovery from an eating disorder is much like recovery from addictive drugs--withdrawal hurts, is scary, and seems to take a long time. And like drug recovery, recovery from an eating disorder is worth the pain. Check our blog for information on the physical aspects of recovery. I am glad you keep experimenting with recovery. Fondly, Marcia Nutritionist Marcia Herrin and Nancy Matsumoto, co-authors of The Parent’s Guide to Eating Disorders, Gūrze Books, (
Thats OK. Just keep experimenting with small changes to see how it feels. marcia
It is your choice to work on recovery or not. When it is worth it to you to be fine and happy, it will be worth working on. It sounds like you are keeping your mind open--thats good. Fondly, marcia
As a parent of adult children, myself, I can say that parents never stop worrying about the struggle their children have no matter their age. Working on your recovery is the best gift you can give your parents, but work on it without guilt. You didnt choose to have an eating disorder, but you can choose to keep working on your recovery. Fondly, Marcia
Nicola, you asked a good question too: What is normal eating? You are right that when you were younger you ate according to hunger and personal tastes. I also bet you were expected by your family to eat 3 relatively balanced meals a day. This is a good definition of normal eating. You are right that the current emphasis on always trying to eat the healthiest you can according to the the food pyramid, or just natural foods, or possible food intolerances, or focused on combining certain foods at certain times etc can be a very modern version of disordered eating. A good book you might want to read for more on this subject is Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole. Your last question is a excellent one too: Does the frustration and confusion about food really ever end? My answer is yes, a resounding YES!!! Taking it a step at a time and challenging your assumption is how it is done. It may help to work directly with a skilled nutritionist for guidance and support. Best wishes, Marcia
Youve asked several excellent questions. Your first question: How do you know when youre ready to decide that you want to change and get better? For most people it is one step at a time. Remember you can always change your mind and revert to your old ways of managing. One thing you could do as a first step is to take an additional day off from working out WITHOUT restriciting your food intake. Another good step is to eat a normal meal WITHOUT restriciting before or after the meal. Your second question:What if I never want to, even though I know my life could be better? As far as we know we only get one life. You will have to decide if having the best life possible is worth making some tough changes. Another issue you might consider is whether how you currently handle food and exercise affects negatively anyone you care about. Let us know how things go for you. Keep aksing these good questions; you will end up with some good answers. Marcia
We are happy to pass on the Eating Recovery Center's holiday support guide. This Denver, Colorado eating disorder (inpatient, residential, and outpatient) facility is one of the best in the country. Marcia Herrin Co-author of The Parent's Guide to Eating Disorders, 2007
Julie, we are glad you are including fun food in your normal eating routine. We've found that ending every lunch and dinner with a moderate serving of real "fun food" like the chocolate almonds, pastry, or cake is very effective in decreasing binge eating. Let us know how this works for you. Our best, Marcia and Nancy
Brittni, Please don't give up! I suggest you consider exploring self-help options such as Jenni Schaefer's blog on this site Jenni's book Life Without Ed about her eating disorder recovery is really helpful. Gürze Books has a complete list of self-help books. Explore online support. The best way to get started there is to go the somethingfishy website. This organization screens online resources and recommends the most helpful. Check out your town's community mental health resources. I know of many people who found the treatment they needed to get better there. Hang in there, you are worth it. Marcia The Parent's Guide to Eating Disorders (Gürze Books, 2007)
Kim, we are glad you found our blog about the difficulty assessing laboratory findings in eating disorder helpful. It is confusing when you know something is seriously wrong but the labs come out normal. Thanks for writing. Marcia
Barboan, our best wishes to you and Alex. Keep us posted on how your daughter is doing. Marcia