(243) Searching for Eating Disorder Recovery Even When You Have For Years With Daralyse Lyons

How long have you been trying to recover from your eating disorder? This episode is for those of you have tried everything and wondering if recovery is even possible. When a complicated relationship with food includes trauma, loneliness, and pain recovery may seem out of reach. Listen to this latest Love Food Podcast episode with guest expert Daralyse Lyons. She’s an activist, actor, and advocate and host of the Demystifying Diversity Podcast.

Subscribe and leave a review here in just seconds.

This episode of The Love Food Podcast is brought to you by my PCOS + Food Peace Course. It is 30% May 16-24th using coupon code ‘birthday’ at check out. Grab the details at PCOSandFoodPeace.com

Thank you for you supporting the Love Food Podcast!

Dear Food,

I don’t really know exactly when my relationship became complicated with you, or quite how it came to control my life. I remember when I was in my early teens, being the one to say diets are bullshit, and not thinking about what I ate. Being anti-diet culture was practically a part of my identity, and such is where my values sit today, but I live in complete contradiction.

At some point in my teens, I started restricted and using my vegetarianism to always choose the salad option at school. But it wasn’t controlling, it wasn’t overwhelming; it felt more like a natural reaction to being at an all girls school in the society that we live in – an image-based thing. Sometimes, it was reactionary, in spite of my (well-meaning) mother who would always tell me that ‘soup is a starter not a meal’, and check if I was eating enough despite her smaller portions. (I later learned she had a struggled with anorexia for years, and would still struggle to eat in times of stress.)

I developed anxiety and depression by age 16, which ruled and ruined my sixth-form life. Perhaps it was the exam stress, the family troubles – growing up with a drug abusing brother who was in and out of school, in and out of home, in and out of hospital (not that I was always told straight away). We had a complex relationship with my father, who always vied for my brother’s attention and allegiance against my mother. I tried to be always neutral, always loving of all parties – because I was, and couldn’t not be. But with this came a lot of pain, a lot of confusion, and the earnest desire to always tread this precarious, and often punishing line.  Of course, when I couldn’t – and can’t today – there is guilt. I was a straight A* student until the slump during my sixth form years, when my energy broke, and I scraped my way through the last 2 years. I used to be, and still feel like I should be, the person who was able to succeed at anything and everything without dropping the ball – but suddenly I could do nothing, and have struggled ever since. Around this time I realised there was probably something wrong – a cause. Through an explosive conversation with my mother, I was pushed to a consultation with a therapist and given the diagnosis – anxiety and depression – but didn’t receive further help.

In my first year of uni I tried to access help myself, but was turned away by the uni counselling services after a few sessions, saying they didn’t know how to help me as I had already thought everything through so much myself. It was in this year I had a few episodes of bingeing and purging. This continued around occasional periods of stress, such as exams, but not as a regular method of coping.

In second year, my mental health worsened. Restricting, binging and purging became a secret indulgence, but never something I saw as a problem as it was so sporadic. I had difficult relationships with my flatmates, though I had stronger friendships elsewhere, I felt alone. I became so ill I had to defer my exams. I worked towards the summer session, hoping I could somehow manage. But two weeks before I was due to take them, I was raped.

Utterly broken, I moved back in with my parents for a few months, during which time I tried to use food to console myself while I tried to process what happened. But when a close family member was admitted to hospital with terminal cancer, I began majorly restricting. When they passed away and my family fell apart, I moved back to my uni town and started a new job, trying to get my life back on track. Pretty much all the friends I thought I had were no longer there for me. I managed to access CBT for 9 weeks, but developed bulimia in an dramatic way, binging and purging at least 3 times in a day, at one time losing X in a month. This continued through another exam deferral, and another.

I fought for a year to access treatment, being passed from waiting list to waiting list, rejected for being too symptomatic, too complicated or not fitting criteria. Along the way, I met someone who truly loves me and cares for men and helps me through these struggles. When I am with him, I eat normally and don’t purge, but will find myself in tears most evenings because of food. My weight is stable at a healthy BMI, but I am miserable in my skin, mentally exhausted, and absolutely terrified: of this relationship with food that dominates my life. I cannot have food around me and resist it, regardless of whether I am hungry – I am so anxious about when I might need to eat, that I am constantly aware of a hunger, and I cannot discern the emotional from the physical. I know I use bingeing and purging as both a means of occupying myself when I am alone, as an emotional control and as a form of self-harm. And what started as a tool has grown like a weed to something that I am constantly aware of, and bothers me even when I am happiest. I love to cook, and often cook with my boyfriend, but cannot enjoy a meal without resenting myself and being overwhelmed with frustration as a result.

In a month, I will finally be starting treatment (psychotherapy with a trauma focus), but I am worried about managing my relationship with food during this time, as I know it will be a gradual process, and not the focus of my treatment. Additional private treatment isn’t easily an option for me. I am also worried about the strain I place on my boyfriend, who is always there for me, but who cannot fight the battle for me, no matter how much he may want to try.

I am trying to keep the willpower to fight for myself, to maintain the relationships I have left and succeed in my final chance to pass these exams in just a few months. I desperately need peace with you food, so that I can have more energy to make peace elsewhere in my life.

Yours,

Terrified & pleading for a truce

Show Notes:

Do you have a complicated relationship with food? I want to help! Send your Dear Food letter to LoveFoodPodcast@gmail.com. 

Click here to leave me a review in iTunes and subscribe. This type of kindness helps the show continue!

(123) My past trauma keeps me bingeing (with Amy Pershing)

Have you been been making steps towards body acceptance, but find yourself stuck when it comes to letting go of certain eating behaviors? Perhaps, you are one of many of those with an eating disorder who has suffered from trauma? Listen to this week’s episode with special guest Amy Pershing as she helps guide listeners along their recovery journey so that they can begin their healing process from trauma.

Subscribe and leave a review here in just seconds.

This episode is brought to you by my online course, Your Step-by-Step Guide to PCOS and Food Peace™. You CAN make peace with food even with PCOS and I want to show you how.

Check out the Love, Food Podcast store. All T-Shirt designs have at least one with size range options from XS to 5X. All proceeds go to funding this labor of love to keep it as a free resource for you.

Product links may be affiliate. If you click and make a purchase, there’s no extra cost to you.

The transcribed episode can be found here.

Episode’s Key Points:

*Content Warning: discussion of sexual abuse

  • Special guest Amy Pershing, licensed clinical social worker and founder of the Body Wise binge eating disorder recovery program and the Hunger Wise program as well as author of Binge Eating Disorder-The Journey to Recovery and Beyond.
  • Many individuals who experience eating disorders have a history of trauma.
  • Our culture has not recovered from its own eating disorder. When we are capable of making some steps forward in our culture’s recovery from its eating disorder (and acceptance of all bodies), we can begin creating space to process our individual trauma so that healing can happen.
  • Trauma, particularly sexual trauma, makes an individual feel as though their physical being is not okay.
  • We must begin challenging cultural narratives that perpetuate body hate/fat phobia, such as that an individual’s size predicts their health (spoiler alert: NOT true), in order to allow this trauma work to be able to take place.
  • Additionally, filter your environment/social media: “If an image makes you feel bad, don’t consume it.” ~Amy Pershing
  • Healing from an eating disorder includes honoring what the eating disorder/food behaviors has done for an individual’s survival as well as adding tools, in addition to food, to one’s toolbox for coping.

Show Notes:

Do you have a complicated relationship with food? I want to help! Send your Dear Food letter to LoveFoodPodcast@gmail.com. 

Click here to leave me a review in iTunes and subscribe. This type of kindness helps the show continue!

Thank you for listening to the Love, Food series.

How do I deal with all these feelings when not emotionally eating?

069 Image

Have you numbed out using emotional eating or binge eating yet now finding ways to stop? Sounds great, right?!? Not so fast: How do you tolerate these tough emotions? Will they ever end? Have you found alternatives to emotional eating, but are now dealing with confronting these emotions for the first time without the ability to use food as a buffer? Listen now for some tips on handling this part of the food peace journey.

This episode is brought to you by Pursuing Private Practice Masterclass. Ready to start doing things your way and kiss the corporate world goodbye? Details here and remember the super secret discount code BOSS for 10% off.

Subscribe and leave a review here in just seconds.

Episode’s Key Points:

  • Intuitive Eating: a way of experiencing food WITHOUT food rules… following your inner wisdom to determine what and how much to eat.
  • Our relationship with food MIRRORS how we relate to the world!
  • Intuitive eating will lead to experiencing a more intuitive life in ALL regards.
  • Learning how to eat intuitively in response to hunger and fullness cues, learning to tolerate emotions without food, and learning how to type on the computer without looking at the keys are all similar experiences!! (Listen for the full metaphor… it makes sense, I promise!) It all may feel a bit obsessive at first, or carry a sense of hyper-awareness… but you’re learning a new skill, and that’s okay! It will calm down and feel more natural eventually.
  • Do we always need to feel all of our feelings?? Yes and no.
  • Manage your emotions like you’re making holes in a volcano! Find ways to release before you explode. Work with a therapist or counselor to help you find ways to release your emotions that work for you.
  • We must acknowledge and honor the trauma we’ve experienced! Work with a therapist to process this trauma.
  • Sometimes being aware ALL of the time of our hard emotions can be exhausting! Sometimes we have to distract ourselves from our emotions so that we can get things done. Just don’t let them build up or rely on these distraction techniques too heavily!

Show Notes:

Do you have a complicated relationship with food? I want to help! Send your Dear Food letter to LoveFoodPodcast@gmail.com. 

Click here to leave me a review in iTunes and subscribe. This type of kindness helps the show continue!

Thank you for listening to the Love, Food series.

The Love Food Podcast Episode 59

059 Image

Did healing your relationship with food result in weight gain? Are you angry that healing your relationship with food has made you gain this weight? Do you feel judged based on the weight gain? Listen now for some ways to deal with this part of the food and body peace journey.

Subscribe and leave a review here in just seconds.

Specialized Track for College-Aged Women at Green Mountain at Fox Run

Dieting trends. Endless images of ‘perfect bodies’. Find a permanent solution to struggles with food, weight and body at Green Mountain at Fox Run. Green Mountain is hosting weekly programs between May 14 and August 26 tailored to the needs of women between ages 18 and 25. Your whole life is ahead of you, and you deserve to live it happily and in good health. Visit https://goo.gl/2r8B2W for more information.

Episode’s Key Points:

  • It’s Eating Disorder Awareness Week! It’s time we tackle our cultural eating disorder recovery and speak out about the seriousness of eating disorders.
  • Dieting is a part of the eating disorder experience… if diets weren’t normalized, we would have fewer eating disorders!
  • On March 1st start looking for #ChangeTheGame!! Let’s change the conversation around dieting. Dieting is NOT healthy eating.
  • YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!
  • Eating disorders kill more people than any other mental illness. One person dies every 23 hours from an eating disorder.
  • The Canary in the Coal Mine metaphor:
    • Coal miners used to bring canaries down into the coal mines with them. If the canaries were singing, the coal miners knew they were safe. Once the singing stopped though, that was the coal miners’ cue to get out quickly before the toxic gas killed them too.
    • We live in a toxic environment focused on the thin ideal… some people are impacted much more quickly or intensely than others, and they develop eating disorders (the canaries). They are our warning to fix our toxic environment before it gets us too (the coal miners).
  • Many people who go through classic eating disorder treatment receive a meal plan from their dietitians to guide their eating in recovery. This system may be flawed though, and potentially damaging, and we are actually discovering that we may be able to use intuitive eating much earlier in eating disorder recovery than we initially thought!
  • What exactly is a “set healthy weight?” We really have no clue what any single person is supposed to weigh. At certain points in eating disorder recovery this “set-point” can be an important number, and is determined by past weight experiences… but it’s very difficult to actually pin this number down.
  • Our “healthy weight” CHANGES based on our age and other life factors!
  • Some research indicates that being in larger body as we get older can be protective.
  • It’s time we change our thought process on what weight indicates!
  • Trying to manipulate someone’s weight is going to negatively impact their behaviors.
  • What if the enemy is not food at all, and the enemies are really body hate, the need for control, the value attached to body perception, and the value we hold for the judgment others place on our bodies?
  • We do an activity from When Women Stop Hating Their Bodies, a book that approaches recovery from a feminist perspective. How would we lead our lives if we lived in a world where all bodies were valued, no matter their size? What if we were all considered important and precious the way we are now?
  • We DON’T know what anyone’s weight is actually supposed to be, and we probably never will. We just need to accept where our body is at, no matter what. We don’t have to fight against our bodies.
  • We need you in this world, as you are now.
  • Food is NOT the enemy!

Show Notes:

  • Link to subscribe to the weekly FREE Food Peace Newsletter. It is sent out every Tuesday morning and no spam EVER. By signing up, I will also send you Love Food’s Season 1’s Food Peace Syllabus.
  • Overcoming Overeating: How to Break the Diet/Binge Cycle and Live a Healthier, More Satisfying Life by Jane R. Hirschmann and Carol H. Munter  —> This week’s Food Peace Syllabus addition #1
  • When Women Stop Hating Their Bodies: Freeing Yourself from Food and Weight Obsession by Jane R. Hirschmann and Carol H. Munter —> This week’s Food Peace Syllabus addition #2
  • Love, Food Episode 22 with Dr. Maria Paredes
  • Eating Disorder Dietitians
  • Julie Dillon RD blog

Do you have a complicated relationship with food? I want to help! Send your Dear Food letter to LoveFoodPodcast@gmail.com. 

Click here to leave me a review in iTunes and subscribe. This type of kindness helps the show continue!

Thank you for listening to the Love, Food series. Give me feedback via Twitter @EatingPermitRD.

gmfr-logo

This episode is sponsored by my friends at Green Mountain at Fox Run.

Weekend Program for Women who Struggle with Eating and Weight Concerns

Green Mountain at Fox Run is excited to announce a one-time opportunity to newcomers – an all-new A Taste of Green Mountain weekend program (March 3 – 5)! Key strategies for mindful eating, mindful movement, self-care, and stress management will be introduced to help participants to eat, move, feel, and LIVE in the moment…to #BeHerNow! This opportunity is only open to new guests of Green Mountain. https://goo.gl/tCVQWl

Binge & Emotional Eating Weekend Intensive

The Women’s Center for Binge & Emotional Eating is offering its foundational one-week Pathway™ program in an intensive weekend format. Participants will explore personal barriers and how to counter them with evidence-based strategies to prevent eating in response to stress and emotions. Dates are scheduled monthly throughout 2017 although capacity is limited, so visit https://goo.gl/xFh2up  for more information.

There’s only ONE premier retreat for women who struggle with overeating and weight.

It’s time to shine the light on yourself and make YOURSELF the priority. Here at Green Mountain at Fox Run, we’re all about embracing and supporting yourself through self-care. Through powerful tools such as mindfulness techniques, stress management skills, and movement that is customized to your body and fitness level, you’ll learn to practice self-care in your daily life. Visit https://goo.gl/si9wZi for more information.

Green Mountain at Fox Run’s Binge Eating White Paper – Myths, Truths and Treatments

Download Green Mountain’s free whitepaper to understand Binge Eating Disorder, the most common eating disorder. Explore the symptoms of and treatment for BED, assess where weight loss fits in, and gain clarity on common myths. Visit https://goo.gl/UGpF78 for more information.

 

The Love Food Podcast Episode 43

ep-043-image

Are you ready to heal your relationship with food yet stuck?? How do you make amends with food and your body when disordered eating is all you’ve known? Are you ready to make a change yet unsure of the steps? Listen now for a new set of directions.

Subscribe and leave a review here in just seconds.

Key Points:

  • Julie needs your letters! Send your letter detailing your complicated relationship with Food to LoveFoodPodcast@Gmail.com.
  • You’ve been fighting for many years and I appreciate that is exhausting!
  • The doctor’s comment did not cause this struggle yet totally F-ed it up! Doctors pointing out fat bodies as wrong happens too often and leads to distrusting the body and feeling unacceptable. I wish health providers knew their power to prevent eating disorders especially when a mom brings her child in concerned about disordered eating. To health providers: don’t say they should lose weight or exercise more!!
  • Shame in the food choices: food dichotomy doesn’t promote health. Food isn’t supposed to have this much power and pride.
  • Food gets too much power. It doesn’t deserve it!
  • Bulimia’s behaviors promote fluid shifts, puffiness, and body shame.
  • Relationships heal this. They are much more important and valuable than this eating disorder.
  • Next steps are painful BUT all worth it because recovery will allow these relationships to continue to blossom and fulfill your life.
  • You need to choose from a “healthy” weight loss journey OR eating disorder recovery? Can’t have both. We can’t make peace with food AND pursue weight loss. Pursuing weight loss will only enhance eating disorder behavior and negative body image.
  • Healthy relationships are not compatible with the eating disorder.
  • Unconditional acceptance and respect is what is missing.
  • Take it slow. Day by day. Surround yourself with helpers. Be mindful to pick a helper that is body positive.

Show Notes:

Do you have a complicated relationship with food? I want to help! Send your Dear Food letter to LoveFoodPodcast@gmail.com. 

Click here to leave me a review in iTunes and subscribe. This type of kindness helps the show continue!

Thank you for listening to the Love, Food series. Give me feedback via Twitter @EatingPermitRD.

gmfr-logo

This episode was sponsored by my friends at Green Mountain at Fox Run.
A special promotion for Love Food listeners:
VIP Upgrades at Green Mountain at Fox Run
On stays November 6 – December 17, 2016
Green Mountain at Fox Run is offering special upgrades for one+ week reservations through the end of the year. Receive a free room upgrade and $250 credit towards amenities and professional services.
See Details