Sunday, October 19, 2014

An "Eating Disorder" Counselor Gives Me Advice


I mentioned years ago on my blog that I wanted to see an eating disorder specialist for help with my binge eating, but there wasn't one near enough that it wouldn't mean 3 hours round trip for a visit. Finding someone who would take my insurance was another issue. After I stopped binge eating on my own, I no longer felt the need to see a specialist. But this year's been tough, recovering from 2 years of chronic pain and the loss of loved ones in my life, so I did think seeing a regular counselor would be worthwhile and helpful... and it is. But when I've talked about the way I still like to turn to food for comfort, and how I'd like to stop *all* of the obsessive food thoughts, she's not been able to address that. In fact she told me it was pretty normal to overeat when you're stressed. She laughed and told me she sometimes buys a box of chocolate covered ice cream bars and takes them home, and before the night is over the box is empty. Well, yeah, I can relate to that, but my counselor is healthy and thin and doesn't really *get* the eating issues I struggle with. She's adept at lots of other kinds of counseling, but even she thought this was out of her realm. So she found me an eating disorder counselor.

Apparently this ED therapist just moved here a month or so ago and happens to also take my insurance. I had no idea she existed, but my regular counselor set me up with her and I was really excited to go! I don't know if I technically have an eating disorder now or not, but was willing to see what a professional thinks. So on Friday I drove to her office and waited, kind of excitedly, in the waiting room.

When Cloe (not her real name) opened her session room door, my first impression was what a lovely person she seemed to be: smiling, well dressed, young, hair and makeup very nicely done, and she was warm and friendly. My second thought was, "oh no... she's fat too." My third thought was to feel terribly guilty and judgmental for thinking that. But... if you are obese, and you want to see a specialist to help you fix whatever might be keeping you obese, and that specialist is ALSO obese... I dunno, I felt a little bit of disappointment. Like, will she be able to understand me and help me change my life? Or is she struggling with the same issues and has not been able to change her *own* life? I mean, logically I know that there are plenty of reasons someone can be obese, and they don't all have to do with eating disorders, so I just told myself to stop wondering about her (possible) issues and focus on my own.

Cloe was very kind and easy to talk to. She has a lot of background working with anorexics and bulimics (which I have never been) and training in disordered eating. She asked me a lot of questions about my eating patterns and habits, feelings, my dieting history, and my past. After about an hour of deep probing, she told me some things I didn't really want to hear.

She said I need to "normalize" food. Told me that I should go ahead and have my coffee and donut if I want it... just don't have TEN donuts. She told me at the end of the day I might think "Hey I didn't have any sweets yesterday, so I will go ahead and have a cookie tonight after dinner." That would be the goal. She said I should not feel bad if I have a slice or two of pizza for dinner; it is just food and what I should pay attention to is that I have a normal serving... not a whole pizza. She told me when my brain tells me I am craving potato chips, to just go to the store and buy a small, single serving bag and have my chips.

That part, I did not want to hear at all. I have been told that same thing before, by other people, even here in the comments of my blog. I am *highly resistant* to this advice and think it is all wrong *for me*... because one cookie leads to many, one slice of pizza is never enough. Because my doctor told me to get off gluten ("so have gluten free cookies then, they make those now right?" she says) and because I know from experience that sugar does bad things for my mental and physical health. But this is a specialist. It makes me stop and look at everything again and see if she is right.

I still think it is bad advice, for me.

She also said I should go to the gym and take classes or swim or do something, anything, for my depression. That, I fully agree with. She asked how being busy versus being not-busy affects my eating, and I told her that on busy days when I am focused on other things, I am far less likely to eat junk or eat too much. It's when I have a lull between activities, or a day of "rest," that I start obsessing about food. She said to sub the gym for food at those times. She said when I have that urge to get in the car and go buy a cake, get in the car and drive to the gym instead. I think that was pretty good, simple advice.

Finally, she looked at my history and patterns and told me she felt I did have Binge Eating Disorder, triggered by extreme stress, but that I no longer fit the criteria for that diagnosis. She said if I write down what I eat (foods and times) and turn it in to her, it will help her "make sure there is not some other ED involved here." She said "I am not sure this is actually an eating disorder, so the food log will help me determine that." She also said that weighing every day is a bad idea.

I go back in a few weeks for another visit, but I admit I didn't get as much out of this as I'd hoped. Not sure what I was imagining would happen: some magical insight into my psyche, some special key to ending the food thoughts and cravings, something. But I will take at least the latter portion of her advice while I think about the first portion. Maybe there is something to be said for normalizing food, even if I need to do so in a gluten-free, dairy-free context (if that is possible).


51 comments:

Karen said...

I did not go to an eating disorder specialist because I knew I would be told to "normalize" or "moderate" all foods.

Like an alcoholic, having 1 beer is not okay for me. Like a drug addict, hanging out around users is not okay.

There are abstaining counselors and groups out there, just not as many.

Here's to finding what you need to find for yourself. My "cure" of abstaining from all grains and sugar may be someone's disease.

The best gift I ever gave myself was to trust my instincts, abstain, then work every meal and every day in stone cold sober food sobriety.

Only you can decide what works for you. It's the n=1 experiment. Onward.

Karen said...

Oh, and PS- no "cure" but just long term remission. I should have stated that more clearly. Oh, well.

JM said...

True Karen! I can eat somewhat moderately for a time, but only IF i am exercising, doing my therapy, and meditation. Without tools and support Normalizing food becomes ONE LONG BINGE. Not the best advice, but i am sure that there was more to it. The premise is solid, but some food addiction is different than and ED. And with Food Addiction, you need recovery. Just my opin.

timothy said...

sadly I agree a person who isn't in control of their own eating and spewing do as I say not as I do mayhaps isn't the best fit. I agree with Karen in that it may be a food addiction which I think is also my problem, it's just so difficult because you cant just not eat.i say your personal experience is a better guide to you than someone who's only seen you once and if you go back I'd tell her those concerns (including the ones about her weight SWEETLY/KINDLY)

Deb Willbefree said...

Oh, my goodness. By the time I finished this post, I realized that at some point I had begun to hold my breath. :o Oh....my....goodness.

First. Re: you regular counselor. It is a sign of an ethical, competent, and secure counselor to refer a client when an issue is out of her scope of expertise. so, good for her.

The ED counselor. Oh.my.goodness! While being fat doesn't disqualify one from being a capable and helpful counselor to those who have disordered eating, being fat doesn't qualify one to be able to deal with food issues, either.

Clearly, cnslr #2 is without a clue. Yes, you (we) need to normalize food. Yes, we do. BUT if eating just one donut or one small bag of chips could do that for us, we wouldn't still be fat and overeating!!!! And normalizing food goes far beyond just being able to eat in moderation. You can eat in moderation and still NOT have normalized food! Most of us have proven that quite nicely as we've lost and regained and lost and regained....

OK. Sorry. I'll stop that rant. I'm not an ED counselor, either.

Here's the thing, proceed with caution. Don't do anything that your own experience has shown you is a bad idea.

Here's what I can tell you about counseling in general. It is often a bad sign if advice is thrown out in the first session. She doesn't know enough about your dynamics from an initial assessment to tell her that you can handle her "techniques."

Being fat really doesn't disqualify her from being knowledgeable and even helpful about eating disorders. The cliche that states "those who can't, teach" (Sorry, teachers.) comes to mind. But, when eating disorders are the focus of the counseling, the counselor needs to know success for herself first.

Frankly, I am appalled by this counselor's information as you report it. But--as a consider the source kind of note--I did my sexual abuse counseling in an agency that was primarily a drug and alcohol counseling agency, so I spent many hours of in-service tranings listening to addiction theory.. (We SA folks had a little wing of the building.)

Sorry about this ling comment, Lyn. Know that I've deleted 2/3 of it. :}

Take care!

Deb

Deb Willbefree said...

P.S. (Like my original comment wasn't long enough.)

If the ID counselor did not explain her excess pounds, and you did not ask--you have every right to ask her about it. Yes, you do.

In fact, if I were the counselor in that situation and my client did NOT ask me about my own obvious weight problem, I would bring it up myself and wonder out loud why she didn't ask me.

Her answers for avoiding this most obvious pink elephant in the room (no pun intended, tho it's funny) would be informative.

Remember, the counseling relationship does not follow the same rules as polite social relationships. She asked you things no first time acquaintance would ask you, you may reciprocate. It ain't one-way transparency in that little room.

Anonymous said...

I think Binge Eating Disorder is not something you can ever be cured of. You can be in remission, or recovery, but it is always one of your diagnoses.

Lyn said...

Very good comments, wow. Thank you all. Deb you make some great points there. I like your long comments :) And Anonymous, that could be true, I don't know the medical terminology behind it. I was never "officially" diagnosed with BED, but she did say she felt that is what I had in the past but that I do not appear to have the symptoms of BED at this time (she didn't use the words cured or recovered, or remission, herself).

Good thought that she gave a lot of advice and made some quick assumptions about me based on one visit.

I didn't ask about her weight. I don't think I could do that... unless she brought it up first. I think I'd feel bad asking, even though it is within reason to question it. Maybe if I get to know her better I would be able to ask that. I do wonder.

Deb Willbefree said...

Hey. Regarding the BED diagnosis.
I was so busy being appalled by your experience that I forgot to share some facts, which you probably know, but when has that stopped me?

The ED counselor is right in that you do not meet the criteria for BED. You can find that specific criteria in the DSM 5 (I think they're to 5, if not it's DMV 4R)

I didn't take the time to refresh my memory before I began typing hee, but the criteria you need to meet to officially receive the diagnosis includes eating massive amounts of calories (+6,000, I thin) in a four hour period more than a specific number of times a week. That eating needs to be accompanied by several other factors, most of which are emotional. (It's what I call "that need to feed" syndrome.)

It's a bit misleading, I think, to say that you no longer have BED simply because you no longer meet diagnostic criteria.

Here's my take: In the field of alcohol treatment there is a condition in which a person is referred to as a "dry drunk." You've probably heard of it.

The only difference between that person and the flaming alcoholic is that they don't consume alcohol. However, all of the pathologies, faulty beliefs, behaviors, emotions, coping skills, etc, that they had while boozing are still there.

The person is just not drinking--he's a dry drunk. A lot of work has to happen for that condition to resolve.

Same with BED for some people. They have all of the faulty thinking, etc, they are just managing to not eat amounts that meet diagnostic binge criteria.

To think that person can sail on, eating all foods in moderation and it is all okay is foolish--and dangerous.

All I know is that I sure would like to get off of the food disordered ride and find food sanity. (I don't think your ED counselor would be of much help to me.)

Anonymous said...

I agree with the rest of the posts -- proceed with caution with the new counselor. Follow your own instincts. Eating all foods as she suggested, including pizza, in moderation can be big trouble. I know for me that foods like pizza, candy, and ice cream are things I can never eat or very rarely eat, not even in moderation. I'd regain all my weight loss really fast if I ate those things. Maybe the counselor can do that, but maybe you can't. We all are different in what we can eat without gaining a lot of weight. We can all succumb to bingeing once in awhile, I suspect, but from reading your posts for awhile it doesn't seem to me like you have a binge eating disorder any more. You are so careful about your food. You'll know after awhile if this new counselor is of any help if you are planning on seeing her again. Hang in there. I admire your courage and willingness to share your experience.

Nan in Phoenix

Anonymous said...

Hi Lynn
I've followed your blog for years, but this is the first time I've commented.
About Chloe not having credibility as a counselor due to her size: You once wrote what I considered was a very thought-provoking post about not judging others on their size because it's not possible to know where someone else is on their own weight-loss journey. Is it possible that Chloe could have been a good deal heavier than she now is and is successfully losing weight? Would she not have some valuable insights in that case? Just a thought. Wishing you all the best with your own endeavors. Chris

Anonymous said...

i think the ED counselor is right about the long-term goal. but maybe you are resistant to it because you recognize that you don't have the tools to do it yet, and that trying to do it without those tools will set you up for failure.

i can only speak from my own experience. i used to be a serious binge eater. i gained a massive amount of weight in a short time. then, afterwards, i tried to lose it in a number of ways. first i went into serious exercise and strict calorie counting. it worked, but it didn't deal with the underlying issues, and i gained the weight back.

i felt awful, and tried to go back into the old restrictive way of eating, shaming myself, telling myself foods were "off limit forever", because that strict approach had worked in the past. my weight yo-yoed up and down for years. because my toxic way of thinking about food was not a sustaiable way to lose weight.

five years later, i am losing weight slowly, consistently, with plateaus of maintaining... and i am eating sugar again, i am eating bread again, occasionally. food is no longer the enemy in my head. i can recognize binge triggers without going nuts. and i am healthier here (mentally, physically) than i was during the "avoid all evil foods" times. because those times still represented a toxic psychic relationship with food.

there are no quick fixes. you do need to normalise food. you don't sound at all like you have a normal relationship with it. you sound intermittently in love with it and terrified of it. so maybe you recognize that "just eat chips" is not something you are ready for yet.

but i do agree that normalizing food is an important step, and she's right to flag that.

this shit takes a lot of work, but the "work" may not be the herculean effort of "avoid bad foods forever" that we think it is. it is more of a slow journey.

Connie C. said...

I've been to lots of counselors over the years, and my (unsolicited) advice is to refrain from making a decision about her yet. One meeting isn't enough for her to really know you or what you need or for you to understand her style (which may change as she understands you better).

I think tracking your food for her is a really good idea. It will give her a better idea of your patterns and give you a better idea of what you are currently doing. Just make sure you put everything on there, whether you are proud of that food choice or not.

Yanina said...

Is she DBT certified? If she is not find someone who uses DBT. She is right about normalization but that takes years. It took me years to be able to eat certain things and think of them as almost normal. I still don't have some things in the house. I mean years. 6 years of DBT treatment of various intensities. Skills group weekly, nutrition weekly with food diary cards, individual therapy weekly. I have been doing food diary cards (including when I "binge", don't feel well, over eat ect) for going on 6 years. Every day. I am not talking about "talk therapy". I am taking about learning specific skills.. and practicing them.. and practicing them.. and having accountability when you practice them. Eventually.. things will feel normal.. It feel pretty miraculous now.

kareninvermont said...

I am not a counselor nor do I have any kind of expertize in eating disorders (besides my own) but it seems to me that it would be IMPOSSIBLE to normalize food without first finding out why you did not have a normal relationship with food FIRST. I understand that the goal can be to normalize, but to start out of the gate with such advice seems too simple and even harmful. I also think you need to know her story. Anyone doing this work must have a story and if she should be happy to share it with you.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lyn:
I've shared with you that I too have had BED although I think I have "aged out of it" the past few years (66(!) now). I also suffer from SAD and have seen a few therapists over the years - including one ED specialist. BTW, I was suspect of her, because she was thin and had never been overweight, so I think that who can help whom is sometimes just a matter of chemistry.
Anyway, my point is that it's important for your therapist to understand your health issues around food and why that makes it hard for you to "normalize." Your eating issues are complicated by your health and she has to understand all your complicated history. So I agree with Deb, it's odd that she's giving advice so soon.
Anyway, you are certainly determined and I do believe you will get to where you want: knowing what works for you without having to obsess about it.
Best wishes,
Marianne

Anonymous said...

Hi Lyn:
I've commented a few times based on a shared history of BED (which I believe I have "aged out" of) and SAD. I have seen some therapists, including one ED specialist. I was, at first, suspicious of her ability to help me because she was thin and had never been fat! Sometimes I think that who can help whom is a matter of chemistry; that therapy is art, not science. She actually taught me that you can sit with uncomfortable feelings and not numb yourself with food and guess what? They're only feelings and they pass.
I think it's important that you convince this ED specialist that your health issues complicate your ability to normalize food. There is more going on with your eating than 'just' BED if sugar is causing inflammation and your AIP diet is necessary for good health but you have trouble avoiding food that causes you trouble even when not binging. I do agree with Deb that it seems early for advice. A young therapist may still be going by the book "just normalize food and everything will be fine." Not for everyone!
You are certainly determined and I know you will get to peace with food because of that effort.
Sorry for the length, just trying to share some hard-earned experience.
Best wishes,
Marianne

Lyn said...

Deb~

I have felt like I sort of have been easing along down a disordered eating scale, in intensity, if that makes any sense at all. Like you said, the faulty thinking isn't totally gone... it's like first the behaviors got smaller and more controllable and then the thoughts also began to shrink, becoming weaker and less frequent. It feels like obsessive food thoughts that are once or twice a week instead of 25 times a day. I didn't get a chance to see what she thought about that, though.

Nan~

agreed; I'm being very careful and after sleeping on it a few days I tend to think "I tried that before, and it was more harm than good." I would like to ask her more about how to normalize food if I am avoiding certain foods due to health issues.

Anonymous (Chris)~

absolutely. That was my own immediate reaction to my thought about her being obese. I had to put aside any judgement and focus on my own issues, since I have no reason why she is fat. And she certainly could have already lost a lot of weight.

Lyn said...

Anonymous~

that makes sense. I think you're right and I don't have the tools to just go have some potato chips in moderation when I crave them. And if I eat all the things I crave, even in moderation, I would definitely be gaining weight. The counselor seemed to be saying that weight loss is not important when normalizing one's relationship with food... but maybe since she comes from a background of treating anorexics and bulimics, that advice is more related to stopping the self harming behaviors... I don't know. I will ask her that. Thank you for sharing your recovery story, and best wishes as you continue on!

Yanina~

I have no idea if she is DBT certified, but I will find out. She did mention possibly getting me to a nutritionist, depending on what she sees in my food log.

Lyn said...

Marianne~

I know those are probably duplicate comments because you didn't see the first one go through, but I left them both up because they each have a bit of different insight. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Fascinating, regarding an obese eating disorder specialist.

I once had a professor who also happened to be a practicing physician. During lecture one day, he noted the diet sodas lined up in front of many of us and said we should stop drinking that, because of (the phosphates? phosphorous? something regarding calcium depletion, I forget the name of the offending chemical). Regardless, his advice, while considered, also fell on partially deaf ears for me, because... he was morbidly obese. Several months later I saw him at a gas station getting a gas station hot dog and his advice lost even more credibility. (The guy that tells me not to drink diet soda is going to chow down on a chemical laden hot dog? Uh huh.) I judged him and his advice based on his weight.

It's hard, because I would judge an obese eating disorder specialist, just as I would judge a borderline "too thin" eating disorder specialist. I would judge any physician who was obese, yet at the same time I feel relieved when I get a fat nurse! I dread and loathe the obligatory doctor's office weigh-in, yet if the nurse weighs more than me, I feel better.

On the other hand, there is indeed something about "walking the walk." One of my favorite diet books ever (and I've read oh so many), is "The Diet Fix" by Dr. Yoni Freedhoff. He has a blog called "Weighty Matters." Smart guy, down to earth, practicing obesity physician. Reading his book, I felt like I could be his patient in his office. I mention him, because he walks the walk. He actually does everything in his own life that he asks of his patients. And because of this, in his book he gives some very specific examples of pitfalls and downfalls and bumps along the way one might encounter based on his own experience.

His book does not contain anything new - no magic foods, no magic deeds, no magic pills. You know everything in it. What is unique, however, is his compassionate approach and the way he explains everything. It really gave me a new perspective.

Anyway, walking the walk is important if it is your JOB. It's a fact of life. If you sell cosmetics for a living, no one will take you seriously if you don't wear makeup and you look like you just rolled out of bed. If you cut and color hair for a living, no one will want to be your customer if your hair would be deemed a fright by 95% of people walking by on the street. If you do nails for a living, but your nails are unpainted, bitten, and picked upon, who will want you to touch their hands? How about a dentist with yellow, crooked teeth and bad breath? If you are a personal trainer and have a giant beer gut, again, who will want to hire you or listen to your advice? A fat nutritionist? I could go on!

I'll say it again, walking the walk is important if it is what you do for a living. In any of the above situations, just as with your eating disorder specialist, it is DISTRACTING to have that type of interaction with someone. Therapy is the most intimate of interactions and at the very least you should not have to be distracted the entire session by wondering about why the person giving you eating advice is obese. It's not good for the therapeutic relationship and it's unprofessional.

On the other hand, I could also see how it would be unprofessional for her to tell you about it or address it. It's your time, your money, your therapy session; and taking time away to explain her weight could also be very odd and distracting. Besides, what is she supposed to do? Quit her job until she's thin? I don't know!

And although her weight is certainly distracting, it's not as if she cannot do her job just because she's obese, you know? If you were a UPS driver, but couldn't lift more than 15 pounds, you wouldn't have a job. But helping professions are different. They have the training, the education, and hours of practice before ever entering the working world. They ought to be able to help, regardless of their own exterior?

This is a fascinating topic!

Lyn said...

Anonymous~

really great comment! I happen to have a longtime doctor who is morbidly obese. He is one of the most informed, intelligent persons I know and I trust him completely on things in his field (he is a specialist). However I have wondered about the weight issue; he's been very large since I met him 15+ years ago. I ask for and respect his advice on many things, but I have never asked him for weight loss advice, and probably never will. And I know some people just don't respect an obese doctor at all (which I think is a mistake, but I understand the way it looks to some... just like the examples you mentioned).

heidi said...

I think one easy method to clarify whether you currently have binge eating disorder, is to ask yourself if you would engage in the behavior if there were 100% no consequences to that behavior. For example... how much alcohol would I personally drink in a week if there were no consequences to drinking? For me - 0 drinks. I get no real pleasure from drinking. How much cocaine would I use if given the same opportunity? None. Food? I would eat as much as I could for as long as I could, if there were honestly no weight gain or health consequences. I ENJOY eating. I enjoy binging. I get a positive thrill out of eating, that other people simply do not get. (Even stupid stuff like white toast with butter or oatmeal or white rice). It has to be quite similar to how alcoholics feel. And the ONLY thing that keeps me from that behavior is the consequences. If I could be 100% healthy and be an appropriate weight eating as much as I want in whatever quantities I want, I would be easily eating 10,000 calories a day. And I can honestly say that this will never change. No matter how thin I am, I will get much more pleasure out of a bowl of oatmeal than a "normal" person ever will.

I believe that there are physical, chemical, neurological changes that have happened to me that are permanent. And unless you live that reality, you can not understand how ridiculous the suggestion is to moderate your eating. I think about food ALL day, EVERY day. And normal people do not. This is what an alcoholic or drug addict experiences. And eating 1 snack size candy bar or 1 potato chip awakens a monster of obsessive food thoughts. And those food thoughts are NOT fun to fight. Why anyone would suggest that you fight against food MORE than you already do, is beyond me. It shows a true lack of understanding of what some of us are going through.

You know what eating 1 french fry does to me? I crave to eat 1000 french fries. My mind focuses on the french fries and I have food obsessed thoughts for hours. The negative experience of fighting my own drive to eat as much french fries as possible obliterates any possible positive pleasure of eating that 1 small french fry. I have NEVER in my life successfully kept a bag of chocolate candy in my house for a month, like a normal person. I focus on the candy, fight against the candy, and ultimately succumb to the candy. The candy wins. EVERY time. Shame follows.

The dry alcoholic analogy is spot on for me.

I do appreciate that for some people, the goal of normalizing food could be possible. For me - NO. I have eaten 10 pieces of toast in a row, since the age of 8 or 9. Something has been physically wrong with my body for a very long time. Just as there are many degrees of alcoholism, there can be degrees of BED or food obsession. Some people are just opportunistic binge eaters. Or they have a rough patch (divorce, death, etc) and use binge eating as a coping mechanism. These people may be able to look back in their life and remember a time when they ate normally. I can't. I have been fighting food for as long as I can remember. I know that you can remember a time when you had a normal relationship with food. But even if that is the case, I would say that getting to the point of being able to eat one of something is a battle for someone who is much further along in their battle.

Non-alcoholic beer exists (Kirin Free is one). Would I recommend that a sober alcoholic drink a bottle? Absolutely not. Would you? ... Is that even a goal the sober alcoholic should even aspire to? There are lots of other drinks in the world, just as there are lots of food choices out there.

As always, my experiences are my own and your food reality is likely different then mine. But I will say, that less than 5% take the weight off and KEEP it off. Those are tough odds. Why would you want to flirt with losing control of yourself, when history has already shown how hard that is.

Lyn said...

heidi~

wow, very interesting. And I really understand those feelings you describe. I asked myself the question just now... as you did... how much would I eat if I could be 100% healthy and there were no consequences? And surprisingly I think I would not binge. What I *would* do is choose junk food about 80% of the time though. If I could "get away with it" I'd pick things like french toast for breakfast, pizza and soda for lunch, and yep... cake for dinner!! But I would probably eat a portion that people would see as normal. Maybe seconds. I no longer like feeling overfull. I used to like that sensation. I like to feel FULL but not stuffed. I think I am what you called an opportunistic binge eater; I was a normal eater without food issues for 20+ years. The binge eating came with extreme stress. Even now, the extreme food cravings and thoughts and the desire to overeat comes when I am stressed out. When I am happy and feeling good, sure, I'd still like a candy bar... but not a binge. However, I know one candy bar can trigger wanting another one. So I'm better off sticking to things like dark chocolate, which doesn't "bother" me that way.

Orchid64 said...

So, your thin counselor has no idea what it's like to have an eating disorder and minimizes your issues by normalizing the behavior and your fat counselor must not have any answers because she suffers the same issues? It seems that you want it both ways - someone who can empathize and understand, but has not suffered your issues (or has totally overcome them).

You are doing what a lot of people do when they see a therapist - waiting to find someone who tells you what you want to hear rather than what will lead you to a healthier relationship with food. The thing is, it is clear that you don't want a healthy relationship with food or do the work it takes to develop one. You want to be thin, but you want to be thin without the torment you have to endure to get that way.

The ED counselor is trying to help you start on a path of having control over your eating by stopping the destructive cycles which cause you to be obsessed with food (restriction causes obsession) and to live a more normal relationship with food. Because you want to be thin, you resist what she says. That's your prerogative, but you are not going to lose weight or the eating disorder if you keep rejecting the steps that will lead you toward losing either or both.

All of the commenters who are saying, "I'm not an ED counselor" and who are telling you how wrong she was? They're right. They're not counselors, and it really shows in their attitudes and advice. Thinness is not the sign of a mentally healthy relationship with food. Diet success is not a marker of knowing how to deal with eating disorders. This is about a process, and people resist those processes because they prefer to do what they feel comfortable with rather than the hard work of healing. Sometimes that work means doing something and failing until you've gotten well enough to succeed.

You're so deep into diet land (and have been for so long) that I don't think you'll ever get out. Most of the people who diet blog are sick and prefer to remain in an echo chamber of the equally sick. You've been doing this for so long and you're not happy or successful. Why not at least give her advice a solid try... which means, you know, committing to it rather than resisting and claiming it isn't what you wanted to hear so you're not going to really invest in the process? Also, you might want to read "It Was Me All Along" about a woman who suffered from weight issues and found her peace (and thinness) following precisely the type of advice that your counselor has given you.

Deb Willbefree said...

Orchid64,

You said, "All of the commenters who are saying, "I'm not an ED counselor" and who are telling you how wrong she was? They're right. They're not counselors, and it really shows in their attitudes and advice. "

It shows in your comment, too.

As a professional counselor with
2 graduate degrees & 25 years of counseling experience in trenches that no book could prepare you for, I am appalled by your broad brush and accusatory tone.

I'll leave Lyn to defend herself or not, but I just couldn't let your comment pass unment.

Lyn said...

Thanks Deb.

Orchid~

I don't really get where you are coming from with the beginning of your comment; I didn't say or mean to imply any of that about the two counselors. I find value in them both, and was just relaying my experience and thoughts. Also, just for the record, I don't "want to be thin." I want to be healthy, which probably means I need to get somewhere below 200 pounds, but I don't think I will ever qualify as "thin" and that's okay with me. If I did want to be thin, I would not start by eating donuts and potato chips when I crave them. That would definitely not lead to thinness in my case! I'll take a look at the book you mentioned though; thanks for the suggestion.

timothy said...

well not wanting to attack or be mean here at all but honestly Orchid if this post bothered you that much mayhaps you should explore the why of that. I did make a comment about the ed counselor being heavy but that's the same as a beautition with horrible hair or a tattoo artist with prison ink I wont let them near me. you have to look out for yourself first and foremost and yes listening to opinions is also important but I think Lyn is just frustrated with getting the right person who "fits" with her needs and not simply looking for a "yes" man.

timothy said...

this post really stayed with me and I shared it with my readers along with a recommendation to your blog and the link, hope that's ok. have a GREAT week!

Anonymous said...

I have mentioned it here before that Kay Sheppard has written excellent books about food addiction. Everything you are discussing here.
Basically you have to remove all "addictive substances" from your food, like sugar, wheat, high fat foods. Anything that can trigger binges. And also one needs to follow a "controlled food plan", meaning weighing and measuring portions. Her food plan allows whole grains, I question that a little bit, grains are not good for some people.

What that eating disorder specialist said was totally absurd and shows she doesn't have a clue.
Hayley

Amy said...

It sounds like the ED counselor is touching on something that she will expand on, and it sounds a lot like the stuff I've been reading in Geneen Roth's philosophy. When we attribute "good" and "bad" labels to food, we attach an emotional response to it- if the food is bad and we eat it, we are bad. Then we use that emotionally-charged food for a purpose. The key to eating what you want when you want it is to eat slowly, without distraction, paying attention to how your body is feeling. The idea is that, when something is forbidden, you want it more, it evokes emotions and pushes you to eat more. Not eating exactly what you wanted typically turns into eating several other things that are "good" which leads to more calories and less satisfaction than actually eating the "bad" thing. I know for myself, if I tell myself, "I can have chocolate whenever I want" it immediately takes away the urgency to eat chocolate. Maybe that is the reversed psychology way of dieting.

Leslie said...

I'm late to the party here, but what a great discussion. I told you in my last comment that I'm going to one OA meeting a week. It's all I can take. That said, I do absolutely accept that I am a compulsive eater and overeater, and because of my long history in AA, I know that I can use the principles of recovery as outlined in the AA Bigbook to help me with my eating issues.

What absolutely blew my mind was that at the 3rd OA meeting I went to, they read from the Bigbook, and they read one of the first things in the book, even before Bill W's story, which is "The Doctor's Opinion". I just read it this morning and when I relate what it says about the abnormal body reaction of the addict (alcoholic, food addict..), as being a very real component of the malady, I got at a new and much deeper understanding of how when I expose my body to certain foods, my body has a reaction (he calls it an allergy) that most others' bodies do not have. For me, when I eat "a little bag of chips", dollars to donuts I'm going to want more. My body reacts differently than others' to the relatively benign nature of potato chips. Ingestion of certain foods sets up a craving in the body, coupled with a mental obsession - just like booze did when I drank.

Lyn, please google "AA - the Doctor's Opinion", and read it with an open mind. This ED therapist does not sound like she gets the true nature of food obsession and addiction. You already indicate (in your post) that you KNOW some of what she suggested is purely bogus. Trust you gut...no pun intended! And dialoging with you is making me think of restarting my blog!

Lyn said...

timothy~

Thanks! I will head over to read your blog shortly :)

All of these comments are SO thought provoking! I have so many things rumbling around in my head now about this whole topic.

I also appreciate the reading recommendations... will check those out!

I have done the Geneen Roth thing and blogged about it... it almost feels like I am broken when I try to eat that way. And from my experience I feel so much better without certain foods in my life at all. Experience has to count for something, right?

My endocrinologist even recommended cutting out certain foods completely and when I asked about food allergies he said there is a different reaction, a "sensitivity" that can affect our health without a full blown allergic reaction.

Lots to think about here! I enjoy the discussion!

heidi said...

I just love to read the comments to your posts. :)

Something else I think about (for myself), is what is the end goal?

1) Does it matter if I am classified as a binge eater? - I honestly don't care one way or the other. What matters to me is the behavior. I do not want the shame, my stomach stretched out, the sick feelings or the weight gain that accompany binge eating. I hope to have relief from the mental urge to binge eat. Fighting myself is not fun.

2)Does it matter if I can learn to eat pizza in moderation? For me, no. I don't believe wheat is healthy (for me especially, but honestly, for anyone). Socially it would be nice to be able to eat what everyone else is eating at times, but I don't mind the idea that my body is a temple and deserves better than to eat pizza regardless of what everyone else is eating. ... I like to remind myself that I FEEL better when I abstain from wheat. I FEEL better when I abstain from potato chips. There are a lot of things I abstain from in life as a health choice. I'm not honestly sure that "everything in moderation" is any healthier than abstaining from things that don't make you live the best healthy life. There are plenty of "treats" that fit into my food plan that aren't triggers or insulin / auto-immune triggers. Maybe a sign of maturity and being at a healthy place mentally is the ability to choose to eat things that make you feel your best and get to the place where you aren't fighting yourself about it or having feelings of woe is me?

3)Does it matter if I am "normal" in my eating to an outside observer? I no longer care about that. I used to. Now it makes me angry when friends/family insist I eat something I don't want to. I wouldn't push alcohol on an alcoholic and I expect the same courtesy when I say "no thank you". I would like to be able to eat meals with my husband, but I spent 15 years doing that and gained from 165 to 261 lbs. Obviously something wasn't working with that food plan. Being fussy about what I put in my body is a gift that I am learning to give myself. If I do choose to eat off-plan it better darn well be worth it.

Anyway, I think it's interesting that your counselor thought it was a worthwhile goal to eat like everyone else does. (In moderation of course!) Everyone I know (LITERALLY) is fighting their weight. The only people I know who aren't worried about how fat they are are small children. That says something about what aspiring for normalcy might bring you. How many 40 year old women do you know who are naturally thin without food restricting eating foods like pizza and corn chips (in moderation) along with their normal food plans. I don't know ANYONE. Even women who were naturally really slender in their 20's without any effort are fighting their weight (with a big wheat belly) by their 40's. The 40 year old women that I know who are trim, put a heck of a lot of effort into maintaining their figures.

I believe eating a lot of grains, starches and sugars is unnatural to the human body and dis-regulates hunger/satiety signals. High insulin levels leads to an inability to easily use fat stores for energy. I believe the standard america diet is not natural and it is not a diet that leads to the best health. Is it a worthwhile goal to aspire to eat the standard american diet (in moderation)?

For myself, the goal is happiness and acceptance (and not fighting myself mentally) eating the healthiest, most nutritious things I can all the time. My body is a temple. It's the only one I will ever have and hopefully will last me a lot longer in good health.


Anonymous said...

What strikes me is that the advice is essentially what a non-expert who had no training would say: Just go ahead and have whatever you want but don't overeat.

Food disorders are similar to any type of compulsive disorder. Would a therapist tell a client who couldn't stop washing his hands to just stop doing it more than once?

My feeling about experts in any discipline is that they differ widely in their approaches and abilities.

Her weight would be a red flag for me but as you've said, you don't know the details about that. It's her advice that would give me pause.

All the best to you,

Arabella

Anonymous said...

Having lost 116 pounds and maintained that loss for four years I just wanted to add my perspective. Seeking help and advice is good, but ultimately the solution has to come from within you. Your behavior and attitudes have to change. Period. Take what works for you, work it into your day to day life, and don't obsess over what doesn't work for you.

But I will reinforce one thing the counselor told you that I have found useful for me. Exercise is a critical element of success in both weight loss and maintenance. I do some form of moderate exercise at least an hour six days a week. If I'm feeling snacky, I might add a long walk. It gets me out of the house and I firmly believe that for me, exercise releases hormones that help curb hunger. I'm just not as hungry after I have exercised.

Finally, while changing your food choices might seem like focusing on NOT doing something (eating), to me exercise seems more pro-active. It is physically doing something to help get you to your goal. Good luck, Lyn!

MargieAnne said...

l'm also late to the party.

First ....what is normal eating? For me it is enjoying my food without guilt, not constantly eating for emotional comfort, and not feeling driven or compelled to eat. I believe food should be mainly a pleasurable experience but not obsessively so.

My main philosophy around food is that it's essential to fuel our bodies properly to be healthy so enjoy it as much as you can, even have some fun with food.

With this in mind most of the time, I generally make healthy choices and enjoy. This has not always been so. I have had a love-hate relationship with food more years than I care to think about. For a long time eating was a secret, subconscious, way to kill myself.

For me the change came gradually with experience and self knowledge.

The greatest change though, came after reading Wheat Belly by William Davies and eliminating wheat.

It is absolutely normal to eliminate certain foods if they are problematic for any reason. A person with an allergy would be crazy to deliberately cause a reaction. Why should trigger foods be treated differently?

We are all individual and that means we will each have differing degrees of chemical reactions which are magnified by physical and mental distress. Therefore it's important to know yourself, which I think you do.

The only thing that concerns me is changing one form of eating disorder for another, such as forming a "dieting mentality".

I recognise this risk, because I have to become strictly on focus when I make changes but there should come a time when you can relax because the change has become a favourite way of eating. For instance I now prefer to cook with coconut flour, not wheat. It's normal and fun, not a drudgery.

I would be very cautious of any counsellor who told me to ignore what I had learned about my own body. Deb has the best advice in my book.

As I read your blog it seems to me that you have many healthy thought patterns and perhaps need to learn to believe in yourself a little more and trust your own instincts.

Hope you can work through this in a way that satisfies you.

Blessings

Deb Willbefree said...

Heidi,

Woohoo!!! Very well said. Apparently that whole "normalization" goal has gotten notice from several of us. I wrote a post about it on my own blog last night. The title: "For today, I decided to not be normal."

Your comment said it better with a lot less words! (I got into a bit of a rant r/t counseling.)

Just wanted you to know that I enjoyed your comment.

Deb

LHA said...

Lyn, I have been mulling over this post and all the wonderful comments for a day now. It is a topic that is at the very heart of my own struggle so I am intensely interested in all opinions.

Like many of the commenters here I am familiar with just about every "expert" opinion on weight loss, food plans, food addiction and all the myriad ways to handle this problem. I ate very low carb and totally sugar free for about three years. My weight went down, I felt good and in control all the time. It was the most successful sustained period of healthy eating in my whole life.

However.......and there is always a "however" it seems.....after doing so well and feeling in good control for those three years or loss/maintenance I gradually began to let more cars and sugar into my diet. The predictable disaster ensued and I gained all the weight back plus a lot more. It was as though a dam burst and I had no control at all.

Going forward I read more, tried more strategies, and came up with the idea (Geneen Roth-like) that labeling foods as good or bad had a negative effect on my ability to control eating. So, I have been trying kind of a middle of the road approach. I do eat low carb and sugar free (or try to) most of the time. However, I do indulge in chips or pizza or cake at RARE times when it is a social occasion when it is likely to make me feel deprived or cause me to overeat later to make up for that deprivation. I tell myself "This is just cake/chips/pizza/etc. It is just a food, not a good or bad thing. If you really want some, eat it. Remember to think about when you are full and the fact that you can have more another time if you like." I also try to make sure my days following are carefully low carb and sugar free. This works for me.....but NOT ALWAYS! Sometimes it sets off a bad and prolonged eating response. I am now revisiting this same issue that you are considering. Do these foods have such a negative effect on me that I will have to go back to a stricter regimen? I will really look forward to hearing what you decide and how it goes. I thank all the people who gave their opinions also, as it gives some additional insight.

Anonymous said...

Lyn, as I've said before, you are moving away from the OCD binging. I've seen the gradual movement down. I read a blog by a nutritionist who is heavy, it happens.http://bvmrd.blogspot.com/You don't have to be thin to be healthy, so please don't conflate the two, there are profoundly unhealthy people who are thin.

I used to be more of a binge eater, now I pick and choose. I have a big bag of open potato chips. I have some apples, apple chips, etc. If I find myself binging on something, (gluten-free bagel chips, for example) I will take stock again, or make popcorn, or figure out why that particular binge is hitting me. For me, the 'only' thing I can't eat is gluten, but I try to figure out alternatives when I am craving something. I can't do the "I will never have that food again" because it triggers me. I like the Pamela's ginger cookies, for example, but I rarely buy them because they become a "eat the whole package" IF they are out. So I'll have a couple of cookies and then freeze the rest. Or make some kind of concoction that satisfies the "sweet" with, for example, pumpkin and coconut milk... Or a caramel popcorn. (which is lower-cal when you make it at home). I think going to her could really be good for you. We have such a food culture that it is important to "normalize" your relationship with food.

Lyn said...

Well, I was about to start writing a new post about this stuff, when I got a "reminder call" on the phone that I have another appointment with her tomorrow! Wow, well ok... now that I think about it she did say if she had any cancellations she would like to see me again sooner. I still have an appointment with her set up for a couple weeks from now, too. Guess I better make a list of questions and things I want to discuss with her... because there's a lot of thoughts rattling around in my head now.

Anonymous said...

I tried the advice your counselor gave me, knowing I was insulin resistant. I tried to stay away from carbohydrates, and ate mostly protein and vegetables with an occasional carb at meals, but never true overindulging. When I went to the doctor yesterday, I had gained 14 pounds. It's not my thyroid, I am just severely insulin resistant and need to basically eliminate carbs to reverse it. I thought maybe you might want to check that possibility out, because I know you have these ED moments, but for the most part you stay on track. If you are having trouble making progress, it could be a medical reason that is making it difficult. Get tested. It may open your eyes as to the why!

Catherine55 said...

I actually agree with her advice. For me, if I crave a particular food and don't let myself have it, I wind up eating around that food until I finally give in and eat it. Once I realized that this generally results in me taking in a ton of extra calories that I wouldn't otherwise have had, I decided to just have a reasonable amount of the food I was craving instead. It's a strategy that works well for me.

Vickie said...

Barbara Berkeley, in a post long ago, said they hired a person in her practice, who was over weight, thinking patients would be better able to relate to her, and it did not work. Patients refused to work with her. They said if she could not "cure" herself WHY was she working with patients.

Of your therapist. My gut reaction is that she is in total denial and is enabling of herself and others. And she obviously does not understand insulin resistance/diabetes either . . .

I personally would not work with a therapist, physical therapist, or nutritionist who had extra weight on them. And I look for these types of specialists who are also very fit and have good lifestyle habits. They cannot support mine if they don't have them themselves.

I stopped going to a physical therapist because she had incredibly bad posture (not a health issue, I asked, I switched to someone else in same group with a yoga/pilates background).

Out of four nutritionists I have met, two have been obese. I had to actively hunt for one who really understood about insulin resistance, was thin and was in very good shape (this gets into the whole issue of do you want to treat the diabetes or not be diabetic?)

If smoking, drugs, drinking, gambling, etc were obvious to the glance, I would probably be writing the same thing about over doing those issues.

Kristine said...

I held back from talking to you about this because I didn't want to offend you in any way. I myself discovered I had an eating disorder about 3 months ago. I had a feeling I had one for a long time but just brushed it off. I am obese and diagnosed with a not other wise specified ED. Anyway, I have found my support system through youreatopia.com Please go there and read everything. I mean everything.
You telling yourself the advice the doc gave you is your inner ED voice speaking. Just please go to that website and go through the blog archives and forums. I promise you that you will not regret it.
I would take the advice of the comments on your blog with a grain of salt. BECAUSE unless they personally had an ED and have been there and done that that there advice is hogwash.
I wish you nothing but the best of luck on your road to recovery.

PJ Geek said...

I did not read all of your other comments -just a few of the first ones, so I don't have any idea what anyone else said before me. I hope you read this. First , I want to recommend you take all comments with 'a grain of salt'. Wait it out . What is right for you? not your blog buddies. I think you owe it to yourself to have another appointment with this ed specialist and to ask her specifically about her weight because you question her validity and you question if the advice is correct . Because your first impression to everything she said seemed to be NOOOOOO! My first response to the suggestions of Ed counselors was also a big fat No and complaining . I think most of us do that. I suggest this from experience.



I have overeating / compulsive eating disorder and I tend to want to use exercise / high fiber foods to affect my weight (normal but sometimes in the extreme.) Eating disorders can be progressive and any time I over eat now I wish I could purge and actually consider it. I would never think that of doing that before "that" is really sick. My binges now though are more about the feelings behind eating the wrong foods versus volume and quantity as they were in my very active ED days.

My highest weight since I was a teen was 345 lbs and my lowest since I was a teen was 210 when I recently lost 135 lbs. I've regained about 55 pounds. My body is very resistant to weight loss but also has not continued to gain.

The real problem with weight loss for me is dealing with the years of restricting foods / types of foods, following nutrisystem or similar plans, and the rebound that happens after this kind of restriction.

I think from what I've read of your blog over the years and those of other commenters we all are a little too obsessed. I've had outpatient ED treatment and worked with therapists and at least 5 different ED dieticians and was involved in OA for many years This is over a 20 year period.

It is hard to accept the concept of normalizing food, because we are so entrenched in our efforts to lose weight and overcome our habits and addictions. We feel bad when we have those foods. We read the blogs of others who are
able to follow a strict "no sugar" or "no grains" or whatever diet. We get advice from these people or blog comments and we think we need to follow their advice . So yeah, normalizing food sounds wrong, wrong, wrong. You feel bad when you allow yourself to follow any other plan . I remember when you made a perfectly healthy sugar free chocolate item and people ranted all over you.

I will tell you that most of the Ed dieticians now recommend normalizing food. Maybe you need baby steps. Just one type of food or one item. Work with that and then move on to another. You may not want to openly blog this because you will get slammed by some of your followers who have a different view point.

I'fired' one Ed dietician because she suggested I not journal my food and exercise. Also , we had a Trader joe's excursion and she totally didn't get what I felt when faced with the goodies in a place like that and then also mentioned a jewelry collection she was going to sale, I totally didn't agree with any of that and fired her. But the normalizing food concept was right and I've had 2 other dieticians since that worked with me on that.

You may want to fire this ed counselor, but you may want to at least give it a try for a little while to see how you really feel about it. I fear though it will be hard to express yourself in your blog.

good luck

Anonymous said...

Reading these comments is appalling. There are some people out there who are healthy at an obese BMI, people. I'm so shocked I don't even know what to say. Or you know, she could have a legit (ridiculous I should even have to say that), reason for gaining weight like Meds or an illness.

More and more research shows that STRESS (including sleep deprivation) is the number one reason people are gaining weight. Stress leads to the body asking for more food and in turn, a person gains weight. Oh yes, also, yo-yo dieting. Because study after study has shown that 95% of all diets fail within 5 years and the person almost always gains back more then they have lost after the diet.

When I went to an eating disorder specialist for my ED (not BED), he had a morbidly obese receptionist. Rather then think he must not know what he was talking about because his employee was fat, I was appreciative of the fact he did not fall in to societies obsession with weight and thinness. And he didn't. He was a leading doctor in the field and I would sure have missed out if I had judged him based on the weight of who he hired.

i am so upset by these comments I don't even know if I am making sense and should probably come back another day. Disheartening.

Deb Willbefree said...

Hey, Lyn.

Serial commenter here. :}

I was just wondering how your visit went with the ED counselor...assuming you went to that next appointment.

This post certainly did generate a lot of strong comments.

The issue of the counselor's weight has come up, sometimes in a significantly indignant voice, so I wanted to add a thought on that.

As I said in a previous comment, her obesity does not disqualify her as an ED counselor--but it does not make her qualified either.

The thing is, from a professional counselor's POV, her weight is something she should have brought up herself. Yes. She should have.

It would be usual practice for the counselor to wait to see if the client would bring u the subject, but if the client did not, then the counselor should have.

If it was a non-eating related issue for which you were seeing her, then her weight required no explanation on her part. If the client asked about it, even tho the that client's presenting problem was not weight related, the counselor needs to address that issue openly and honestly, pursuing what the client's issue is and why--BUT when the presenting problem IS weight/eating related, sound practice requires the counselor to address her own weight issues.

All of those "good reasons" other commenters had would be stated (if they exist) and the opportunity would be provided to discuss how we have place value judgments on a person, and ourselves, because of weight.

Her not discussing her weight missed that opportunity, of course, but since her avoidance of that issue is contrary to sound practices, I have to wonder why that oversight occurred.

She may have hit on it in the subsequent sessions, tho, and I'm terribly curious to find that out.

Please note. To all of the commenters who are indignant on this ED counselor's behalf and sensitive to fat discrimination issues: I was a 250 pound counselor. I am still a counselor and now weigh 215 pounds. MY opinion is not some sort of indication of my own self-loathing issues. :} It is truly related to sound counseling practices.

And while I'm taking ujp your comment space, lyn,let me add tha all of this food normalization talk seems to forget that one can forego a food without applying a moral judgment on it. There are legitimate health reasons to not eat gluten (Thyroid, celiacs, dermatitis herpetiformis) for three) and to limit sweets/high carb food (diabetes, insulin resistance)

It is not a good thing to encourage someone to eat what is toxic to them so that they can be "normal" about food.

Just sayin'

Deb

Lyn said...

Good points Deb, thank you. I hope to find time to update re:the second visit soon! Been busy.

Anonymous said...

Um, no. An ED therapist does not have to justify their weight to their clients at all. I would never in a million years expect my therapist to bring it up, because guess what, I'm not paying my therapist to tell me about her eating issues, I'm paying her to work on mine. Also, I accept and have done enough research about weight, etc, to know that every person is different and weight is not as simple as what/how much you eat and how much you exercise, or that it has to do with someone having emotional issues and an inability to control themselves.

A therapist is not there to give nutrition advice. That is for a nutritionist or dietician. They are there to work on your relationship with food and underlying anxiety or other issues. Why on earth does a "fat" therapist have to justify their weight when a thin one doesn't? What a double standard! In fact, I know several, therapists that have anorexia or bulimia that are treating patients with those same disorders...but am I expected to ask an underweight therapist why she is underweight? Or is this only for fat therapists?

I am a recovering anorexic. My therapist is obese. And she is amazing. I never in a million years would have asked her to justify her weight to me. Absolutely absurd that anyone would even say it is appropriate to have her do so.

Deb Willbefree said...

Um, where in my comment did I use, or imply, the word "justify"?

If that's what you heard, you're hearing it from an defensive position that is unwarranted. I would hope that no counselor would feel defensive when discussing the circumstance of her weight--whether under or over weight.

And, yes, both under and over weight would be appropriate topics for an ED session.

As far as nutrition, reread Lyn's post. I believe donuts were involved...

Lyn, I apologize for all of the typos in my last comment. I was in a hurry and didn't have time to proof. Which is proof that I'm not a secretary. :o

Interesting that this post and the subsequent comments have so much emotion in them. I guess our food issues and the emotions that surround them die hard.