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If you suffer from an eating disorder now or have in the past, please email Joanna for a free telephone consultation.



Eating Disorder Recovery
Joanna Poppink, MFT
Eating Disorder Recovery Psychotherapist
serving Arizona, California, Florida, Oregon and Utah.
All appointments are virtual.


candleBreaking free of artificial and culturally imposed standards of living and behaviors can help you make your holidays joyful regardless of your situation.

Yes, staying on your eating disorder recovery path during the holidays is a challenge, but it can be done if you clarify your vision and rally your courage to support your heart's desire.

According to the mail I'm getting, holiday worries and tension are caused by:

  • Being with family for uncomfortable amounts of time
  • Being around triggering food situations
  • Being short on cash and long on expectations and yearnings
  • Taking on tasks to create a holiday that meets with past and present expectations - often unachievable
  • Being alone
  • Being crowded
  • Being needed
  • Being neglected
  • Being assumed, i.e., taken for granted that you will go along with other people's plans

Do any of these situations apply to you? Which are triggering for you and which are not?

When you are flooded by feelings associated with any of these situations, your awareness of what is possible to have a genuine happy holiday for yourself and your loved ones is blocked. You are inundated with feelings and a narrow vision with few or no solutions. Eating disorder messages and behaviors can look like comforting solutions or escape routes.

What if you put all these concerns in a box and set it aside?

"Hah," you say. "Nice trick if you can do it."

I'm suggesting that you can do it. If you take all the things that are troubling you during the holidays and move them to the side of your mind, what have you got left? In other words, what do the holidays really mean to you?

Breathe. Be still. Empty your mind of chores, packages, shops, cooking, decorating, money, what other people want.

Say, "Yes, I know you are there, but I'm putting you to the side right now."

Allow what you really care about to come forward.

Once you know, then you can alter your priorities and aim for what you do want. Will you take different actions? Will you ask for what you want? Will you say yes and no differently?

What are the old stories of your heritage that touch your heart? How can you bring them into your present experience?

Hint: You won't find the answer to these questions in commercials, storefronts, internet hype or how much you have in your bank account.

Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Written by Joanna Poppink, MFT. Joanna is a psychotherapist in private practice specializing in eating disorder recovery, stress, PTSD, and adult development.

She is licensed in CA, AZ, OR, FL, and UT. Author of the Book: Healing Your Hungry Heart: Recovering from Your Eating Disorder

Appointments are virtual.

For a free telephone consultation, e-mail her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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