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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.


The word perfection is a destructive fantasy in the mind set of a person with an eating disorder. We need to keep returning to Gracian #1 maxim that explores the human meaning of the word. A person caught in the rigid mind set of an eating disorder seeks perfection as  way of escaping her real and imagined flaws. If she is perfect she is beyond criticism and therefore, safe.

But in the Gracian meaning our friend Baltasar is talking about working toward perfection by tending daily to all aspets of your humanity. Personally and professionally he suggests

that you "round off your gifts". That means, in our investigation of needed development for eating disorder recovery, that you carefully examine all your human qualities and work to improve yourself in all ways.

An eating disorder life means you live by following inner demands to relieve your anxieties immediately by the most available means possible.  That usually means eating or starving. It also can mean denying your own values and beliefs as you defer to some perceived authority who will or might praise you or deem you acceptable in some way.

Going for real human perfection, as Baltasar seems to mean the activity, is to cultivate your mind, your taste, your talents, your skills.  It's about becoming the best you can be in all ways possible so you can live with wisdom in speech and action.

To reach for this kind of perfection is a far cry from trying to fit into size zero or convincing people you are happy and confident when you are achingly sad and frightened behind your facade.

In this light, what areas in your life need attention?  What do you need to cultivate to develop what you lack?

For example, do you need to learn to hold your feelings without bursting in high emotional drama or binge eating? Maybe you need to stop talking about how you wished you could play the piano and start taking lessons.  What do you want to know?  What do you want to be better at? Who do you want to know or where would you like to go?  After you answer the question most relevant for, then ask yourself, what is my first step to makikng that desire an accomplishment?

When you actually make that step you are on you are reaching for the kind of perfection that the Spanish monk is talking about. You don't have to let your eating disorder shape your your humanity and your life. You can reach for what you care about and take action so you form yourself into the person you truly are.




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