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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.


What do you reach for when you are bewildered, sad, weary, feeling alone, not sure about your direction or feeling weak? What are your standbys that take care of you and bring you sturdiness or clarity or energy to stride into your life? Do you have recovery standbys?

I have several fall back proven winners.   They are meditation or mindfulness exercises, journal writing, books, healthy meals [protein, vegetables, fruit, water, grains], adequate rest, walking my dog, dancing and.....swimming.

This is life without an eating disorder. No escaping into food or starvation. I need to be present and capable to fulfill the challenges I've set in motion. So do you.

So I'm back in the pool after several years of not swimming on a regular basis.  What a joy to feel my whole self glide through the water.  I feel cool and sleek as a seal. Each stroke in the crawl stretches my body, mind and spirit.  I feel a happiness in my muscles as they once again do what they know and love to do, working in harmony to propel me through the water.

My old standard was one thousand meters.  I did a thousand because I liked the sound of it.  I felt I had a solid accomplishment with a thousand meters.  I even like writing it. The athletes at my gym respected that number.  No matter that I alternated laps doing the crawl and then the back stroke.  No matter that I didn't and still don't have speed.  Nor do I generate that impressive ryhtmic splash that the gym heroes seem do create effortlessly.  But, a thousand meters is a thousand meters.  I stand tall on that number.

Two weeks ago I did 500 meters.  Last week I did 600 meters.  This week I did 700 meters.  I feel myself getting stronger.  Plus, I meet people.

Today after I swam 500 meters, I met Ian, a gym hero, Ian.  Ian showed me how to use a medicine ball in the water.  At first I didn't understand his directions.  When I tried to follow I did something that was so simple and easy I knew I was not working against any resistance. He said, "Dive down and watch me do it under water."

I did.  I saw power and grace in his powerful legs as he walked and forced the ball through the water with massive muscle power.  What I saw looked like a Giant in a fairy tale crossing a farm in one stride, pushing aside whole trees as he went.  I came up and said, "I see it. I see the rhythm and the twist."  Then I added, "You stride with power."

He smiled and said, "That's it," and tossed me the ball.  I was striding with power!  I strode like a Giant, pushing away all resistance in my path.  And that's the metaphor I need now, in my body as well as my soul. Afterwards I swam another two hundred meters.

What helps you stride with power in your life?  Where do you experience the pleasure of pushing away all resistence in your path?


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