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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.

 joanna@poppink.com

 

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

 

gold *
Crowd your life with intense activity, focus on achievement, steel yourself to bear relentless competition, take personal pride in tolerating physical and emotional pain, ignore or repel people who offer you alternatives and you create fertile ground for an eating disorder to take hold of your mind, body and soul.


I read a telling article, Girls Gymnastics: When a Bright Spotlight Casts a Dark Shadow. It's  on the Eating Disorder Hope Blog and written by the staff of Timberline Knolls.

As I read the descriptions of what it takes to be a competitive gymnast I saw all the danger signals for developing an eating disorder.  But I also saw something that applies to far more than young girls doing their best to be perfect Olympic 10's.

I saw a determined, all encompassing life style and brain set that would be highly resistant to eating disorder recovery work.  I saw a system designed to surround, hold and encourage - no demand - the pursuit of excellence that takes the individual far beyond the limits of physical, emotional and mental health.

To introduce eating disorder recovery work to young girls caught in competitive gymnastics would involve changing the sport, changing the judging system, scaling back the training and moving away from making it the extreme sport it has become.  After all, how can you be competitive and go for a win if your style is to be balanced, practice self care and live a well rounded life?

Are you in such a situation?  Are you "going for the gold" in some way that throws your life off balance? Are your days filled with intensity?  Do you have a narrow and extreme focus on particular activities or tasks? Are you sacrificing your health and your relationships as you compete with others or yourself to reach a near or actual impossible goal?

I think of residents in medical training, lawyers in competitive practices and students in military academies. I think of mothers and fathers working beyond their limits, perhaps to make enough money for the family to function, but perhaps to be able to afford a lifestyle that is costing them their health, their family and their lives. 

If you are living a 24/7 life of demands and have an eating disorder, please know that recovery will involve what you may experience as a massive change in your life style. 

For solid recovery from an eating disorder you need an overarching philosophy that says balance in life is what makes you a successful person.  Eating disorders are extreme measures designed to blind and numb a person to their genuine experiences as they move on a destructive course.  Healing and health brings us back to the **golden mean. Can you "go for the golden mean?"

*This image is in the public domain because it contains materials that originally came from the United States Geological Survey, an agency of the United States Department of Interior. For more information, see the official USGS copyright policy.

**Iphilosophy, especially that of Aristotle, the golden mean is the desirable middle between two extremes, one of excess and the other of deficiency. For example courage, a virtue, if taken to excess would manifest as recklessness and if deficient as cowardice.

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