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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.

In developing the layers of my eating disorder recovery book I rediscovered the term "gut understanding."

My own gut feeling that led to my gut understanding in response to the term was, "oh, my gosh.  What a telling expression!"

What came to my mind immediately was this:

If your gut is starving or burning from acidic juices (anorexic people understand this) or stretched beyond its normal capacity from overeating or binging, gut feelings are obliterated. Understanding based on gut feelings, i.e. gut understanding, is not possible.

A visceral knowing that is essential to intuition, to signals of danger and signals of opportunity is lost.

In book writing, planning, exploring mode my mind goes in what might seem surprising directions. The thought occurs to me that you might be getting a tiny gut feeling that could lead to gut understanding just prior to an eating disorder behavior surge.

If that whisper of a gut feeling seem intolerable the feeling acts as a trigger for you to get protection by acting out your eating disorder. If you are bulimic you will binge and purge.  If you are anorexic you will obsess about getting smaller.  If you are a compulsive overeater you will steadily graze, perhaps with increased dedication.

I wonder how you think or, especially, feel about gut feelings and gut understanding. Where did they help you? Where are you sorry you didn't listen to them. Do you think it's possible to trust them? What happens if you hold off on acting out? What are those feelings that come in?

What they are will be different for every person.  But the system of blocking them with eating disorder behaviors is what we need to change. And that means we need to know what those feelings are about.  Agree?







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