buffet-food-ray-yu-flickrExcerpts from Chapters 1 - 14 from Healing Your Hungry Heart: recovering from your eating disorder, by Joanna Poppink, MFT, 2011, Conari Press Read Excerpts

"Unreal to Real: Snapshots of My Story" Chapter 1 Excerpt


"Self-observation is an instrument of self-change, a means of awakening."
-- George Gurdjieff

I started making myself throw up when I was thirteen years old and dint stop for thirty years.  I hope that the snapshots of my story and other women's stories in this book, coupled with my own healing and recovery work with women for over twenty-five years, can help you find your personal path to recovery.

"Beginning to Free Yourself" Chapter 2 Excerpt

“In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved.”
--Franklin D. Roosevelt

Before you picked up this book, you probably looked for ways to recovery many times.  Maybe some of your methods were questionable: You tried diets to lose weight; you chewed sugarless gum until your jaw ached; you may have tried drugs to squelch your appetite or control your feelings.  Maybe you surrendered to your eating disorder and isolated yourself with TV and binge food as your main companions.  In public, you may have hidden your too-thin or too-fat or just plain unacceptable body in layers of clothing, smiled a smile you didn’t mean, and kept yourself so busy you didn’t have time to know what you were feeling.  You may have distracted eyes from your rotund or skeletal body by wearing expensive or flamboyant jewelry.

"Early Warning Signs" Chapter 3 excerpt

“Every patient carries her or his own doctor inside.”
--Albert Schweitzer

Your first and ongoing challenge is to not judge yourself.  Merciless self-condemnation is a symptom of an eating disorder. You may have people in place who do that for you – that’s another sign.  If you can’t resist criticizing yourself, give yourself a time limit to do so, and then do your breathing exercises.  A brief mindful breathing practice after a bout of self-criticism can help you realign yourself with self-kindness.

"How Do I Begin Recovery?" Chapter 4 Excerpt

“What will open the door is daily awareness and attention.”

……Was this my starting point? I certainly thought so.  But I had already chosen these people to be in my life.  I created the opportunity for those events to happen long before I knew how they would turn out.  In the film, Field of Dreams, a voice says, “Build it and they will come.” Buddhism says “Create the right conditions.”  Psychotherapy teaches, “Create a sturdy holding environment because we never know what will emerge during the course of treatment.”

Bringing this book into your life is part of creating the right conditions for your recovery.  What else do you need?

"Boundaries: A Challenge in Early Recovery" Chapter 5 Excerpt

“We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have these because we have acted rightly.”

…..”Please,” she says. “It will only take a minute.”  In that request Elsa is asking the employee to let her cross his time boundary.  She says, “This is a special circumstance. It’s for my special project – just one time.” She is asking him to make her concerns and her time more important than his.


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