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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.

Feeling like a failure requires your becoming a revolutionary Failure feelings are symptoms of eating disorders. This is one of the most difficult statements for a person with an eating disorder to believe. Negative Self Talk Have you ever said aloud or to yourself any of these sentences?

  • "I failed again."
  • "I binged when I promised myself I wouldn't. I'm a weak and terrible person."
  • "I relapsed because I'm worthless."
  • "I deserve to be punished like this."
  • "I'm clumsy."
  • "I'm fat."
  • "I'm stupid"
  • "I'm wrong."
  • "I'm wrong and different."
  • "Other people get it right. I can't."
  • "I can pretend to be like everyone else for a little while."
  • "I'm scared. I think he or she or they saw the real me for a second."
  • "I can never see that person again. I'm so ashamed."
  • I can never go back there (anywhere) again. I'm so ashamed."
  • "I'm ugly."
  • "It's my fault."
  • "It's always my fault."
  • "No matter what I do, I get it wrong and then the problem is my fault."
  • "I say yes to everything he or she says. And he or she still doesn't love me."
  • "Why doesn't he love me? What more can I do."
  • "I can't go out." (Because)
  • You have to wait until your face isn't puffy from throwing up.
  • You have to wait until your nose stops bleeding.
  • You have to wait until your trembling stops.
  • You have to shower and wash your hair because your purge got messy.
  • "I can't let him or her come here." (Because)
  • Your place is littered with binge food wrappings, dishes and clutter.
  • Your clothes, clean and dirty, litter the floor and furniture.
  • Your bed is unmade and sheets unwashed.
  • Papers, some important, are strewed across furniture.
  • No clear surface exists in your home.
  • Purge stains and smells are in the bathroom.
  • "I'm disgusting."

Avalanche of False Beliefs This sets off an avalanche of negative thoughts about yourself that, at one time or another you believe. These thoughts come from feelings inside you that are symptoms of your eating disorder. But how can you believe these feelings are symptoms and not identity traits when your feelings and beliefs about yourself are so negative and strong?

Here’s the big one that no one with an active eating disorder believes.
“You didn’t fail on the diet. The diet failed you.” Yet the fact remains that dieting does eventually cause people to gain weight. The eating disorder person will say to herself, “They are just saying that to try to make me feel better about myself. But I know I failed.”

Be a rebel and get well
The inability to get past harsh self condemnations is a great challenge to your eating disorder recovery. To begin and stay on your recovery path, you need to rebel against that avalanche of negative thinking. Can you push back an avalanche? Yes! With strength you don’t know you have, with the love and support of others you don’t know exist, with commitment and dedication, yes, you can! Recovery from an eating disorder requires you to be a revolutionary. You rise up against the tyranny of your destructive beliefs about yourself and begin to build a new, fresh inner world that will sustain you in a satisfying and meaningful life.

You don’t rush in like a roaring superhero revolutionary with the way easy to clear once you set your goals. You step forward with fear in your heart, a trembling in your voice and a tiny spark of daring that lights your way. You take a risk. You reach out for help your way. Maybe you make a phone call. Maybe you go to a 12 step meeting. Maybe you share with your spiritual adviser. Maybe you take a yoga class. Maybe you join creativity class or learn to meditate or both. Whatever your beginning step is, your step is based on nourishing yourself with something that you thought you didn’t deserve and that is meaningful to you. That’s your revolutionary act that can begin to push back the avalanche and build you a better life in recovery.

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