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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.



Mothers working toward eating disorder recovery, increasing their self-esteem and appreciating their self-worth enriches their child's Christmas. My guest blogger and fellow Conari Press Author, Barbara Joy, tells you how.

Presents or Presence…Which Do Your Children Really Want?

The holidays are once again here. The kids are a year older, and most likely, there are already too many piles of toys, gadgets and games lying around the house from this past year. Parents often find themselves buying a present here and there as they plan for the holidays. The days in December are quickly passing. You’re busier and busier with the many commitments, festivities and planning of the holiday.

You anticipate how much your children are going to love their presents and how happy they are going to be! Ironically, many times, as the holidays grow nearer, the stress builds. You notice more misbehavior.

You hear yourself saying, “Why are they like this?” I am planning such a wonderful holiday for them. They are getting everything they want. Why aren’t they happy? Where’s the gratitude? They have so much!”

I encourage you to look a little deeper. Are you giving them something that will be meaningful, even a year from now? Something that will enhance their life? Something that they really want? Are you giving them yourself? When was the last time you spent any real, quality time with them?

Do you know that if you slow down and give your children some real present time, that gift will far outlast anything that you can wrap and put under the tree? That is a gift that they will cherish. And you will, too.

Sometimes, parents forget or do not fully realize just what a gift you are in your children’s life. They want to be with you. To have you pay attention to them.

Parents…You are the gift to them just as they are to you. Consider this holiday: What would it be like if you gifted each of your children a gift of your Presence every day?

It doesn't so much matter what you are doing but rather that you are connecting with them without other distractions. Turn off the TV, cell phone, and anything else that will take you away from some special time with your child. Maybe it’s taking a walk. Reading together. Playing a game. Decorating cookies. Simply sitting and listening to them. Really listening, without distraction.

Your children simply want to be with you…You are the most important gift that you can give your child this season and every day from now on.

Perhaps this will be something you will want to bring into the New Year.

A commitment to be Present on a daily basis.

The only cost of being present is your time. When they grow up and come back to visit you for the holidays, I assure you, the memories they share will be about the times that you gave them the gift of your Presence.


Wishing you and your family a wondrous holiday season!

Barbara Joy Author of Easy Does It, Mom

From Joanna: Please remember, your eating disorder takes you away from the people you love and who love you. Recognize the eating disorder feelings and messages as saboteurs. Let your real self shine forth, even if you need to struggle to clear what dims your light. Your children will see and feel the love light in your eyes, your smile, your touch, your voice, your words and your actions. Be the light this Christmas.

Let us know your stories of how you step aside from the eating disorder saboteur and let your authentic self be present for the holiday. Every minute you are present is a gift to everyone.

Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Written by Joanna Poppink, MFT. Joanna is a psychotherapist in private practice specializing in eating disorder recovery, stress, PTSD, and adult development.

She is licensed in CA, AZ, OR, FL, and UT. Author of the Book: Healing Your Hungry Heart: Recovering from Your Eating Disorder

Appointments are virtual.

For a free telephone consultation, e-mail her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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