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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.

After reading this, I sat this afternoon and pieced together everything I can recollect & figure out about my ED and when/how it started...

I'm probably not your typical person with an ED, as the roots of mine truly do lie in food & eating behaviours, I think the subconscious realisation that I could use food to numb my emotions was a natural progression that came later....takes quite a lot of explaining, will try to summarise.

Initially I think it started as a baby/toddler with my mum's fear of choking & the the way in which she restricted my diet as a result, but there were other things too, she used food as a means of bribery and emotional blackmail, and I ate to please her, to try to get her to love me.

By 6 or 7 yrs old I was pretty overweight and she started putting me on crash diets and restricting what I ate in quite a big way. I went along with this to try to gain her acceptance and to get her to love me, but whenever I wasn't on one of her diets, I had little choice than to return to the overeating if I wanted her approval, I was bad/naughty/ungrateful if I didn't eat what she gave me.

And that's how it all began - I've never known what it is to eat a normal range or normal volume of food, it was always restricting or eating to excess to get my mother's approval, and ultimately to try to get her to love me.

It wasn't just food, she controlled every area of my life either by violence or emotional blackmail...and somewhere along the line, I guess I subconsciously figured out the association with overeating and numbing of emotions.

I have so many issues and hang-ups as a result of her controlling ways, that I needed to be numb just to cope on a day-to-day basis...but then there's the knock on effect of self-hatred because the eating to numb everything makes me fat, undesirable,unhealthy,a bad role model to my kids, with the effect of crushing any self-esteem I might've had, restricting me physically due to my size, and ultimately me knowing that I'm eating myself to death, and potentially leaving my girls without a mother...which in turn needs numbing even more.

And people think I eat for pleasure??? I eat, or should say, I did eat, just to get through each day - it wasn't a life, it was an existence. (It's made me cry to write this tonight)

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