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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.


Dear Laura,

I can appreciate your conflict.  We are often given conflicting messages about food and eating in our society that it seems we can't win.

What is true is that the human body is a complex system containing a complex chemical circuity with on and off switches.

The eating disorder affected mind reduces the human body to a shape (usually not right) and a weight (usually note right).  

Perhaps I should not have posted the bedtime snack information because it seems to be triggering for people as well as causing conflict in others, such as yourself.

Yet, as  the years go by we learn more about the body and how we influence its health through our actions or lack of action. The more healthy the body is the more a person can appreciate what issues are truly emotional and psychological. 

Food is not good or bad.  Food is.  However, it's a fact that our body needs balanced nourishment for its needs.  It's not just about calories and portion size.  It's about the quality of food, the kinds of nutrients in it, and, it turns out, when we eat.  

For example, it's important to eat a substantial and nutritious breakfast. Yet many people with and without eating disorders are not hungry in the morning.  It's been called, "morning anorexia." 

Yet our bodies are meant to eat during the day and fast at night while we sleep. We experience consequences when we do and consequences when we don't. 

Learning what could quell inflammation could be very helpful.  The challenge is to think beyond fear of food, fear of change and fear of new learning.  Eating whenever you want, whenever you feel hungry is fine if your body is healthy.  Your brain is probably getting signals to send hunger messages to your body based on healthy body functioning.

But if your body is not healthy the chemical communications that signal to your brain may not match what your body actually needs.  To look at this possibility may mean that you have to move beyond your present limits in recovery.

Eating anything anytime is better than starving to death. Learning that food keeps you alive is vital. And, there's more to know if you are willing to open your mind to the possibilities.

Talk to your RD about it. People with eating disorders often develop and suffer from weak musculature and fragile bones.  These conditions may well be avoided or repaired if the growth hormone is released at night. But  the presence of insulin in your blood will inhibit the release of that growth hormone.

If you are not ready to look at your inner chemistry, well, that's where you are now.  Okay. Then you can know that you are continuing to make progress in your recovery and that more good things are ahead for you when you are ready.

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