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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.
Mine started with my mother, by the age of 6 or 7 I had already learned to equate food with being loved and cared for...when I was good she bought me treats, when I ate them and enjoyed them, she bought me more; when I ate my meals until the plate was clean I was good, if I left things I was ungrateful and bad; when I wanted to save something for later, I was either ungrateful for not wanting to eat it there and then, or if it was half eaten, like a cake or a candy bar, she couldn't bear the sight of half-eaten food, rather than wrap it up for later, she would make me either finish it or throw it in the trash, and on the occasions I didn't want or like something she would threaten me with never buying or making me any nice treats again, as I was so ungrateful...and so I learned that the best policy by far was to just eat everything that happened to come my way, regardles of whether I really wanted it, or enjoyed it. By 7, I was overweight, and she told me so often how she despaired of me, why did I have to be so fat, why wasn't I thin so she could dress me all pretty and have people say how beautiful I was (like she could with my sister)...but no, I was the fat, ugly one, the problem child! And so they started, the crash diets, that she used to put me on and force me to stick to..it was quite the norm in the 70s to crash diet (for adults anyway), and I happily went along with it, to try to please my mother, to try to make her love me - I was too young and naive to see then that she would never love me (I was the 'accident' that made her family disown her, and forced her into marriage, and into a lifestyle she hated - she was too depressed and resentful to bond with me, and probably why I was given so many treats in the first place - to try to placate her own guilt, to try to make me feel loved) But that it how it started...and it ran as a theme throughout my life, I was either being plied with sweet treats, and having to eat everything in sight, or dutifully adhering to one of her crash diets... ...and on it went into adulthood, I have never know what it is to maintain a stable weight, I was always losing ot gaining, and I could always gain it twice as fast as I lost it, which put the pressure on to restrict further and further to try to lose it as quickly as I'd re-gaimed it, if not more quickly... ...and each time, I regained a bit more that I'd lost, and so over that 30 yrs, I went from plump, to curvy, to fat, to obese, to morbidly obese. And even with ED therapy - it's not easy to change those habits, I have had some success, but not without relapsing,...when things get really tough, I do revert back to food, but I guess I have to remain determined that I will get things back under control, and that I will beat it in the long-term

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