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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.


My mom was always on a diet. I would sneak her diet "candy" when she wasn't looking. I was probably 5 or 6.I didn't know what it was at the time.

I was a plump child and teen, and I remember feeling fat and out of place among my friends. Looking back now my weight was probaby within or just above what would be considered normal on weight charts.

I was a cheerleader, a good student, a perfectionist.

I remember going days without eating as a teen. I would think about losing weight all the time, but rarely did anything drastic.

My college roomate introduced me to laxatives. I also started exercising alot. 10 years later I was still using laxatives and throwing up. I lost a lot of weight.

By this time I knew the terms bulimia and anorexia, and my psychiatrist diagnosed me with bulimia. With the help of therapy and some prozac, I was able to get this obsessive thought process under "control". I was doing pretty good until the past couple of years.

My dieting has gotten really out of control the past 6 months. I rarely purge, but don't eat more than 600 calories a day. I am not underweight so I am not anorexic, I don't purge so I am not bulimic, so I guess I would say I have disordered eating.

What concerns me is the impact I fear I am having on my oldest daughter. She is very observant of my eating habits and I have to watch this around her. I do not want her to develop an eating disorder. It would break my heart.

I don't see her talking about anorexia or bulimia or eating disorders at all, nor do I hear her friends talk about weight. She is in 5th grade. However, in my 4 year old daughters gymnastics class I overheard 3 young girls who appeared to be about 7 talk about who weighed more amongst them.

This conversation shocked me a little. My four year old said to me one day that her legs were too fat.

I think as mothers we can be as big of a triggering factor to our children than their peers when we constantly demean ourselves and talk about being fat...the magazines we have laying around the house...the diet foods in our refrigerator. I would have to say that my kids are the biggest motivator in my attempts to change my view of food.

How do I feel about having an eating disorder?

I feel out of control..and I feel controlled. It's an obsession I deal with from sun up to sun down.

It's guilt at times, it's triumph at times. I am scared to get better, but I know I have to...

I tell myself I will quit if I just lose a little more weight...then that weight isnt good enough. I promised myself I would buy a watch I wanted after losing 25 more pounds...i lost it plus more...but I didn't feel I deserved it...so I didnt buy it.

I will be ok. I am strong and have my kids to keep me above water. One day I will be better.

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