I’ve had massive results with my ED clients over the years and a high proportion who have achieved complete recovery, particularly from bulimia. These women have gone on to succeed in their chosen fields and create a completely different life and relationship with themselves and their bodies.
I know what it’s like to go down the massive, overwhelming, addictive, shame based rabbit holes of those compulsions and to feel absolutely unable to do anything about it.
I also know what its like to come out the other side. And that’s a very long, dark, difficult journey on one’s own without proper trauma informed support and body work to help change the neural pathways and physiology involved.
I also believe firmly from my own experiences, that we can receive better from someone who has had the experience and done their own internal work, then someone who hasn’t.
I have observed EDs, appear to be regarded as an upper class problem. There is little, if any, funding allocated towards their treatment and there appears to be few qualified, trauma informed, empathetic witnesses out there with a genuine interest/expertise. On the world stage, there seems to be a lot of resources available and almost zero here in New Zealand.
I know the mental loopholes we use with ourselves, the justifications, obsessive thinking, the bandwidth it takes up inside and above all, the feeling that our choices are no choice at all and the misery, pain and suffering that brings.
Eating disorders are about power and control and without exception, all of my clients in this area have suffered trauma, extreme disempowerment, abuse and had disrupted families. Along those lines, I will not work with teens unless their whole family is in therapy. It is too easy to neuroticize the child, when the child is merely the one reflecting back the chaos in the family of which they are a part.
You can read my article about ways of dealing with binge eating here.
Compulsive Over eating and Weight loss clients
I help certain clients with weight loss. I tend not to publicize it, because I only want to work with those seeking wellness and wholeness, not those wanting a quick fix. They are worlds apart and I know the addictive, driving nature of thinking it will all be okay once the body looks how you want it to, whilst ignoring the searing pain on the inside and using one’s appearance to tell oneself it will all be okay.
I am happy supporting weight loss journey’s where disordered eating has been a part and the person is seeking a loving relationship with their food and with their body. And where healing is desired to develop self mastery, in relation to food choices and how the client feels and relates to their body.
I love to help people with this history, transition into a successful, empowered version of themselves. One where healing their past and establishing self care and kindness and becoming reconnected to their body is critical to getting to where they want to be.
Usually with this combo, the results are all encompassing and there are many aspects of a life makeover involved. It is exciting assisting these clients connect with a future version of themselves and slowly bring this to life!
There are so many possibilities available to them. Having your own coach who can offer you personalized feedback, support and expertise as you navigate your change journey and come up against your own fears and barriers makes all the difference in the world.
Actual Nutritional Support
In terms of nutrition, I don’t believe that plant based options alone (vegan based) are enough to nourish a starved/dieting body and I don’t encourage my clients to go down that route. I also see the havoc those extremes create. As someone who does a lot of spiritual work, I see a lot of pressure to go vegan to purify the body or be ‘ethical’ and I disagree with it entirely.
I think it’s possible to eat very clean and include meat. I believe that protein contains a lot of amino acids and nutrients essential for good mental health and any extreme approach is often a mask for deeper issues. At the same time, I highly value raw, unprocessed foods and loads of fruit/veges and organic foods in any eating plan. I know a lot about plant based nutrition though including creating proper vegetarian protein meals, sprouting, conscientous food combining and super salads. I am also a proponent of The zone/soy zone based approaches where useful.
I spent many years discovering and researching ways of eating for optimizing physical and mental performance and for speeding up the metabolism and losing weight. As someone who had a background of CFS and chronic fatigue syndrome, this information was critical in my getting well and getting re-energized, along with healing my past wounding and clearing my trauma, so that my body could function optimally.
I had excellent nutrition many years before my body healed, so I’ve come to realize over time, that it’s the energies stored in the body that will determine wellness/sickness way ahead of the diet and that the diet is secondary. It’s also now been proven that getting proper sleep is way more significant than nutrition and exercise for creating longevity and wellness, so there is a lot going on (physically) to pay attention to.
Back to the healing/psychological stuff…With bulimia there is a range of body work I’ve found very effective and have eeked out a specific combination of processes that seem to powerfully assist the changes required.
Usually immediately we would begin with Access Bars with facilitation to clear away the energies holding the addiction/compulsion in place in the body and the electrical circuitry holding certain neural pathways in place. We start to address the pain points and automatic response systems, embedded in the physiology which seem to enact the triggering and each episode of shame, self hatred and disempowerment.
Further into working together, we usually end up doing a bio mimetic mimicry body process, that takes care of clearing the family legacy from the body of the client. Usually the bulimic is the most sensitive and aware one in the family and have suffered immensely, so this process can be immensely freeing and make the world of difference, especially when following 3-4 Bars sesssions.
Lastly, we may run the Abuse Hold Process or alternately a couple of trauma and one particular immune system processes that seem to work effectively on the nervous systems. This frees up space from which the client can begin to heal and fill up with new choices, awarenesses, perspectives and paradigms. This would be interspersed with more Bars sessions, which help reset the neural circuitry over time, leading to powerful shifts which facilitate the rest of the work we do together.
In conjunction with the body work, we do lots of compassionate inquiry, facilitation and shifting of beliefs. We go in to all the areas of abuse (where if feels safe and there is a readiness) and we gently clear that legacy, empowering the client with knowledge of how to go forward differently and safely, having extracted the wisdom from those experiences.
We look at all the incredible capacities underlying the manifestation of the eating disorder and how those can be used to create a phenomenal life instead of a painful one. We look at what the pain was hiding that is right about the client that they have been missing and we start to reframe negative beliefs using energetic tools and techniques, counselling, therapy, laws of the Universe.
We examine traits such as perfectionism, judgment, needing to earn approval/love and how to create healthy boundaries and take charge of situations to feel empowered. We work to uncover the clients true potency and to empower them to trust themselves to direct it and feel purposeful and connected to it.
I teach body wisdom and how to communicate with your own body to optimize your day to day living and feel powerfully connected to your inner world. With eating disorders the body is the enemy and rather like cutting, punishing one’s body through denying food or binging/purging is the only safe outlet for feeling safe and handling the experiences one has encountered. I prefer not to work with anorexics, but I will in exceptional circumstances, especially if the family is in therapy.
I love working with bulimics because they are incredibly highly aware and have been directing inwards at themselves all the toxic energies and hatred they encountered growing up – usually from bullying and perhaps abuse from within the family as well. Once we clear this stuff and they find a purpose and sense of themselves, there is nothing they cannot achieve, which is why we get such incredible results.
Bulimics are always amazing people, because rather then abuse or bully back, they hold within themselves the energies they were exposed to. Now this is destructive and harmful and help is required to change it, but once they do and can embody ease within themselves, their possibilities are endless and the outcome so fulfilling.
I find developing a healthy boundary to their own inner landscape is essential to making good progress along with teaching how to deal with life/situations/other people, without going into wrongness of self.