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Overcoming Denial and Facing Your Eating Disorder

Overcoming Denial and Facing Your Eating Disorder

Successful recovery from an eating disorder requires you to spend an enormous amount of time thinking about who you are. Keep in mind that really looking at yourself honestly is not self-absorption; it is introspection. Self-absorption leads to a false reality; introspection leads to insight. Insight leads to truth.

We all have times in our lives when we need to concentrate on ourselves in order to survive. This is definitely one of those times for you. Your eating disorder has brought you to a point where you’re seeing that this introspection is really addressing your survival.

Pride—both your own and that of those who hurt you—will work against your recovery. Faulty pride cannot coexist with perceived imperfection; it’s impossible to be prideful when you recognize your own flaws and weaknesses so clearly. You’re beginning to understand that your eating disorder was not the “perfect” solution it promised to be. You’re starting to remember that yours wasn’t the “perfect” family after all. You’re now seeing that your pursuit of being “perfect” yourself isn’t bringing you any sense of peace.

It’s okay to admit that you’ve made mistakes. To do so is simply to recognize your humanity. And it’s perfectly fine to recognize the mistakes of others; you’re simply seeing them for who they really are. It’s okay to understand the way others’ mistakes have affected you; you’re simply accepting reality.

Accepting reality means facing the pain and discomfort in order to process it and place it in its proper context. Within that context, your pain will cease to wield such unhealthy power over you. The truth will weaken the hold your self-destructive behaviors have over you. Truth is not something to fear; rather, it is something to be embraced. The truth will not diminish you, no matter how much your false reality says it will. The truth will complete you, giving you needed understanding of yourself and others. The truth will enable you to operate from a new reference point of strength so you can deal with future hurts, pain, and frustration.

False realities do not dissipate quickly. They are stubborn and hold on for dear life. But you must let them go. If you don’t, you won’t be able to change from wanting to die to wanting to live. You must let go of pride. Coming out of the darkness of a false reality of pride is not an overnight trip. It will require determination, perseverance, and faith. It will require an acceptance of your own weakness and an admission of your own need for God to strengthen you.

For many people, it also requires outside, professional support. Our team at The Center • A Place of HOPE is skilled at guiding people through a whole-person, individualized recovery program, designed specifically for you and your needs. We are standing by to help you face your eating disorder and to heal. Fill out this form or call 1-888-747-5592 to speak confidentially with an eating disorder specialist today.


How to Achieve Emotional Freedom from Food

How to Achieve Emotional Freedom from Food

Can the person for whom food and eating has become so twisted be healed? Yes! There is something amazing that occurs when past hurts are resolved and the substitute of food is no longer needed. We’ve seen people change who have been in a decades-long struggle with food. They are able to reach a truce with food and learn to love themselves again.

We believe that treating the whole person sets them up for long-term recovery and success. They take back the control over their lives that they’d previously given to food.

When food is your primary strategy for dealing with pain in your life, and you leave the pain unaddressed, you strengthen this food connection and weaken yourself. Food is a way to control the pain you feel, and it’s a way to numb the pain you feel. To reverse this damaging connection, you need to address the pain in your life, wherever it’s from, whatever its source. In order to recover, you need to stop numbing yourself. You need to think about what has happened to you. It’s vital that you remember as much as possible about past hurts so that you can come to terms with them and resolve them. It can be done!

One of the false realities perpetuated by a dysfunctional relationship with food is the dread that something catastrophic will occur if you remember and concentrate on the pain. After all, you’ve constructed this elaborate armor to protect you from pain. Confronting and understanding this pain will bring about emotional growth.

Unfortunately, there is no way to acknowledge the pain without feeling it. It may be the first time you have really allowed the pain to truly affect you without a coping strategy. It can be intense, and you will need someone steady—such as a caring professional—to hold onto.

Our team of eating disorder specialists at The Center • A Place of HOPE can be this steady fixture to assist you along the journey to emotional freedom and healing. Our whole-person approach to healing will address all aspects of your health and being, guiding you on the path to a whole you.

There is light at the end of the tunnel. There is truth at the end of the tunnel. You are at the end of the tunnel. A you defined not by how you relate to food, but by your inner being and so much more! Free from your eating disorder or disordered eating, you will be able to feel positive emotions, not just the pain. Freedom means a return of hope, joy, love, acceptance, laughter, personal insights, deep restful sleep, a renewed perspective on life, increased physical energy, and vibrant health.

If you are ready to get the help you need to regain your health and to reach the end of the tunnel, call us at 1-888-771-5166 today.

Excerpts of this blog were taken from Dr. Gregory Jantz’s book Hope Help & Healing for Eating Disorders: A Whole-Person Approach to Treatment of Anorexia, Bulimia, and Disordered Eating.


Supplements for Eating Disorder Recovery

Supplements for Eating Disorder Recovery

Physical recovery from an eating disorder takes time, patience, and strategy. Reintroducing foods and nutrients too quickly can cause additional problems. The eating disorder recovery process begins with rebuilding the body’s digestive system. Once basic digestive functioning is on the mend, it may be time to begin reintroducing nutritional supplements.

If you are recovering from an eating disorder, the first nutritional supplements to be reintroduced are potassium and zinc. The preferred form of potassium is potassium chelate in a powder capsule form. If you are still purging, wait at least an hour to purge after taking potassium. When you allow yourself to wait an hour after consuming something, you may find that your desire to get rid of the food is reduced.

Along with potassium, zinc must also be reintroduced in proper levels. A lack of zinc impairs the ability to smell and taste. When zinc levels have been increased in women suffering form anorexia, all reported an increase in appetite and renewed ability to experience taste.

Next comes the introduction of the B vitamins, along with amino acids. Amino acids are especially important, because they affect the body’s hunger and desire to sleep. The improper balance of amino acids can lead to depression, sleeplessness, fatigue, lack of hunger, or intense cravings.

Along with the B vitamins already mentioned, there are a variety of other vitamins essential to proper digestion and physiological functioning:

Vitamin A: This vitamin aids in maintaining the proper functioning of the mucous membranes of the mouth, nose, throat, lungs, ears and other organs. It aids in vision and is necessary for healthy skin, bones, and teeth.

Thiamine (Vitamin B1): Thiamine helps change glucose into energy or fat, assists with oxygen distribution to the body, aids in digestive functioning, and helps maintain proper functioning of the nervous and cardiovascular systems.

Choline, Inositol, and B6: These vitamins aid in the production of blood and the use of fats.

Riboflavin (Vitamin B2): In combination with vitamin A, riboflavin promotes good vision and healthy skin. It also assists in metabolizing proteins and fats at a cellular level.

Cyanocobalamin (Vitamin B12): This B vitamin aids in the functioning of cells in the nervous system, bone marrow, and intestinal tract, increasing metabolism of protein, carbohydrates, and fats.

Biotin (Vitamin H): This vitamin also aids in metabolizing proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Symptoms of deficiency include dry, peeling skin and depression.

Folic Acid: Folic Acid is necessary for cellular division and the production of RNA and DNA. It is also needed for the utilization of sugar and amino acids. Fatigue, dizziness, and grayish-brown skin are all symptoms of deficiency.

Niacin: Niacin is important for tissue respiration, brain and nervous system functioning, and healthy skin.

Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C): This powerhouse vitamin is important to the body’s connective tissues and for the development of healthy bones and teeth, cellular formation and maturation, resistance to infection, and an increased ability to heal.

Vitamin D: Vitamin D aids in the absorption, retention, and metabolizing of calcium.

It can be a daunting task to consider the range of nutritional deficiencies and the time required to build these stores back up. That is why, at The Center • A Place of HOPE, we use IV nutrient therapy, which is a way to increase the replacement of deficiencies in a rapid delivery system. Oral replacement of some vitamins and minerals can take months, but replacement just takes a few days with several IV treatments.

In addition, when the digestive system has been impaired, the system of IV delivery allows for the nutrients to bypass the digestive tract, straight into the bloodstream. IV Nutrient Therapy can be used to deliver vitamins, minerals, and amino acids in the amounts needed in a short amount of time.

If you or a loved one is struggling from malnutrition caused by an eating disorder, you may benefit from consulting an eating disorder specialist. Our team of eating disorder professionals at The Center • A Place of HOPE focus on whole-person recovery, and take special care to rebuild the digestive functioning and nutritional balance of those recovering from an eating disorder or pattern of disordered eating. Fill out this form or call 1-888-747-5592 to speak with an eating disorder specialist today.


Reestablishing Relationships Following an Eating Disorder

Reestablishing Relationships Following an Eating Disorder

Because of your dysfunctional relationship with food, you’ve been isolated from those around you. This isolation has been largely due to fear—fear that others will discover what you do with food, how you feel about food, and how you feel about yourself. You’ve isolated the real you out of fear that they will find out who you really are, and fear of your own unresolved anger. Understanding casts out fear. Anchored solidly in your understanding and self-acceptance, you can begin to trust other people again.

As you go about strengthening, reestablishing, and developing relationships, it is important to remember the following guidelines:

Be honest with your feelings. This does not mean your relationships must be solely dictated by your feelings and emotions. But through your past relationship with food, you have developed a pattern of covering over or numbing your emotions. One of the joys of a relationship is the ability to experience a full range of emotions within the context of relating to another person. Expect to experience a variety of feelings. This is normal.

Develop clear boundaries. Relationships are not invitations for others to take advantage of you. Healthy relationships are mutually uplifting and edifying. Pick and choose your relationships carefully, and find people who will honor and respect your boundaries. Be sure, also, to honor and respect their boundaries.

Respond rather than react when you are hurt. So much of how you’ve dealt with and used food in your past has been a reaction to pain in your life. While it’s true that your relationship with food is changing, it’s also true that you’ll continue to experience pain, including pain in relationships. Relationships aren’t perfect because people aren’t perfect. Be realistic in your attitudes and set goals for your relationships. Relationships involve hurt. Becoming involved with imperfect people means you will be hurt. Remember, however, that being imperfect yourself, you will also cause hurt. That is why forgiveness must well up like an ongoing fountain in your life.

Seek maturity in your relationships. All of us have been hurt and all of us cause pain; it’s the nature of who we are as humans. The point is not to avoid relationships in order to avoid pain. Instead, the goal is to learn from our pain and grow as individuals dedicated to reducing the amount and severity of the pain we cause others and ourselves. This is maturity. A focus on food, weight, and body image freezes you at the point of self-absorbed emotional adolescence, encouraging you to do whatever is necessary to feel better momentarily. Seek to respond in your relationships in a mature way.

If you have begun your eating disorder recovery process, but continue to struggle with the relationships in your life, you may benefit from the guidance of a professional. The team of eating disorder treatment specialists at The Center • A Place of HOPE are available to talk about opportunities to receive professional help and support during this recovery process. Call 1-888-771-5166 or fill out our contact form and someone from The Center • A Place of HOPE will be in touch with you soon.

Excerpts of this blog were taken from Dr. Gregory Jantz’s book Hope Help & Healing for Eating Disorders: A Whole-Person Approach to Treatment of Anorexia, Bulimia, and Disordered Eating.


Rebuilding the Body’s Digestion System After an Eating Disorder

Rebuilding the Body’s Digestion System After an Eating Disorder

Eating disorders can wreak havoc on all aspects of a person’s life: their mental wellness, emotional balance, relationships with the people around them, and most certainly their physical body. Recovering from an eating disorder therefore requires comprehensive treatment in order to address each of these areas of a person’s life. Healing the physical body after suffering from an eating disorder is a process that takes care and time, and in some cases needs to be supervised by medical specialists.

Typically, to start your body’s rebalancing process you must first rebuild your digestion, your gastrointestinal (GI) ecosystem. After all, if you are unable to digest what you need to rebalance your system, what you take to rebalance it will have little value. The first step is to re-establish your digestive system’s natural levels of healthy bacteria. Although each body is different, a healthy digestive system supports 300-1000 different species of beneficial flora. Together, these species account for the approximately 100 trillion microorganisms found in the GI system. When healthy digestive bacteria flourish, they provide the mechanism to break down the substances you eat into components your body can absorb and use. Likewise, digestive enzymes allow food to be broken down into its component parts for easy absorption and a reduction in intestinal bloating and gas. When your digestive enzyme level is out of whack, healthy flora can’t grow; unhealthy organisms like yeast Candida, make opportune use of this imbalance. Faulty digestion also affects mood and energy levels. If your stomach is upset, you get irritable and fatigued.

Eating disorders can take a major toll on the number and diversity of beneficial stomach flora. It is therefore paramount to rebuild the bacterial colonies before any sort of nutritional absorption can occur. There is not one quick solution to rebuilding healthy digestion, but instead healing requires multifaceted, continual progress. Here are four important nutritional practices to keep in mind when building or maintaining a healthy digestive system:

1. Eat fermented foods. Fermented foods can be the easiest and most cost-effective way of rebuilding your digestive enzymes. Some examples of fermented foods include yogurt, lacto-fermented pickles, kimchi, sauerkraut, and keifer.

2. Stick to a clean, healthy diet. While fermented and fiber rich foods can help contribute to healthy flora in your system, there are also foods that negatively affect this process. Processed foods, sugary foods, and foods laden with chemicals and pesticides should be avoided.

3. Consume fiber. Another important step to rebuilding your digestion is the reintroduction of adequate fiber, to keep your elimination system regular. One of the best ways to do this is through the consumption of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Reintroduction of adequate fiber is especially important when there as been laxative abuse. The bowels need to relearn how to function again.

4. Supplement your diet with a probiotic supplement. Taking a probiotic supplement can dramatically speed up this flora rebuilding process. When looking for a good probiotic, it is important to find a supplement that includes many different strains of bacteria to ensure good diversity. Also, make sure to store your probiotics in the refrigerator to keep them alive and active.

Once you reestablish healthy digestive flora, your gastrointestinal ecosystem will be better equipped to begin absorbing the nutrients the rest of your body needs to heal. Again, this is a process that requires careful patience. If you or a loved one is in the process of recovering from an eating disorder but may need the supervision or support of professional nutritionists, please call the team at The Center • A Place of HOPE at 1-888-771-5166 or fill out our contact form and someone will be in touch with you soon.

Excerpts of this blog were taken from Dr. Gregory Jantz’s book Hope Help & Healing for Eating Disorders: A Whole-Person Approach to Treatment of Anorexia, Bulimia, and Disordered Eating.

Eating Disorder Recovery: Overcoming Denial of Your Past

Eating Disorder Recovery: Overcoming Denial of Your Past

Individuals with an eating disorder or disordered eating are often unaware of the source of their pain. In order to begin the recovery process, they first must discover the wellspring of pain from the past. Denial is a significant detour in that quest.

There are two kinds of denial. The first is your own denial of what has happened to you. This may take the form of doubting that what you remember ever took place. Because the abuse has been denied, it may take on an unreal quality when remembered. Almost as if it happened to someone else. If the abuse is remembered, it is often seen through the prism that “explains” why the abuse was not really abuse after all.

Denial enters through self-talk. These are the messages repeated over and over to ourselves as we try to deal with the pain and our relationship with food. Thoughts of “nobody’s home is perfect” or “it could have been worse” or “it wasn’t that bad” or “there’s nothing I can do about it now” allow you to minimize the damage. “I should be strong enough to deal with this on my own” or “everyone turns to food when they’re down” increases frustration at the inability to bring the eating disorder or disordered eating under control.

But denial, this minimization of the pain, is merely a coping mechanism to keep the pain at bay. Denial is the ticket that allows you to transform life-altering pain into that limbo state of “not that bad.” If it is “not that bad,” you believe you can find the strength to go on.

The other form of denial comes from the person or people who hurt you. They may deny that the abuse ever took place or that there was not anything wrong with it if it did. He or she may accept that the event or events happened but deny responsibility or minimize the damage. This can happen regardless of the nature of the abuse. Whether the piece was a single, specific event, or a pattern of hurtful behavior carried over out a number of years, this person may refuse to accept the ramifications of his or her actions.

This person may even attempt to make you feel responsible for the abuse itself or responsible for your “version” of the events. They may deny the damage by calling into question your natural response to the damage.  It is to his or her benefit that denial goes both ways—their denial of the event and your denial of the damage done. They may resist acknowledging your eating disorder or the place food now has in your life, because acknowledgment means recognizing the abuse or pattern of hurtful behavior behind it.

So the responsibility for the abuse itself and the resulting eating disorder could be shoved back at you, increasing stress surrounding your eating disorder or pattern with you, escalating its progression. As this escalates, it becomes easier to focus your attention solely on its progress, diverting attention from the root cause.

The desire to go back and rewrite your past is seductive, especially if your past was one of the abuse and pain. Denial allows you to do just that. Denial takes the pages of your past and alters them according to “if onlys,” or it substitutes blank pages for the pain that is really there.

A familiar proverb assures us that those who refuse to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them. You can also be said that those who deny the events of their own history are doomed to relive them. To deny abuse is to perpetuate it. The only way to stop the chain of abuse is to stop denying the truth of that abuse.

Each of us is the product of our experiences, and not one of us is immune to the pain they have cost us. We may not be able to control what happened to us, but we can control who we become as a result of those past events.

First, however, we need to look at those experiences honestly. The light of reality can seem harsh and bright to those who have been hiding from the truth. Clarity and detail spring forth from the light of truth.

If you or a loved one is struggling with an eating disorder, The Center • A Place of HOPE can help. Call 1-888-771-5166 or fill out our contact form and someone from The Center • A Place of HOPE will be in touch with you soon.

Excerpts of this blog were taken from Dr. Gregory Jantz’s book Hope Help & Healing for Eating Disorders: A Whole-Person Approach to Treatment of Anorexia, Bulimia, and Disordered Eating.