The Effects of Eating Disorders in Families

“Eating disorders cripple not only the spirit of those who suffer from the illness but also their loved ones.”

Family_Empty cupWhenever I speak those words to patients during my monthly talks at Eating Recovery Center, the energy in the room immediately changes, seemingly hushed by a thick, woven blanket of guilt and shame. It can be overwhelming to imagine the pain others are experiencing at the hands of an eating disorder.

Each month, I also speak to families during the Eating Recovery Center’s family days, where the conversation inevitably leads to taking time out for self-care. “Who has the time for this?” Somehow, worrying about our loved ones has become a full-time job (along with having a full-time job!). Often, we walk around with the fear of loss; it debilitates us so that we cannot move. This constant fear of what could happen (anticipatory grief) keeps us in a narrow world, just as the eating disorder does to the sufferer. Constant fear has us so far removed from our lives that it’s sometimes hard to remember there was any other life before the eating disorder, but there was, and there is. The truth is that family members don’t get better because the loved one who is suffering gets better. We need to get better, too. Ultimately, we aid our loved one’s recovery by aiding our own. Click here for full article

Tips to Help Families Get Through the Holidays

For christmas blogLet’s be honest. The holiday season can equal drama. There is a lot of pressure relating to parties, what to wear, and the perfect gifts to get for everybody—and I do mean everybody—not to mention food. So much of the holidays revolves around food. On top of it all, as the loved ones of people who are struggling with eating disorders, we may feel that it’s our responsibility to help protect their recovery. How can we go through all this and manage to stay sane, let alone full of holiday cheer?

The holidays bring up angst for seemingly everybody, but particularly for those in early recovery and their families. Here are three tips to help families get through the holiday season: Click her for full article

Next Level of Eating Disorder Recovery

PurposeSometimes, I still feel clumsy when it comes to who I am and what I am doing in the world. Long after eating disorder recovery has begun, the hardest and most rewarding slog is finding ourselves and what our purpose is. I’m fortunate to know what my purpose is now, but holy poop, I have over twelve years on this wild journey of recovery under my belt. It didn’t take me twelve years to find my purpose, so please don’t fret (I don’t want you to compare your story to mine). I, to this day, have to remind myself often what my purpose is and how to utilize it for myself and others. I don’t always know (remember) how to do that, so I have to ask for help.

I was reminded the other day of why I do what I do and why it matters. When I was speaking to one of the patients, she told me about how my words kept her in treatment. Now, let’s be clear here: I know for a fact that my words aren’t that powerful, and her want and desire to recover was what kept her there, but my message was delivered at the right time, and it helped her solidify that thought, and for that, I am incredibly grateful.

Over the years, I have learned that just as understanding what my purpose is, getting out of the way so that it can exist how it needs to is equally important. Read the full article here

I Finally Recovered From an Eating Disorder

I Finally Recovered from an Eating Disorder, And now I want to do better for my daughters. This article was originally written for Thank you!

Family_LoveAs a mother of two young girls, I naturally worry about every aspect of their lives, but I also understand that I cannot control everything they are exposed to. Our culture opens doors that shed light on unachievable body images, fad diets and multiple channels to criticize and feel bad about ourselves.

For someone who found recovery from an eating disorder that crippled my spirit for over a decade, I am committed to being a positive example for my girls. I don’t want them to fall under the spell of unattainable images media puts forth and our culture inspires. I am very passionate about my recovery journey and believe that identification is a powerful tool within the recovery process, and in rising above the illness. Read full article here

Broken Culture vs. Eating Disorders


I read a quote yesterday: “You don’t inspire others by being perfect. You inspire them by how you deal with your imperfections.” I found it accompanied by a picture of Lucille Ball. Funny and light, it was able to get to my heart and soften it. I was reminded that I mustn’t pretend that I have it all together. Sometimes I can get so caught up in what I “should be” that I forget the gifts of who I am now.

I have noticed that as I age (nothing scary about the aging process!) and the new implementation of additional self-care for anxiety, my body is changing. I have been judging it and finding myself not liking it much. My thoughts are a little pesky—not powerful, like an eating disorder, but shaming nonetheless: “You should NOT feel like this, Robyn!” “You are NOT your body, Robyn!” (Duh!) “You’re a fraud, Robyn!”

The truth: I have felt judgment about my body and I am fully recovered from an eating disorder. I am a woman fully recovered, living in a broken culture, who can sometimes have a brain fart and buy into the lies. Click here to read full article

The Practice of Recovery

my loves

A couple of months ago, I visited Eating Recovery Center’s Partial Hospitalization Program for Adults where the patients always inspire me. They seemed ready and eager to leave treatment and utilize their ever-growing recovery tool kit. They were also appropriately timid regarding the transition ahead.

On this particular day, a woman asked, “How do I manage my recovery with my children, my husband and my job? It’s so easy in here; I just have to focus on myself. What happens when I leave? I’m not sure I can do it.” Boy could I relate!

Lately, I notice myself becoming overwhelmed as I have in the last year: changed communities, taken on a full-time job and have two daughters and a husband. “How will I manage it all?” I ask myself! What I know about me is that most of the time I’m beating myself up because my life doesn’t look like I think it should; I’m not measuring up to a standard I didn’t actually sign up for. Why do I keep creating impossible timelines and setting unrealistic expectations that set me up to feel overwhelmed and exhausted, ultimately causing my self-esteem to plummet? What am I trying to prove? Why do I keep comparing my insides to other people’s highlight reel? Read the full post

Empowering your Relationship with Food, Body and Beauty.