Anorexia Nervosa is a serious medical and mental health condition with the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. It is relentless in its pursuit for thinness and control of your life. It probably feels compulsive, like you are unable to stop. You likely feel trapped by your illness and when you are able to look at your life honestly, you know the perceived control you think you have isn’t control at all.
Getting help for anorexia is essential. I take a comprehensive approach in addressing your eating disorder behaviors that not only includes your physical health, nutrition and meal planning needs, but also your emotional, spiritual, and intellectual needs.
We will work together addressing how anorexia is impacting your life. Maybe anorexia means you won’t allow yourself to go out to eat with your friends, or you don’t have enough nourishment to concentrate at work and you can’t perform as well at your job. Sometimes anorexia even destroys relationships and friendships.
What do you want your life to look like? In the process of letting go of your eating disorder it may feel like your life is empty. We will discuss what you want your life to look like and specific actions you can take to get there. The point of recovery is for you to live the life you desire and we will work together to make this a reality.
Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by eating large amounts of food followed by compensatory behaviors such as: vomiting, laxatives, enemas, excessive exercise, or restricting/fasting.
On the surface, bulimia might look like the “perfect” eating disorder: you get to eat all you want but don’t have the consequences of gaining weight. But if you are struggling with bulimia I am sure you don’t feel like your life is perfect at all. You may feel out of control and trapped in a vicious cycle of eating and compensating.
I can personally attest to the struggle of overcoming bulimia. I know what it is like to feel out of control around food and in your life. We will work together to help you overcome the compulsive nature of bulimia and food addiction and find different coping mechanisms. A key part of recovery from bulimia involves finding out what you are really hungry for so you will finally feel satisfied, not only with food, but with your life.
We will work on nutrition and counseling for your bulimia recovery so you can feel good about your life again. I utilize principles from Brene Brown’s work on shame and resilience to help you find the courage to face your eating disorder and live your life authentically.
Binge Eating Disorder (BED)
Binge eating disorder (BED) involves eating a large amount of food very quickly and eating past the point of fullness, often to a level of discomfort. Binging behaviors feel out of control and are followed by intense feelings of shame, guilt, and depression.
Binge eating disorder is the most common eating disorder in the United States affecting 3.5% of women and 2% of men. It is also the most widely misunderstood eating disorder.
Many people assume you must be overweight to have binge eating disorder, but 80% of people with BED are of normal weight. Most people with binge eating disorder believe it is simply a matter of them lacking willpower and their inability to stay on a diet and lose weight, when in fact going on another diet is only making their BED worse.
If you are struggling with binge eating disorder you probably feel isolated, lost, and hopeless. I want you to know that there is help and you do not have to continue to live this way.
I use the latest research in food addiction and obesity to treat binge eating disorder. Traditional intuitive eating methods often do not work for treating binge eating disorder because your brain is not communicating correctly with your stomach. Sometimes treatment providers try to teach intuitive eating to BED, but the traditional ‘eat when you’re hungry stop when you’re full’ does not work if you feel hungry all the time!
I will teach you systematic methods to deal with your physical AND emotional hunger to treat your BED. We will find ways to fulfill your inner hunger and transition you to intuitive eating, so you can easily maintain your weight without dieting or starving yourself.
Diets are everywhere! Are you confused about what and how much you should eat? If so, you are not alone. Does any of this sounds familiar?...
You should only eat 1200 calories
You should never eat less than 1500 calories
You should eat every 3 hours or your metabolism will stop working
Snacking is bad for you and will make you eat more
Gluten is bad for you
Whole grains are healthy
Dairy is bad for you
Dairy helps you lose weight
A paleo diet is the healthiest diet
…and on and on…
No wonder nobody knows what to eat anymore and people are thoroughly confused about nutrition facts vs. misinformation.
Some facts we know:
Diets don’t work.
Truth: 99% of people that go on diets end up weighing more than before they started dieting.
I will help you find the middle again. We will discuss what foods you truly like to eat and feel good eating so you can easily eat and feel satisfied, without constantly second guessing yourself about what you “should” be eating.
Diabulimia is a scary intersection of type 1 diabetes and bulimia. Studies show that type 1 diabetics are 2 and a half times more likely to develop an eating disorder than other women. Additionally, research suggests that over 40% of women with diabetes between the ages of 15 and 30 manipulate or omit their insulin in order to lose weight. Diabetes and eating disorders are both complex and dangerous diseases, and careful consideration needs to be taken when treating the deadly combination.
Someone with diabetes has been taught to look at nutrition labels at a very young age, out of necessity in order to control their diabetes. When you have diabetes, food is always “a thing”. Having a normal relationship with food often feels impossible. When girls become teenagers, they discover that withholding their insulin makes them magically lose weight. However it comes at a very high price. Withholding your insulin means terrible short term consequences, and serious and possible deadly long term consequences.
Short term health consequences:
- Frequent urination
- Extreme thirst
- Extreme hunger
- Inability to concentrate
Long term health consequences:
- Nerve Damage
- Kidney Failure
Treatment of Diabulimia requires the expertise of a nutrition professional that understands the intricacies of Type 1 Diabetes as well as a therapist that knows the struggle of eating disorders and body image issues. You need someone who can support you in both of these areas. My background as a dietitian working with people with diabetes and eating disorders, along with my current work as a therapist treating eating disorders, we will address both of these.
Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)
Body dysmorphia is characterized by intrusive thoughts and feelings about one’s appearance. We might all have things we don’t like about our appearance but someone with BDD might obsess about their real or perceived flaws for hours every day.
The obsession with thinness in our society, along with the constant messages from the media, can lead you to believe that in order to be accepted and loved you must look a certain way. I can relate. I struggled with body image issues for years and know how difficult it can make life feel.
Maybe you cancel plans or isolate yourself because you hate how you look. Or perhaps you constantly compare yourself to others and feel bad about your appearance, which leads to severe anxiety and/or depression. Others will never let their significant other touch them or they will simply avoid getting in any kind of romantic relationship out of fear of intimacy.
You do not have to suffer anymore! Poor body image can be treated. As a Denver therapist I can help you uncover some of the underlying messages you tell yourself so that you can come to a place of self-love and acceptance.
When healthy eating becomes an eating disorder. On the surface it sounds ridiculous. Healthy eating isn’t actually healthy? But this is exactly what orthorexia is.
Do you find yourself obsessed with only eating “clean” and avoiding any and all artificial ingredients, processed foods, or even entire food groups? Orthorexia rules your life and makes it impossible to enjoy a meal at a restaurant, a friend’s house, or anywhere you are not in complete control of the ingredients in the meal.
Orthorexia often starts out as well intentioned. Perhaps you simply wanted to eat a bit healthier or lose a few pounds, but now you find yourself controlled by what you can and can’t eat and think about food all the time. Orthorexia is difficult and confusing because unlike other eating disorders, you are not necessarily underweight, so it is difficult to take it seriously. But to those struggling with this disorder you know that it is serious and hugely affects your mental and physical health.
Thinking about food all the time leaves no time for the things that really matter; family, friends, work, and enjoying life. We will work together to help you find your way back to the middle, so you can learn to enjoy food in a relaxed way, and get back to the things that really matter in life.
Exercise is healthy for us, but too much can have serious consequences on our physical and mental health.
Compulsive exercise might be difficult to identify in Denver where an “active” lifestyle is praised and encouraged.
Those with compulsive exercise feel bad for taking a day off from exercise, plan their days around exercise, cancel plans with others in order to exercise, and may feel like they need to exercise a certain number of hours per day or even multiple times per day.
If you struggle with compulsive exercise, once you are done exercising you might feel a certain sense of relief and drop in anxiety, but this is only temporary, and returns the next day. You might feel like a hamster on a wheel constantly exercising to chase your anxiety away and get the endorphin high you only feel after your workout. This is an endless cycle that leaves you feeling exhausted. Additionally, compulsive exercise can lead to injuries, stress fractures, heart problems, reproductive problems, and degenerative arthritis.
You probably have unique needs if you are an athlete, as you need someone who “gets it”. You want help giving up compulsive exercise, but you probably don’t want to give up your love of exercise. I get it. I am an athlete too and understand your desire to continue to exercise, while helping you find a more balanced approach to fitness.