Anorexia/Eating Disorders/Binge/compulsive eating


QUESTION: Now retired, after 30 yrs sobriety, 20 years smoke free, I'm down to first addiction:food, whites: sugar, fats, flour. I've also been diagnosed  and being med treated for bipolar, OCD, add, and panic disorder. I lose, I binge on what I gave up, hate my uncomfortable fatness, then lose. Tried every diet plan. Know white carbs are my downfall. Been to various therapists, and nutritionists. Accupuncture. Don't know what else to try. Very discouraged now. I've been freed from two addictions, by My God, but somehow don't believe He can remove this disorder! Can you guide me? Thanks in advance.

ANSWER: Hi Katherine,

I am so sorry you are going through this. Yes, I can help you, but it may take more than one email consultation. You have a few options here.

1) We need to address your nutrition needs. You didn't say what you currently eat, go to this website and create a profile: Once you've done that, it will tell you how much you should be eating of each food group each day. If you click around, you'll even find sample meal plans. If you commit consistently eating a healthy diet, your food cravings should improve and your binge eating should stop.

2) We need to work on your body image issues and disordered eating thought processes. Here are a variety of books and websites that you might find helpful:

Body Dysmorphia:

The Body Image Workbook by Thomas Cash -

Diet of Despair by Anna Paterson -

Emotional Eating:

Eating With Heart: The Five Steps to Freedom From Emotional Eating, Laurel Inman - outlines the path to freedom from using food as a coping mechanism. Trained in intuitive eating techniques, Laurel leads readers through five simple steps that anyone can use to make peace with food and re-learn how to trust themselves around food. I highly recommend her book to all of my clients as a valuable resource. And for those of you who think Laurelís book comes out of an ivory tower, rest assured; this book comes from Laurelís own journey with food. She has used this program to heal from her own battle with emotional eating and also to help her clients heal from theirs.To find out more about Laurel and her 5 step program, check out her website at

Eating Myself Crazy by Treena Wynes

Treenaís poignant story made me laugh, made me cry, but most importantly made me feel empowered. This is a book I would feel comfortable using as a resource for my clients and students. Treena tells her story in a compassionate, easy-to-understand way that just about everyone should be able to relate to. Her hands-on approach will allow readers to explore and heal their own relationships with food. Her journal questions are insightful and her recipes are quick and easy to make with ingredients most people have on hand. This is a valuable resource in the emotional eating field for both clients and clinicians.

-Here are several good web resources for healing eating disordered thinking:

Here are some on healing from bulimia:

Emotional Eating:   

3) If these resources are not enough, you may want to seek help from a health coach. Let me know if you like to try this option and I can help find someone for you to see.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Yes, Mary, thanks so much for your thorough list of
Sources for me to look into! You sound like a very
Caring person. I don't know if its the same thing,
But I've been to several nutritionists, oa, weight watchers etc.
is the health coach similar? I pretty much know what
I should or shouldn't eat, but when I cut out the
Bad carbs, for a year or so, I go on this junk food binge, like its
My last chance to do it! I would appreciate the referrals o
If you think it may help. I'm in NJ. Thanks again! I can't wait
To get the books!

  Hi Katherine,

What you are describing about your junk food binge actually has a name: the last supper effect. It is very common among dieters who have deprived themselves or plan on depriving themselves of a food they love.

A health coach is someone who looks at more than just nutrition - they look at your lifestyle and could help you isolate reasons why you might be turning to food as a coping mechanism. Your other option would be to seek out a therapist who specializes in eating disorders ( Here is a directory of health coaches in New Jersey:

Let me know if you need anything else. Good luck!

Anorexia/Eating Disorders

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Mary Pritchard


I can answer questions about the psychology of eating, disordered eating attitudes and behaviors such as drive for thinness, drive for muscularity, binge eating, body dysmorphia, dieting, excessive/obsessive exercise, and body dissatisfaction. I can also answer questions about anorexia and bulimia.


I have a PhD in Psychology and teach courses in the Psychology of Health and the Psychology of Eating. I have been conducting research on disordered eating and exercise behaviors for 15 years.

Midwestern psychological association, rocky mountain psychological association

Over 50 peer-reviewed journal articles in journals such as Eating Behaviors, Eating Disorders, and Eating and Weight Disorders

PhD in Psychology from the University of Denver

Awards and Honors
30 teaching awards, have received funding to conduct my research from academic institutions and state and local government

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