Anorexia/Eating Disorders/How do I get started?


Hi Mary

I have suffered from anorexia for 14 years and, at the age of 30, am now at the stage where I realise that if I don't do something now to change how I am then I will have lost the chance to do some of the things I really want to do - like having children.
However, my question is how do I even get started? I've spent so long and become such an expert at avoiding or restricting my eating, selecting foods based on their calories and rigourously counting and measuring calories that I've forgotten what "normal" is - and I live on my own so have no-one really to use as a guide.
I also don't have any support from a medical's just me on my how do I do it?

Thank you in advance

Hi Gayle,

I am so sorry you are going through this but thank you for having the courage to reach out. Are you able to see a therapist? If so, please do so. If not, I am going to provide you with a list of websites and books you may find helpful.

Please let me know if there is anything else I can do to help you. You've got a long road ahead, but you can do this!

Body Dysmorphia:

The Body Image Workbook by Thomas Cash -

Diet of Despair by Anna Paterson -

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

I also recommend these two books:

Just Tell Her to Stop by Becky Henry

Many of my clients are parents and teens struggling with eating disorders. The teens aren’t sure they even want help and are afraid of gaining weight. The parents are afraid of losing their children to a battle with an eating disorder. Mostly, they all just want it to stop. I cannot tell you have many times I have recommended Becky’s book to clients and friends. Her story-telling method is just what my clients need. They read her book and realize that she “gets” them. With 20 stories to choose from, every client has been able to find at least one that resonates with them. Just Tell Her to Stop is a powerful testament to the effect an eating disorder can have on the life of not only the person who has been diagnosed, but also everyone around him or her. At the same time it offers the advice you need to hear to help yourself, your family, and your friends who suffer with eating disorders.

Food to Eat: guided, hopeful & trusted recipes for eating disorder recovery by Lori Lieberman and Cate Sangster

I talk to young women every day who are in the midst of their battle with an eating disorder or just embarking on their recovery. Every single one of them is afraid to eat. They worry that if they start eating, they’ll get fat overnight. And for someone with an eating disorder, that is the worst fear imaginable. If I could reach out to my clients across the globe, I would give every single one of them a copy of this book. Lori and Cate’s compassionate approach to recovery is just what these young women need. They give practical advice and explain why each recipe is nutritious and okay to eat in their “outsmart your ED voice” sections. Their conversational style makes it feel like you’re sitting down in your living room with them, a non-confrontational approach that my clients can all relate to.

There's also a book that just came out called Almost Anorexic that is very helpful.  

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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