Personal Note: Time Out

“The most valuable thing we can do for the psyche, occasionally, is to let it rest, wander, live in the changing light of room, not try to be or do anything whatever.” ― May Sarton

It’s been a while, hasn’t it?

You’d be forgiven for thinking this was an abandoned blog, given the lack of activity in the past few months. I’m sorry I haven’t been around, I hope you’re doing OK.

There’s a very good reason for my absence.

The Coronavirus pandemic has been a challenging time for all of us.

It’s had a significant negative impact on mental health and, as this recent research shows, eating disorders in particular.

Awareness of binge eating disorder has been increasing and, understandably, those affected are reaching out for support.

The UK’s national eating disorder charity reports that calls to their helpline about binge eating have more than tripled in the past 3 years.

As a binge eating disorder specialist, it’s fair to say I’ve been inundated with requests for help over the past year.

I’m grateful to have worked throughout the pandemic, as I know this isn’t the case for everyone, but it’s been full-on.

Really full-on.

So I’m taking a sabbatical until early 2022.

This gives me the chance to have a proper break to relax and recharge.

It also allows me time to complete a larger piece of writing I’ve been working on for quite a while.

I’m aware there are a lot of people struggling with binge eating who want to access the service I provide but can’t because my private practice and my waiting list are full, and have been for some time.

It doesn’t feel good to constantly turn people away, even if I’m signposting them to help elsewhere. While I’m on sabbatical, I’ll be reflecting on how this can be improved, and how I work in general.

Before I go, I want to say thank you to my colleagues at the eating disorder charity for their understanding and support.

A big thank you also to my clients for their patience. It’s a privilege to work with you and I wish you all the best for the coming months.

Just a reminder there’s plenty of material on this site to help you reflect on your eating behaviour so feel free to plunder the archives.

Until I’m back, stay safe and well everyone – let’s hope 2022 is a cracking good year for us all.

With very best wishes,

Julie 🙂

“There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither”. Alan Cohen

What Calorie Labelling does to People with Binge Eating Disorder

Trigger warning: description of binge eating.

A few nights ago, I went out for dinner for the first time since lockdown lifted here in the UK.

After months of being stuck at home, I sat in the restaurant with a big grin on my face, soaking up the atmosphere.

I was quite hungry but, as usual, took my time exploring the menu. Like a buzzard circling its prey, I was on the lookout for the dish that would truly satisfy me.

I knew I’d found it when I got that familiar “eureka” moment. Something in me said “that’s it!”. Instinctively, I knew it was exactly what I felt like eating and that I’d enjoy it.

I made my choice without judgement – either of the food or of myself.

Continue reading “What Calorie Labelling does to People with Binge Eating Disorder”

What’s Missing from the Conversation about Eating Disorders?

When you hear the term ‘eating disorder’, what comes to mind?

Is it anorexia?

Or maybe bulimia?

It’s not surprising.

When someone asks me what I do and I explain I’m a psychotherapist who works with clients with eating disorders, they usually tell me about someone they know who’s experienced anorexia.

While it’s a really good thing that awareness around anorexia and bulimia has increased significantly over the years, there’s yet to be the same level of awareness about binge eating disorder or OSFED.

In case you don’t know, OSFED stands for “other specified feeding or eating disorder”.

Continue reading “What’s Missing from the Conversation about Eating Disorders?”

Mental Health and Weight Loss Ads

I was recently asked to contribute to an article on the mental health impact of weight loss advertising for Metro.

You can read the article here, but I also wanted to share with you the questions I was asked and the answers I gave.

Continue reading “Mental Health and Weight Loss Ads”

Dieting is Never the Answer

This is the time of year when most New Year diets have failed.

Yes, The Eating Silly Season is coming to a close. To be fair, Eating Silly Season is now all year long, but in January it’s especially silly as Diet Culture stages its annual Grand Parade of Bullshit and Misinformation.

Look – there’s that “celebrity doctor” shamelessly promoting disordered eating on social media in the name of “science”. There’s that “diet guru” on TV forcing people who are Not Thin to lose weight rapidly with zero regard for their psychological wellbeing.

Then there’s you.

How are you doing with all of this?

Continue reading “Dieting is Never the Answer”

What’s the Price of People-pleasing?

A friend phones to ask you for a favour.

You’re already swamped and you don’t have the time or energy to help them out. Plus, this particular friend never seems to return any of the favours you do for them.

They wait expectantly for your answer.

A voice in your head is advising: “don’t agree to this. You have too much on already. Say no”.

Into the phone, you say with a smile:

“Yes, of course, I’ll do it – no problem”.

Why?

Continue reading “What’s the Price of People-pleasing?”