Recovery is Possible

As I reflected on thanksgiving yesterday, one of the things I was most thankful for is my freedom. This thought made me remember a time when recovery and freedom seemed impossible and it felt like I would be stuck with anorexia for the rest of my life.

I grew up having an amazing life with parents that loved me and friends that I adored but one day everything changed. When I was 14 years old I was with my friends and one of them made a comment saying that I was fat. These words shook my world and began to shape my thinking so when I looked in the mirror I no longer saw myself as beautiful but instead I viewed myself through the words she had spoken,I didn’t like what I saw and the anguish associated with her words was so painful I decided to change my appearance.

Little by little I cut out food and did more exercise, this made me feel good about myself but I didn’t realise that I was in a dark downward spiral which would never be satisfied. It trapped me to the point where I couldn’t eat anything and I had to do a certain amount of exercise each day, otherwise the guilt, fear and anxiety would flood in and it would feel like torture.

I went to a dance audition to secretly use it as a tool to exercise, I had never really danced before. Little did I know that dancing would help save my life, I got into the crew and to my surprise, I became passionate about dance and enjoyed been part of the group. We competed regionally but didn’t get through to nationals. Then three weeks later on the day where the doctor told me that there was no hope for me anymore and that I was been hospitilised, my dance crew got through to nationals.

I remember sitting in the doctor’s room thinking I have a choice. I have a choice of whether I am going to let anorexia take this opportunity away from me or whether I am going to begin to fight anorexia and take my life back. I begged my doctor for a chance to prove to her that I could fight it.

I began pushing through the lies, fear and guilt and I started eating again so that I could go to nationals. This was not easy at all, inside I was screaming and on the outside there were constant tears. I used to sit with my journal and write down every lie that came into my head while eating, then I would replace it with something positive about me.

I made it to nationals and we won that year which inspired me and gave me hope to be anorexia free.

I kept fighting and little by little I got my life back. Today I want to tell you that there is hope for you and that even though freedom may seem impossible or like a bad or scary word to you now, recovery is possible and it is so worth it.


Hope Night Flyer

The New Zealand Eating Disorders Clinic NZEDC is hosting a “Hope Night“ on Tuesday 12th December 2017 at the Mercury Theatre at 9 Mercury Lane. It is a night of hope for people who are struggling with eating disorders and their families.

The purpose of the night is to inspire hope and advocate that recovery is possible. It is to show people who are in the midst of an eating disorder that becoming free of an eating disorder is possible and it is to encourage parents to not give up and keep fighting for their loved one.

We also have a special guest June Alexander all the way from Australia skyping in. She will be speaking about using narrative diary writing as a self-help and therapeutic tool.

There will be a panel with a range of different people talking about their journey and what they have learnt. We want to share the perspectives from parents as well as from people who have had an eating disorder themselves.

Kellie Lavender and Dr Roger Mysliwiec from NZEDC will also be available to answer questions about eating disorders and their treatment.

The night is free and open to the public and we will be working with school counsellors and other eating disorder clinics to promote the event since it is a topic which affects many people in society on some scale.

Click here for the flyer.

If you are interested please contact Jess Putt via email:

Toxic Training - How to Recognize the Signs of an Athlete in Trouble

The early signs of an exercise addiction and eating disorders often look very much like the behaviors of an individual who is dedicated to hard work and disciplined eating – all in good health. That’s why it’s very easy for parents, coaches, trainers and anyone in the fitness industry to miss the signs that a person – of any age or gender – is struggling with exercise addiction, which often co-occurs with an eating disorder. With so much cultural emphasis placed on peak athletic performance, athletes are often driven to achieve the perfect body size and shape for their particular sport; the quest to lose or gain weight can be particularly in young athletes.

The people closest to the athlete or fitness “fanatic” are often impressed by his or her dedication and work ethic, and may even encourage the unhealthy behaviors because of their own attitudes about weight and dieting .

Parents, coaches and, trainers can set the tone and encourage a healthy attitude about sport and fitness. The first step is to learn to recognize the signs that an individual is struggling.

For more information you can go here.

Link to infographic click here .

Blog Written by: Casey Ribek

Intuitive Eating Group

This Six- week group program starts Monday, 6th November 630-830pm. 

Intuitive eating is an approach that teaches you how to have a healthy relationship with food and your body. Its basic premise is that everyone is equipped with all the internal wisdom one needs for eating intuitively. However, a history of chronic dieting or following "healthy" rules can make eating intuitively difficult. As we work through the principles of intuitive eating, you will learn to distinguish between the physical signs of hunger and fullness, cravings and emotions and learn how to respond to your body's inner cues. 

Cost: $300 for 6 weeks 


Garalynne Stiles, NZ Registered Dietician 

022 032 3685

Click here for the flyer. 

Family Based Treatment (FBT) and Avoidant Restrictive Food and Intake Disorder (ARFID)

This workshop will be hosted at The Community of St Luke, Presbyterian Church on 9th November 2017.

Presented by our very own Kellie Lavender and Miriam Belsham. Participants who attend this workshop will gain a full understanding of the diagnosis of ARFID and the modifications required when using FBT for children and adolescents presenting with ARFID.

This workshop is ideal for clinicians who are trained in FBT and want to extend their scope of practice to include this new diagnosis. Professionals interested in learning more about diagnosing and recognising ARFID will also find this workshop helpful.

Click here for the flyer. 

Dr Roger Mysliwiec and the Neuroscience of Eating Disorders

Dr Roger Mysliwiec and the Neuroscience of Eating Disorders


The Intriguing Nature of Eating Disorders

Why do some people consider chocolate their best friend, and sometimes their worst enemy? Why would some people agree with the words of Kate Moss, “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels!”? Why is it so difficult for most people to maintain a lower weight after weight loss, and why is it so challenging to help someone with anorexia to increase their weight and maintain it? Why are diets generally so unhelpful? Can neuroscience take the field further in its understanding of eating disorders and, most importantly does it have the potential to advance treatment and improve recovery rates?

Roger will explore these questions in his keynote address by providing a brief general overview of eating disorders and then exploring their neurobiological underpinnings and the implications for treatment. He will highlight some key findings of neuroscience informed studies, which have helped improve our understanding of eating disorders and their potential relevance for treatment. This will include in more depth an exploration of the interplay of reward processing and homoeostatic metabolic feedback loops and their relevance for weight regulation and over- and under-eating. He will report on some novel treatment approaches and will discuss the likely direction of future treatment developments.  

For more information on the conference in Australia follow this link.

A Letter of Hope and Thanks

A Letter of Hope and Thanks

Are you worried your child may be developing an eating disorder?

Are you worried your child may be developing an eating disorder?

Feed Your Instinct (FYI) is a wonderful new resource for parents. How do you if your child is developing an unhealthy relationship with food, their weight or body? The site has 4 modules; eating, wellbeing, thinking and feeling, with each module designed to help you decide if you need to be concerned along with suggestions about what you can do about it.


Intuitive Eating

Intuitive Eating

Are you......

Struggling to control your weight with strict diets that just don't work?
Out of touch with your body's hunger and fullness cues?
Confused by conflicting diet messages?
Feeling extreme guilt when eating certain foods?

NZEDCs "Intuitive Eating Group" may be for you. This six-week group is starting Tuesday 18th October.
Contact Garalynne for more details.