Biscuits Before Breakfast: Recovery in Microcosm

Eating a plain biscuit reminds me of how different healthy eating needs to be during recovery.

Questioning Medical Authority by Accident

While I was giving a recovery talk at an eating disorders clinic, one of the patients asked whether I disagreed with her medical treatment plan. I said yes. Should I not have?

Dissecting the Clean-Eating Meme

At the heart of 'clean eating' is a potent metaphor. It's worth taking a long hard look at its threats and promises and the rest of its dangerous box of cognitive tricks.

To Failure

What would a world look like in which we made our failures as public as our successes?

Am I Really This Selfish, or Is It Just the Anorexia?

Anorexia turns people into less nice versions of themselves. What does this mean, exactly, and does that nicer person you used to be really resurface during recovery?

The Forking Paths of Children and No Children

Can an eating disorder, even years after recovery, carry on affecting how we think about the possibility of having children? If so, how? Can we ever really tell?

How Does Metabolic Rate Really Change After Anorexia? Part 2

What is the relation between energy intake, bodyweight, and metabolic rate in the later stages of recovery from anorexia?

How Does Metabolic Rate Really Change After Anorexia? Part 1

What is the relation between energy intake, bodyweight, and metabolic rate in recovery from anorexia?

Twelve Hours a World Champion, One More Lesson Learnt

A little story about powerlifting, bodies, and balance.

Sleep and Dreaming in Anorexia

What can we learn about eating disorders and ourselves from attending to our dreams?

The Road Long Past Recovery…Called Life?

How stopping eating something sweet before bedtime can be a decision against anorexia rather than for it – and how a bit of ruthlessness can make space for future freedom.

How to Help Someone With an Eating Disorder

What should you do if you think or know that someone you care about has an eating disorder? What shouldn’t you do? What can you do?

Why Control Won’t Bring You Happiness

The process of successful recovery can be split into three phases: deciding and beginning to eat more and get better; continuing to eat more and get better physically and psychologically; and allowing recovery to flow into the life beyond it. Each bears a distinct relationship to the idea of control.

Taking, Losing, and Letting Go of Control in Anorexia

Control is central to many experiences of anorexia. How might exploring unpredictability help us uncover its dark sides and weak spots?

A Book from This Blog

I’m starting to plan a book based on A Hunger Artist, and would like your input.

Watching a Play about Anorexia

The benefits and dangers of creating art out of illness.

To Weigh or Not to Weigh?

What do the act of self-weighing, and those numbers on the scales, represent in anorexia and recovery? Is weighing yourself during recovery likely to do more harm or good?

Anorexia and the Dangers of Blog Post Titles

Few topics induce stronger emotion than parenting and children’s illness, and where emotions are heightened miscommunication can easily occur. Here I try to clarify my mother’s original argument, respond to some readers’ comments which blur the crucial distinction between personal and scientific ‘findings’, and reflect on the role of choice in recovery from anorexia.

You Can’t Save Your Child From Their Anorexia

This guest post by my mother Sue Blackmore reflects on the difficulty, for parents with an anorexic child, of striking the right balance between caring for their child and ruining their own lives trying and failing to help.

Recovering from Anorexia: How and Why to Start

In this companion piece to my post on how and why not to stop halfway in recovery from anorexia, I focus on anorexia’s other halfway state, the one between first achieving insight and first taking action, and try to offer ways of both understanding and escaping this particular limbo.

How To Do Christmas Better

This post is for anyone who finds themselves somewhere between a restrictive eating disorder and full recovery – or who just generally struggles a bit with Christmas. It’s about finding ways of making Christmas happier, healthier, and more connected, and it invites you to share your own concrete plans for doing better this Christmas.

The Fast Diet: A Fast Route to Disordered Eating?

Fasting diets have been all the rage recently, but does the evidence for them add up, and is what they’re promoting any better than a socially sanctioned eating disorder?

Recovery from Anorexia: Why the Rules *Do* Apply to You

One of the most common traits in anorexia is the sufferer’s feeling that their illness and/or their recovery must be different from everyone else’s – so much so that this conviction becomes in itself a reliable marker of similarity. I explore how and where this shared illusion of difference manifests itself and why it needs resisting.

What Anorexics Really Feel About Food

What’s really going on when people suffering from anorexia refuse to eat? It isn’t usually as simple as not experiencing hunger, and a profound enjoyment of food is often also part of the illness. So what are the mechanisms driving the destructive and sometimes deadly abnormalities in how feeling hunger and liking food relate to wanting food and eating it?

Eating Disorders in the Online World

The internet can be a dangerous place where people suffering from eating disorders offer each other encouragement to be ill ‘better’. What are the forces driving this worrying development, and what can we do about it?

Recovering from Anorexia: How and Why Not to Stop Halfway

How do you get past the in-between stage of having regained some weight but probably not enough, past the distressing limbo between sickness and health? What do you do when you know you're not well again yet but you fear going any further?

Anorexia on Prozac

I review the arguments and evidence for and against the prescription of antidepressants in the treatment of anorexia, and describe my own experience of taking Prozac before starting weight gain and therapy.

Not Being the Thinnest Any More—How to Adjust

After years of starving yourself and months of weight restoration, you realise you no longer look anorexic. You can cope with this by being both strict and gentle with yourself.

Seeing and (Not) Believing in Anorexia

Do we need to be able to see to be dissatisfied with our bodies? Could blindness reduce the likelihood of developing an eating disorder that involves negative body image? Or might not being able to see make us all the more likely to develop body-image distortions that go unchecked by vision?

Anorexia and the Right to Die

Should someone who has for a long time suffered from anorexia, and who is starving herself to death, be permitted to die or be force-fed in order to prevent her death?