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Disordered eating, sensitivity, and Power

Dr. Anita Johnson, in her classic book on eating disorders in young women, Eating in the Light of the Moon, writes, "It needs to be understood that it may not be a sense of powerlessness that is at the root of disordered eating. It may instead be a fear of power" (p. 66).

Many women feel powerless though, and often blame their sheer lack of willpower, discipline, or restraint as the constraints that get in the way of perfect eating or perfect body or a happy life.

She goes on to write, "Women who struggle with disordered eating are, more often than not, women with exceptional abilities.

They have a highly developed sixth sense; they have the ability to see the invisible, to read between the lines. They become afraid of these abilities because they have received the message that their abilities are dangerous. So they become afraid of their intuition. They fear the power of the feminine" (p. 67).

So many women have learned to squash down the wisdom, feeling, and emotions welling up from the 1st, 2nd, 3rd chakra. So much around healing disordered eating habits for women has to do with learning to trust themselves again, feeling and expressing the truth of who they are, and allowing themselves to experience legitimate feelings and legitimate pain.

On the one hand, I find that my clients that struggle with painful eating habits or disordered eating really do need support with their actual diet, learning the education they never had around body weight regulation, macronutrient balance, and sorting through the mess of information in the culture around health and food.

We absolutely work with that. It's empowering to learn how to set up breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a way that feels sustainable and nourishing and addresses to most common fears and concerns about health and body weight.

And for deeper healing yet, many women must learn to locate their own SELF as a differentiated person, in relationship to others, and feel their own sense of power and individuality in doing so. In a way, they must accept that there is nothing actually wrong with them, and that they can trust themselves and their intuitions and can differentiate between their wounded parts and deepest wisdom. They can say "yes" and "no" from their center. They can be human and not perfect.

(Whether a woman is specifically struggling with disordered eating or not, this is beautiful work for women)

with Love & Respect,


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