You have the power to live WITHOUT an eating disorder!

The eating disorder staff at BeginWithin is dedicated to bringing hope and healing to their clients. We believe that through individual psychotherapy, nutritional counseling, and the support of other professionals, family, and friends, clients can gain the insights and skills necessary to make healthy changes toward recovery. We empower our clients to use these insights and skills to transform their life to one that is free from food and weight obsession.

Nutritional counseling is given in a caring relaxed environment. Clients learn to eat the appropriate amount of food that is needed for optimal functioning. They become skilled at challenging their unhealthy thoughts related to food and weight. This is done gently and at an appropriate pace so the client can restore both their nutritional and cognitive health.

Psychotherapy provides a nurturing approach of exploration of the behaviors and underlying issues that surround an individual’s eating disorder. Clients can look at the issues that surround their eating disorder in a compassionate and safe environment. They become better able to cope with life’s stresses and uncomfortable feelings using healthy coping skills.

We make every effort to ensure every client feels comfortable and at ease as they work on their recovery. We know that recovery from an eating disorder is challenging, but possible. We work unwaveringly to help our clients realize this too.

Eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia and binge-eating disorder are serious psychological illnesses, not choices. There are biological, psychological and cultural factors that play a role in the development of an eating disorder.

Eating disorders consist of extreme emotions, attitudes, and behaviors surrounding weight and food issues.  They can have life-threatening consequences for both females and males.  According to the National Eating Disorders Association (2007) as many as 10 million females and 1 million males suffer from anorexia or bulimia and millions more suffer from binge eating.  Anyone can develop an eating disorder as it affects all ages and all ethnicities. 

Anorexia Nervosa is characterized by self-starvation and excessive weight loss, along with an intense fear of becoming fat. Sufferers are preoccupied with food and weight.  Health consequences of this disease, according to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA, 2007), include but are not limited to dehydration, slow heart rate, low blood pressure, osteoporosis, overall weakness, fainting, and hair loss. Some anorexic individuals may also grow a downy layer of hair called lanugo all over the body. This is the body’s effort to keep warm.  The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders say that anorexia has the highest mortality rate of any psychological illness.

Bulimia Nervosa is characterized by a cycle of binging (consuming a large amount of food in a short period of time) followed by purging.  Purging may be done through forced vomiting, laxatives, diet pills and/or excessive exercising (NEDA, 2007). According to NEDA, electrolyte imbalances may occur in individuals with bulimia from loss of potassium and dehydration that may cause irregular heart beat, as well as tooth decay, and irregular bowel movements. Vomiting also poses the risk for ulcers, gastritis, and internal bleeding. 

Binge Eating Disorder is characterized by periods of uncontrolled or continuous eating beyond the point of feeling comfortably full (NEDA, 2007). There is no purging, but individuals with BED may repeatedly diet. Health consequences include high cholesterol and blood pressure, gallbladder disease, and Type II diabetes. 

Many others suffer from an Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified or “disordered eating”. An individual is often given these “diagnoses” when they have many of the same behaviors of anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating disorder but do not meet the official diagnostic criteria. A sufferer may also find that their eating and/or exercise behaviors are interfering with their ability to lead a full and happy life yet these behaviors may not be causing any known medical complications and may even be regarded as “normal” by society’s standards. Individuals who experience an intense preoccupation with their eating, who are chronically yo-yo dieting and weight cycling, experience rule-driven eating, have chronic negative body image etc., to the degree that it disrupts their daily living, may be experiencing disordered eating.