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No matter how long you’ve been struggling with an eating disorder or disordered eating, you can get free of the attitudes and behaviours that keep you feeling stuck, hopeless and despairing. You can get off the food and weight control treadmill and recover your life. Hear the stories of four women experiencing this transformation in remarkably shor…
 
Chelsea, 19, struggled with anorexia in her mid teens followed by a period of binge-eating and purging, which is not an uncommon experience in the recovery process from anorexia. In this podcast she speaks with Michelle about recovery, finding her way back to balance and discovering more peace and self acceptance. “Finding balance” Chelsea says “ha…
 
Chelsea, 19, struggled with anorexia in her mid teens followed by a period of binge-eating and purging, which is not an uncommon experience in the recovery process from anorexia. In this podcast she speaks with Michelle about recovery, finding her way back to balance and discovering more peace and self acceptance. “Finding balance” Chelsea says “ha…
 
Jeanne, 51, has struggled with disordered eating for decades. In this podcast she talks with Michelle Sparkes about finding hope and freedom from behaviors she thought she would have to live with. You can watch a video of the interview here : https://youtu.be/wZaNw_LzJdM info@michellesparkes.comโดย Michelle Sparkes
 
Freda, 38, has struggled with anorexia and disordered eating for 19 years. In this podcast she talks about the process of finding freedom from the obsessive thoughts and rules that circumscribed her life until recently. You can watch a video of the interview here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMV-qqqlXs info@michellesparkes.com…
 
Kate is a 42 year old mother of two who struggled for decades with restrictive eating and over-exercise. In this podcast she talks with Michelle about discovering a sense of freedom that she says is “hard to put into words unless you experience it – it’s just a sigh of relief that overwhelms you.” This is Kate’s story. For more information visit mi…
 
The fear that drives us down the scales and into the self-destructive behaviours characteristic of anorexia and other eating disorders can grow into a terror that is difficult to articulate. I believe there is a spiritual dimension to this fear, that it grows from the seeds of lies believed in the crucible of life experience that lead us to view ou…
 
I believe at the heart of an eating disorder lies a deep-seated hunger for acceptance and security. How we see our “self” and what we believe about our worth, value and entitlement (to life, nurture and good things) are critical issues in both the development of, and recovery from, an eating disorder. In this podcast I share some thoughts about thi…
 
Have you ever felt deeply distressed, inconsolable or highly anxious? Right now in my country we’re grappling with the devastating impact of catastrophic bushfires. Closer to home my dearly loved mum is suffering and in decline. It got me thinking about comfort; it got me thinking about you. When we experience distressing emotions (as we do when we…
 
I got caught in an ocean current on the weekend and it got me thinking how quickly we can go from being in control (“I’m okay”) to being out of control (“I’m in danger”). The slide from disordered or unhealthy (even sub-optimal) eating patterns and behaviours into a full blown eating disorder can happen quickly. What are the warning signs and do yo…
 
Paralysing fear. Feeling stuck and terrified. Afraid to make a “wrong” decision; afraid to make any decision. Acute anxiety is a major feature of anorexia and something most of us will relate to in some measure. Even when you’re recovered from anorexia (as I am), there are times when situations trigger that old emotional response. […]…
 
When we are locked in the self hatred of the eating disorder ‘cage’ we need to experience ourselves as seen, known, understood, worthwhile, valuable, loved. Even when and especially in the midst of our most acute struggles. For me the heart of the Christmas message is about this. The sound quality of this audio is […]…
 
What do you say to two brave women now both in their 40s, struggling to stay ‘well enough’ to stay out of hospital after a long journey with anorexia, both traumatised by previous hospital admissions and struggling to know who to trust and where to turn. This is my response. I welcome your feedback and […]…
 
A listener requests help “not to revert back to old bad habits” and to learn to eat when hungry. Here are some thoughts. Feel free to email your questions to: michelle@michellesparkes.comโดย Michelle Sparkes
 
I recently asked people what their greatest challenge or concern was when it came to their struggle in the ED/DE landscape. One respondent asked how to combat her fear of gaining weight when she “knew she must.” It got me thinking about the importance of compassion. If you are scared of gaining weight but know […]…
 
When we explore what’s going on inside us in the lead up to a binge it helps makes ‘sense’ of our behaviour; our bingeing feels less mindless and out of control; we can view our situation with more curiosity and ourselves with more compassion. This in turn helps us consider what alternatives there may be […]…
 
Bingeing isn’t just (or even mostly) about physical hunger, although if we’re not giving our body sufficient food on a regular basis we will certainly binge. Bingeing is primarily about emotional hunger. Emotional hunger starts us on the journey of restricting and continues to drive us (whether we’re eating regularly or not) until we do […]…
 
There are a number of things to embody and embrace (skills to learn, knowledge to apply) to get free from disordered eating behaviours and beliefs but at the heart of it all, I believe there are 3 pillars that are foundational to living a life that is whole and free… “Value is your birthright, your […]…
 
If embodying value is the first pillar to freedom from disordered eating; experiencing your body as home (not object) is the second…and they are intimately connected…listen here for more.โดย Michelle Sparkes
 
Here are three things that can help you value yourself in ways that are life-affirming and health promoting: Understand your intrinsic worth and value Reflect on what you value in others Spend (more) time in the company of those peopleโดย Michelle Sparkes
 
We binge because we’re hungry –physically, emotionally, spiritually We binge because we’ve been restricting – possibly even starving ourselves – of nurture – physical and emotional We restrict because we believe we don’t deserve (more food, love, affection, belonging) – or that we should be different somehow (better, perfect) – and until then, we’l…
 
If you struggle with disordered eating, self and body concerns 3 key things you will need to recover a life worth living are compassion, curiosity and support. Listen here for more…โดย Michelle Sparkes
 
Dear Carer you are a lifeline to the one you love. I know it can be tremendously challenging to watch someone you love restricting, starving, bingeing, purging or punishing their body. You KNOW these behaviours do not produce health, well-being or happiness. How can you assist your loved one move away from damaging behaviours and […]…
 
If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed or discouraged by an eating disorder ‘label’ or diagnosis this podcast will help you see that you are not alone, unusual or beyond help…and if you need more encouragement or ‘hard evidence’ get hold of my free ebook and begin your journey to freedom.โดย Michelle Sparkes
 
When pain comes our way it is natural to protect against it. And a very understandable way to protect against pain directed at the self or experienced within the self, is to try and control it. Food/body/weight control in this respect make ‘sense’ because it gives us a tangible way to make ourselves feel more […]…
 
Freedom from disordered eating comes as we cease food restrictions and nurture body and soul. The first step on our road to freedom requires that we SEE that our current disordered eating behaviours, although originally well-intentioned, will never take us where we want to go. They will never bring us the inner peace, self acceptance […]…
 
What happens when the drive for health becomes unhealthy? asks Jenny Brockie, host of SBS Insight, as she explores our nations “health obsession” with a roomful of people and three 20+ year olds struggling to recover from disordered eating and eating disorders. As I watched the show I found myself reflecting on the power of […]…
 
“Could it be that depression is not purely a physical sickness but a spiritual malaise?” asks Elizabeth Farrelly in her article, “Finding the black dog’s spiritual lead” (The Sydney Morning Herald, 26-27 August 2017 , p.30). “Perhaps we should see it less a personal issue than a societal indictment, less a treatable pathology than a […]…
 
More than just feeling down, clinical depression is a serious mental health condition that affects the way people feel, think, and react to general daily activities, such as eating, sleeping, or working. In Australia one-in-seven people will experience clinical depression in their lifetime and globally the number is one-in-five. Predicted to be the…
 
Great to be back in the podcasting seat! I’ve been offline piloting the 4×4 Freedom Express and really enjoying the face to face interaction involved. I believe human connection is more needed now than ever to promote health and well BEing in our fast-paced, low-grace, digitally-connected world. One thing I’ve noticed over the last few […]…
 
I traveled through an eating disorder in my teen and early adult years (as illustrated) and lost ~ 15 years of my life spinning my wheels on the eating disorder treadmill because I couldn’t SEE what I was dealing with or why I was struggling and I didn’t have the knowledge, skills or support to […]โดย Michelle Sparkes
 
In the last episode I was saying that in my experience of anorexia prior to my hospital admission, I had become enmeshed, hyper-vigilant and ‘trigger-happy’ in my family environment. I was physically and emotionally starving but could not receive the nurture that existed in the relationships around me. Admission to hospital was the beginning of […]…
 
When you have fallen for, and are isolated by the lie that you are not worthy or good enough you need to reach out…to connections that can affirm, nurture, and encourage YOU. It’s important to say here that anorexia itself isolates a person and lies to them about their worth and value in such a […]โดย Michelle Sparkes
 
Self and body acceptance go hand in glove. The message of EMBRACE may be a challenge for the young(er) person struggling with anorexia or ED because when we’re struggling in this space, our sense of self as “unacceptable” can go very deep. Without a doubt we need to see and celebrate more diverse body shapes […]…
 
Embrace is a wonderful documentary (film) that celebrates body shape, size, and ethnic diversity. The brainchild of Taryn Brumfitt, a wife and mother of 3 who almost went under the knife in her quest to overcome body loathing, the message she brings goes beyond acceptance to embracing the skin you’re in whatever your shape, size, […]…
 
Gaining weight from a low weight may be possible in an outpatient setting if a person is not critically unwell. If a person can make progress with the support of a doctor, dietician and therapist in an outpatient setting, fantastic. If not it simply means more intensive support is required. (See previous podcast notes for […]…
 
To recover from anorexia a person will need to confront their fear of food and eating; their fear of getting fat and losing control. It’s a huge challenge because the semi-starvation diet of an anorectic CREATES the food obsessions and inflexible, polarised thinking that make seeking recovery so difficult. Fear drives anorexia; and the anorectic [……
 
“Pornified messages are bombarding our young people and giving them distorted ideas about their bodies, about relationships, and about sexuality,” says Melinda Tankard Reist, in this podcast interview, “According to global research, (this is) making our kids very unwell.” We are seeing a rise in negative physical and mental health outcomes, eating …
 
Grace, a podcast listener asks, “Do you have any insight on the impacts of not only the media, but porn as well. For the folks in relationships (I am married, second time around) is it such an issue for most people with ED? I recently found a great deal of it on a computer history […]โดย Michelle Sparkes
 
This series is designed to inspire you and help you dream again; to recover the hopes and aspirations deep inside you that may have got lost in your battle with an ED. When your eyes are cast down, lost in the life-consuming territory of an ED, you need a vision of the future that will […]โดย Michelle Sparkes
 
When the ED voice (the bully in your head) is making it hard or impossible for you to take in the nurture you need to survive and thrive you need help. You need other people to come alongside you and help you fight the lies and the fear that paralyses you SO THAT you can […]โดย Michelle Sparkes
 
When you’re fighting anorexia, you become afraid to eat. The terror of losing control and getting fat is REAL and is created by the eating disorder itself. I want to tell you, food is not your enemy; the fear of food and what it can do to you is your enemy. The ED voice lies […]โดย Michelle Sparkes
 
A great chat with Julie Duffy Dillon RD, dietitian, writer, speaker and host of the popular Love Food podcast, covering everything from her approach in working with people affected by ED/DE, to problems larger bodies experience in getting timely diagnoses, to her thoughts around mealplans and veganism, and her top 3 tips for making peace […]…
 
Have you ever found yourself on a backroad by mistake or design? It’s a great opportunity to discover things you would otherwise miss. When we come away from mainstream messages about our worth and value, we have the opportunity to explore and discover (or recover) those things that are unique and special to us. When […]…
 
“Love is On”…says Revlon and the message is that your lovability is dependent on appearance. Don’t be sold a lie. More on this in this podcast. Gwen a podcast listener expressed her frustration at being “bombarded by images that make normal people look horrible.” Apart from unplugging what else can we do? Here’s a few […]…
 
Binge-eating is a common feature in the disordered eating landscape. Binge-Eating Disorder as a diagnosis affects around 3.5% women, 2% men and 1.6% adolescents. Today I speak with Ryan Sheldon, a male who has struggled with binge-eating disorder and is using his experience to help others through his blog, Confessions of a Binge-eater. Important ta…
 
As we move into 2017 I will be bringing new voices, ideas and inspiration to help you SEE and GET FREE from your ED – voices of people struggling with ED, voices of people who have recovered from ED, voices of people working with ED, and voices from related fields that impact upon ED. Coming […]โดย Michelle Sparkes
 
AMBIVALENCE refers to the tug of war that exists inside us when we feel pulled in two directions. Perhaps we know that something is not quite right (or perhaps people around us are reflecting this to us by expressing their concern). Until we are aware that we have a problem and ready to do something […]…
 
Are you believing a lie about your worth and value? As you journey out of your eating disorder (or any life consuming/life controlling problem) you will “hit” some of the deeper (painful) self experience that sits below the surface of your (disordered eating) behaviours. This is a difficult but necessary part of recovery. At such times, […]…
 
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