Stepford Christians?

By January 18, 2011 Blog

It’s odd how our culture so often equates Christianity with a loss of identity. The idea runs something like this. To trust in Jesus is to settle into a carbon copy of pretend goodness.  His Holy Spirit wipes clean not just our sins, but any nasty traces of personality or passion. That’s it, my young disciple, unscrew your brain and pop it with your teeth into a glass by the bed, then proceed as directed to cosy mental infancy, clutching the Ten Commandments like a …Read More

Ways of Seeing

By January 17, 2011 Blog

Have you ever tried those Magic Eye books? (This was a big craze in the 90s, using pictures which allow (some) people to see 3D images by focusing on 2D patterns). The viewer has to  unfocus their eyes in order to see the hidden three-dimensional image. I could never spot them, but it didn’t stop me getting angry and cross-eyed in the attempt. However, new research on personality types and eating disorders, may suggest that my time has come. If …Read More


By January 16, 2011 Blog, identity

Although I do it to myself all the time, I can’t bear it when I’m compared to other people. Especially other women. I’m a fraudulent female, a feminine fake. I’ve got an idea of what femininity might look like, but it’s a regurgitated mass of semi-biblical teaching, half-baked feminism, mid-30s home-economics manuals, Barbara Cartland heroines, magazine articles and perfume ads. What this adds up to is a mass of contradictions that make me feel that I’m four steps behind. Like …Read More

A Sicknote From Life

By January 14, 2011 Blog, identity

I don’t know about you, but when I was at school I used to hate sports.  Especially ‘team’ sports.  Anything where you’d get lined up against the wall feigning nonchalence whilst inwardly screaming at some leggy blonde athlete, PICK ME!!!!! PICK ME!!!!!!!!!!  There’d come a point in term where it would all become too much and, clutching my guts and writhing on the floor I’d blackmail Mum into writing me a note.  ‘Dear Mrs Crumblebum, Emma will not be able to …Read More

Mirror, Mirror..

By January 13, 2011 Blog

I was reading an article in one of the Sunday supplements where, as part of a regular feature, different people (usually famous), are asked to write about what they see when they look in the mirror. This week it was the turn of Katie Price, aka ‘Jordan’, the celebrity famous amongst other things, for her surgically enhanced breasts and tabloid modelling career. Here’s what she says: ‘I recognise that I am getting older but I don’t hate what I see …Read More

What does recovery look like?

By January 12, 2011 Blog

I guess one of the hardest things about eating disorders is how they thrive on secrecy. It’s the problem no-one wants to admit. Not only is this the case when you’re going downhill, it means that you may not know what to expect as you try to get better either. Recovery looks different for each person, and each person will respond differently to reintroducing foods. (This is partly why you need to get your GP involved, to avoid the risk …Read More

Let Them Eat Cake

By January 11, 2011 Blog

I do love a bit of reality. Not true life engagement with others (that sounds awful!) No the proper stuff, on the telly. Programmes like ‘Wife Swap’, where different couples live for a bit with each other’s other halves. You know, the vicar’s wife from Sudbury swaps with the pole-dancer from Bognor. Who knew it would end so badly? This is prime-time drama. And for once, all the arguments happen in someone elses’ living-room. I’m not proud of it. But …Read More

Wise Counsel?

By January 10, 2011 Blog

What’s the difference between a counselling session with a professional and a conversation with a friend? There are some situations where expert knowledge is essential to deal with specific issues, perhaps sexual dysfunction, violent pathologies or other disorders with physiological implications.  But I wonder if we seriously undervalue the potential for ordinary conversations and friendships to bless others. When I was spiralling down into anorexia (see my story here), it was incredibly difficult to get help.  We knocked on scores …Read More

And Another Thing…

By January 9, 2011 Blog

Here’s an add-on to yesterday’s post on mums copping the blame for their eating-disordered children. Research suggests that mothers of anxious children tend to be over-involved. The question is this –  which comes first, the child who becomes anxious in reaction to mum’s overprotection or the mum who reacts to an anxious child by being overprotective? According to a new study from the Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, over- protectiveness in mums may be a response to, rather than the cause …Read More

Mum’s The Word

By January 8, 2011 Blog

Popped into my local coffee shop today and was greeted by the guy behind the counter (I refuse to say ‘barista’, just like I refuse to order a venti or grande. This is Eastbourne for Pete’s sake, not Venice). Anyway, he was asking me about the holidays and said, ‘You look great! Haircut…no, don’t tell me, you’ve lost weight!’ Au contraire, my friend, I’ve gained, but I’ll take the compliment in the spirit in which it was intended. It’s funny …Read More