by Joanna Poppink, M.F.C.C.

Many women of all ages have been compulsive overeaters most of their lives. Their health gets increasingly worse. They battle with depression. They get temporary and partial relief from drugs such as Prozac, but nothing deeply changes their inner experience or eliminates their compulsive overeating.

Because of this some live lonely lives with food as their prime companion. Despite the inner agony and desperation that accompanies compulsive overeating, many have what most would consider to be good lives. They may be of very large size and eat massive amounts of food per day. But they also often have interesting and fulfilling jobs. They often have loving husbands. They often have beautiful children. They often have friends. They often have respected positions in their communities.

Some keep trying to tell themselves that these wonderful aspects of their lives are enough to balance their pain, and they should just accept their compulsive overeating and their fat as permanent conditions.

There's a hope here that if they have this acceptance, the depression will go away. There's also some denial here because the health risks increase as time goes by.

Others, those on the verge of getting help, admit to themselves that all their achievements in the outer world are not addressing their inner pain. As one compulsive overeater said, "I am so miserable I cannot be happy."

When all avenues they thought might bring them freedom from the compulsive overeating fail, the courageous women, through their anxiety and pain, at last, look for help.

Perhaps you who are reading this now, are one of those courageous ones, scouring the internet privately, looking for answers, people, resources, a confidante, hope, a way, that will help you move beyond your painful situation.

If you are, you are looking for something that is beyond your imagination because you have already done everything you can think of to help yourself. You are being brave as you explore what must be new territory. You know that healing methods exist in areas you don't know about yet. That's the beginning of awakening.

And you have more than a hope. You have a sense that there is knowledge and methods, people and understanding that could be there for you. And if you are still reading, still surfing the net with eating disorder keywords, that sense in you is strong. You are on the verge of getting help.


Joanna Poppink, M.F.C.C., licensed by the State of California in 1980, is a Marriage, Family, Child Counselor (License #15563). She has a private practice in Los Angeles where she works with adult individuals and couples. She specializes in working with people with eating disorders and with people who are trying to understand and help a loved on who has an eating disorder.

Contact Information:
10573 West Pico Blvd. Suite 20
Los Angeles, CA 90064
(310) 474-4165 phone
(310) 474-7248 fax

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