The information on this site, however, is also helpful for parents of sufferers of any age, spouse or partners of adult sufferers, and friends/loved ones because it will help you understand what an eating disorder really is and how it affects the sufferers behaviour.
If you come away from this site knowing one thing, I want you to understand that eating disorders are genetically based mental illnesses. They are not a choice. They are not “caused by society” (although they are complicated and aggravated by society in a very serious way). They are not caused by bad parents or a “need for control.”
Adults with eating disorders face very different realities then children or teenagers do. Many of us have families to support, children, partners, jobs, mortgages, healthcare issues, and other sorts of complications. A realistic approach to recovery is not prescriptive. It is about meeting a person where they are at in life.
Different methods work for different people. Often, different methods work at different stages in recovery within an individual too. Being agile means being fast to shift gears — be it up or down — and listening to the individual to determine what is working and what is not working today, and makes the appropriate changes in real time.
Developing recovery tools that you can take with you everywhere you go in life. At an even more base level, many of us need to adopt our home lives to suit the changes that we need to make in order to sustain recovery too.
Eating disorders are with you 24/7, so 1 hour a week isn’t going to cut it when it comes to overcoming destructive thought patterns and behaviors. I believe that real-time support is a game changer for adults in recovery, and this is why I offerer unlimited email and text support.
Recovery from a restrictive eating disorder has to involve food and in most cases it has to involve weight gain. My primary focus is the elimination of restriction, eating disorder behaviours, and the subsequent weight restoration and supporting a person in whatever it is that they need in order to achieve full recovery.
A bit of background
I grew up in Wiltshire, England, in an idyllic (yet rainy) village. Despite being a robust and confident teenager, I developed an eating disorder at age 17 and this devastating illness took pole position in my life until, at 25, I finally started my recovery journey. I successfully recovered from Anorexia Nervosa and the complicated matrix of obsessions and habitual eating disorder behaviors that came with it.
Since Recovering I have
- Been a founding member of International Eating Disorder Action
- Been a founding member of World Eating Disorders Action Day
- Authored Love Fat, an educational memoire on eating disorder recovery and insight, and Rehabilitate, Rewire, Recover! — a recovery guide for adults.
- Written numerous eating disorder recovery guides for adults
- Peer mentored adults with eating disorders and parents/partners of adults since 2009
- Advocated for FBT for adults in eating disorder recovery
- Set up two forums for adults with eating disorders in active recovery
- Been selected to be a Coordinated Specialty Care Grant Advisory Board member
- Hosted of the Eating Disorder Recovery Podcast
- Founded Active Eating Disorder Recovery for Adults (AEDRA) Meal Support Service.
Want to work with me?
I coach adults and family of adults in recovery from eating disorders with a food first approach. I also am happy to come and talk to groups about understanding eating disorders, how to spot them, and how to treat them.
“Working with Tabitha on a recovery coaching basis has made the difference in my recovery from a decade of severe anorexia nervosa that I had come to believe was not possible for me.
Skype sessions regularly with Tabitha are showing me new approaches to recovery that traditional treatment never has and finally things are working!
Tabitha offers fantastic insight, advice, guidance, motivation…. I am not going to lie – she can be tough but that is what I need. She also works tirelessly – things are never too much trouble and she genuinely cares for every one of her clients.
I was very nervous about starting work with Tabitha but it was the best decision I have made and the only regrets I have are that I did not find her sooner!
I still have a long way in my recovery to go and there are good and bad days but now for the first time in so long, thanks to Tabitha, I am progressing – my mindset is shifting and I actually believe that one day I will recover.”
I began working with Tabitha as a recovery coach and for the first time in my life I think I will recover from my eating disorder.
I have been in IP twice and never fully healed or received the support I needed while in treatment. I have worked with an outpatient team for over two years and within two weeks of working with Tabitha I have made more progress than in the two years with my outpatient team.
Tabitha is teaching me how to take control from the eating disorder. She is giving me practical tools to learn to manage ED and the anxiety that goes along with recovery.
I can not speak highly enough about Tabitha. To feel the hope inside me that I could move beyond ED and have a life is incredible. I have always kept hope alive and at the same time didn’t believe I could heal from ED after having it for over a decade.
Tabitha was my last resort in some ways I didn’t know what else what work. I keep trying to recover and it was not working and I was becoming frustrated.
Thanks to Tabitha I am finally beginning to heal. It is an amazing feeling and takes a lot of work but she is right there step by step guiding and helping me.