Eating disorders…

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    I’m really astounded by the amount of support I’m receiving here! You’ve made my day!


    blabla, you are not alone, as you can see. Many people have serious misconceptions about eating disorders. Please take care of yourself, and turn the dietary control into HEALTHY control of your diet.


    Hi Blabla,

    You are most definitely not alone. I am in recovery for food addiction. People don’t realize that anorexia is the other side of the food addiction coin. I have some resources for you. There are two books that have really helped me. “Food Addiction: The Body Knows” and “From the First Bite”. Both are written by Kay Sheppard. You can check out her website at

    Support groups are vital to recovery. Check out the Overeaters Anonymous website There are anorexic/bullimic focus meetings as well. There are tons of meetings everywhere especially in the NYC area. If you tell me which area you live in, I can help you find a meeting. There is no cost to attend these meetings.

    Lastly, there is an outpatient treatment center that has a food addiction program. It’s called the Realization Center. It’s run by a Jewish woman. They have 2 locations, one in Manhattan and one in Brooklyn. Diane Schwartz is the woman’s name – she is wonderful. Insurance covers most of the cost.

    You wouldn’t believe how many frum people are in recovery for EDs. Let me know if you have any questions. I can even give you my email address.

    Take care!


    sasson-That must be really annoying. I was accused of having an ED for about a year before I acknowledged that I have a problem. I totally didn’t think there was anything wrong with me before. You should really check it out before it gets worse because its something that’s really hard to fight and ONLY GETS WORSE WITH TIME! The earlier you take care of it, the better.

    Yaela-I don’t live in NY 🙁 But thanks for the info-I will B”N check it out. I know EDs exist in the frum community but everyone’s hiding.


    Why does everything have to turn into a struggle for me?

    Why does not eating sound appealing to me? I know it’s from the fast and how good I felt while I was fasting but it’s really frustrating for me. Funny thing is though, the fast wasn’t even so good for me. I had a headache the whole time but knowing that I was in control of what I was (not) putting in my mouth brought back intense ed thoughts to me. I’m so sad about this:(


    NOOO!!! Please don’t let yourself fall back there! Forget the fast PLEASE! I was just told that I might not even be allowed to fast on Yom Kippur if it would bring a relapse (if I’m better by then). Please try to forget the fast!!! Sending you ((((((hugs)))))))

    Hang in there!


    The feelings of doing all these funny things is thrill, escape, denial, and it feels so worth it and the pull is so strong, although logically – know so well it’s not worth it. 🙁 ;( 🙁

    Don’t do it. It’s not real control (i think). Stay strong, hold on tight!!!


    My friend suffers from an ED. It’s so frightening, since I know I can’t do anything to help her. I was advised not to mention anything about food, diet, weight etc. etc. Boy, it’s just terrible to watch her starving herself. Hope she’ll get better soon.

    blabla and happiest: Hope you get over it soon. Don’t despair. Hashem’s holding your hand throughout this difficult situation. Good luck and refuah sheleima!


    Ya… it’s a bit hard right now. Spoke to Dr today. He said I am not allowed to fast any fast besides for tisha bav and y”k but right now I am terrified to even fast tisha bav. I’m not sure what to do about this. Do I ask a sheila or call my Dr again and speak to him about it?

    Just curious- why does life have to be a constant struggle? Why when one thing is getting better, do other things need to pop up?

    It is soooo hard right now! Hashem, please give me the strength to get through this all. I just want to be over and finished with this all!!


    Do NOT fast on Tisha B’Av. Of course ask a rabbi, but there is certainly Many who say you SHOULDNT fast

    Happiest – I dont know if you are a teenager, but truthfully teenage years are tough on most people. It does get better


    @zahavasdad- thanks! First of all, I should ask a Rav over my Dr? Should I tell him what my Dr said?

    Also, I am not a teenager- I am in my early 20’s. I did begin struggling with this when I was in my teens though and now it’s just coming all back, almost like it never left:( Weird!!


    blabla- i did get checked out… had to go to the dr when i got accused… but she said she wished all her patients were as healthy as me! it’s nto fair! just cuz i’m on the fatter side, every time i go on a diet, they decide i have issues. and not to mention i was also accused of bulimia 🙁 sorry for this rant.


    My nutritionist (not frum) told me I can’t fast on YOM KIPPUR! She said I should tell my rav to call her if he has questions. I probably won’t fast on tisha b’av but I’ll be in camp so don’t know how I’ll do it without everyone knowing. Happiest-Ask your rav again! Especially if you already feel the thoughts coming back. Hang in there! 🙂


    Yes if you ask a RAV tell him what your Doctor said, usually a Rav will follow the Doctor.


    I am not a doctor, but I do know people who have suffered from this.

    I do know ED’s are like Alcholism, it never really goes away no matter how old you get 🙁


    @blabla and aries- I’m going to call my rav but I’m embarrassed to tell my parents if he says that I shouldn’t fast. How can I tell them that without letting them know that I am struggling with my eating?

    Thanks everyone!


    Do your parents know you have an eating disorder from before?


    Zahavasdad, I believe your mistanken. someone strugling with an ED can fully recover with the proper help. an alcoholic takes one drink and is back in the clutches, it is very different once someone recovers fully. I am fasting on fastdays for a couple of years already and have never regressed b’h.

    am yisrael chai


    It may be difficult to admit to your parents that you struggle with your eating, but is it possible that they will indeed support you & get you additional help?

    Perhaps this is a blessing in disguise.


    After reading a few posts and other threads, I am not sure if ED is the only issue here.

    Refuah Shelmah to those who really need it and please seek help ASAP.


    Dont do anything without speaking to a competent rav and your doctor. maybe they should even speak to each other if they disagree about you fasting. whatever you do though, it should be easy for you! Have a relaxing Shabbos


    @kj- ask any Dr in the medical field, anyone that knows anything about eating disorders. It is never fully away unfortanately. A small thing can trigger you and there goes it all. Trust me, this is not the first time it’s happened to me.

    Yes, my family does know that I had an ed but they think that I am doing extremely well right now. Funny thing is, I am. I am not depressed and not suicidal, b”H. Just struggling with food.

    I tried calling my Rabbi (that I’m comfortable talking to, that knows my entire situation) but he’s away for the summer. He said not to leave messages but if it’s an emergency then I can leave a message with his secretary and he will get back to whomever as soon as possible. I don’t think this rates as an emergency. But I don’t know who else to ask. I am just really comfortable with this Rav, I’m scared to go to anyone else!! Ideas anyone?

    m in Israel

    happiest — It most certainly does rate as an emergency. You are not calling his cell phone — you are leaving a message with a secretary, which is PERFECTLY FINE. This is a time related question, and I’m sure your rav will be happy to get back to you. If it makes you feel any better, there are many people who have shaalos related to fasting (such as pregnant and nursing women), and most rabbanim expect “fast related” questions before Tisha B’Av and Yom Kippur especially.

    Unless there are very unusual circumstances, it is probably in your best interest that your parents know you are struggling and can therefore support you. If your Rav has told you not to fast, that is the right thing to do.

    As far as the Rav vs. Dr. question, what I believe is usually the logical approach is to first ask your doctor or other medical professional (blabla you mentioned a nutritionist), and then ask your Rav the Shaila including giving over everything the professional has said. Remember a Rav can only give you the right Psak if you have given all of the information — NEVER try to hide things from the Rav when asking the Shaila. Sometimes your Rav may want to speak directly to the professional, and most professionals will be happy to do so.


    @m in israel- thank you for answering all my questions so clearly!

    I am going to put in a call to my Rav (or really his secretary).

    Also, I’m not sure if it’s in my best interest for my parents to know. They will get very nervous and don’t really know how to deal with these types of situations. It actually might be smarter of me to keep it quiet for as long as possible because there is still that little hope that this will blow over in a week or two.

    I did speak to my Dr but I didn’t really tell him that I’m nervous about fasting tisha baav. I just told him in general what happened to me the last fast. I guess I should give him a call back and specify that I’m apprehensive about the upcoming fast.

    Thank you everyone for being so supportive!

    minyan gal

    happiest: There are many people who are not permitted to fast for medical reasons – think of diabetics as an example. There should be no shame in eating on a fast day as “saving your life” is far more important and I think that your Rav will tell you this. At this particular time, your health should be your primary concern.


    I really want to fast on tisha b’av but I know I can’t but I’m going to feel awful. yeah, I want to fast for the wrong reasons-just to loose weight! I feel horrible tonight…when don’t I?! PLEASE! everyone who has an ED just come out of your hiding place!! Let this be our support group!


    I have a girl with an eating disorder living by me. She is in a program, and BH she is doing really well. She has been in and out of hospitals for more than 12 years. The longer it takes to get help, the worse it gets. So far this is the only program that has helped her on the road to recovery.

    Hope you find the right program to get you through this because its a hard one. The people I know who had an ED did not recover. You must get professional help.


    SOOO….tomorrow’s tisha b’av. I still don’t know if I’m fasting but probably not.


    Blabla, I really fell for you. I suffered terribly from an eating disorder and it took a long and hard journey to get over it.

    The most important part of my recovery process was having a mentor, a nutrionist whom i felt comfortable with, and a psychologist whom I liked very much as well.

    I believe you have the strength to do what it takes. Hang in there darling.I have some psychologists and nutritionists which I feel can be of help if I knew the area you lived in. It would also be my pleasure to help you myself if you can get in touch with me.

    I feel all your pain, and hope you get out of this rut real soon.

    Just two books I strongly recommend which helped me tremendously are:

    1- Life without Ed – how one woman declared independence from her eating disorder and how you can too. written by Jenni Schaefer

    2 – The rules of normal eating. written by Karen R. Koenig


    You dont have to Fast. Rav Dovid Goldwasser forbids people with eating disorders from fasting even when they are cured (He holds you are never really cured)


    im reading this forum and im crying i was borderline battline anorexia few weeks ago im still not sure wether i was or not i stopped it with help of family and im reading so many other frum women out there who can relate.. i have not askd a sheila and as my diagnosis wasnt confirm i will not and im fasting and hoping for the best… i wisht they had a private messaging system here i can adress some of u to talk to… :'(


    i have so much to write/say and i dont know if i should or can… 🙁


    Hi Bpmum,

    As someone who’s been there i know exactly what you are going through. I was diagnosed with anorexia 2 years ago and have been fighting ever since. Anorexia may not consume me as it once did, but the thoughts and behaviors associated with my ED will haunt me forever. I know fasting has got to be the hardest thing in the world for you right now. let’s face it, i’m sure you live on a somewhat unconventional diet and gearing up for the fast can be a headtrip in itself. even if you know you will be depriving your body of nutrients for a full 25 hours, you can’t bring yourself to add more than to restricted portion sizes to prepare yourself adequately for this ‘starvation’. fast days are stressful… as it stands caloric intakes and portion sizes haunt you routinely at every hour of the day… how much more so on a fast day when the ENTIRE day revolves around our 2 favorite things. 1)restriction and 2)food. fast days are almost ‘easy’ to those that suffer with an ED.We aren’t forced to a table watching everyone else enjoying food so mindlessly and effortlessly and being tormented to the point of submission when we succumb to eat the food ourselves… the downside to these fast days are that we know we actually like them. not only like them but almost look forward to them. Any rav will agree that not only are you NOT ALLOWED TO FAST you have a mechuyav to eat on a fast day. Not only will fasting set you back into an unhealthy mindset, it is also a sarkanah as you do not have the reserves to nourish your body for a full 25 hour period. If you need to sneak food up to your bedroom or eat at a time when nobody is around…Do it! Unfortunately many people are still are in the dark about eating disorders. if your family understood what you were risking by fasting they would not be forcing this upon you. Remember,you can still gain meaning from tisha baav without fasting by practicing what it is really about. Some people can fast and spend an entire day speaking loshon hora, watching videos and surfing the web. You have the power to take incredible things away from tisha baav that those who are fasting may not have the strength to do.

    Be strong! We all support you!


    But I feel since I haven’t been properly diagnosed with Ed that I can’t even ask on other hand this is sooooo recent I am afraid I shouldn’t fall again I always said I dent have Ed (denial ) it was the ppl around me that said I do that insisted and then i had it under control bcos I was being monitored by family and i just hope I won’t fall again


    I am not a Rav or a Doctor and I dont know you and I am not poskinim, but if you think you have ED and others around you think you have it, You probably do have it.

    I do think its better to error on the safe side

    minyan gal

    This article appeared in my local newspaper today. The Hospital for Sick Children, known as Sick Kids, in Toronto is one of the world’s largest childrens’ hospitals.As this article is from one of the news services, it is probably in many newspapers across Canada today.

    OTTAWA — The attention on obesity and prevention programs in schools may be more damaging than beneficial as some doctors are finding children as young as five are being treated for such eating disorders as anorexia and bulimia.

    Dr. Leora Pinhas, who heads the eating disorders program at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto, said she is seeing more younger children in her program now compared to five years ago when the majority of her in-patients were teens.

    Recent statistics coming out of Britain reveal that in the past three years, 197 children from ages five to nine in the United Kingdom sought treatment for an eating disorder.

    In the same period in Canada, the number sat at 166 children from ages five to 12, said Pinhas.

    “You have to keep in mind that our population is smaller than the U.K. We are 33 million, they are 55 million,” she said.

    According to 2008-09 statistics from the Canadian Institute for Health Information, eight boys under the age of five sought treatment for an eating disorder compared to zero for girls. In the age range of six to 10, no boys were admitted but 17 girls were.

    The numbers shoot up dramatically for girls between 11 and 15 (386 were admitted for treatment) and girls between the ages of 16 to 20 (572 were admitted for treatment).

    Pinhas said eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia tend to be generational and can pass through three generations of women.

    A 2005 study regarding early onset eating disorders co-authored by Pinhas found anorexia has been on the rise over the last 50 years and is the third most common chronic illness affecting adolescent girls.

    In Ontario, there are less than 20 hospital beds — split among Toronto, Ottawa and London — for kids and teens seeking treatment for eating disorders, a number that has to change, says Pinhas.

    “I get about 100 new patients every year,” said Pinhas, who always has a waiting list.

    “One in five teenage girls will have an eating disorder. I have 10 beds; I always think who’s the one who will not make it. It breaks my heart,” she said.

    Pinhas is aware of five adult women who died from an eating disorder since January.

    “They don’t tend to die in childhood, but five (deaths) is a lot already,” she said.

    “We see children in sports like gymnastics, skating and ballet where they get clear messages that how tall they are and how heavy they are will affect whether they can be competitive,” said Pinhas, adding kids in these situations are told to lose weight and are rewarded if they do.

    She also says the magnitude of our attention on obesity and putting overweight people in the same category has blurred the definition of obesity.

    “Someone with a BMI of 25 is overweight; someone with a BMI of 45 is obese, but it’s seen as the same thing,” Pinhas said.

    Prevention programs in schools are also influencing children to cut the fat, said Pinhas, who asks her own kids to be excused from the lectures.

    “Kids are learning about good foods and bad foods. For the wrong kid to be told sugar is bad for you, then they go home and don’t eat sugar and will also think other things must be bad,” said Pinhas.

    “Kids are very black-and-white thinkers. There are no greys; it’s all or nothing,” she said, explaining how the program questions parental authority and puts the responsibility on the child to follow through with healthy food choices.

    Pinhas advises parents to make sure their child gets his or her height and weight measured at least once a year. Stunted growth is one of the first signs a child may be dealing with an eating disorder.

    “If they are a normal size in kindergarten and all of a sudden the shortest kid in the class in second grade, that is a sign,” said Pinhas.

    — Postmedia News


    I’m so sorry to hear how many people are going through this, right her in this coffee room especially.

    I strongly advise you all to read the books I recommended on my previous post. I honestly think it can do you a world of good. Hatzlacha. Know Hashem is with you and you can get out of it. Daven, Daven, Daven… that’s the key.

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