Sunday, December 23, 2012

Measuring Progress with Gingerbread & Other Tales of Eating Disorder Recovery

But only if you do your part!
It was the shortest day of the year, the winter solstice, and it was a dark and rainy day here in the Boston area. And I was home sick with a bad head cold. It was enough to put me in a rather gloomy mood, if it weren’t for some bright spots from this past week that lightened my mood. Perhaps they’ll brighten yours, too.

Hannah had not had the easiest time these past several months. Besides her eating disorder, which ranges from anorexia to binge eating, she’s been struggling with depression. Yet after many months of working with her team her progress shined through.  No, I’m not talking about measuring her progress in pounds—her weight fails to reflect the recent progress that’s just starting to emerge. 

Ahh, the feeling of eating and trusting it's going to
be okay...
Rather, I heard her describe for one of the first times, her interest in food—in its taste, and in its texture. I heard her say that she realized that she actually didn’t like some of the things she had been eating, and I heard her talk about her food passions and preferences. Yes, Hannah is finally allowing herself to taste what she’s eating, and to select foods she enjoys the taste of. This is progress!

Then there was Sammie, who bought my book last week—Food to Eat, co-authored with Cate Sangster— and at her follow up visit on Tues. this 20-something-year-old came in all excited. She had prepared about 7 of the recipes, from Cate’s Muesli Bircher to the gingerbread. But more than that, she actually ate them all! (Not all at once, I’ll add!) And she reported loving each and every one of them.
Rye Pixels Copyright. 

She told me about her love of baking—something I knew nothing about—but confessed that she had not previously ever eaten the baked items she labored to prepare. No, not since she’s struggled with her eating disorder. But this week was different. And having broken the ice and done so once, she’s increased her confidence that she could do so again. She trusted, she told me; she felt like she knew what we were saying was true and that it was okay. And it worked.

Are you ready to challenge yourself and break with your routine? Bring a little light into these dark days by challenging yourself and trying something different. I’m attaching the gingerbread recipe—I baked it Friday with the lemon icing and it was divine! But with or without the glaze, you can’t go wrong.

It’s not too late to start to change. All it takes is the first step.

Let me know what you think.
From the recovery cookbook Food to Eat, one of 25 sensible and tasty recipes.


  1. Lori, I always love your posts. Thanks for being awesome and posting as frequently as you do, because I imagine you're a very busy lady. I'm about to enter treatment (after the holidays) for anorexia w/ purging and you give me hope that one day I'll be able to eat and utilize my most excellent outpatient team services. I'm good at working with my therapist, but I find it difficult to work with my dietitian. I am hoping after this round of treatment I will be able to work with her in a productive manner that contributes positively to my running endeavors as well as my overall health and happiness!
    Thanks again!!!

  2. Good luck with your treatment, Shelley! It's a good sign that you are seeking support both here on this blog and in a more supportive treatment environment. I hope your next experience with a dietitian is a positive one! BTW, do share this blog with others in treatment, and let me know how you're doing.

  3. Thankyou so much - it was such a joy reading this because I found myself feeling so HAPPY for the lovely gorgeous ppl whose stories you mentioned here and that brought me joy :) it also helped me become aware of my own victories this past week which were not too dissimilar so now im like "ok yeh I rock, lets celebrate!"

    I love your book too - im moving away from home in a few months to go live in Melbourne (where your co-author is right?) and its going to be my first buy as I start cooking for myself. Im so excited!

    Your blog is amazing and often helps fuel my own voice of reason. I catch myself throughout the day sometimes hesitate then remember something ive read here - and then I breathe a sigh of relief and go "oh-Kay...its okay!"

    Thanks for GETTING IT...hope your head cold feels better too.

    Much love xx