“The first clue to the answer here is that we don’t really put ourselves in such situations, because the circumstances that produce suspense are always in some sense imaginary or fictional. We can feel suspense about the outcome of a game, even if we are playing in it ourselves, but we don’t say that we feel suspense about whether the boss is going to fire us in the meeting later this morning (Our feelings in this case are more likely to be anxiety and uncertainty). So it must be something about experiencing uncertainty in an imaginary situation that is the basis for the pleasure of suspense.

There’s a simple solution to this problem: As any anxiety sufferer will tell you, it is completely possible to generate very real emotions just by thinking about certain situations, you don’t have to actually be in those situations. The limbic system, the part of the brain that produces the basic feeling of anxiety, reacts to thoughts that the more advanced parts of the brain can recognize as imaginary.

So this is at least part of the answer to our question. Suspense is real emotion that is provoked by a situation that we recognize as not real. Because we recognize that the situation is not real, we can allow ourselves to feel enough of the anxiety to feel stimulated, but then control that anxiety by reminding ourselves that the situation is imaginary.

But there is another part of the question—why should that be so much fun? I can’t say that I know the answer the answer to that one, but I have a guess: Conscious human beings can’t avoid at least occasionally confronting the fact that the future is uncertain and that in fact the current moment could be their last. We love stories and other situations that have happy endings because they provide a sense of relief. They give us hope that the uncertainty and anxiety we often feel may be simply temporary, and in the end everything will work out just fine.”

Rant…This is Why

I have always been interested in the Maudsley Approach to treating eating disorders. It has always made a ton of sense to me but at the same time not any sense at all. Laura Collins hosts a parents discussion forum called Around the Dinner Table where parents of eating disordered children come to find insight, support and ideas. To forward this rant I am about to begin, let me preface that I am more than knowledgable about how detrimental it is for a family to suffer the consequences of an eating disorder.

Parents have one desire when they have children and one rule that is never ever to be broken. They want to see their children pursue happiness regardless of what it entails, and never, under any circumstance, should a child die before his or her parents. Putting your own child to rest is probably one of the biggest nightmares a parent could ever go through. I have only seen my mama cry once in her half century of life(her birthday is today). ONE TIME. She didn’t cry when our adult family friends passed, she didn’t cry when her own dad passed away a couple years ago, not when my brothers went to war, not when all hell broke loose in Iraq at the prison my brother was stationed in where troops were performing mass interrogation, not when he called to tell her his tent had been blow up THE NIGHT he was scheduled to retreat it and have it be replaced by someone else (God work miracles in mysterious ways) . No, she cried the day we were in the therapist’s office after my ‘free trial’ with her was ending and the therapist informed my mama that her baby girl was useless to her as a therapist, that I could and would not ever recover, and needed to go to inpatient treatment because I could die of a heart attack at any moment. What came across my mom’s mind then? Terror. Fear. The previous 20 years of my life flashed before her, she was trying to pinpoint where she thinks ‘she went wrong’ and how she caused this. To her, it was a failure of parenting to have a child suffering the way I was. She has and will never ever, still to this day lose faith in me. She knows I am capable and strong enough to fight for myself and have always been that stubborn, tough minded, tough love kind of person.   

Now, understanding how hard eating disorders are on other people relates to my previous post where I challenged you to take yourself out of your eating disorder and see it for what really is ‘just’ malnutrition. That is it. The mentality and all encompassing shit it comes with are side effects of exercise, starvation and malnourishment.

When parents begin to tackle what seems the endless road of eating disorder recovery they have a few aspects/goals in mind: BMI, calories, emotional state of individual. This is TOTALLY ass backwards. Before a parent should and CAN EVEN attempt to rehabilitate a malnourished child he or she must understand nutrition themselves. The sorry and depressing truth to this is where individuals look for health advice. If you stare over the food pyramid of the United States, you’ll think your child needs grains, oats, truckloads of fruit and vegetables and to take it easy on the saturated fat. Again, ass backwards. I need to make this post available so that parents will hopefully understand and see the light that the nutritional advice given out in modern day society is causing 99% of all diseases, INCLUDING eating disorders that exist today.

It is crystal clear that the prevalence of eating disorders is significantly more common today than say, a century ago. Low and behold a century ago is when wheat, corn and soy became the genetically modified staples in today’s diet.  Couple that with fructose in everything, wheat, soy, all the byproducts of corn, packaged food and convenient lazy ass eating. Does it not cross anyone’s mind that something in our culture, way of living, and way of eating is the sole contribution of the high incidence of mental disorders we face as a society? Again, MODIFY THE FOOD AND YOU MODIFY THE INDIVIDUAL, his or her genes; yes their genetic expression and how their brain and body function.


Step one for a Maudsley parent should entail nutritional therapy for himself. A real food real life understanding of what malnutrition is, and what the hell real food is. The general primal eating concept is a good place to start, but even before that, read up on anthropology and endocrinology. Get a book on metabolism and endocrinology. Read about malnutrition and starvation as opposed to googling every study ever done on anorexia. You can’t cure something you’re blind to the answer for. Modern society, and glimpsing over the blog/forum at Around the Dinner table, parents are blind to what real nutrition even is. To them, it is quantity, calories and bodyweight. No no and NO. It is REHABILITATION OF MALNUTRITION. When you cure malnutrition, you essentially cure anorexia. It isn’t popping pills, doctors appointments, meal timing or analyzing every minute detail of every thought the sufferer has with therapists.

This starts with real food nutrition.

ONE: your child needs to eat mass loads of food that once had a heart beat or can be grown, picked or milked (from good sourcing). MEAT, ORGANS, EGGS, BONE BROTH, MARROW, NUTS, COCONUTS, FERMENTED/CULTURED DAIRY(http://westonaprice.org/modern-foods/603-ultra-pasteurized-milk.html ), BUTTER, TALLOW, POTATOES (non-gmo http://westonaprice.org/modern-foods/1440-how-to-avoid-gmos.html ), FAT SOAKED VEGETABLES AND FRUIT. Do some research on wheat, soy, corn and ALL their by-products and dangers, which are present in just about every food on the grocery store shelves(high fructose corn syrup(corn sugar), modified corn/food starch, etc.. Get in touch with a farmer; buy eggs, cream, butter, cheese, potatoes, a cow(and all it’s organs) and start your own garden. Provide your child with nourishing food.

*If you somehow research nutrition and still doubt its ability to cure eating disorders, then trial run yourself. Start eating real food for say 30 days, and reevaluate your mental well being, your ability to cope and handle stress, and your overall self. You will be amazed at how bad you felt before and how much better you feel after*

Be the change you wish to seek

Two: Food is medicine. I am sure most parents would agree and to an extent try to enforce this attitude. But it is not tackled the right way. Serving you child a plate of 5000 calories which serve NO nutrient density or in any respect serve to cure malnutrition is total bullshit. If you tried to force feed me a plate of pasta full of cheese you got off a grocery store shelf topped with 50-ingredient spaghetti sauce your damn right I would throw a fit. THERE’S NO NUTRITION IN THAT. ANOREXIA=MALNUTRITION. You need to realize that the human body does not assimilate nutrients from food that is modified, enhanced and simply not real. Hence why your son or daughter’s brains do not function properly. Hence why the individual has rituals, rules, emotional outbreaks and anxiety through the roof. These are ALL side effects of a brain that is not up to par in nutrition. This is the result of the standard American diet which caused genetic mutation of your child’s brain. It results in malnutrition. In essence, I, nor should you, give one flying fu*k whether or not your son or daughter ‘likes beef liver cooked in tallow with onions served over white rice or potatoes.’ I don’t like taking Tylenol when I have a headache. I don’t like getting a Paps-mere every year. I surely did not always enjoy eating liver when I was malnourished. Until your child is cured of malnourishment food does not need to flipping be this forcingly enjoyable aspect of life. It WILL become that once again, but no, not when the side effects of malnourishment are present.

Three: you and your child need to take a reality check and understand that anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, all are ONLY REAL to the sufferer. Displace yourself from the situation. Displace your child from their disorder. It doesn’t exist outside their head. Your keyboard is real, anorexia is not. Having a biological and genetic component yes, but your child was NOT born with their disorder. Understand and trust that the CORRECT nourishment will result in the diminishment of the problem.

         There exists, and has existed for a long time, a large body of evidence that demonstrates that the ontogeny (growth and development) of an organism is the consequence of a unique interaction between the genes it carries, the temporal sequence of external environments through which it passes during its life, and random events of molecular interactions within individual cells. It is these interactions that must be incorporated into any proper account of how an organism is formed-

–    So this is at least part of the answer to our question. Suspense is real emotion that is provoked by a situation that we recognize as not real. Because we recognize that the situation is not real, we can allow ourselves to feel enough of the anxiety to feel stimulated, but then control that anxiety by reminding ourselves that the situation is imaginary.

Four: malnourishment results in a body which is CRAVING sweet, undesirably preoccupied on food, especially carbohydrates. The anorexic fears the carbohydrate because of its mental by-product reaction it induces. THIS IS THE RESULT OF EATING FAKE FOOD. The reaction is real as the brain responds by spiking all chemical reactions, but your child is under chronic stress eating unnatural food. I read and reread on Laura’s forum about children who go uncontrollably buck wild craving sugary cereal by the box full. This is NOT healthy. Carbohydrates eaten from unnatural sources FEED this brain addiction. Your starving child will go through a phase while refeeding on REAL food of craving any and everything sweet. The brain is adjusting and repairing itself. Provide your child with nourishing sources of carbohydrates in the form of potatoes, roots vegetables and tubers. Do not start giving him or her cereal, ice cream and other sweet ‘treats’ that feed the disordered mind. This does no good and the majority of the time results in insulin malfunctions, hormonal disregulation not to mention nutritional deficencies and the horrible punishment-guilt-trip so common during refeeding.

I read this, posted on October 22nd by a parent as to what was being served for dinner:

“OK so for tonight’s torture…I mean dinner…God help me, we will have spaghetti with cheese and Marinara sauce, spicy soy sausages (one time older D’s fav) garlic bread and milk.”

ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Here it goes:

First, get a basic understanding of nutrition at Whole Health Source http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/

          Pasta- really… do I need to detail how void this is of any and all nutrition on top of leeching nutrition from your body. Read here for the dangers of wheat: http://www.bareboneswellness.com/seminar_how-wheat-harms-brain51709.pdf , http://www.bottomlinesecrets.com/article.html?article_id=50012 , http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2003/07/26/avoid-wheat.aspx , http://paleoinvancouver.blogspot.com/2010/02/dangers-of-wheat-gluten.html

          Marinara Sauce– first of all, stuff is fat free, what are you thinking?! Second, if it is from a jar or can I guarantee it is full of crap.

          Spicy Soy Sausages– Soy is probably to most malnourishing food I can think of, next to wheat and vegetable oil. Not to mention the inability of a vegetarian to be provided with adequate nutrition on NATURAL REAL food without some sorta modified junk crap like a soy sausage. Just a short depiction of the horror for you, as well as the Myths of Vegetarianism (http://westonaprice.org/abcs-of-nutrition/267-myths-of-vegetarianism.html):

  •           High levels of phytic acid in soy reduce assimilation of calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc. Phytic acid in soy is not neutralized by ordinary preparation methods such as soaking, sprouting and long, slow cooking. High phytate diets have caused growth problems in children.
  • Trypsin inhibitors in soy interfere with protein digestion and may cause pancreatic disorders. In test animals soy containing trypsin inhibitors caused stunted growth.
  • Soy phytoestrogens disrupt endocrine function and have the potential to cause infertility and to promote breast cancer in adult women.
  • Soy phytoestrogens are potent antithyroid agents that cause hypothyroidism and may cause thyroid cancer. In infants, consumption of soy formula has been linked to autoimmune thyroid disease.
  • Vitamin B12 analogs in soy are not absorbed and actually increase the body’s requirement for B12.
  • Soy foods increase the body’s requirement for vitamin D.
  • Fragile proteins are denatured during high temperature processing to make soy protein isolate and textured vegetable protein.
  • Processing of soy protein results in the formation of toxic lysinoalanine and highly carcinogenic nitrosamines.
  • Free glutamic acid or MSG, a potent neurotoxin, is formed during soy food processing and additional amounts are added to many soy foods.
  • Soy foods contain high levels of aluminum which is toxic to the nervous system and the kidneys.

          Garlic Bread- again, the wheat thing, and it is probably made worse by the use of a rancid fat like margarine. EAT BUTTER, on real food.

          Milk- pending its pasteurization go for it, but go for cultured/non-hormone or coconut milk, almond milk etc.

I do, after all this ranting, agree with the building block of Maudsley, that being:

-In traditional ED treatment there is a major flaw in understanding and until that changes treatment will not change. This flaw is that an ED sufferer won’t eat as needed, the truth is they can’t without major assistance until a certain amount of healing has occurred. Who better to assist in this than “family” who loves them?

This is usually the case. The by products of malnutrition are terrifying, but the focus needs to be placed on REAL food nutrition.

But then you read this, in regards to daily nutrition:

We have had the following general rule

3 fats
3 proteins
8 grains
5 milks
3 vegetables
5 fruits

Excuse my ignorance but WHEN did grain become a part of the human diet….right, there’s no historical stand for that because they don’t belong in the human diet. You’re underemphasizing good fats which are CRITICAL and overemphasizing the fruits and vegetables.

What bugs me the most is that these parents are blindly trying with all their energy, all their love, to cure the devastation an eating disorder brings to a family but sourcing all their nutritional information from the wrong place. This is heart breaking to see and have knowledge of. It’s not a different way of looking at an eating disorder, it is a down-home, down right CORRECT way to look at eating disorders. If their method coupled with real food to restore a stable nutrient deposit in a sufferer it will be epic!

Recovery is not about talking to death the problem as it is pretty blatantly obvious. Recovery is accepting the problem, feeling it, and moving on. It is accepting that only real food is going to cure malnutrition. It is accepting some food sucks but is offering you more nutrient density than you can ever ask for (beef liver). It is accepting what recovery comes with(weight gain, mood swings, etc) but accepting the departure of ‘that part of you’ and accepting what it brings (as opposed to spending the rest of your life trying to ‘find yourself’).

The basic building block of eating disorder recovery is acceptance and nourishment with food intended for human bodies.

Where to Start: Sound sources for reliable nutrition

Primal Wisdom: http://donmatesz.blogspot.com/

Whole Health Source: http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/

Evolutionary Psychiatry: http://evolutionarypsychiatry.blogspot.com/

Traditional Food: http://westonaprice.org/abcs-of-nutrition/161-characteristics-of-traditional-diets.html