Eating Disorders

2 ways to rebel against your ED voice

November 3, 2016

Self-Paced Course: Non-Diet Academy


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A Certified Eating Disorders Registered Dietitian (CEDRD) with a master's degree in dietetics & nutrition. My passion is helping you find peace with food - and within yourself.

Meet Katy

People with eating disorders often describe it like a voice in their head telling them what to do.  Not in a delusional way, but rather in a way that they know that these thoughts are not their "true self."  One of my favorite books in the realm of eating disorders is the iconic Life Without Ed by Jenni Schaefer.  A link to the book on Amazon is under Books I love! on the right hand column of my page.  

Jenni names her eating disorder Ed (delightfully corny and also clever).  By doing so, she is separating Ed from her true self, which allows her to identify what thoughts are those of the eating disorder vs which are her own.  

Here's an example (p. 9):

ED: You should not eat dinner.

JENNI: I know.  I won't eat dinner.  

I find this strategy of separating from the eating disorder to be immensely helpful for clients.  First of all, it reduces the shame around the thoughts and behaviors because it allows the individual to see that Ed's commands are not their own and don't necessarily reflect who they really are.  Second, it creates some space between thought and behavior when the person can recognize what Ed is saying and allows the opportunity for their true self to decide how to respond. 

Here are 3 ways to rebel against Ed*:

1)  Disagree

Ed: You're fat.  You don't deserve to eat ice cream.

You: I'm not fat.  And I DO deserve to eat ice cream. 


2) Disobey

Ed: You're fat.  You don't deserve to eat ice cream.

You: I'm going to eat ice cream anyway.


Don't let Ed have the last word.  It's your turn to win this battle.



*You can name your eating disorder anything you'd like.  Perhaps it resonates more with you to give it a female persona, or a whimsical name.  Whatever works for you, go for it!  If you hate the idea of naming your eating disorder, that's ok too.  

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