The quotes on this page are from posts in the Normal Eating Support Forum. They are unedited except for some excerpting (some of the original posts were quite long). Names have been removed to protect privacy. You can find more testimonials, with names, in the review section of the book's listing on Amazon.com.
So I thought I'd do a bit of a 'review' of what has happened over the 9 weeks I've been doing this....
Generally things are going really well. My eating is just so fine, I barely think about it now. It just seems like *breathing* or something, and everything is very under control. I also seem to be slowly losing weight, which is a bonus really.
It feels amazing to be free from the diet / bingeing treadmill, but more importantly, to have lost the fear that my body doesn't know how to feed itself, and that if I fall off the wagon I will just eat compulsively. Plus the whole "I'll start my diet on Monday, so meanwhile I'd better make the most of what little time I have remaining by eating this large tub of Ben & Jerry's" is completely behind me now (or so I hope).
The main breakthrough has been identifying my triggers, plus realising that there are a number of things in my life that probably need fixing. I was in total denial of this before (for > 5 years I reckon), and I think I had become numb, well, to life in general really. At the moment (when I'm not inexplicably morose) I feel incredibly alive. Even though I haven't fixed everything yet, I know roughly what I need to work on, which in itself is quite calming.
Plus I've met some amazing, lovely people on here, which was a totally unexpected bonus :)
I had my first coaching session with Sheryl and she made more connections for me than therapists I saw for months. I feel so much more focused on what I need to be doing and what my patterns are. God bless you Sheryl!
I have been practicing Normal Eating for almost 2 years now, and I can't fully express how free and happy I finally am after decades of being ruled by food, diets, compulsions, and obsessions. I am a normal eater at a normal weight, and it's fairly effortless. Which is not to say I didn't work my butt off to get here - but what a difference there is between working my butt off on some diet that doesn't work, versus working my butt off at getting to the heart of my eating issues and permanently changing my behavior.
This forum is my lifeline and is truly the best thing I have encountered after many books, therapies, 12-step groups etc., etc. And yet all that made this possible too. I am grateful for my journey and even more grateful I have found such a great solution here!!
I have found this site to be a Godsend. I didn't quite get it at first. How can a forum on the internet make a difference in my life? I was used to OA, the weekly or bi-weekly face to face meetings and constant contact on the phone. Now my phone doesn't ring nearly as often and I enjoy the silence! ... My life is much more peaceful now due to a forum in cyberspace, who knew?
I am finding so much support here! it's becoming my lifeline for sure -- actually in some ways it is easier to be me here than face to face, I don't have to get dressed and obsessed with how I appear, I can do this at 6:00 in the a.m. and I can say whatever I want (within reason of course) but much less pressure than public. It's nice to search different topics as well.
I still save my "Welcome to the Normal Eating Support Group" email in my inbox. It's incredible that in two months' time, I've traveled so much as a person. The scars on my hands from years of bulimia have miraculously disappeared.
I used to laugh at people who "forgot to eat". Well, now, I am one of them. Since late spring, I have lost 30 pounds. But, really, I don't care. It annoys me when people notice because my weight has nothing to do with WHO I AM. I would rather allow my body to find its appropriate weight, and not focus on it at all!!
What Sheryl has written here is brilliant and concise and a great model and I feel really lucky to have found it. I reread sections all the time, just to have those words in locked in my brain, 'cause it's all too easy to get sucked back into being compulsive. When I started on this path I wore a size 18. Now I'm at a 12, which is totally amazing!
The past year or so has been really great for me: I stopped living the life I thought I was supposed to live/living for the approval of others, and instead started living for myself. I've finally gotten to a point where I can trust myself and know who I am and what's important to me. I've lost about 50 lbs by not dieting and doing the steps listed on Sheryl's website.
I'm down 12 lbs (though that doesn't matter too much), and more than anything else am free of the emotional shackles I've worn for waaaay too long (food obsession/body weight obsession is such a weight for one to carry for so long!). I am so much more in tune with myself, which is a godsend, and am free of food-worry.
Last month marked the 5 month date for no throwing up. After 10 years. Just like that. One month of working on me, reading the website and corresponding via the forum, and I'm on my path to healing, being a recovering bulimic.
I am so amazed - it's like I've been fighting and fighting and what seems like all of a sudden (and I know it's not really) I've had a sort of click. It's just falling into place. .... Change is possible, something that, even just a few months ago I could not have believed. As they say in the 12 step rooms 'don't leave until the miracle has happened'. I truly feel like a miracle has happened to me.