Healing Eating Disorders with Mindy Gorman-Plutzer (Episode 80)

Dr. Doni Wilson's Podcast: How Humans Heal
Dr. Doni talks with Mindy Gorman-Plutzer about changing the way support is offered for those with eating disorders. They discuss how systems of the body and mind are connected and how these behaviors need context - because they actually started out as a solution.

Statistics show that 30 million Americans have struggled with an eating disorder at some point in their lives. The most common eating disorders are anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, and orthorexia. Over-exercising, overeating, and using food to avoid intolerable situations are also forms of disordered eating. 

Many people with eating disorders go through conventional treatment, which is strict and based on managing weight and calories. It’s not focused on how the person’s psychology is underlying the condition, or how the condition is affecting their psychology.  

In this episode of How Humans Heal I spoke with Mindy Gorman-Plutzer of The Freedom Promise [@thefreedompromise] who is changing the way support is offered for those with eating disorders.  

Mindy herself recovered from an eating disorder, and in the process, observed what was missing from the treatment, and became passionate about offering other solutions for people going through eating challenges and desiring the same sort of transformation.  

We discuss: 

  • How all systems of the body and mind are connected 
  • The difference between “Doing recovery” versus being recovered 
  • The power of story to understand the context of the behaviors 
  • The behaviors started out as a solution; they are not the problem 
  • Eating disorders versus disordered eating 
  • How digestive issues are so common with eating disorders 
  • The gut-brain axis 
  • The benefits of supporting vagal tone 

Mindy explains that the definition of recovery is to regain what was lost. When we lose ourselves to compulsive behaviors, we lose a part of ourselves. The part that is left is bound by rules. Mindy thinks of recovery as liberation. She emphasizes that recovery looks different for everybody because we are unique individuals.  

Our first experience of being seen in life was related to eating. As we start to develop autonomy, if we don’t feel safe, we always have food to turn to. It helps us and represents love and safety. Pile on cultural messages related to food and diet, and we end up in comparison instead of connection. We become disconnected from the wisdom of our bodies. It is no wonder that eating disorders are so common. 

90-98% of people with eating disorders today also have severe digestive distress. Children who have digestive issues, have a higher predisposition to an eating disorder later in life. It is important to address digestion and reactions to foods in the recovery process, to really allow the person to understand and reconnect with their own bodies. 

I love how Mindy shares her insight into how humans heal: “Humans heal when they feel empowered. When they are involved in a therapeutic partnership with a practitioner who knows how to listen. We can become the masters of our own healing.”   

She wishes she could get the decades of her life back that she gave up to the scale and the image she thought she needed to project. Now she helps others find the sacred space of solitude in themselves where there is no fear. 

If you are someone you know is struggling with eating or your relationship with food, please listen in to this episode. To know that there is another way of supporting you through the process of recovery can be empowering itself. 

To learn more about Mindy and her online program and book, go to www.thefreedomporimise.com

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