“I’m not a tortured soul. I just needed to eat!”

Today I share a moving and insightful message from an adult — a beautiful soul who has made huge progress with methods that are usually unavailable in adult treatment.

My family 'magic-plated' me at my request

I'm 36 and developed anorexia 20 years ago. That's more than half my life with an eating disorder.

Three years ago I bought your book – for myself initially, but then shared it with my parents and sister. It has been revolutionary in pushing me forward.

Awful as the lockdown has been in many ways, it's given me the opportunity to move in with my family, and get the support I need to take concrete steps toward recovery.

While we were staying together they "magic plated" me at my request. It was the hardest but the best thing I've ever done. The "magic plate" has quite possibly saved my life.

['Magic plate' refers to your support-people plating up the food for you. The idea is to serve the quantities and variety you need. It helps take the guilt and confusion of decision-making away]

One helpful rule to replace all the bad ones

In a strange way, I was liberated from my bonkers rules by that one huge rule that I had to eat what I was given! 

Never write me off as SEED ever again!

Well, it's not been plain sailing but my life has been changed. Things are so much freer in my brain and I have hope. I'm not writing myself off, or allowing myself to be written off as SEED ever again. 

[SEED stands for Severe and Enduring Eating Disorder. Some clinicians use this label to think out of the box, to find new approaches and solutions. But SEED can also trigger a shift towards helping the person live with the eating disorder, on the basis they're unlikely to recover– hence a certain degree of hopelessness.]

The myth of a 'root cause' is killing people

In every interaction I had with professionals as a young person, I was told I needed counselling "to resolve the root cause".

I now firmly believe that root cause was entering energy deficit, most likely due to a teenage 'health kick' combined with playing a lot of sport. That was the early 00s – but these views persist, and it's literally killing people.

I'm lucky because I'm still here – albeit that I've had to come to terms with the (welcome!) revelation that I'm not a tortured soul – that was a lie; I just needed to eat!

So much wasted time and money talking to therapists.

The fallacy of "It's all about control"

For too long, I trusted experts — the professionals, the charities — who kept using the same old tired tropes that "It's not about the food" and "It's a way of communicating" and "When things are out of control, the person turns to the one thing they can control".


There are now people/resources like you, Tabitha Farrar and the Anorexia Myths website that debunk these things and offer practical frameworks for recovery.

Thank you so much!

Eva Musby here:
My expertise is only in children and teens, but when those supporting an adults with an eating disorder contact me, I like my website to signpost them to great resources. More for you on my page: 'Adults or young adults: treatment for a restrictive eating disorder'. You'll see links to more great stories, more treatments, more resources.

Where to next?

* Adults or young adults: treatment for a restrictive eating disorder *

* Start here *

* The work towards full recovery *

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