Lisa’s Tarzan leap for her daughter: facing anorexia fear

Last updated on June 21st, 2020

Lisa came to me for coaching to help her daughter to eat. Two days later, an email she wrote me moved me to tears. I was certain it would inspire you, and I asked for her permission to share it here.

Here's her story of what happened after a successful lunch with her daughter Elena.

"After our lunch on Sunday,  as a treat, I took my girls to a nearby park and paid for them to do the 'Go Ape' challenge. I used to be a adrenaline junkie in my day but now I hate heights and fairground rides etc. 

Unfortunately as my girls are under 16 they had to have an adult with them to participate, so I ended up doing it as well. 

Elena said that I had to face my fear too!

I was doing great until the Tarzan jump where you swing from a height onto a net and then climb the net to the nearby platform (all up in the trees). I forced myself to do the jump but as I climbed up the wobbly net and I could not heave myself up, I began to panic.

There I was stuck on this net, up in the air, shaking and paralyzed. It was so stupid as I knew I was safe as I was wearing a harness, but panic just took over.

Eventually, the staff were going to come up and help me, and out of pure embarrassment I forced myself to move to the platform.  Everybody cheered! 

Both my girls were cheering me on and instead of turning back (which I really wanted to do) I went forward to finish the course.

It made me realise how awful this must be for our kids, to have that fear every meal and every snack, every day, and instead of feeling great afterwards, they feel guilty and awful about themselves – how on earth do they do it?

Later on, I thanked Elena for helping me through it and she thanked me for helping her through everything.  It was a special moment and although I know we have an almighty battle ahead I have renewed hope. 

I will remember that, if we have the spewing hatred and insults at mealtimes, if she lashes out with the kitchen knife at me (been there) or she is banging her head off the wall etc.
So one day at a time…"


That's the story! A quite literal take on my bungee jump analogy (from my book, Anorexia and Other Eating Disorders , from my Bitesize audios and my videos). I love all the reasons that made her manage the Tarzan swing. What makes your child manage the terror of eating?