Treatment Implications using the Adapted to Flee Famine Hypothesis (PART 7)
Welcome to the final post in my 7-part series on the evolutionary biology of Anorexia using the Adapted to Flee Famine Hypothesis! Hopefully, you have learned so much throughout the past 6 posts and really gained a deeper understanding of Anorexia. Now you may be wondering, what can we do with this information and more importantly, how can it be applied to treatment and recovery from anorexia? Be sure to keep on reading to get an answer to those questions!
Maybe you relate to this after learning all about the Adapted to Flee Famine Hypothesis, but for me personally, learning that my illness was a biological one rather than a mental problem gave me the permission slip I needed to stop blaming myself…and not only that, it also gave my family the permission to stop blaming themselves. The whole psychoanalyzing of what was assumed to be “dysfunctional family dynamics” or “controlling mothers” as Hilde Bruch proposed, was now no longer being seen as the cause of my eating disorder.
When I learned that my urges to exercise and aversion to food were simply biologically evolved mechanisms that would have perhaps served my ancestors during the Pleistocene — but were no longer necessary for my survival right now — it allowed me to accept the importance of weight gain. Furthermore, it allowed me to accept overshooting my weight. In order to recover from Anorexia, you must prove to your body that it is NOT in a famine environment.
Constantly thinking about food, exercise, fearing weight gain, these are ALL topics I unpack in my course Extremely Hungry to Completely Satisfied, in which you’ll learn step-by-step how to free yourself of the barriers keeping you from full recovery. You’ll learn how to adopt an abundance mindset and discover healthy habits so you can finally feel satisfied and at peace with food, exercise, and your body!
My entire course is based not only on science (including the AFFH!) but it’s also based on personal insight from years of experience in working with coaching clients. If you are interested in learning more about my course or working 1:1 with me to get 100% individualized guidance and fully recover from your eating disorder, contact me!
On top of the awareness in proving abundance to your body, learning that your distorted body image and inability to perceive the true severity of your illness allows you to trust those who want to help you discover the life you truly want to live. A huge part of anorexia – at least for me and the clients I’ve worked with – is that the illness causes you to distrust anyone and everyone who wants to help you. This too, can be explained by the Adapted to Flee Famine Hypothesis. You don’t trust your family when they tell you you’re too thin, you don’t trust your doctor when they tell you you need to gain weight, you don’t trust your dietician when they increase your meal plan. Biologically, your body thinks you’re in a famine environment and need to migrate, so of course it won’t listen to other foragers telling you to stop and eat!
But now, with your knowledge of the Adapted to Flee Famine Hypothesis, you realize that Anorexia has completely DISTORTED your frame of reference. Knowing that you are literally INCAPABLE of perceiving the severity of your illness allows you to trust your family and treatment team – or at least start to – so you can adopt an abundance mindset.
Understanding of the Adapted to Flee Famine Theory is also mutually beneficial for your treatment team. Whereas they may have previously been defensive or blaming of you, they can now be more compassionate towards you as an individual. If you are looking for someone who has been through this and fully recovered from Anorexia, I would love more than anything to guide you to full freedom. You can book a completely free 20 minute strategy session with me by clicking here!
Adapted to Flee Famine Hypothesis FULL TEXT: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14599241/
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