Healthtalks – looking beyond eating disorders

Today I sit with our lovely guest host Lola Berry and chat about looking beyond eating disorders – a subject very close to her heart.

Lola has only recently shared with others her struggles and how she overcame the illness. I’m lucky enough today to sit with her and discuss not only her personal journey but also why this illness creates huge issues for women hormonally, and in my clinical experience, why creates bigger issues.

Education is key – especially spreading the message to young women, so really do ask that you share this segment today – be it privately or on your facebook page. You just never know who’s life (and fertility) you’ll save. Fixing women’s menstrual cycles post anorexia or bulimia is really difficult – and whilst the obvious effects of this illness are heartbreaking, the long term effects are not often discussed. Click play and see what we have to say and how just like Lola’s story, there can be a happy ending.



  • June 18, 2013 By Anne Sidebottom 3:23 pm

    As a first time “commenter” I’ve really thought twice about submitting this & my aim is not to cause anyone offence or hurt, eating disorders are such a sensitive topic & do affect so many people (& those that surround them) in many different ways.. I have been following both you guys for a while now & find lots of informative, inspiring stuff on both your websites, facebook & instagram pages. I purchased Lola’s book ‘inspiring ingredients’ & found it full of tasty, healthy & interesting recipes & ideas. I thank you for bringing this topic to light however I do feel it glosses over the seriousness of the topic a little.

    As a sister of someone whose life has been almost totally consumed by anorexia nervous for more than a decade I only wish it were as simple as asking for help, having supportive friends & family & believing in yourself & your dreams.

    I also find it challenging that you promote your 20/20 diet book during this segment Lola. I must clearly state that I have not read the book or even opened the first page so I don’t know what information, advice or education it contains. But by judging a book by its cover (which we all do I’m afraid!), and a highly publicized book at that, I think it’s scary to promote or even celebrate losing 20 kg’s in 20 weeks. Particularly when you have now had the courage to discuss that the results of this were an unhealthy obsession with food and an unhealthy underweight body. I am just thankful that my sister was well enough into her recovery that she did not see this a a challenge or negative motivation in her eating disorder battle. I only hope the book does explain your journey & the dangers of this weight loss focus.

    I congratulate you on your recovery. I agree with you that there are some wonderful professionals out there but i think as a society we have a long long way to go & our health system needs to dramatically adapt to this growing problem.

    Thanks again & I look forward to more health chat episodes soon.

    Take care x

    • June 18, 2013 By Nat Kringoudis 9:01 pm

      I appreciate your openness and honesty. You haven’t offended anybody – your opinion is very important to me.

  • June 18, 2013 By jessica 8:58 pm

    I have to agree with Anne. Up until this stage I loved listening to the weekly dose of Health talks. However, as a former suffer of enduring anorexia I was appalled by the promotion and even the concept of the 20/20 diet, as well as the mention of a specific low body weight in the health talks segment. Eating disorders are highly comparative and I wouldn’t even considering mentioning low body weights or BMI when speaking about my experience. It is totally irrelevant to the overall experience and has the potential to trigger those who are currently unwell and invalidate them for not being “sick enough”.

    I can’t fathom the concept that one recovered from an eating disorder would even promote and encourage the phenomena that is the weight loss and dieting industry through yet another weight loss and diet book. Although a diet is not the cause of an eating disorder, it is often a common trigger that sees a suffer spiral into the depths of an ED and even worse loose their life. In the depths of an eating disorder, with a highly distorted thinking pattern a sufferer will latch onto any information that will reinforce their thinking and having recently read the 20/20 diet I believe there is material in the book that would be detrimental to those in the tight grip of an ED. This is something that has angered me since the women’s weekly article was published and I’m glad to see others echo my thoughts in the community.

    The nutrition and dietetic focus on many of the eating disorder programs in Australia, is around mindful eating, freedom to eat without rules or exclusion of whole food groups and the enjoyment and socialisation of eating. The manifestations of eating disorders are unique to the individual and I agree there is not a one size fits all approach, although everyone can recover with the right help, for me this also extended way beyond asking for help, having supportive friends & family & believing in yourself & your dreams.

    I am all for advocating and raising awareness about eating disorders and the lack of services, however this needs to be done sensitively and mindfully understanding the complexity and enormity of the issue at hand. I also congratulate those who have recovered and encourage those who are suffering to remember that recovery is possible for everyone!

    • June 18, 2013 By Nat Kringoudis 9:04 pm

      Thank you Jessica. I appreciate your words here. In my experience with patients suffering form eating disorders, the one things that has really helped is a healthy eating plan where they could regain their relationship with food and also feeling well. For some people this provides enough evidence that they have support and guidance. Just like you said, we are all different. I commend you for speaking out. Thank you.

  • June 21, 2013 By AnnaM 3:55 pm

    As a former eating disorder sufferer who still has not regained a period 2years after “recovery” I would have liked this video to include more from you Nat about how people in our situation can help ourselves. Or maybe a link to an article you’ve written previously on the subject. Whilst I think it’s admirable that Lola is sharing her story I couldn’t take away much for myself (sorry if that is self centred!)

    Love what you guys are doing though.

  • June 22, 2013 By Sara 9:23 am

    Thank you for the candid video and to Lola for sharing your story. I too would like to hear more about treatment for those suffering from unbalanced hormones post ED. What about those who recovered and then spent years on birth control and don’t even know if they were having a normal cycle in the meantime? I’d love to know how best to regulate one’s cycle and hormones post ED and post BC.

    Thank you for the amazing work you do! You are a gift to us all.


    • July 28, 2013 By Em 3:02 pm

      I agree wholeheartedly and would love this information also!

  • June 24, 2013 By Rebekah 8:22 pm

    Hi Nat,

    Thanks for the great post. I would just like to second the comment that some advice on how best to eat and restore our bodies hormones after the trauma of an eating disorder. What is best to eat nutritionally? i hear magnesium supplements are also good in aiding the restoration of menustral cycle and hormones in general?

    Thanks in advance!

  • June 27, 2013 By A 1:17 pm

    I somewhat appreciate any dialogue on eating disorders because it’s an epidemic we need to discuss. However it needs to be approached with some caution and sensitivity. This discussion is unfortunately very superficial. For most sufferers, they don’t just ‘see the light’ and begin to follow their dreams and see their worth and resolve their illness/compulsion. EDs are mind boggling in their complexity. Each case is like its own universe. If you’re going to discuss this publicly PLEASE acknowledge the depth of the problem. Unfortunately for most of us sufferers, it takes more than great friends or a therapist or realising our potential to even begin to resolve the problem.

    In what world is mentioning the 20/20 (triggering) book acceptable in this type of discussion, I have no idea. It’s so crass and insensitive. Especially from Lola Berry.

    Nat, besides this, I adore your site. Thank you.

    A x

    • June 27, 2013 By mnfadmin 10:25 pm

      Thanks for your feedback – I do appreciate it. I hope you follow healthtalks where we always offer a follow up post with deeper info the day following the clips x

  • July 28, 2013 By Em 3:19 pm

    I agree with the comments above. I appreciate most of what is published on Health Talks but found this episode problematic and superficial. I wish this topic had been more carefully considered and approached. I don’t understand what the aim of this video was as it provided no helpful information for ex-sufferers, current sufferers or the public, and actually provided unhelpful information. The public need to be educated about eating disorders being an incredibly stubborn and complex mental illness, not a ‘phase’.

    Further, it is actually against the guidelines published by the National Eating Disorders Collaboration for discussing eating disorders publicly/in the media to mention behaviours, calories, weights etc.

    After 10 years of anorexia myself, I still cannot completely overcome this complex mental illness notwithstanding my personal determination; thinking about ‘the big picture’; surrounding myself with loving and supportive friends and family and extensive psychological support.

    Nat I agree that some people benefit from an eating plan post eating disorder but The 20/20 Diet would certainly not be an appropriate eating plan for most recovery journeys as it is restrictive and can fuel obsession about ‘perfect health’, low weight and exercise.

    • July 28, 2013 By mnfadmin 4:37 pm

      Thanks Em for your thoughts and suggestions.

      I think the main thing to remember is that this comes for a good place on our behalf. We are paving the way with sharing wellness information and not everybody will always agree 100% with what we say or share. I personally couldn’t have explored the topic any further (I don’t feel) without it coming across as being disrespectful because I haven’t been in the same situation as yourself or Lola but I can comment on my professional capacity and I have had many, many recovering sufferers through my clinic doors with hormonal issues. Thank you for the link you have shared with advice and suggestions.

      I would also like to think this advice may be useful to young girls before the onset of an eating disorder.

      You are right though – surrounding ourselves with loving and supportive friends and family is key for all wellness including eating problems.

      I do hope you agree with me in knowing that we are simply trying to share wellness information.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment.


    • November 16, 2014 By Cat 5:23 pm

      I must agree with the previous writer also – the 20/20 diet is viciously unsafe for anyone with tendencies towards an unhealthy eating pattern. Talking about ED behaviours is also not advisable!

  • November 16, 2014 By Cat 5:21 pm

    Despite you featuring Lola as a good news story, in recent times Lola went from a size 12 to size 6 and publicised this when trying to sell her book. This is a dramatic weight loss and for someone with a history of eating disorders to promote a restricted diet and being an extremely low weight is dangerous and irresponsible.

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