Metaphors Of Eating Disorders

Metaphors Of Eating Disorders: Eating In The Light Of The Moon

Metaphors Of Eating Disorders: Eating In The Light Of The Moon

I’d like to introduce you to Juli Teng, who is an EDIT™ Certified III – Eating Disorder Treatment Clinician. Julie was a Counselor Intern under my supervision at Positive Pathways from June, 2015 through May, 2016. She is a knowledgeable and compassionate therapist, who is currently employed at a health center in Canada. Although she does not meet with anyone who is not a patient at the center, I can incorporate metaphors of eating disorders into my sessions with clients. Evergreen, Colorado is the perfect place to explore nature and animal metaphors!
– Dr. Dorie

Eating in the Light of the Moon, by Dr. Anita Johnston, is a book that speaks to one’s relationship with food, particularly naming what may feel true about food, eating, and weight for those who identify as women. Dr. Johnston offers wisdom here that may apply to those who experience disordered eating, as well as to anyone who has wondered about the concepts of true nourishment or food as a metaphor.

During a recent lecture for a group of professionals in the eating disorders field, Dr. Johnston named that so often, one may try to push away an eating disorder, to get rid of it, and to eradicate disordered eating patterns from one’s life as fast as possible. However, Dr. Johnston points out that the disordered eating itself is not actually the problem, nor is getting rid of the disordered eating going to illuminate why these eating patterns arose in the first place. Rather, disordered eating is actually pointing to a much deeper relationship with food, with getting what one wants in the world, and with feeling deeply nourished and satisfied. Dr. Johnston advocates that disordered eating instructs us to metaphorically “dig here” at the roots of the disordered eating to uncover what may be buried beneath the symptoms that initially present themselves.

In Eating in the Light of the Moon, Dr. Johnston takes the approach that disordered eating and frustrating relationships with food may be metaphors for needs not being met in life. She challenges readers to question what an insatiable hunger may really indicate – whether this is actually a hunger for food or whether it may be a hunger for another form of nourishment (e.g., love, spirituality, feeling valued). She writes about how the foods craved or the foods resolutely eschewed may provide clues about what one may truly desire in life.

Dr. Johnston leads readers back to the body as a source of wisdom and as a valuable ally in unraveling the experience of disordered eating. Rather than being something to control, to keep hidden, or to attempt to escape, body sensations and cravings provide information that can actually assist in understanding the root causes of disordered eating. Johnston invites us to come back to the body’s sense of intuition and emotions, and to explore where one may have dulled their own empowerment in trying to silence these sensations through disordered eating.

Additionally, in Eating in the Light of the Moon, working with dream imagery becomes a helpful tool on the path of eating disorder recovery. Johnston also emphasizes working on speaking one’s truth, journaling, and delving into shadow material as tools for transformation.


Looking for guidance with METAPHORS in recovery? JULIE TENG, MA (the author of this blog article) is an EDIT™ Certified III – Eating Disorder Treatment Clinician, and is currently employed at a health center in Canada. Although she does not work with clients unless they are patients at the center, Dr. Dorie is available to meet with clients who wish to incorporate concepts from the book, “Eating In The Light Of The Moon,” into their sessions.

Interested in a FREE consultation with Dr. Dorie? Dr. Dorie is passionate about her method of Eating Disorder Intuitive Therapy (EDIT)™ to help people overcome eating disorders and addictions.  She provides customized counseling for eating disorders and alcohol / drug addiction at her Positive Pathways treatment center in Evergreen, Colorado – and EDIT™ eating disorder training and certification for coaches and clinicians worldwide. CALL 303-494-1975EMAIL DR. DORIE – GET CERTIFIED