Eating Disorders

Brisbane/Gold Coast – Weight Loss & Eating Psychology Specialist

Eating Disorders come in all shapes and sizes and all varying levels. They are characterised by excessive concerns about shape and weight leading to a number of harmful, damaging and often obsessive weight control behaviours.

The Australian Centre for Eating Disorders has been set up to provide a network of dedicated and knowledgeable practitioners who are trained to identify and deal with the many complexities of Eating Disorders. The goal is to provide more support and help out there in the community for those who are ready to take the journey of healing from their disorder. Healing is possible and recovery is possible.

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Eating Disorders

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Charmaine is a Practitioner trained and registered with The Australian Centre of Eating Disorders for all Eating Disorders, Obesity & Bariatric Surgery Support. If you or someone you know needs assistance please feel free to contact me on 0414303719.

Recovery is stated as:

Recovery is when the person can accept his or her natural body size and shape and no longer has a self-destructive or unnatural relationship with food or exercise. When you are recovered you do not use eating disorder behaviours to deal with, distract from, or cope with other problems. When recovered, you will not compromise your health or betray your soul to look a certain way, wear a certain size or reach a certain number on the scales

(Costin, Monte Nedo Treatment Centre, 2008).


What are the Eating Disorders?

Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia NervosaAnorexia is not a lifestyle choice, it is a serious, potentially life-threatening eating disorder characterised by self-starvation and excessive weight loss and an obsessive fear of gaining weight.

Restricting food and weight loss can be a way of controlling areas of life that feel out of their control. Body image and how thin they are can become everything, a way to define their entire sense of self-worth. Emotions that may feel too complex or frightening to deal with such as anxiety, stress, trauma, depression may find expression through restrictive dieting and obsessive behaviours.

It is common to think Anorexia is only diagnosed in young adolescence females, however Anorexia whilst normally has an onset at adolescence can affect male and females at any age or stage of life.

Warning Signs of Anorexia Nervosa

  • Preoccupation with body shape, weight and/or appearance
  • Intense fear of gaining weight
  • Preoccupation with food or food related activities
  • Negative or distorted body image; perceiving self to be fat when at a healthy weight/underweight
  • Low self-esteem (guilt, self-criticism, worthlessness)
  • Rigid thinking (‘black and white’, ‘good and bad’ foods)
  • Feeling out of control
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Heightened anxiety around meal times
  • Heightened sensitivity to comments or criticism about body shape/weight/appearance/eating/exercise habits
  • Suicidal or self-harm thoughts or behaviours
  • Constant or repetitive dieting/restrictive or rigid eating patterns
  • Excessive or compulsive exercise
  • Changes in clothing style
  • Impaired school or work performance
  • Obsessive rituals around food
  • Changes in food preferences
  • Frequent avoidance of eating meals / excuses not to eat
  • Social withdrawal / avoidance of social situations involving food
  • Repetitive or obsessive body-checking behaviours
  • Deceptive or secretive behaviour around food

Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimia NervosaBulimia Nervosa is characterised by recurrent bingeing (large qualities of food) followed by a purge.

A person with Bulimia Nervosa usually maintains an average weight, or may be slightly above or below average weight for height, which often makes it less recognisable than serious cases of Anorexia Nervosa. Many people, including some health professionals, incorrectly assume that a person must be underweight and thin if they have an eating disorder. Because of this, Bulimia Nervosa is often missed and can go undetected for a long period of time.

It is normally dieting and restriction that leads to the destructive cycle of bingeing and purging. However, the more strict and ridged the diet becomes the more likelihood that deprivation and inadequate nutrition can trigger an obsession with food and a starvation reaction – an overriding urge to eat, it is the bodies way of balancing, it is asking for nutrition. As hunger and deprivation build to the point when the compulsion to eat becomes too powerful to resist, they binge on whatever food is available (often foods with high fat and sugar) this is then followed by guilt and self-loathing, then a compensatory behaviour – vomiting/laxatives etc. and desperate need to wipe the slate clean.

A repeat of weight-loss dieting often follows, leading to a binge/purge/exercise cycle which becomes more compulsive and uncontrollable over time.

Binge Eating Disorder

Binge Eating DisorderDid you know that Binge Eating Disorder is one of the most common of the eating disorders? Possibly 50% of seriously overweight/obese people will report frequent binge eating.

Binge Eating is where large amounts of food are consumed in a short space of time and there is a loss of control around food that occurs. Guilt and Self-loathing set in after a binge but unlike Bulimia there are no compensatory behaviours. This will usually result in weight gain which sets them on a path of sporadic fasts, yo-yo diets in response to all the negative feelings associated with and following a binge episode.

Binge Eating Disorder can affect anybody, regardless of age, gender or ethnicity. In fact, research suggests equal percentages of males and females experience Binge Eating Disorder.

Other Eating Disorders

Eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia include extreme emotions, attitudes, and behaviours surrounding weight and food issues. They are serious eating disorders and can be life-threatening.

The same is true for a category of eating disorders known as EDNOS (eating disorders not elsewhere specified). These serious eating disorders can include a combination of characteristics or symptoms typical of anorexia and bulimia, but not meet all the criteria for diagnosis.

Other conditions such as Orthorexia & Night Eating Disorder  would fall into the EDNOS category.

Help is Available


Initial Consults & Assessment Sessions are approx. – 2 hours $260.00

Subsequent Consultations of 1 hour are $110.00

Contact Us to organise your session