Mother of Adolescent in Recovery from Anorexia

My daughter began treatment with Francie and her Central Coast Outpatient Program team at age 16. We were referred to Francie through the nutritionist at the Sansum Clinic. How truly blessed we are to have found the amazing family at Central Coast. I say family because they made my daughter feel so comfortable and really important. It gave her the security she was looking for to be herself and to move forward in her recovery. This did not come without hurdles, but it was well worth it.

The therapy team at Central Coast is such a great supportive and nonjudgmental family with the necessary skills to help my daughter more than we were able to. Between individual therapy, group therapy, and family sessions they helped and supported us all in so many ways. My daughter attended groups that helped her deal with many difficult issues related to her eating disorder: from cooking to exercise to how to have healthy friendships. Basically, how to deal with daily life.

My daughter started her journey toward recovery at 16 years old. She began with individual therapy, which helped her to peel away the many layers of her eating disorder. Central Coast taught me that we have to peel away the layers to expose the wound in order to know how to heal it. There is no easy fix, as I was told many times, but I think as a parent I just wanted to know that if I couldn’t help her then there was someone who made her feel loved and supported on a whole other level through probably the roughest time of her life. That is exactly what Central Coast Treatment Center has done for my daughter and hope it will do for many to come.

My daughter is now 18 years old and heading off to college. She has never been more ready!!! I can completely and honestly say that without her hard work and the help of Central Coast Treatment Center this would not have been possible. The last thing I will leave you with is a quote from my daughter who said this to me just recently –

“Mom, you know I would not wish my eating disorder on my worst enemy, but I am really thankful for it because I have learned so much about myself and have become such a better person because of it.”

That is what I call success!!!!!…Life is not a destination, it is a journey!!!

Thank you, Francie and the Central Coast Treatment Center FAMILY!!!

Adult in Recovery from an Eating & Exercise Disorder

After years and years of dieting and exercise addiction, I met with Francie and learned about how the body functions optimally. I was initially horrified by her meal plan, but I was willing to try. To this day, I am shocked at the positive changes Francie’s meal plan had on my body. My hair became silky again, my skin cleared up, my energy returned, and the debilitating mental fog disappeared. I become more empathetic toward and accepting of other people. I began to sleep better, and life just felt brighter. I now feel reunited with myself, and I enjoy giving my body the nutrition it really does need.

I used to think I needed to “earn” my calories. I thought if I exercised a certain amount then I could eat. That system was breaking my body down. I was constantly tired, fatigued, and on edge. Now, I move when my body wants to move, and I rest when my body wants to rest. I don’t worry about calories because once I stopped manipulating my body with calorie counting and exercise, I was able to regulate my metabolism.

Adult in Treatment for Anorexia

I love the Central Coast PHP. I have been to a few therapists and another PHP for anorexia treatment and made very little progress. I feel the difference at Central Coast is the depth at which the therapists work with clients to figure out why we have symptoms in the first place. It has been like peeling away the layers of an onion. Each time I learn something more about who I am inside, I make a little progress toward relief from living inside the walls of a tiny box called my eating disorder. I have realized that my childhood experiences contributed to my eating disorder and that I used my anorexia as a coping mechanism.

I have learned through the love, compassion, and wisdom of the treatment team at Central Coast that I have value just because I exist on this planet. I don’t have to be anything more than myself to be loved. I have made significant strides toward feeling comfortable in my own skin and now have a sense of compassion and love for myself that I had not known prior to my time with Francie and Terry. I will always love them and appreciate the help they have given me to become my true self.

Adolescent in Recovery from Anorexia

I began restricting and losing weight to try and fit in more, but I ended up completely isolating myself in my eating disorder. After reaching a healthy weight, I didn’t believe my therapist in the least, but it was so true that the step of gaining weight had to happen before I could break down the reasons for my disorder and overcome the mental rigidity and negative thoughts.

I’ve learned that eating isn’t the problem, but how I dealt with life had become overwhelmingly focused on food. Society today is so obsessed by calories and scales and “health,” but the truth is everyone is different. Now I love to cook, not just for others, but for myself as well. I’ve learned that I am an eater and part of taking true care of myself requires eating enough – not what I think is enough but what my body feels is enough.

Before treatment, I was completely run by my ego, isolated from everyone, taking on more than I could handle, and living off the highs of counting calories and comparing weight. The team at Central Coast showed me how to separate my inner critic from my true self. The work is long and hard but so worth it.

Young Adult in Recovery

I used to never allow myself to feel beautiful unless the number on the scale and the size of my jeans corresponded to my ideal. I am so much more connected to myself now, and I have learned that beauty does not come from a meaningless number on a scale or a size.

I no longer constantly compare myself to others, and I can actually hang out with a group of people and not worry about what they think. A huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. There are really cool things in the world that I didn’t allow myself to enjoy because I was worried about what I would look like doing them (like putting my hands up on a roller coaster). The world has so many amazing things to offer – things that don’t care at all what size you are.

I learned that my body knows what it needs. Sometimes, my body tells me it needs cookies and sometimes it tells me it needs salad. I learned I don’t need to control every single bite that goes past my lips. I can relax, and my body will tell me when and what I need to eat. Now, I can eat and get on with my day. I’m not constantly waiting for the next meal or obsessing about what I already ate. It’s amazing, I can genuinely laugh at jokes now and be fully engaged in conversations because I am not constantly counting calories in my head and stressing about whatever eating disorder thought was preoccupying that moment. I didn’t realize how trapped I was. I learned that no one fights alone. I couldn’t have gotten over this eating disorder without the Central Coast team.

Adolescent in Recovery from Anorexia

“I started going to groups because I felt like I had to. The first time, I was completely overwhelmed. I felt strange as the youngest person in the room and sat huddled in the corner of the couch. I lacked all social skills and had no idea how to act in a group. I gained so much knowledge and empathy in the groups, and I learned how to interact with others as my true self.”

Young Adult in Recovery

“I was not sure I was the right for groups at first. I didn’t think I would fit in, and I was scared that everyone would think I was gross. Group ended up being one of the most enriching experiences I have ever had, and I wish I could be back there now! There is something amazing that happens in the recovery process during groups that I couldn’t get from individual sessions alone.”