Dawn Watson & Free a Girl & Book "My Journey Back Home"

In 2015 I met Dawn Watson at an event of Tony Robbins in Florida. More than 5000 people participated at this 5-day event, called "Date with Destiny".

Dawn Watson, also known from the Netflix movie "I am not your Guru", told her heartbreaking story.  She was born in a religious cult, in Brazil. For years Dawn was sexually abused by the men in the cult, called COG "Children of God". 

With this life experience, she now teaches others about forgiveness and explains how they can transform their own pain into power. Her greatest dream is to be able to connect with all the people that have been touched by her story by taking her lectures and courses worldwide.

In her book "My Journey Back Home" she describes how you can connect to yourself. If you want to order her book, click here: 'My Journey Back Home'

Photography: Isabelle Plasmeyer (left) & Dawn Watson (right) at Business Mastery Tony Robbins, in Rotterdam, The Netherlands 

Photography: Isabelle Plasmeyer (left) & Dawn Watson (right) at Business Mastery Tony Robbins, in Rotterdam, The Netherlands 

You can help too!

At the beginning of 2018 Dawn and the Dawn Watson Institution started working together with Free A Girl. Free a Girl helps young girls who are abused and used for prostitution. They are active in Bangladesh, Brasil, India, the Netherlands, Nepal and Thailand. The last 9 years more than 4.199 girls were freed. 

For those who want to know more about Dawn, her workshops/events visit Dawn's website.

Dawn Watson, you not only have been through physical pain, but also through spiritual suffering. You did not deserve that! The fact is, out of this painful experience, an unbelievable strenght was born - Tony Robbins

Changing your inner dialogue

Dr. David Simon once said, “Reality is a selective act of attention and interpretation.” According to this view, our attention is what we put our mental focus on—but it is during the interpretation that the intellect analyzes and derives meaning. This interpretation takes place in the form of internal dialogue.

But just what is internal dialogue? Our internal dialogue is the conversation our ego is having with itself. It’s the sub-textual voice that applies logic, reasoning, and beliefs to situations, people, and events. It also serves as a filter for those experiences and colors the way in which we see the world. As such, the internal dialogue plays a vital role in deriving meaning from our life and reality. When our internal dialogue is dark, negative, and dismal, we see a world filtered through those qualities. Conversely, when we have positive, uplifting, and optimistic internal dialogue, we perceive those states as the backdrop of our life.

Photo: Thought Catalog, unsplash.com

Photo: Thought Catalog, unsplash.com

How do we change our inner dialogue?

If we want to change anything in our lives, we first need to understand what we are doing 'wrong'! Because we can only learn from our 'mistakes' once we are aware of the fact that we are making them. When you are conscious about the inner dialogue that is going on, then praise yourself. And every time you catch yourself you should give yourself a round of applause. So praise yourself and then ask yourself these questions:

"Do I want to think this or say this to myself?"
"How do I feel when I believe this?"
"How do I behave when I believe this?"
"And what result comes out of this?"

I am sure the answers to these questions are anything except positive. And the bad thing is that when you keep believing this, you will have the same outcome and results every single time. There is nothing wrong with you, but there is something wrong with the stuff you believe. And of course, you have your reasons to believe what you believe. But I am sure, if you Google on the internet, there are people who have been through the same and choose a different pathway, and have different and better results.

So your thoughts create a blueprint (this is like the hardware of a computer) and it stores all beliefs from the day you are born. Some beliefs you still carry with you up until this day. Some are good and some you let go off, like "Santa really exists".

There are also limiting beliefs that cause pain, anger, grieve, frustration, exhaustion and more negativity. Most of you limiting beliefs were 'shaped' after a negative experience was you felt rejected, alone, bullied, stupid and not good enough.

We all have limiting believes...

  • I am not smart enough
  • My dad does not love me
  • It has to be perfect
  • Nobody wants me
  • I am ugly and fat
  • My legs and belly are disgusting
  • I must be strong all the time
  • I can't share this with anyone
  • Making mistakes is stupid

But the good thing is that you can let go of any belief just like you let go of the belief that Santa Claus really comes from the Northpole. 

Every time you notice feeling uncomfortable or unhappy try to research and understand which limiting belief is causing this sensation in your body. Then ask yourself the following 4 questions:

1. - Is my belief true?
2. - Is this belief 100% true?
3. - How do I feel when I believe this thought?
4. - How would I feel when I would not believe this thought?
* Then turn your belief around. 

This Blog is inspired by the amazing women Byron Katie (THE WORK)


Dare to dream again, who could you be without your eating disorder?

A person who dreams big is an ordinary person. People who dream are considered unrealistic, stupid even sometimes. What makes dreamers extraordinary is that they find the courage, heart, and discipline to make their dream come true. And even when their dreams do not come through they had the passion to get out of their bed every morning because they were fighting for what they believed in. 

There is define wisdom in you

Within each of us is a core of goodness, wisdom, and heart that has been there from the start. Since the day you are born you are here with a purpose. The problem is that we forget this along the way called life. We experience things, trauma, grieve and we lose hope and our dreams fade away.t we can do the same. As the years go by disappointment and criticism turn into fears, doubts, and anxieties that obscure this essence. Then of course we can’t go out in public with our inadequacies hanging out, so we hide them behind our "I’m happy" mask. I am sure you have a mask like that too. The "I'm just fine" face.

Dare to dream www.isa-power.com

How do we break out?

Soon our spirit becomes hidden, and we can forget that it even exists. How do we break out? Well, the good news is that it doesn’t take years of therapy or 100 self-help books to overcome your eating disorder and/or other self destructive behavior and negative thoughts.

Breaking your self destructive patterns starts with a single thought: "I am fed up, I am done with feeling like this" then ask yourself this question: "How do I want to feel instead?"

Your dream should be so attractive and satisfying that you would do anything to accomplish it. Make a commitment to making it happen. When you do that, a burst of energy will go through your body. You will become unstoppable. Because your commitment doesn’t care about your self-doubt or that you’re too busy. 

Why do you need to dream big?

Because the world needs you to put your talent and gifts to work. The world needs talented, brave, sensitive and good people like you. We know you are because people with eating disorders are generally very sensitive, humble, creative, caring, compassionate and intelligent. The only problem is that they don't see it themselves and will not admit it. But everything and everybody counts. Making your dreams come true is the fastest track to personal transformation and learning to make the next big dream come true.

Stop wasting time by telling yourself you can't do it because...

  • I am not intelligent enough

  • I do not have the right education

  • I am not beautiful enough

  • I don't have enough money

  • I just can't do it

Playing the victim and pointing the finger is just an excuse. You are allowed to admit and tell yourself (and others) you are scared and insecure. That is all fine. Who isn't? 

When you have to make an important decision in your life, then ask yourself this question: "Which price do I need to pay if I don't change? And what is the price I pay when I change?"

Most of the time, the price you have to "pay" for changing is facing your fears. That's all. On the other hand, the price of not changing is much worse. Because it would mean that you will continue to feel the same day in - day out, you will have an eating disorder forever and you will have to live with your fears forever.

But dreaming is painful and scary...

dreaming can be scary, because what if you fail? What if your dreams will never come true? Most people don't pursue their dreams because they are not able to handle the potential disappointment. Dare to take a risk. Dare to dream without knowing what will happen. Try it anyway. You can not fail, you can only grow and learn. Making mistakes is impossible, you are enrolled in the University called Life. You can not fail.

Remember growth is outside our comfortzone, and growing and learning is painful. But there’s nothing better than the feeling you get when you achieve something you really didn’t think was possible.


Mothers with eating disorders

Let us start with the fact that an eating disorder can happen to males and females, and no matter what age you are, mothers can have an eating disorder too. 

How to help yourself when you have children and an eating disorder?

Your eating disorder feels like your second child (or third). It needs attention, it demands lots of attention, and it takes away all of your energy. Why on earth would you keep this "child" when it does not give you anything in return, right?  

Mothers with eating disorders www.isa-power.com

Mothers with eating disorders

Being a mum can be very challenging. But being a mum and having an eating disorder as well is even worse. We tend to think of having an eating disorder as a teenage dissease or affliction. And, indeed, in many cases, that's when you first feel it pull. While eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia, are about food and striving for the "perfect body", they are also about perfection, the desire to gain control in an out-of-control situation. An eating disorder can give you the idea (in fact it is an illusion) that you are in control by micromanaging what or how you eat. 

Being a mother is stressful, you have your hands full with clothing your children, feeding them,  changing nappies and making sure they take enough rest, go out for fresh air. Most mothers don't even have the time to shower, put on their make-up, or go to the toilet. 

"The first period after my son was born I never went to the toilet alone. He cried a lot, and it drove me crazy. Sometimes I put him in the stroller, trying to make him sleep. I even went to the toilet pushing the stroller back and forth." (Mary)

You are up around the clock because your child can't sleep through the night
You neglect your partner and other friends because you are exhausted
You can't keep up, and you feel like your failing constantly
You can't even enjoy being a mother because it is so heavy
But you can binge, make yourself skinny or throw up

"I thought that my eating disorder (anorexia) would disappear when having children. In the beginning, I was so in love with my child that it felt like my bulimia was gone. But, after three months after the pregnancy, I was so unhappy with my 'fluffy' belly. My eating disorder came back stronger than ever before." (Susan)

Mothers feel they need to do everything and be everything for their children, their husband, and their job. And if they can't meet their own expectations (most of the time ridiculously high) they feel unsatisfied and like a failure. Some start to eat uncontrollably out of frustration and others starve themselves and get back to their high school weight.

"Many of the anorexic and bulimic moms I see do everything. They work outside the home, they volunteer, they're the ideal parent -- and they're expected to be all that and more without any role models that have gone before them to show them how, since their own mothers weren't typically expected to work outside the home. We're out there, all of us twenty-first century moms, on our own, and we're understandably overwhelmed by all that's expected of us." says Margo Maine, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist specializing in eating disorders and coauthor of The Body Myth: Adult Women and the Pressure to Be Perfect.

Can all mothers develop an eating disorder?

Of course, not all mums develop an eating disorder. Studies on families and twins have suggested that you're twelve times more likely to have anorexia if your relative battled with an eating disorder in the past. And you are four times more likely to develop bulimia if your family member had it too. Basically, you are inheriting a genetic tendency for bulimia or anorexia.

Research has also shown that women who are sensitive to experience anxiety, depression, and obsessive-compulsive behaviors are more vulnerable to develop an eating disorder too.
and for those women, anorexia or bulimia can be triggered by the everyday stress and chaos that comes from raising kids, says Dena Cabrera, a clinical psychiatrist who works with the moms' groups at Remuda Ranch. Another trigger: sleep deprivation, which can contribute to depression and feeling out of control. (source: Parenting.com)

If you want help, please don't hesitate. You don't have to be ashamed. You can get help too. Contact us to schedule your intake.

Does eating disorder treatment really works?

Does eating disorder treatment really works? Yes. Most cases of eating disorder can be treated successfully by appropriately trained health and mental health care professionals. But treatments do not work instantly. For many patients, treatment may need to be long-term.

It's like brushing your teeth. When you do it once, they are clean for one day. But that does not mean you don't have to brush again, because they won't stay clean for ever. We look at recovery the same way; it is personal development. Eating Disorder recovery is a journey, and it can take a couple of months up until 2 years, or even 7 years. This all depends on how committed you are and where you seek help. 

Incorporating family or marital therapy into patient care may help prevent relapses by resolving interpersonal issues related to the eating disorder. Therapists can guide family members in understanding the patient's disorder and learning new techniques for coping with problems. Support groups can also help.

Eating disorder treatment www.isa-power.com

Remember: The sooner treatment starts, the better. The longer abnormal eating patterns continue, the more deeply ingrained they become and the more difficult they are to treat.

Eating disorders can severely impair people's functioning and health. But the prospects for long-term recovery are good for most people who seek help from appropriate professionals. Qualified therapists, such as licensed psychologists with experience in this area, can help those who suffer from eating disorders regain control of their eating behaviors and their lives.

If you want help, please don't hesitate. You don't have to be ashamed. You can get help too. Contact us to schedule your intake.

What causes eating disorders?

Certain psychological factors and personality traits may predispose people to developing eating disorders. Many people with eating disorders suffer from low self-esteem, feelings of helplessness, and intense dissatisfaction with the way they look.

Specific traits are linked to each of the disorders. People with anorexia tend to be perfectionistic, for instance, while people with bulimia are often impulsive. Physical factors such as genetics also may play a role in putting people at risk.

eating disorders and anxieties www.isa-power.com

A wide range of situations can precipitate eating disorders in susceptible individuals. Family members or friends may repeatedly tease people about their bodies. Individuals may be participating in gymnastics or other sports that emphasize low weight or a certain body image. Negative emotions or traumas such as rape, abuse, or the death of a loved one can also trigger disorders. Even a happy event, such as giving birth, can lead to disorders because of the stressful impact of the event on an individual's new role and body image.

Once people start engaging in abnormal eating behaviors, the problem can perpetuate itself. Bingeing can set a vicious cycle in motion, for instance, as individuals purge to rid themselves of excess calories and psychic pain, then binge again to escape problems in their day-to-day lives.

Why is it important to seek treatment for these disorders?

Research indicates that eating disorders very often go untreated. In one study (PDF, 382KB), for example, less than 13 percent of adolescents with eating disorders received treatment.(2)

But leaving eating disorders untreated can have serious consequences. Research has found that individuals with anorexia have a mortality rate 18 times higher than peers who don't have eating disorders, for example. (3)

Eating disorders can devastate the body. Physical problems associated with anorexia, for instance, include anemia, constipation, osteoporosis, even damage to the heart and brain. Bulimia can result in a sore throat, worn-away tooth enamel, acid reflux, and heart attacks.. People with binge eating disorder may develop high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other problems associated with obesity.

Eating disorders are also associated with other mental disorders like depression. Researchers don't yet know whether eating disorders are symptoms of such problems or whether the problems develop because of the isolation, stigma, and physiological changes wrought by the eating disorders themselves. What is clear from the research (PDF, 399KB) is that people with eating disorders suffer higher rates of other mental disorders - including depression, anxiety disorders, and substance abuse - than other people.

How can a psychologist help someone recover?

Psychologists play a vital role in the successful treatment of eating disorders and are integral members of the multidisciplinary team that may be required to provide patient care. As part of this treatment, a physician may be called on to rule out medical illnesses and determine that the patient is not in immediate physical danger. A nutritionist may be asked to help assess and improve nutritional intake.

Once the psychologist has identified important issues that need attention and developed a treatment plan, he or she helps the patient replace destructive thoughts and behaviors with more positive ones. A psychologist and patient might work together to focus on health rather than weight, for example. Or a patient might keep a food diary as a way of becoming more aware of the types of situations that trigger bingeing.

Simply changing patients' thoughts and behaviors is not enough, however. To ensure lasting improvement, patients and psychologists must work together to explore the psychological issues underlying the eating disorder. Psychotherapy may need to focus on improving patients' personal relationships. And it may involve helping patients get beyond an event or situation that triggered the disorder in the first place. Group therapy also may be helpful.

Some patients, especially those with bulimia, may benefit from medication. It's important to remember, however, that medication should be used in combination with psycho-therapy, not as a replacement for it. Patients who are advised to take medication should be aware of possible side effects and the need for close supervision by a physician.

If you want help, please don't hesitate. You don't have to be ashamed. You can get help too. Contact us to schedule your intake.

Article Sources:
1 National Institute of Mental Health. (2007). "Eating disorders."
2 Merikangas, K.R., He, J., Burstein, M., Sendsen, J., Avenevoli, S., Case, B., Georgiades, K., et al. (2011). "Service utilization for lifetime mental disorders in U.S. adolescents: Results of the National Comorbidity Survey-Adolescent Supplement (NCS-A)." Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 50 (1): 32-45.
3 Steinhausen, H.C. (2009). "Outcomes of eating disorders." Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 18 (1): 225-242.
4 Hudson, J.I., Hiripi, E., Pope, H.G., & Kessler, R.C. (2007). "The prevalence and correlates of eating disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication." Biological Psychiatry, 61 (3): 348-358.

What are the warning signs of eating disorders in males?

Being aware about eating disorders and acting on the warning signs and symptoms can have a marked influence on the severity and duration of the illness. Seeking help at the first warning signs is very important in this respect. However, the very nature of an eating disorder means that the sufferer will try and ensure any warning signs are concealed.

eating disorders and males www.isa-power.com

There are physical, psychological and behavioral warning signs that can signal the onset or the presence of an eating disorder in a male or a female but there are some warning signs that are more likely to occur in males:

  • Preoccupation with (over)exercising

  • Continuing doing sport/exercising when injured

  • Testosterone lowers (lose interest in sex)

  • Feeling stressed over missing workouts

  • Possible conflict over gender identity or sexual orientation

  • Using anabolic steroids

Further, our socio-cultural influences mean that over-exercising and the extreme pursuit of muscle growth are frequently seen as healthy behaviors for males and can even be actively encouraged. The truth is that these activities can indicate a significant disorder and lead to severe physical health problems.

If you are a man and you want help, please don't hesitate. You don't have to be ashamed. You can get help too. Contact us to schedule your intake.

Eating Disorders with males

While eating disorders are often portrayed as illnesses that only affect females, large population studies suggest that up to a quarter of people suffering with anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa are male, and almost an equal number of males and females suffer with binge eating disorder. We also know that under-diagnosis and cultural stigma mean that the actual proportion of males with eating disorders could be much higher.

Eating disorders can develop at any age. But males (and also females) are most vulnerable, or at risk, for anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa in their teenage years and early twenties. And binge eating disorder is more prevalent in a person in their mid-twenties.

eating disorders with males www.isa-power.com

Unhappy with your body?

Men can be very unhappy with their bodies too. The actual rates of body dissatisfaction in males are approaching the same number of that of females. However, for males body dissatisfaction is more commonly manifested in a lean and muscular body, rather than a lower body weight.

Especially male athletes have a vulnerability to eating disorders, particularly those in sports with a greater emphasis on weight classes and aesthetic ideals such as weight lifters, wrestlers, gymnasts, dancers, jockeys and body builders. But also Ski Jumpers are vulnerable for developing an eatnig disorder, because when they eigh less the jump farther. You can state that the eating disorder is "supporting" their prestige and achievement.

For some males, heightened concerns about muscularity may become part of an eating disorder, characterised by distorted perceptions about muscle bulk, and /or distorted eating and exercise patterns.

There are many factors that contribute to develop an eating disorder, and they can be complex. In general, there are is a genetic vulnerability. People must be sensitive to develop it. And there are the psychological factors and socio-cultural influences. 

What are the risks for males to get an eating disorder?

The risk factors for eating disorders are perfectionism, bullying, dieting, trauma, childhood obesity. The risk factors apply both to females and males.

Males are also are exposed to unique cultural messages that can increase their vulnerability towards developing an eating disorder. These include:

  • The ideal body shape for men is protrayed in media platforms as a lean and muscular

  • Males feel he need to be in control. We have grown up with the idea that males ‘take charge’ and have to be ‘in control’. When coping with particular issues beyond their control, people can displace these emotions (anxiety) onto their bodies, manifesting in control over the body through excessive exercise and dieting. Some deal with is constructively and others choose food or alcohol and/or drugs.

  • Eating disorders and other mental illnesses. Especially men feel a desire not to appear weak or vulnerable. This has led to a stigma around mental illness that has delayed treatment and support for many males (and females) with eating disorders.

If you are a man and you want help, please don't hesitate. You don't have to be ashamed. You can get help too. Contact us to schedule your intake.

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