Freedom from Emotional Eating, Food & Weight Obsession

At what age is it OK to order a burger?

I’m smiling as I write this…

In Miami yesterday, at the end of the Academy for Eating Disorders Conference, I had lunch with two of my Mom’s oldest and dearest friends…closest of friends since they all met in 4th grade. They grew up together, dated, married, raised their children together. As I grew up, these women were my “Aunt Millie” and “Aunt Mimi”. I had not seen them in person since my brother’s wedding, about twenty two years ago.

Mimi brought me pictures from her photo albums of my parents when they were just dating; my movie star handsome Dad at age 22 in his starched white oxford cloth shirt and tie and my beautiful, insecure 20 year old Mother dressed in the very latest fashion of the day (her Dad was in the dress business and she, at the time, was in college studying fashion design).

Mimi, Millie, and I reminisced about my childhood, the funny things I remembered about their homes; hiding places, pets, lovely shared special events…and the sad memories as my parents were very unhappily married—the only couple out of all their friends to divorce, after 20 years of marriage.

So much history! Being with them was an absolute gift!  They are amazing women, both now in their early 80’s!  They look gorgeous and are relatively healthy. Mimi’s new boyfriend drove them the hour from Boynton Beach to Miami.

Here I was at an eating disorders conference! As we sat down to lunch, one of them looked at the menu and said. “I’ve gained 2 pounds, I’m going to order a salad.” She’s a size 4, maybe!

I thought, on such a lovely afternoon, how old and how thin does one have to be to just enjoy a burger, if she wants one?


Ellen Shuman is a Life Coach who specializes in emotional and binge eating recovery. She is the founder of A Weigh Out & Acoria Eating Disorder Treatment, Vice President of the Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA), and Co-Chair of the Academy for Eating Disorders Special Interest Group on “Health at Every Size”,

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About Ellen Shuman

Ellen on the phone

I have worked in the Wellness Field for 30 years. I created an Emotional Eating & Binge Eating Disorder Recovery Program way before most people knew BED was an eating disorder, NOT a “willpower” issue. Personally, I suffered for years before finding answers and the help I needed and deserved! I became a Coach in 1997 to help others who were still suffering as I had. I love being a Coach!


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