Anorexic Thinking Gets In The Way

I’ve started reading The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. I know I’m late to the party, but I’m glad I’m here now (pun intended). All I can say is “wow!”

I’m sure I’ll be referring to it over and over again throughout my life. And in many posts. It’s the kind of reading that sits with you in a deep way. At least it sits with me in a deep way. I’ve been, bit by bit, remembering to be even more present and more aware of the now (or the Now, as Tolle refers to it). It seems to ring true how all the rest of time – the past and the future – are made up in ways. Because all we have, all I have, is right now. And when I stop and give Now my full attention it puts things in perspective. I’ve been mindful of mindfulness for a while. I’ve been trying to practice mindfulness and definitely preaching mindfulness. The Power of Now takes it to a whole new level for me. Well, me and the other 3 million people who have bought the book!

However, you’re probably wondering what this has to do with anorexic thinking. In fact, you’re probably wondering what anorexic thinking is. Fair points.

Anorexic thinking is my term for the rigidity with which my mind can work. My anorexia, many many many years ago, may have been a reaction to my leaving the Unification Church. It may have been my attempt to control whatever I could. It may have been a self-punishment for all that I had done, and might ever do, wrong. It doesn’t really matter why I became anorexic. What matters is the scars in my thought processes – the strict adherence to rules (even made up rules), the need for control and the false sense of control, the need to have everything in its exact place and myself in an exact way. I notice this anorexic thinking in places in my life that have nothing to do with food. That have nothing to do with anything. It’s a black or white, all or nothing, good or bad approach to the world. And to everything I do. Especially when I’m faced with a challenge or a “problem” and I’m trying to figure my way out.

And big surprise, anorexic thinking gets in the way. It doesn’t work. It catches me in its grips and throws me to forgone conclusions, like a slalom speeding down the hill in its preset course. Anorexic thinking nearly always convinces me that I’m wrong and that I can’t get it right – or that there is a right to get to. It gets in the way because it puts me in rigidity and fear. It closes my awareness to other options. It, as Eckhart Tolle would suggest I think, keeps me stuck in my mind and away from the Now.

The Now is observing, without judgment or analysis. What a foreign concept, but an alluring one. It’s even observing my anorexic thinking, without judgment or analysis. Just being able to recognize my anorexic thinking – to call it out – stops it, or at least slows it, in its tracks.

I think the Now is abundant thinking instead of anorexic thinking. Or maybe it’s even no thinking at all, just feeling and being. What I do know is that anorexic thinking gets in the way.




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About the Author | Lisa Kohn

Lisa Kohn is the author of a memoir, To the Moon and Back, due out September 18, 2018, that chronicles her childhood – growing up in the East Village of New York City in the 1970s and in the Unification Church (the Moonies). Lisa writes of her recovery from the emotional abuse and abandonment she faced, and her now life of hope as a thriving and happy mom, wife, and leadership consultant and coach. You can read more at her website,, where you can also download the first chapter of her book.

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