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The Eating Disorder Beast Can Be Beaten

I started turning less and less to an obsession with food and focused my energy on my career, family, and my independence. I wanted to be healthy and strong. I was sick of being sick. I slowly began to change my behaviors and adapt gradually. The late night bingeing stopped. I began to eat when I was hungry and stop when I was full. Eating in a restaurant became pleasurable.

I cried when I was sad and yelled when I was mad. I stopped felling guilty and started living. These new behaviors though hard, helped me beat the beast. There was lots of hard work, and therapy from some very good people. The best in their field.

Thirteen years later some of those people are sitting in my living room for a meeting of a group I helped to found. HEED (Helping To End Eating Disorders) is a not-for-profit group designed to prevent, treat and increase awareness of eating disorders worldwide. The director of the group Dr. Ira Sacker is here too — not just a doctor — the angel who saved my life. Dr. Sacker is the Director of the Eating Disorders program at Brookdale Hospital Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York. The main goal of the group is to build HEED HOUSE — a group home to provide males and females with an environment to help develop the necessary skills and strength to begin to live their lives again. Many battling with the beast are admitted to hospitals over and over and over again. One young woman getting better with help from those now forming HEED was admitted to the hospital over fifty times. Our project will provide a halfway dwelling place, which will prevent that kind of chronic hospitalization, and provide a place for patients to get better with the kind of intelligent, loving support I got during my own battle with the beast.

HEED is a vision both Dr. Sacker and I had many years back, and its combination of patient evaluation, treatment services, and behavioral programs is going to be a dream come true to those working there, and those benefiting from the program.

My battle was not easy. I suffered many setbacks and thought many times I would never get better, but I proved myself wrong. I am no longer the victim of the beast. The Beast can be beaten.

What have you learned?, Dr. Sacker might have asked me when I was a patient and he was the healthcare professional caring for me.

Life is not about having it all, doing it all, or knowing it all. It’s about having something, doing something, and knowing something. That’s part of the answer, at least for me.

For More Information

HEED Foundation, Inc.
(Helping End Eating Disorders)
205 South Service Road
Plainview, NY 11803
(516) 694-1054

HEED is a non-profit organization “restoring hope & promoting recovery” through free support groups, helpline referrals, educational information, professional speakers, and community outreach.

The Eating Disorder Beast Can Be Beaten

Lisa Tiell

Lisa Tiell holds a BS in Nutrition and is a AFAA-certified cycle and Pilates instructor. She works as a Nutrition Lifestyle Consultant specializing in disordered eating. Lisa used to work with eating disorder specialist Ira Sacker, M.D.. Lisa grew up on Long Island, NY, but now lives in Orlando, Florida with her husband and two children.

APA Reference
Tiell, L. (2018). The Eating Disorder Beast Can Be Beaten. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 29, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Oct 2018 (Originally: 17 May 2016)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Oct 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.