As a recent alumni, graduated September-2017, I haved mixed emotions about my Creek experience. Suffering from trauma, Binge Eating Disorder, and Morbid Obesity, I self-admitted into Magolia Creek with three goals:(1) trauma recovery to the extent that my daily living would no longer be constantly disrupted by flashbacks, anxiety, and isolation, (2) relief and recovery from binge-eating (3) physical recovery including weight-loss. During my 8 weeks of treatment, the trauma work and co-dependency excersises were a tremendous help to me. I walked in that first day angry, closed - off and depressed. Day to day functioning skills were non-existent. I was in the worse mental, emotional, and physical health of my life. The therapy and support I recieved at Magnolia Creek saved my life. I also stopped binge-eating while in treatment. But, the weight-loss was a disappointment. Magnolia Creek is the best at helping women recover from anorexia, bulimia, restricting and extreme under-weight. It was truely miraculous to witness the physical healing of those who were under-weight regain pounds to improve their health and appearance. But their nutrition and exercise plans are basically one-size fit all. Their philosophy is that an eating disorder is an eating disorder and therefore should be treated the same. I believe this is their one blind spot which seems to be non-negotiable. Women who suffer from binge- eating disorder and morbid obesity would benefit from a plan of eating and exercising designed to lose weight and improve their mobility. I thought I would receive such a plan, but in the end, although I stuck to their plan, my weight-loss was insignificant. I made several attempts to convince my nutritionist to prescribe a plan to fit my particular needs, but she insisted she knew best and finally, I ceased to voice my opinion because, I was not getting anywhere. I followed her menu and abided by the limited exercise prescribed. I wholeheartedly recommended Magnolia Creek for those suffering from anorexia and or bulimia and the under-weight, but I cannot for the morbid obese.
I am glad to hear that you found the therapeutic work surrounding trauma and codependency helpful. I also wanted to take a moment to address some of your concerns that you brought up about our program. We specialize in the treatment of all eating disorders whether it be anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating disorder. While clients with binge eating disorder may be in the minority at our residential levels of care, we do not have a one size fits all approach when it comes to treatment, including when it comes to our meal plans. Our dietitians work to tailor meal plans to meet each person’s needs, for some this includes weight restoration, for others weight maintenance, and for others, the effect of normalizing eating patterns ends in weight loss. Even if someone has the same goals with regards to weight their meal plans may look very different depending upon their nutritional needs. You are right in the fact that our goal never specifically weight loss. When a client comes in with a pattern of binge eating, weight loss can sometimes be a by-product of regularly following a meal plan. Our approach is that all foods fit, regardless of the type of eating disorder and we do not endorse restricting specific types of foods or food groups. We also do not support a focus on weight loss but more of a holistic improvement in health based on the Health At Every Size (HAES) model. What we know about the research is that focus on weight loss and continuing to support the diet mentality leads to a continuation of the binge/diet cycle and is ineffective in long-term recovery from binge eating disorder. Our goal for clients who are struggling with binge eating while in treatment is to step out of that cycle, normalize eating, and begin to eat both mindfully and intuitively. We also support engagement in movement and view this as a healthy part of recovery. Each client’s recommendations for participation in movement are individualized based on their needs, which can range from the recommendation of no movement to helping individuals reintegrate back into sports such as for competitive athlete, with several steps in between. We wish you the best of luck in your recovery process.