Are you wanting to make a change for the better, and start the journey to recovery from an eating disorder? Who is someone that you can speak with about this? Are there people out there who understand what you are going through?

In this podcast episode, Dr. Cristina Castagnini gets real in discussing her personal experience with an eating disorder.


  • Let’s get real
  • What kick-started my journey to recovery?
  • What we'll discuss

Let’s get real

I wish I’d known someone else was out there struggling just like I was, someone who was doing and thinking the same exact things as I was. So, that’s part of who I am and why I’m here doing this, because I’ve been there and I know that when you’re still in it, you need to get information.

In recovery, I was afraid to let go of my eating disorder, I did not trust the people that were telling me to eat those foods or stop exercising as much. But when I was far enough along my road towards recovery, I decided to become the therapist that I never had and to let people know that I understand these fears because I too have wholly felt them.

I join you here as someone wearing two hats. One is as a specialized doctor, who can explain your symptoms, treatments, and signs to you and give you clinical information about your struggles.

The other hat is for the fact that I, as a real person who struggled for far too long and spent many years trying to figure it out, can listen and understand you as the person behind your clinical diagnosis, because I was there too.

What kick-started my journey to recovery?

I was living alone at that time and I had taken herbal pills to lose water weight because the next day was my birthday and I wanted to look slim. At around 2 am in the morning I rushed to the kitchen to drink water, and the next thing I realized was that I was on the floor with the sun shining bright in my face, with throw up all over and around me and I could not move.

I figured out that I had passed out and knocked my head on something on the way down. I managed to phone a close friend who took me to the hospital. They did not find anything specifically wrong on that occasion, but it was a huge wake-up call for me.

I had started and stopped treatment for my eating disorder for years but now I wanted to start it and complete it in earnest. One of the nutritionists that was treating me helped me overcome my fear of certain foods, and one by one she dispelled the fear that I had of them from me. She taught me that there are nutrients and minerals in foods that my body needs to survive. Over time, I learned to change my mindset from meals as being an opportunity to harm myself to an opportunity where I could fuel my body with foods that it needed to survive. I learned then how to truly control what I ate for the wellbeing of my body.

Each of us has our own journey. For me, it was about so many things feeling out of control all at once and so restricting, that what I ate gave me a false sense of control.

You have your own reasons, and I want you to know that you can get on your path to recovery too.

What we'll discuss

  • What goes on behind the closed doors.
  • The cruel and compulsive thoughts and how all those things can have deep impacts in many areas in your life; your relationships, work, school, outings.

Behind the Bite is here to discuss what is behind your bite – what are the real struggles behind the eating disorder, because it is not about the food. This is about helping you understand you, and a place where you can begin your journey to healing.



I am a licensed Psychologist and Certified Eating Disorder Specialist.

While I may have over 20 years of clinical experience, what I also have is the experience of having been a patient who had an eating disorder as well.

One thing that I never had during all of my treatment was someone who could look me in the eye and honestly say to me "hey, I've been there. I understand".

Going through treatment for an eating disorder is one of the hardest and scariest things to do. I remember being asked to do things that scared me. Things I now know ultimately helped me to get better. But, at the time, I had serious doubts and fears about it.

If even one of my providers had been able to tell me "I know it's scary, but I had to go through that part too. Here's what will probably happen...." then perhaps I would not have gone in and out of treatment so many times.

My own experience ultimately led me to specialize in treating eating disorders. I wanted to be the therapist I never had; the one who "got it".

I will be giving you my perspective and information as an expert and clinician who has been treating patients for over 2 decades.

But don't just take my word for it...keep listening to hear the truly informative insights and knowledge guest experts have to share.

I am so happy you are here!


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