Our Testimonials

There is nothing more rewarding than to travel with a patient down the road to recovery from an eating disorder such as anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, or bulimarexia. The road to recovery can be a bumpy road, but the results are well worth the hard work. Today we received a heart-warming testimony from one individual that received outpatient treatment at my treatment center in Cincinnati.

Check these testimonials out…

Patient Testimonial

If you had told me how much my life would change over the past year and a half, I would not have believed you.

A year and a half ago I was trapped; wedged between the controlling anorexic voice and a longing to be myself. I was falling, drowning, diminishing into an infinite dark abyss from which I could not escape. Literally. Right before my eyes and the eyes of my family and friends.

Two years prior to that, in October 2010, I was admitted against my will to the hospital for treatment for anorexia nervosa. I was taken out of college and for two weeks I was confined to bed, banned from showering, and forced to eat every single meal and snack that was placed in front of me. I was compliant, mainly because I felt like I had no other option, and I wanted nothing but to return to school. Having my family see me in such a helpless and horrific condition was the most humiliating experience of my life.

Once I was out of the hospital I was compliant with the outpatient treatment because I needed to reach a certain weight if I wanted to return to school. I eventually made the weight goal, mainly by consuming sweets and processed foods. I was not happy with what I was putting into my body but I convinced myself that I could do it long enough to return to school.

Back at school, a huge wave of relief washed over me. I thought to myself, “I can finally go back to eating healthy and working out so I can lose this fat I’ve put on.” I wanted to eat healthy and take care of my body, but my only knowledge of ‘healthful’ eating was based on the skewed eating habits that drove my anorexia. I strongly believed in eating organic, non-GMO food and animals that did not have any added hormones and that were raised respectfully. While these options were available to me at home, my school provided none of them. Consequently, I went back to the eating habits that landed me in the hospital: restricting myself to fruit and vegetables in the cafeteria and absolutely no meat. I did not want to ingest any harmful chemicals. If I could not eat clean and organic, then I simply wouldn’t eat. While it was incredibly difficult to eat this way, I didn’t know what else to do. I regarded gaining weight as a sin. I remember thinking, “How am I ever going to be able to keep restricting myself like this for the rest of my life?” I felt like I had no choice.

With no one keeping a close eye on me, I began losing weight again. The weight continued to come off until I reached about the same weight I was when I was admitted to the hospital.

In June of 2012 I broke down. I knew that the anorexia had gotten the best of me once again. I didn’t know where to go or who to turn to for help. I was not about to return to the hospital, but I knew that I needed some kind of assistance. My parents did some research online and found Dr. Norton, a psychologist offering outpatient treatment of eating disorders in Cincinnati. I was hesitant for her aid, but I knew I couldn’t recover alone. She advertised organic, clean, and wholesome eating in her eating disorder recovery program and that seemed like an optimal fit for me. I called her and scheduled my first appointment.

Before I met Dr. Norton, I was very much aware of “clean eating” however, Dr. Norton provided me with the tools to apply it to my life. At home, my parents always had complete control over the cooking and at school I had no say in what foods the cafeteria prepared. I knew that clean eating was what I truly desired for my body but I was unaware of how to incorporate it into my life.

Dr. Norton saved my life. I cannot express in words how much she has done for me. She has given me the tools to overcome my anorexic thoughts and an incredible amount of knowledge on clean eating.

Clean eating has completely changed my relationship with food. It has enabled me to feel confident in the fact that I am not ingesting harmful chemicals, GMOs, or hormone fed animals. I know that I am putting true nourishment and lovingness into my body. I can eat a meal and know exactly where everything came from. I no longer have ‘reward foods’ – unhealthy foods that I craved but that I would only allow myself to eat after a strenuous workout. I now consider clean eating a reward in itself every day. Clean eating has allowed me to feel confident about gaining weight in order to reach and maintain a healthy weight for the first time in my life.

As a type one diabetic, clean eating has also enabled me to have better control of my blood sugars. This is an incredible feeling, as my blood sugars and insulin dosage are a daily battle.

My anorexic behaviors and thoughts were driven by a desire for strength and control. I exhibited that by restricting and tearing my body down. Now I know that gaining strength is accomplished by building my body up and by nourishing myself with wonderful and wholesome foods. Now I see myself becoming stronger by caring for myself to the best of my ability. I have not only grown stronger in mind, but body as well. I am physically capable of lifting more and heavier weights than ever before. I also have the stamina to run for longer distances. Coming home from a run or walk I am no longer incredibly fatigued. Instead, I feel re-energized and revitalized.

As a part of loving myself, I don’t have to restrict anymore. I don’t want to restrict anymore. My sense of control comes from the knowledge that I am doing the absolute best for myself in any given situation. I am trusting and loving myself – the real me.

I never thought I would be able to enjoy eating. I thought the mean, toxic, and judgmental anorexic voice in my head was something that would be constantly present for the rest of my life. I never thought I would be able to look in the mirror and love my body. I am more proud and confident in my mind, body, and spirit than I ever imagined possible.

I owe an incredible amount of thanks to not only Dr. Norton, but my parents. They have supported me my entire life. They have remained by my side through the worst of days and the best of days. They have given me nothing but kindness, empowerment, and unconditional love. I would not be where I am today without them. Thank you Mom and Dad, from the bottom of my heart. I love you both so darn much.

“At any moment, you have a choice, that either leads you closer to your spirit or further away from it.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

S.M.

SM

Patient Testimonial

dr. norton,

today is exactly one year from the first day i met with you.  looking back, i can’t believe it was a year ago that i decided i wanted to change my life, and that you thought i was deserving of an ed and BPD parent free life.  while it seems like such a short time, the fact that i am a completely different person now than i was then makes it seem like that first meeting was ages ago in comparison.  i can’t believe the difference between the girl who walked in here for the first time, and the girl who is sitting here right now; she is almost unrecognizable.  as you know, half of the time i have to stop and consciously remind myself of the progress and giant steps i have made, and the difference in my reaction and acceptance of situations, you help by pointing this out countlessly in the past few months, as there have been huge improvements in where i am both with my mom, relationships, myself and ed.

as far as my mom, which consumed a major portion of my initial meetings with you, i feel that i have jumped to a whole new level of acceptance, understanding and empathy which has allowed  me to communicate with her and even visit with her without the sickening feelings in my stomach, tears and aftermath of negative emotions.  she will always be as she is, but you have enabled me to salvage what i can of our relationships, and move on with my life, with forgiveness, peace and never-ending hope that someday there will be a light.  you have instilled in me radical acceptance that my life and childhood were indeed lacking of many things i deserved and should have had, but as radical acceptance works, i am able to take a deep breath and say “that’s just what happened, let’s move on” so that i am not looking at it with regret and guilt.  even more important, is that you have taught me not to depend on others to replace these things; that may be the biggest achievement with my mom yet, and what i think will help all of my relationships in the future.  in fact, i think you yourself have been the replacement of what i have been innately missing.  you have loved me and cared for me unconditionally, no matter how terrible and incorrigible of a person i was. you have told me and made me believe that i am worthy and deserving, and that i am a lovable beautiful person.  you have reassured me that i am in fact intelligent, capable, independent, self-sufficient and have the potential to reach huge levels of success.  you have taught me to respect myself, you have given me the desire to be the best i can be and most importantly not taken any crap or excuses.

i interject here, that you probably know all of the things i am saying, because you know everything, but i feel the need to tell you as my thanks and appreciation.

in all relationships in my life, i have been completely enlightened, as a result of figuring out everything with my mom.  i am sad that i did not know what i know now while i was dating my boyfriend, because i am sure our relationships would have been completely different, or maybe it would have not happened at all.  and while i am still painfully saddened that it ended, i know that whatever relationship i pursue next will be healthy, balanced, loving and positive.  and, i know that i will remain the me i am now; if not, i will be able to recognize that and get out or make a change.  you have taught me how to healthily love and care for others, offering reasonable amounts of support without overdoing it.  you have also importantly taught me how to accept love from others, but showing me for the first time that i am worthy of being loved.  as you know, my friendships have flourished, and friends who know me well have seen the differences.

i think my relationship with myself, however, is the most important.  the recognition and appreciation for who i am, and no longer viewing myself in the fallacious image that was presented to me my entire life.  i am still struggling with this in some terms, learning how to fully care for myself and my life, but i am confident i will get there sooner or later.  i know i am, but need to instill this in my daily mental thoughts, the person i aspire to and have the potential to be.  i am loving, successful, passionate, happy, beautiful, independent, perfect, self-sufficient…and once i pass through the recognition stage and move on to acceptance and application to my thoughts, mood and life, i imagine my life will be complete bliss.

as far as my ed, which was at one time necessary and important to me, my view of it has changed to a vain superficiality, yet, one i am still working on expelling.  now, it is a habit and aftermath of a lifestyle that i have explored for at least 12 years.  i always demand and expect perfection, yet here i cannot let go of the final thread.  but again, this is where i need to remind myself of progress.  the frequency from all day every day to part of an evening every 2, 3 or 4 days.  the amount of food about a 15th of what i started out bingeing and purging on.  and, now i have to appreciate that with the issue of my mom and relationship with my ex-boyfriend out of the way, my efforts and emotional thoughts can reflect solely on fixing this final hindrance on my life that is somewhat disabling on many fronts.

thank you so much for being there for me from day one, and all of the things you have done for me in my time knowing you.  for being the one person in my life who cared about me and my well-being in the sense that i needed, and for loving me enough to decide i was worth helping to change my life.  thank you for making me realize i am a beautiful person and not the person my mom always said i was, and that there is so much more to my life that i need to realize and explore.  thank you for giving me the confidence to challenge my past, and effect the necessary changes in my life, even though at times it was so difficult i wanted to run and give up on everything.  thank you for sticking with me, for your patience and support while i was (i admit) a frustrating, horrible, miserable person.  thank you for offering help beyond what any one person has ever offered me, and for giving me a hard time, not accepting excuses or failed efforts.  most of all, thank you for honoring and valuing the trust and faith i gave to you, for my life and emotional well being, and keeping the secret and commitment on your end.  thank you for everything i have not mentioned.  i would never be where i am without you, and i can’t even imagine my life right now had i not met you; you have kept every promise, and been consistently correct in everything you have taught and shown me.

love,

j

j

Patient Testimonial

While at a small business expo today, in a room packed full of people, a woman I don’t even know came up to me and said, “You look so beautiful today!”  True, I was dressed in a suit and heels, feeling confident, but was she talking to me?  Me?  A year ago I was close to dying, the only thing I lived for was the endless binging and purging, my hair was falling out, and anybody that looked at me could tell I had problems.  Big ones.  No was calling me pretty.

If that wasn’t bad enough, I was just about to get arrested for shoplifting, from Kroger of all places.  My crime?  Stealing food.  Who steals food?  I couldn’t even explain it to myself, but I had been doing it for a long time.  I’m surprised I wasn’t caught sooner, but I couldn’t no more stop myself from doing that than I could stop the starvation-binge-purge cycle my life had deteriorated into.

When I first called Dr Norton, I was beyond desperate.  I was married to a selfish man who had fallen into an addiction of his own, he wasn’t working, and he was draining my life away.  He had alienated me from my family and friends, I was weak and sick and scared.  I called Dr Norton after my arrest for shoplifting, because I was scaring myself.  I didn’t know what was going to happen, and I didn’t have anyone to talk to.

I am 31 years old.  I have struggled with eating disorders on and off my entire life.  At times it was manageable but it never went away.  When the stress piled on, my eating disorder took off, and I felt like I was going to struggle for the rest of my life.  Most eating disorder patients are much younger, but my eating disorder had been a friend to me for many years, it was a safe place to retreat to.  I didn’t think when I ate, it numbed everything, and that felt great.

I came to Dr Norton totally broken.  Dr Norton did things for me I could not do for myself, she talked to my parents, she told me I needed to leave my husband and focus on myself (something I didn’t want to admit), she saw where I was and, then, she helped me see where I could be.  Dr Norton believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself.  She told me over and over that she had this picture of me in her head, dressed in a suit, looking great, running my business, being successful.  Today I finally felt that I had become that person.

Am I cured of my eating disorder?  No.  My last binge-purge was 2 ½ months ago, but eating and keeping it down is still hard.  Surprisingly, I am eating fairly normal and I am still a size 2.  Dr Norton helped me see that I was also addicted to a whole lot of other things in food, such as additives and sugar.  When my metabolism finally got back to normal, I was able to add on calories little by little and not suddenly pack on pounds, an event I had convinced myself would happen if I ate.

Think about this:  having an eating disorder takes commitment and time and dedication; imagine how powerful we women are when we focus all that energy on something else instead!  My recovery was slow, with lots of relapses and setbacks.  I wanted to be better though, not just push my disorder back into the closet, I wanted to get rid of it once and for all.

The power of just one person believing in you is phenomenal, and that is the most important thing Dr Norton did for me.  I don’t even know who I was for the last year and a half.  I see pictures of myself and I can’t believe my eyes! I wasn’t that skinny, was I? I looked terrible!  I fully realize that I have zero ability to look in the mirror and “see” what I really look like.

I am writing this testimonial to encourage other people with eating disorders, and also to recommend Dr Norton.  What she says isn’t magic, it’s the way she says it and how much she cares.  I know for a fact that I could not have done this without her.  I think in-patient treatment methods are great but, when you see someone for your eating disorder on your own, you are doing it for you.  No one is going to make you go to your appointments, Dr Norton certainly isn’t going to come track you down, but, if you take the first step, she will show you how to take the next step.  If I can do it, you can do it, because I have had an eating disorder for a really long time.

Best of luck to everyone but don’t sit at home, read this, and think you are alone.  You can get healthy, you can live a better life, that I can promise.

April 2011 from – BG – a bulimarexic patient

Patient Testimonial

I AM A PATIENT who suffered from severe childhood trauma. My bulimarexia was born from that experience. Frankly, Dr. Norton saved my life as I dealt with revealing my trauma, my bulimarexia and other self destructive behaviors. Her empathy, kindness and compassion was limitless. She was able to help me remain employed and providing for my family while treating me as an outpatient. She intervened and advocated on my behalf, which saved us all as trying to get a new job in my condition, would have been prohibitive. From the DBT, it helped me identify what I was feeling and recognize on an emotional level that what I was doing was just furthering the pain inflicted by others rather ending it. It enabled me to take control of my emotions and end this self-inflicted cycle punishment. From a weight management stand point, we were able to implement a nutritional structured plan of diet and exercise that kept food from running my life and helped me put an end to binging. This plan helped me shift my focus from living to eat to nutritionally eating to live and respecting my body.

The group atmosphere of DBT enabled me to recognize that I was not alone in my feelings and also afforded me the opportunity to share successes as well as difficulties with others and achieve a better understanding of myself. Yes, I thank Dr. Norton for saving my life and giving my family their father.

July 2010 from – J – a bulimarexic patient

Patient Testimonial

IF YOU’RE LIKE ME, you recognize that there is a problem. Most of your time and energy is consumed with thoughts of food and appearance and wishing you were someone else. You know your life could be so much more fulfilling and that there could be so much more freedom without the worries, obsessions, preoccupations. You want to be a respected, successful, wise, mature adult . . . but you don’t want to part with childhood. You want to be happy . . . but you don’t want to lose the attention that comes from being miserable or from having “special problems.” You want to be healthy . . . but you don’t want to gain weight.

You might have started slowly down the path of self-demise with every intention of stopping at the nearest exit and heading towards Good Health and/or Self-Acceptance. But, you rationalized, that you just needed to drop a few more pounds to feel more energized, or to look just a bit more sculpted, or to retain your youthfulness. Just a few more, and then just a few more after that, but it’s never enough. Somehow you got stuck on autopilot! And thank goodness for cruise control so you didn’t have to think. You saw the warning signs and of course you ignored them. You saw the roadblocks, which , because of the driven person that you are, you just plowed right through. You kept on truckin.’

You might have stopped for directions, but you didn’t really follow them. At times you were forced to have some maintenance or repairs done when there was just too much damage to go on. You may even have done some re-fueling along the way. More often than not, you kept ending up on one-way streets with names like Desperation, and Isolation. Treatment may have seemed to offer “no outlet” for you.

Now, you are at the fork in the road and you must choose between “right” and “left.” If you’re headed to the “left,” you’ve probably already “left” behind family, friends, jobs, and hobbies. All that’s left to leave is life itself. Dr. Norton will meet you at the fork in the road and together you will plot a map with many possible routes to wellness. She is not the typical crossing guard; you are allowed to step outside the solid lines if that’s what works for you. She won’t give you a citation if you break some of the rules along the road to recovery. With Dr. Norton, it’s not “my way or the highway.” Even if you’re on a crash course towards the ultimate EXIT, Dr. Norton will accept you, listen to you, and allow you to determine your destiny.

In seeking help from Dr. Norton rather than a traditional in-patient eating disorder treatment center, I believe that I’ve taken the road “less traveled by/and that has made all the difference” (Robert Frost: The Road Not Taken). If your life is stuck in idle or if you seem to have taken a detour, Dr. Norton will encourage you to trade-in your old habits and test-drive alternative, better ones. Only you can truly steer yourself toward happiness, self-acceptance, and well-being, but Dr. Norton could be your compass. She has been mine!

Written by a patient recovering from severe Bulimarexia.

Family Testimonial

Dear Dr. Norton,

IT HAS BECOME CLEAR treatment for our daughter is coming to an end and I wanted to take a minute to tell you how grateful we are for what you have done for our family. I look back to when we first started treatment with no understanding of our daughter’s illness, the roles we all played in arriving to that point, and little understanding of the role we would play in the recovery. The craft you have in bringing the issue’s to the surface, understanding and accepting our behavior, and the diligence and determination you had to help us will never be forgotten. Throughout the process I felt the situation would never end. My feeling now is that the process needed adequate time for you to understand all the dynamics of our situation, for all parties to open up and allow you to get to work. I know that my wife and I both tried your patience, but again you persevered with our best interest in mind. You got it done!

I am thankful you agreed to help us. The perspective you have on other treatment options, the open minded comments to the curve balls we constantly threw your way convinces me the experience you have is a valuable asset to anyone in our situation and I would give you glowing reviews if I ever had the opportunity.

We have our daughter back! She is a happy productive college student preparing to be a successful adult. She is very supportive and thankful for what you have done for her, and your support will never be forgotten.

Thank you for all you have done,

February 2008 from – MVM – a father of a recovered patient

Patient Testimonial

Hi Dr. Norton,

I WAS SITTING HERE AT WORK writing in my journal and I realized that I never got the chance to thank you for the session on Tuesday night. I have been meaning to write you this email all week but with the snow/holiday we have been so busy! I did want to tell you how much Tuesday night helped for my family and I. I think it always helps to have you talk to them because you have a way with phrasing and explaining things that makes so much more sense than if I were to try to explain it. I was really nervous walking in to the meeting because I didn’t know what we would talk about but I felt great when I left because I think that they had forgotten how much of a struggle it is for me and that I do depend on them as being my main support system.

As I was writing in my journal I came to last Christmas. I was remembering how my mom made me the white bean chili and when the (in-law’s) changed their plans and had everyone over for pizza rather than going out to dinner and I freaked out and cried hysterically in a parking lot (we ended up going to my mom’s to get the soup to bring over… remember?) I don’t know but just remembering all of that made me really emotional as I was writing and I started bawling crying here at work. I tried to call (husband) but he didn’t answer so I called my mom and she calmed me down so I wouldn’t be a mess if a customer came in. I wasn’t crying because I was sad by any means, I just can’t believe how much has changed in this past year. Everytime I try to even put in to words how enormous of an impact you have had on my life it doesn’t even do it justice. Saying thank you does not even begin to explain the emotions that I feel when I think about where I would be right now had I not met you. I finally am starting to feel like the person that I was prior to my eating disorder and I am eternally grateful for all that you have done. I am sad that I will not see you for awhile but I am 100% confident that I will be ok!

I hope that you have a wonderful holiday and a great New Years! Thank you again sooooooo much!!!

Merry Christmas! K

K

Patient Testimonial

Hey Doc, It has been 2 years since I lost the last 10 pounds putting me over the 200-pound mark. My life has changed so much that I had to write and thank you again…….I want other people to experience what I have experienced. I want to help them see what you helped me see, which is why I am writing. You know I am a man of few words, but I find myself proselytizing whenever I get the chance about clean eating and your work. It’s hard to resist when you see people trying so hard and getting it so wrong……. The thing that still amazes me the most is how much I have to eat to keep from losing weight. I remember a time when I tried to stick to 1500 calories a day and I still gained weight. Now, if I don't eat at least 3000 calories a day, I lose weight. Don’t worry, I drag my food with me every where, just like you taught me, so that I’m not tempted to skip meals, and I stay between 200 and 210, which for my frame is a little on the thin side, but I am all muscle and I am really healthy now. No more blood pressure, cholesterol or blood sugar issues. Still off all the meds, thanks to you and my clean eating. If any of the other “Awesome Eight” are still around say hi for me, and thank you from the bottom of my heart.

November 2014 from – EF – weight loss & clean eating patient

Family Testimonial

Hi Dr. Norton, THANK YOU so much for the signed copies of your wonderful books. My 4 year old son is having me read them to him regularly. I appreciate your kindness. I hope our paths will cross again in the near future. All the best, M.S.

November 2014-MS