When I began my work with Vania, I was at an all-time emotional low. I am 54 years old, and have struggled with the diet-binge cycle since I was in 4th grade- virtually my entire life! When I contacted Vania, I had been steadily bingeing for about three years. I felt out of control. My life felt small and cramped and uncomfortable. The worse I felt, the more I ate.

My first session with Vania felt like someone opened a door and let a draft of cool mountain air into my claustrophobic existence. She immediately understood me. Her kind, sweet, non-judgmental presence is truly like a balm- it’s soothing and comforting. Yet she’s not soft- she is always able to call me out on my b.s.- my black & white thinking, my old patterns, my self-doubt, and old family patterns. We’ve talked about it all! With humor and love and miraculous attention to detail, Vania lovingly and astutely becomes a mirror for me to see myself clearly.

One of the most important gifts that I continue to receive from Vania is the art of mindfulness. Even though I’m a yogi and meditate daily, I had never really understood mindfulness until I worked with her. I can’t emphasize enough how valuable mindfulness is in recovering from disordered eating. Learning to inhabit my body with loving, non-judgmental presence has been a crucial step in becoming whole again.

Mindfulness has been the most important tool, but it is not the only one. Each week, Vania would give me a bit of homework, something to work with when things got difficult. I have been to many different therapists, but Vania is actually the first to give me any practices that I could use myself. This is powerful because it creates a sense of empowerment that has long been missing for me in this area of my life.

I could go on and on, but suffice it to say I am grateful every day for Vania’s presence in my life. I’m on a little break from our work right now, just working my tools and learning and growing, but I will return to her warm light very soon- to be reflected in her eyes is truly like coming home.

Jen L.

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