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“The Why” of eating disorders

I love Simon Sinek’s “Golden Circle,” in which companies and organizations learn to focus on WHY they are doing something instead of WHAT and HOW they are doing it.

In this video, I use the concept of the Golden Circle, and to suggest you tap into your child’s WHY for eating in a healthy, balanced, non-disordered way, to help you guide them towards healing from an eating disorder.

Simon Sinek’s first TEDx talk from 2009 is now the 3rd most watched TED talk of all time, sitting at well over 25 million views. You can watch it here.

His talk presented a very simple truth – that many of the world’s most inspirational leaders have focused on WHY they do something, while the rest of the average leaders focus on WHAT they do or HOW they do it. When we tap into WHY we do something, we ourselves are intrinsically motivated by a deep sense of passion, rather than we are being forced to do something because that’s just how things work.


If you have a child who has an eating disorder you can work with many types of professionals in treating the eating disorder, but as a parent, you also have an opportunity to support recovery. One way to do that is to help your child identify why they want to recover from the eating disorder.

Remember that teenagers are independent, unique people who hate to be told WHAT to do or HOW to do it. They will also resist being told WHY they should do anything, mainly because parents are usually out of touch with why teenagers do anything.

Nonetheless, every child has her own sense of purpose and a developing value system, and if you can help your child find their own WHY, you can get further along the path to health and wellness.

Emotional Regulation Worksheets

Give these printable worksheets to grow more confident, calm and resilient and feel better, fast!

  • Self-Esteem
  • Self-Regulation
  • Mindfulness
  • Calming strategies

Ginny Jones is on a mission to empower parents to help their kids recover from eating disorders, body image issues, and other mental health conditions.  She’s the founder of, an online resource supporting parents who have kids with eating disorders, and a Parent Coach who helps parents who have kids with mental health issues.

Ginny has been researching and writing about eating disorders since 2016. She incorporates the principles of neurobiology and attachment parenting with a non-diet, Health At Every Size® approach to health and recovery.

See Our Parent’s Guide To Mental Health And Eating Disorders

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