The CHANGE hides in the food for the soul!

Milena and Sofia set up Life by the Kilo in a bid to help teenagers accept themselves, recognize their emotions and deal with them in a good way, while not falling into the trap of eating disorders.

Milena Tashkova and Sofia Ferdinandova are fellow-psychotherapist and friends of 20 years. Every day, they help people deal better with their complicated internal orchestra of emotions, thoughts, questions and pains. The two of them met while they were psychology students at the university. Upon their graduation, they started working in the same place and together they gained experience as therapists, trainers and school psychologists. Some 10 years ago, they set up their own Psycho-Dramatic Workshop, where they offer individual and group therapy, as well as trainings for fellow-psychologists.

Their first encounter with the eating disorders was personal and painful, when one of their closest people turned out to have fallen into their trap. They get to know the problem even better through their work as psychotherapists: for the past years, a growing number of young people suffering from eating disorders has visited their practice. One in three teenagers, who came for therapy due to other problems, also has an eating problem to some extent, with an emotional reason behind it. Apart from the anorexia and bulimia we all know about, recent years have seen a growing number of orthorexia cases – excessive preoccupation with eating healthy food, going beyond normal body care. The number of boys affected by the problem is also on the rise.

Sofia and Milena feel sad to say the problem is widespread and serious, but the topic of eating disorders is neglected and not enough attention is paid to it – by the family or the public in general. There are no discussions about the deeply rooted reasons behind these conditions and the possible ways out. Many parents are not always aware of what is happening or simply choose to neglect the worrying symptoms, because they feel scared and helpless.

For the sake of the people they love and the people they help, they decided to look for a solution that will allow them to carry out prevention among children. This is how the idea of Life by the Kilo was born.


THE CHANGE they aim for:

Life by the Kilo is a project aiming to prevent eating disorders among pupils in the 5th-12th grade. The goal of working with them is to give them appropriate information in a way they can understand, so they can recognize the factors leading to eating disorders and react adequately in risk situations.

They meet three times over the course of three months with each of the classes they work with. On the first meeting, they speak with children about their role models and the way they see themselves. They discussed questions such as: How do other people see me? What are the beauty criteria? How do I associate all this with my body? The second meeting teaches children how to recognize the various emotions and how to deal with them. They talk about the relationship between emotions and eating habits and discuss with the pupils whether negative experiences or lack of positive experiences makes them look for comfort through food. The third meeting introduced children to the risks, signs and consequences of the main types of eating disorders.

The team of Life by the Kilo works fully interactively – through exercises, games, conversations and specific cases. This helps kids not only accumulate information, but also experience and understand what they talk about.

There are also discussion groups with parents, willing to find out more about the symptoms of eating disorders, the reasons behind them and the way to deal with them.

Milena and Sofia launched Life by the Kilo in end-2016 and have seen a constant increase in the number of schools they partner with, including outside Sofia. Their team is also expanding at rapid rates as today they work with six highly qualified psychologists and five volunteers.

They are confident that eating disorders are not a matter of weak will or appetite issues – they are a voiceless cry for help. It is important to hear this cry and help those in need in time, instead of realizing the issue when it has become serious, because when this limit is reached, the situation may be life-threatening.


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