ED Awareness

Why it is Hard to Be an Eating Disorder Recovery Advocate

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It is impossible to articulate just how challenging the days with my eating disorder were, and to remember all the various roadblocks to overcome. It is equally as challenging when preparing for a speaking event to know what type of information would be the most helpful, and what people need to hear. I don’t want people to feel sorry for me because of my experience; I want them to learn, and act, and change.

EDAW Reflections: Thinking Beyond the Stereotypes

So often we discuss body image, weight preoccupation, and eating disorders as issues that affect girls and women. However, when you take a closer look, through research, clinical cases, or through discussion with boys and men, it’s very clear that these issues are not exclusive to one particular gender. Throughout my pregnancy, I often thought about how I would promote a positive body image and healthy eating attitudes in my son. I never thought of difficulties in these areas as “girl problems.” As a new mom, I continue to reflect on the topics of body image, self-esteem, and eating related issues, and I’m already trying to put some positive practices into place. Thus, as this EDAW has come to an end, I’d like to share a letter I wrote for my son, with the hope that others will be inspired to share similar messages with the boys and men in their lives.

Bringing Awareness to Binge Eating Disorder

Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is possibly the most common eating disorder, yet many of us hadn’t heard of it until recently. The notion of BED has been around for some time but until lately, it was not a stand-alone diagnosable eating disorder. This all changed with the release of the latest DSM-V. The latest version listed criteria for diagnosing BED, instead of lumping it into other unspecified eating disorders. The DSM-V set BED apart, similar to how Anorexia Nervosa or Bulimia Nervosa might be classified.

Six Steps to Creating Active Group Participants

Therapists- have you ever wondered why your patient who actively participates in individual therapy becomes invisible during group treatment? They may be shy or socially anxious, or perhaps autistic traits are impacting their participation. Researchers have demonstrated an overlap between eating disorders and autism spectrum disorder (Westwood, H. Et al, 2015).

The Importance of Taking Risks in Recovery

 

Even for individuals who have not been affected by eating disorders, there is an impulse to stay with what is comfortable and familiar. A comfort zone is a safe place to be; but no major growth ever happens there. In order to truly grow and strengthen your recovery, it is critical to continue to challenge yourself on a regular basis, whether it’s trying new restaurants, facing “fear or trigger foods”, being more flexible with exercise, taking rest-days, or resisting the urge to engage in food rituals.

Having Compassion During EDAW - Let's Remember Your "Self"

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Imagine if a dear friend was going through a difficult time dealing with a personal failure in their life. How would you comfort them? You would probably not criticize or blame them for making a mistake.. Instead, when responding to a friend whom you care very much about, you would most likely provide them with empathy and kindness.

20 Things That Everyone Needs to Know About Eating Disorders

Both personally and professionally, I’ve spent much of my life dealing with eating disorders – starting with my own 5 year, near-fatal battle with Anorexia Nervosa and now, dedicating my life to helping women overcome issues with body image, working extensively with eating disorder sufferers. Throughout all of this, I’ve noticed that time and time again, there are certain themes that continually arise in the media’s portrayal of eating disorders. Unfortunately the culture of shame, stigma, and misinformation still runs rampant in stereotypical portrayals of what an eating disorder “looks like”, ultimately contributing to the delay or avoidance in seeking treatment regarding those affected.

Do No Harm: ED Prevention Strategies in Schools

From my own school experiences, I have found that there is much emphasis placed on healthy eating and weight control. I am sure you can think back to your own or your children's school experiences and pinpoint a time when 'healthy eating' and weight were discussed. In my case, the focus on weight and eliminating 'junk' food led me to become more entrenched in an eating disorder. So, how do schools 'prevent' EDs through their education programs? One article focused on just that: School-Based Interventions to Prevent Eating Problems: First Do No Harm.

Sh*t People Say

“You look healthy.”

         I heard this often when I first recovered from anorexia nervosa, and it sent my head whirling with thoughts such as: “What do they mean? How bad did I look before?  Am I too healthy?” A simple, seemingly positive remark made me feel confused and irrational. I knew people were trying to make me feel good, tell me in their own ways that they were relieved I had changed my life for the better, but it was hard to accept my changing body; never mind what others thought.

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