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Eating Disorder Blogs
Over the coming months, we'll be highlighting the diverse voices of those who blog on eating disorders. Please note that an entry appearing on this page does not imply NEDA's endorsement of the blogs and/or blog posts listed. Additionally, the accuracy of any information or the inclusion of any triggering material is the responsibility of each individual blogger.
Five Ways to Support a Loved One in Eating Disorder Recovery
Eating disorder recovery– defined in simplest terms as a remission from disordered eating behavior with the goal of becoming healthy again – can sometimes feel like a delicate balance for those in the process. Constantly surrounded by the very substance that threatens a relapse into disordered behavior, some people in recovery from an eating disorder (ED) are similar to sober alcoholics: stuck in a world where their hazardous behavior could easily be reestablished in a matter of moments. The need, then, to keep up constant strength against dangerously negative thoughts and actions can be exhausting, and one lapse in judgment can be disastrous. For this reason, a supportive environment is essential for anyone on the road to recovery.
But where do I start? How do you begin to establish a safe space for your loved one?
from Heidi Schauster's A Nourishing Word
I recently talked with a client about the dog that is a very special part of her life. She described how much she loves the dog’s body. With keen sensory awareness, she talked about the way the dog feels, her warmth, and the soft pressure as her pooch curls up next to her. It blew my client’s mind when I replied, “It’s mutual. The dog loves your body, too!”
At first, my client looked at me like I had three heads. Then she felt the revelation. This body, the one that she has hated for many decades as she battled anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating, is actually lovable! In fact, there is a sweet little pup who loves her warmth and softness and cuddliness, who jumps up and down when she sees her. And this little dog doesn’t just love the idea of her or who she represents, this little dog loves her feel, her smell, her actual physical body just as it is.
Eating Disorders: How Can Dance Educators and Parents Lower the Risk?
from Diana and The Healthy Dancer
"The mirror is not you, the mirror is you looking at yourself." - George Balanchine
Dancers compete individually in an aesthetic sport, placing them in the high-risk category for developing an eating disorder. What can dance educators and parents do to lower the risk for their dancers and children?
Education is the key to helping prevent eating disorders from occurring. Pretending they do not exist, or trying not to draw attention to them, will not make them disappear. It is important to teach dancers that diets do not work. Diets are quick fixes, do not have long-term benefits and wreak havoc with the body’s physiology. (see the post What's Happening on the Inside?) It is important for dancers to learn about nutrition, making healthy food choices and what is considered a healthy weight.
from Amy's Best We Can
It is common for people with eating disorders to struggle with issues of identity. They often feel as if their eating disorder is an integral part of who they are. It can be terrifying for a person to let go of an eating disorder because it means letting go of the person they know. Individuals with eating disorders often wonder, "Who am I without the eating disorder?"
One thing to consider when you are exploring who are is your values. At your core, what values do you hold? Below is an activity to help you identify your values...
Act I, II, III of Your Recovery: Where Are You?
from Joanna Poppink's Eating Disorder Recovery
See if you can find where you are in this design.
People call and write me, sharing their pain, hope and frustration as they look for a way out of an eating disorder and into a life of freedom. In looking for various structures that can help them see where they are in their eating disorder experience I came upon the basic and familiar outline of a classic play. A classic play consists of Act I, Act II, Act III.
The plea for help from a bewildered and frightened person struggling to find release and recovery from an eating disorder, in my immediate way of thinking, comes from Act II. We can't skip Act II. And just about any playwright will tell you Act II always gives the writer, the producer and the director trouble. Are you in Act II of your recovery?
Emily On Hope
from Don Blackwell's One Dad's Perspectives on Life, Love, Faith and Hope
"Hope" Is The Thing With Feathers
by Emily Dickinson
Hope is the thing with feathers
that perches in the soul
and sings the tune without words
and never stops at all,
An Awakening Shower
from Doris Smeltzer's Advice For Parents
During an upcoming training that I'll be co-facilitating I need to be prepared with a "statement" about my body's beauty to share with the attendees (they will be asked to do the same).
As many of you know, since Andrea's death I have worked hard at seeing and appreciating my innate beauty, especially my body's beauty. After thirteen years, I can tell you that this is an on-going process (at least for me). In the beginning, I could not muster "love" for my body. I had spent so many years believing the cultural messages and pursuing the "ideal" of thinness that the thought of loving something I had abused and hated for so long seemed impossible.
Cultivating love was just too big a leap ... so instead, I worked on respect. I took time to notice all that my body could do for me (it breathes regularly, my heart beats, my eyes blink, my mouth chews, my sweat glands function, and on and on--all without conscious thought or effort from me). I could respect the miraculous functioning of my body without truly loving it.
Guidelines For Athletic Coaches about Eating Disorders
from Carolyn Costin, MFT and Dawn Smith-Theodore, MA, MFT and the Monte Nido Blog
There is a fine line between being a dedicated, determined athlete and crossing the line to an obsession that can lead to serious health and psychological problems such as an exercise addiction or eating disorder.
Most athletes are high achievers, extremely driven. Pushing through pain, being in top physical form, focusing on a low body weight or body fat level, and prioritizing training and performance above all else are qualities commonly found athletes. These are often the same qualities found in people prone to develop an exercise addiction or eating disorder. Athletes are encouraged to push themselves further and further in order to win the tournament, award, college title, etc. They sacrifice their health and personal relationships in order to please coaches, cooperate with athletic scholarships and fulfill their dreams or make others proud.
The following information and guidelines are designed to help coaches identify and deal with problems related to exercise addiction and eating disorders among their athletes.
Turning Negative Thoughts Into Positive Actions
from Robyn Hussa's Eating Disorders In Schools
Start your new year with an exercise that can enhance positive thinking in students. Teaching students how to change their negative thoughts is a powerful step toward conscious living and stress-management... we also use these techniques continuously in eating disorder recovery. In particular, learning how to write and incorporate affirmations into daily life can literally turn those negative thoughts into positive beliefs and actions. Affirmations stem from ancient yogic traditions (such as Ananda yoga) and train our autonomous, healthy Self to emerge louder, more clearly than ever before. But most people don't know what affirmations are, nor how to employ them.
The Eating Disorder Time Suck
from Jenni Schaefer's Hello Me Blog
Thirteen years ago, when I was 22-years-old, if I wasn't sleeping, I was with Ed. I am not talking about a guy, but my eating disorder. In therapy, I was taught to treat anorexia/bulimia like a relationship -- naming it Ed, short for "eating disorder" -- rather than an illness or a condition.
Think of the most time consuming relationship you've ever had. Imagine it was with the most demanding person you'd ever met. That was life with Ed.
A typical day went like this: Ed talked, and I listened. Since I only slept for about three hours a night, I heard his self-destructive voice saying, "You aren't good enough," for at least 21 hours a day. When you hear something that often, you start to believe it, and pretty soon you start to live it.