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How to Use Your Values for Eating Disorder Recovery

How to Use Your Values for Eating Disorder Recovery

5 Ways to Use Your Values in Eating Disorder Recovery A few months ago, I heard a dietitian named Chere Bork speak. She considers herself to be a “life coach” or “energy igniter.” Chere also goes by “Chere Banana” and gives talks to kids! Chere Bork MS, RDN Chere Banana! Chere actually supports super busy individuals in achieving their goals, getting and staying motivated, and reigniting their passions. Seeing Chere speak was an amazing experience and I was so glad I got to hear all the advice she had to offer. I felt like I was able to brainstorm about how I can energetically achieve my own passions and goals… Of course, it also got me thinking about how this talk can be used in recovery from an eating disorder. She spoke a lot about living life close to your values. What are values? Webster dictionary defines “values” as the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something. OR a person’s principles or standards of behavior; one’s judgment of what is important in life. So, basically living life closer to your values means you are holding the things you find important close to your heart and respecting your beliefs. That’s how you can truly make your life more abundant. Another way to think about this is “you attract who you are, not who you want to be.” (Another quote by Chere). I took this to mean your values and who you truly are as a person is the driving force in achieving your goals. If you go against values, or try to be...
Tips on surviving COVID and emotional eating

Tips on surviving COVID and emotional eating

Self-care during the COVID Pandemic I am here at home along with everyone else in this unprecedented surreal situation which is somewhere between a scary movie and a perpetual snow day. Our offices are closed and we are thankful to be able to support our clients with virtual appointments. I am feeling lucky that I can continue to do a job I love in the midst of this craziness to have some routine and normalcy. As I have been discussing with my clients the last few days- the effect COVID- 19 has on our mental health and disordered eating is palpable. The isolation that is mandated by law at the moment, and for good reason of course, contributes to more challenges on top of the fear of this pandemic. In this blog I wanted to highlight some ideas to help you take care of yourself during the isolation as it affects us both nutritionally and mentally. Ideas to help you take care of yourself during the isolation First, many of my conversations have been around emotional eating. Please be gentle with yourself. It is a natural human experience to eat in response to emotions. Think of happy celebrating a wedding to the sad- breaking up a relationship… food! This is NORMAL. The challenge becomes when this is the only tool in the toolbox to manage emotions. It’s a task food simply cannot do. The anxiety of the unknown we are experiencing is not an everyday occurrence and it is not uncommon for food to try “help”. If you find the last few days have been met with emotional eating-...
Treating Emotional Eating with REBEL Approach

Treating Emotional Eating with REBEL Approach

Dana Magee Speaks on Treating Emotional Eating in the Smart Women Series What is emotional eating? I recently spoke at a Smart Women series at Anne Arundel Medical Center, alongside two other practitioners in the eating disorder community: Ann Caldwell and Dr. Ramona Seidel. The topic of the evening was “Conquering Emotional Eating.” My portion of the presentation was, of course, REBEL Dieting. The reason for this is that dieting can start off as something very innocent, but it becomes a slippery slope that can grow into a full-fledged eating disorder. The diet industry is constantly pumping our society full of products and diet plans, but the problem is that diets do not work! Dieting only addresses the WHAT of eating, and the measure of success and failure only lies in the measure of weight. So if not a diet, then what? How do we treat emotional eating, compulsive eating, binge eating? That is why we encourage our clients to REBEL: Not only focusing on the WHAT of eating, because after all our body needs energy and nutrients to power its organ systems, but also the WHERE, WHEN, WHY, and HOW of eating. I like to describe the WHEN and the WHY with the concept of intuitive eating. This concept is centered around eating when you are hungry and stopping when you are full. Seems pretty simple, right? But what if for the last 5,10, 20 years you have been following diet plan after plan that tells you what and how much to eat regardless of if you are hungry or not? We lose touch with this and end up ping ponging back...
Resources for Being a HAES Ally

Resources for Being a HAES Ally

A few weeks ago, a negative article shaming Nike for using plus sized mannequins circulated around. There was a lot of backlash on most of the HAES©   friendly social media accounts I follow. People were rightfully upset that Nike was being shamed for this. This response wasn’t surprising to me to see within the HAES circle. But what was pleasantly surprising to me was that I saw lots of people from other circles; friends, family, acquaintances, etc. who were just as openly appalled by the post that shamed Nike.  There was the article was fatphobic. And it promoted really damaging messages that society tends to promote, such as a fat woman working out because she enjoys it rather than to lose weight is “wrong”. The idea that there’s a way to look “fit” or “healthy” is restrictive, damaging, and outright wrong. But I think some good came out of the article, regarding the magnitude of the backlash. I think it shows that while there’s obviously lots of work to do, that people are starting to be more accepting of body diversity, and there’s more rejection of body shaming. The purpose of this blog post is to provide information on how you can play a role with this progress. Like I said earlier, there’s still lots of work to be done to make being inclusive of all bodies the norm, and every bit helps.    I recognize I’m writing this resource post as someone who has thin privilege, and its so, so important that if you’re a thin ally to not take over/define movements that aren’t about you. The...
Fully Recovered: A Parent’s Perspective

Fully Recovered: A Parent’s Perspective

Is is possible to be fully recovered? A strong support team is necessary in order for an individual to recover fully from an eating disorder. Parents can be huge support. They learn along with their child about the eating disorder and the best ways to cope. Here is one parent’s feedback about what she has learned. “I have learned that it takes a village- you cannot help someone with an ED alone- you need the obvious “team” as you all like to refer to it (doctor, therapist, dietitian), but you also need sympathetic family, friend, and even co- workers. And they need to be in for the long haul. The next most valuable piece of info I learned is that recovery looks like an upward spiral. That thought helps brace me for the inevitable down turns that recovery can and does take.  Having knowledgeable, caring, “with-it” people are the greatest support my child had. People who aren’t afraid to rock the boat and push the kid past the “status quo” of living with an eating disorder. People who hound her with e-mails, texts, and an app that beeps at her to remind her of what she should be doing….  Rebecca – you have been great. I lived for your emails [about my child’s recovery.]”   Connect with us at admin@empoweredeatingrd.com or call 240-670-4675 to make an appointment.   Note: This blog was edited and re-posted from July 11,...
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