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Tips for Family Mealtime

Tips for Family Mealtime

By Bobbi Boteler, RD, LD, CEDRD. I had the opportunity to speak at my children’s PTA this past month. Many parents were inquiring about “healthy meals and snacks” that are family friendly.  I was honored they thought of me as their guide. I took this as an opportunity to further educate parents and teachers on Health at Every Size, Ellyn Satter’s Division of Responsibility with Feeding, along with some of the curriculum changes we have been working on behind the scenes with the county.   I wanted to preface my talk with a gentle reminder to parents that there is no “perfect” when it comes to feeding your family.   I feel there is so much unspoken pressure on especially moms, to have a picture-perfect, Pinterest-ready, meal on the table more often than not.  As a mom of 3 who works part time and doesn’t find cooking at all thrilling, this is not my reality most days. I pulled a Brene Brown and showed some vulnerability, sharing about a time my husband fed my three kids chips with ketchup on paper plates for breakfast one Saturday morning while I was at work.  I wanted to die, but after I pulled myself together, I reminded myself they were safe, being fed preferred, familiar food and they were all sitting down at the meal together. What exactly is our job as parents anyways?  Ellyn Satter lays this out for us beautifully with her Division of Responsibility.  Parents have certain jobs in the feeding process and children likewise. For Parents, our jobs include WHAT we are feeding our children, WHEN in the...
Meal Support for Loved Ones

Meal Support for Loved Ones

By Dana Magee, RD, LD, guest blogger For those suffering from an eating disorder remember: “You alone can do it, but you can’t do it alone.” What is meal support?  Meal support is not taking on the role of the food police, or the enforcer.  It is the modeling of healthy food behaviors, being there with your loved one, the calmness and compassion at meal times  that has the true value. See below for some amazing tips from the New Maudsley Approach: Skills-based Learning for Caring for a Loved One with an Eating Disorder book.  If someone in your life is affected by an eating disorder (ED) I highly recommend reading this book.  It is an invaluable resource!   Loved ones: Remember this is not easy.   Have compassion for yourself, learn, ask for help, forgive yourself if you wish you reacted differently.   To illustrate the roles family members may take I will use the model from the Skills-based Learning for Caring for a Loved One with an Eating Disorder animal analogies.  As stated in the book it is natural, typical and instinctive to a concerned and frightened family member or friend to take on one of the following roles:     Kangaroo Dolphin Rhino You see your loved one struggling, it hurts your heart to see them in pain and you try to protect them from that pain and keep them safe as if you have them in your pouch. The challenge with protecting your loved one from any stress or discomfort is that they do not learn to do this for themselves. It traps them in the infant role, and...
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,...
Motivational Monday: We LOVE Successful Client Updates!

Motivational Monday: We LOVE Successful Client Updates!

By Alexandra Raymond One of Bobbi’s former clients is a student at Rutgers University in New Jersey; she recently sent an email to Bobbi about how she is continuing to do well at school, thanks in part to Bobbi’s support! She recently had a University Athletic Department Physical where the nurses took down her height, blood pressure, and weight… Normally she does not look when they weigh her, but she accidentally saw the number written on a piece of paper. The number written on the paper no longer controlled her feelings. It did not matter what that number was, it only mattered how she felt after seeing it. She stated she felt a sense of “calm” after reading it… “it was not frightening, it was not scary, it simply was.” We are so proud of her for accepting herself, her body, and for trusting her intuition when it comes to eating and exercise.  “Athletics is so much more enjoyable now that I understand the difference between fatigue from exercise and fatigue from malnourishment. They are completely different and it’s a lot more rewarding to compete when you don’t want to pass out afterwards,” she says. She has had a very long journey on her road to success and has realized how far she has come from the beginning. She even found the courage to share her story with her doctor at school—something she has not done before! “Time after time God has used people and occasions like this one to remind me how strong I am, and how much I am able to accomplish.” Again, we are SO proud...
Ten Ways to Build Confidence

Ten Ways to Build Confidence

Easy Ways to Build Confidence What can you do today to help you feel better about yourself? Stand tall. Pay attention to your posture and stand as tall as you can.  Feel the positive energy when you stand tall and smile. Surround yourself with positive people. If you are having trouble finding positive people, try a support group. Read inspirational quotes, an inspirational blog or put a happiness app on your phone to help you feel positive. Do something to help other people who are in need. Volunteer at a local hospital or soup kitchen. This will help you feel good about yourself. REBEL diets, diets don’t work. Instead REBEL against diets using an evidence-based approach to achieve health and happiness. Do what you fear. Push yourself out of your comfort zone to do something that you have always wanted to do. Journal. Keeping a gratitude journal can help you stay positive and focus on what really matters to you. Engage all your senses. Use all five senses to help you stay present in the moment and not stress about your weight. Be aware of body bashing. Try yoga, positive affirmations and deep breathing to help you quiet your negative self-talk. Focus on nourishing your body the way that you would want to nourish a loved-one’s body. Make sure to include a wide variety of tastes and textures to each meal. It is so easy to get stuck in self-doubt and lack of confidence.  We hope you can take one of these suggestions and give it a try today and let us know how it went. We would love...

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