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Fall Transitions: Tips for Eating Disorder Recovery

Fall Transitions: Tips for Eating Disorder Recovery

A general rule of thumb: no one should end the fall season without having a PSL (pumpkin spice latte) from Starbucks 😉 Or coffee place of your choice because TBH there’s probably better PSL’s out there. Anyway! Happy fall! I’m incredibly #basic in the sense that fall is absolutely my favorite season. Again, I love PSL’s, boots, sweaters, the changing leaves, the weather. With all the excitement that fall holds, it also holds many changes. Changes like: going back to school, possibly leaving home, going to a different school, changing jobs or learning to adjust with kids not in the house. With all of these differences in routine, eating disorder behaviors can often be triggered during these times, so it can be a good season to explore new strategies for your recovery. In this blog, I thought it would be a good place to discuss: a) some tips for transitions b) what Bobbi and I can do at Empowered Eating to help.   Tips for Transitions     1. Make a list of “red/yellow light” signs and “green light” signs with your therapist or dietitian.     For instance, I do this with many of my clients who are transitioning from high school to college, since it will be the first time they’re more consistently away from home.   “Red light” or “yellow light” signs are behaviors the indicate the ED voice/urges might be getting a bit stronger. For example, skipping meals/snacks, prioritizing exercise over other things, or a decrease in variety of foods.   “Green light” signs are indicative that you’re engaging in behaviors to promote recovery. Like:...
A Practical Approach to Family-based Intervention for Eating Disorders

A Practical Approach to Family-based Intervention for Eating Disorders

How can Family Based Therapy help with Eating Disorders? What comes to mind when you think of a study session?  For us it was comfy clothes, great food, and pillows on the floor.  Recently, we hired Melanie Jacob, RD to fly down from her nutrition practice in Michigan to present to our team of Registered Dietitians and students on Family Based Treatment treatment.  As a result of this 8-hour intensive training, reading numerous journal articles and books we were assigned to read before her arrival, our Registered Dietitians will be offering an even more intense nutrition program for clients struggling with eating disorders.  This approach will be most effective for younger clients. Here are some of the new things that you will be experiencing as a client or a loved-one of a client (especially if your child is in middle school or high school): We will be setting projected goal weights based on the anticipated growth of your loved one in terms of age in months (not simply years) We will be working more closely than ever with parents through parent support groups and communication with parents and/or child through the Recovery Record app. We will continue to work closely with all members of the treatment team with an added component on how to help the loved ones with a specific strategic food plan based on 5-level increases which will be individualized to meet our client’s needs We will continue to monitor vital signs including heart rate and use even more sophisticated screening and quantifiable monitoring tools as your loved one progresses through treatment of eating disorders. It is our...
Body Image Q & A

Body Image Q & A

For this month’s blog, let’s answer some body image questions that come up pretty regularly in my sessions. What is body image? Let’s start with the basic definition. Body image is the perception a person has of their physical body and the thoughts and feelings that result from that perception. Sometimes these feelings are positive. Sometimes they’re negative. And sometimes these feelings can be a mix of both. The way we see our bodies sometimes or often times isn’t always how our bodies truly present in the physical world.  Our emotions can often change how we feel about our bodies. If we’re having a tough day at work or school or just feeling lonely, it’s possible our body image plummets. But, if you’re having a super fun day, it’s possible body image is more positive (or you’re not thinking that much about it). But, logically, we know our bodies do not change drastically from day to day.  In recovery from an eating disorder, body image is a huge component for lots of people. It can often feel like the driving force to act on certain behaviors. But, if you dig a little deeper, and I encourage you to do this, you’ll find that often times body image concerns are related to self esteem, self love, belonging and acceptance. Worries that if one’s body changes, maybe they’ll lose a sense of love and belonging for themselves and with others. Which every human being wants! Every human wants to feel loved and accepted. Although it takes work, it is possible to feel loved and NOT feel like you have to change...
Health At Every Size© (HAES ©) Myths Busted

Health At Every Size© (HAES ©) Myths Busted

As I started writing this blog, it was extremely difficult to get all my thoughts down on paper. Partially because I have an emotional investment and it took me a bit to sift through my own thoughts and emotions surrounding this topic. I think there’s so much I want to cover and it’s so difficult to do that in just one blog! I’ve been wanting to write this for quite some time to “bust myths” surrounding the Health At Every Size (HAES) © paradigm and anti-diet framework.   If you’ve search around our site at all, you’ll see Bobbi and I are 110% aligned with the principles underlying HAES and anti-diet. I originally wanted to write 2 blogs. One about myths of anti-dieting and one about the myths of health at every size. Although they are different philosophies, they’re also deeply intertwined, so being HAES aligned also means being anti-diet aligned (or some like to use non-diet) and vice versa. I began this blog wanting to write about solely “myths surrounding HAES,” however I found myself often mentioning anti-diet. So, hey, maybe it just made sense to combine them! I think HAES can be a difficult paradigm to accept, especially living in our fat phobic society. But, HAES has the same goal as any other approach: wanting to support our clients in living happy and healthy lives. The difference? HAES doesn’t believe that this can (or should) be achieved by focusing on weight and body size.  HAES (and anti-diet) wants to remove this focus. It’s also important to note, HAES providers generally accept health is not a moral obligation....
Why see a CEDRD and Important Questions to Ask

Why see a CEDRD and Important Questions to Ask

Eating disorders are both physical and psychological illnesses. These two pieces often overlap. For example, in order to work on the emotional part, it’s important to have adequate nutrition, otherwise the brain cannot function properly. This is just one why recovering from an eating disorder takes a team. This includes a therapist, physician, psychiatrist and last but not least, a registered dietitian. All clinicians on the team are crucial in providing you or your loved one with the tools and techniques needed for recovery.   Since I am a dietitian and all, I’m going to spend some time discussing what makes a dietitian a critical member of the team 🙂   1.Degree in nutrition: Dietitians are the only members of the treatment team who have gone to school to specifically learn about nutrition science. (Just as an MD is the only one to have gone to medical school). The eating disorder can have a lot of knowledge about nutrition. However, this knowledge is often false or twisted to make it seem scary. We get information about nutrition from the media, but again, this information is false or twisted to make it seem scary. So, dietitians can use their background in nutrition science to help clients better understand what may be happening in the body.   .This knowledge can often be used to fight back against the eating disorder. For example, the ED might say “grains are bad.” But, in reality, grains are the main energy source for the body. They have essential vitamins and minerals. And they make meals more satisfying. When the “grains are bad,” thought pops up,...

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