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The Truth About Body Positivity and How it Fits Into Eating Disorder Recovery

The Truth About Body Positivity and How it Fits Into Eating Disorder Recovery

By Alex Raymond, RDN, LDN What is body positivity? Body positivity is a buzzword these days. People seem to be latching on to the idea of loving and appreciating their bodies. People post #bopo pics all the time. And while this may seem like a positive thing, unfortunately, much of the true meaning of “body positivity” is lost in mainstream social media. Body positivity is actually a social justice movement to give voices to those individuals in marginalized bodies. It’s rooted in the belief that ALL bodies are GOOD bodies. Including, but not limited to… fat bodies, disabled bodies, trans people, bodies of different races/ethnicities. And everyone deserves to find a place of body peace and respect for themselves. This is separate from having a “positive body image” and/or loving/liking the way your body looks. The body positive movement is so much more than aesthetics. It’s about existing in a world and being treated humanely regardless of how your body looks. Individuals who live in marginalized bodies have done so much work starting and continuing the body positive movement. And the problem is, well, privileged women. Honestly, like myself, white, cis, smaller bodied…etc. Have, most likely unintentionally, made it into something it’s not. I can understand why it happened. Who doesn’t like the idea of “body positivity”? But now, the voices of people who have started the movement are diluted, due to the other “body positive” noise that’s out there. Body Positivity vs. “Positive Body Image” I was inspired to write this blog after reading Lauren Newman’s (aka gofeedyourself_) instagram post on body positivity vs. positive body image. I...
Eating Disorder Recovery During the Holidays

Eating Disorder Recovery During the Holidays

By Alex Raymond, RD, LD. Aah, the holidays are right around the corner…… Even though Christmas stuff has been out in the stores since August. Sure, the holidays can be a joyful time for many of us. I personally remember loving the holidays growing up. I got to travel to my grandparents’, hang out by fire, eat some cookies, and most importantly, I didn’t have to go to school. Nowadays, the holidays are a bit different… I wind up traveling to see my mom or dad who live out west. My apartment sadly doesn’t have a fireplace, but I’ll snuggle under a blanket. And, I still eat cookies… As wonderful as the holidays can be, they can also be extremely stressful. When healing from an eating disorder, being around food, maybe moving less, hanging out with family, can all be triggers to increased ED thoughts about food and body. With many of my clients, we spend time discussing these triggers and possible healthy coping tools. That’s why I created this holiday guide. I wanted to give my clients space to brainstorm ideas about the holidays (struggles, excitements, plans, worries…etc) and different coping tools to use. You can refer back to this guide throughout the holidays when you feel you need a reminder of what to do. I’d encourage you to add to it and to use with various members of your treatment team. Click here to Download the Guide to ED Recovery During Holidays Worksheet     I also wanted to use this blog to talk about some coping skills to use, especially on the big family gathering days:   ...
Celiac Disease and Eating Disorders, What’s the connection?

Celiac Disease and Eating Disorders, What’s the connection?

Eating Disorders, Celiac Disease and Other Digestive Difficulties By Alex Raymond, RD, LD Have you ever thought that your eating disorder may have a negative effect on your gastrointestinal system? Briefly, anorexia slows the digestive system and bloating and constipation occur after the reintroduction of food. Kidney failure is also an effect of anorexia. Stomach ulcers, esophageal damage, and stomach pain are all effects of bulimia. However, little is known about the cause/effect relationship between digestive issues and eating disorders. Today, more health professionals have been questioning the relationship between eating disorders and celiac disease. Although there seems to be a cause/effect relationship between the two, research about this topic has been extremely minimal. There is not enough evidence out there to confirm if eating disorders causes celiac, and vice versa, but the possible association is not much of a stretch. How can one cause the other? Well, if you are diagnosed with Celiac disease, you must follow a strict gluten free diet. As you could imagine, if you already have a predisposition to developing an eating disorder, due to your genetics, negative self-image, or a comorbid psychiatric illness, following this restrictive diet could slowly progress into a full-blown eating disorder. Or maybe, you have started to fear certain foods due to the possibility of being uncomfortable. On the other hand, celiac disease could develop as a result of the damage digestive system as a result of your eating disorder. *Note: the information above has not been proven. Again, research is still being done on this topic. If research is minimal, why is this important? It is important for...
Ask the Dietitian: How do I help foster a positive body image in my child amongst all of society’s negativity and body bashing?

Ask the Dietitian: How do I help foster a positive body image in my child amongst all of society’s negativity and body bashing?

Being a Body Image Role Model for Your Child Our children are born into this world with a clean, beautiful slate free of diet thoughts, and are natural intuitive eaters who are OK with their bodies.  As parents, it is absolutely in our job description to protect this clean slate as best as we can. Our children do not come out of the womb hating their bodies. They learn to be critical of themselves by watching others have an unhealthy relationship with their body. Unfortunately, our children are more likely to encounter, and have relationships with, people who do not have good body image. Thankfully, we as their parents, can do so much to help foster a positive sense of self, and a healthy body image in our day to day interactions with them. Here are some of my personal favorites that I practice with my family. 1. Play with them. Don’t sit on the sidelines! One of the best ways we can model as well as encourage positive body image is being comfortable living and moving in our current Having our children see us getting in the pool, in our bathing suits, and playing along side them getting just as wet and tired as they are, sends them the message “I enjoy my body and love how much fun it allows me to have with you!” Help your child build a sandcastle rather than monitoring them from your beach chair. Sit in the sand, dig in the sand. Let them see you comfortable and playful in your beach attire! Make silly faces with them, rather than having them make silly faces at...
From College Girl to College Girl: Quick Meals for Apartment Living

From College Girl to College Girl: Quick Meals for Apartment Living

This is a throwback post to when I was a college student. I loved writing blogs back then. Me and my best friend, Shelby Santin, wrote tagged teamed and wrote these blogs together. I edited it a bit to make sure it aligns with my message today. -Alex Raymond Yes, it’s tough. Between studying and work and extracurriculars, finding time to make yourself meals seems impossible. It’s important to remember that feeding yourself is a very basic form of self care. That’s why we’re here to help! Here are some of our favorite 10 minutes or less meals. (these meals tend to be less messy, so it’s a quick clean up too!!) Staple foods: Here is a list of some non-perishables that you could always have in your apartment. You can make tons of meals with these. Beans—chick peas, black beans, kidney beans… all the beans! Canned tuna, salmon, and chicken Pasta (obviously) Instant Rice Frozen Veggies (these are cheaper than fresh too!) Spinach Mixed stir fry veggies Broccoli Mixed Peppers Frozen chicken breast, tilapia, salmon Frozen meals   Breakfast: *You can even make these two breakfasts in a dorm room. No kitchen required!* Overnight Oats: Assemble the night before, and you have a protein-packed, grab-and-go breakfast 1/3 cup rolled oats 1/3 cup plain yogurt 1/3 to 1/2 cup milk (use less to make the oatmeal thicker) ½ banana Cinnamon Feel free to add other fruits to the oatmeal, like berries. You can also top it with nut butter in the morning. I personally like crunchy peanut butter! Eggs In A Mug: All you need is a coffee mug...

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