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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:   ...
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...
Interview with Jessica Setnick: Eating Disorder Dietitian

Interview with Jessica Setnick: Eating Disorder Dietitian

Interview with Jessica Setnick, a Rockstar Dietitian By Alex Raymond, RD, LD with contributions from Caroline Best, Empowered Eating Intern I am so excited to feature another rockstar dietitian, Jessica Setnick. Jessica’s mission is: empowering health professionals to confidently and competently treat eating disorders. Jessica does amazing work to complete this mission! She developed the Eating Disorder Boot Camp for dietitians as well as created the Eating Disorder Clinical Pocket Guide. The RD community is so lucky to have her wealth of knowledge! Here are some questions we asked Jessica:  What do you want the world to know about eating disorders? What is the most important thing in prevention of eating disorders? Why do you love working in the eating disorder field? What is a fun fact about you :)? Key Points From Jessica Jessica wants the world to know that everyone eats and everyone has feelings. Sometimes those things get mixed up and we should be aware and sensitive concerning that. She  wants to stress that there’s no specific type or of person who has an eating disorder. Eating disorders affect anyone. Jessica talks about ways to prevent the development of eating disorders. A huge part of this is not assigning morality to food or body sizes. Additionally, she really loves her work. Jessica loves feeling like she’s doing her part to “help repair the world”. We think this is so awesome! Jessica runs two workshops and is the author of two books on eating disorders. The resources she provides are informative and definitely something to check out....
How to Follow Your Meal Plan When You are Busy

How to Follow Your Meal Plan When You are Busy

Seven Tips for Meal Planning in Eating Disorder Recovery Fail to plan is a plan to fail especially in terms of a meal plan. I have been talking to many clients this week about how following your meal plan is so much easier when you plan ahead. Of course, mentally it can be hard to fight your eating disorder and meet all of your exchanges, but logistically planning out your meals for the week can help you get one step closer to making it a reality. Particularly on weeks when you are busy, having a plan in place will help you prioritize your recovery. I want to note that your recovery is your top priority and should not be set aside for anything, however we do want to see you living your life and doing what you love whether a parent, working full time, a college student living outside the home, or a high school student with various after school commitments here are some tips for following your meal plan when you are busy. Talk to your loved ones. It can help to be on the same page with others in your household so you can plan accordingly to meet your meal plan and not be thrown for any surprises. Perhaps mom/dad or your loved one would be willing to plan out some meals together and therefore you can fill in the gaps to help you meet all your exchanges (dairy, fat, etc) if the meal prepared for you does not include it. Don’t be afraid to speak up and ask for help or suggest ideas as well depending on your recovery plan with the treatment team. Rely on one pot/one pan meals. These...

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