June 27, 2014

Separating True Identity From an Eating Disorder Identity

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , at 4:30 pm by kellyfdennis

Contributed by Mansi Totlani, MA, LPC of Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center.

Recovery from an eating disorder involves far more than establishing a healthy relationship with food. It requires breaking old habits and learning new skills to cope with the ups and downs of life. It takes strength, dedication and patience to face the inevitable challenges. Additionally, it takes a real commitment to rediscovering oneself. An eating disorder does nothing for the individual; it only takes. It takes her health, robs her of connection to friends and family, and worse, it seeks to steal her entire identity.

The longer an individual has an eating disorder, the more she is defined by it.  All decisions, reactions, activities, perceptions and values are viewed through the eating disorder’s lens. The more it takes over, the less of “her” remains intact.

Once in recovery, the eating disorder identity begins to fade, allowing her true identity to reemerge. This can prove difficult. Often, the woman or girl simply has no idea who she actually is anymore.

When embarking on the process of self-discovery, the person first needs to define what a meaningful life looks like to her. It might be finishing high school and attending college; or getting married and having children, or being an effective role model to her children in the case of a midlife eating disorder.

Next is the question of compatibility. Is an eating disorder compatible with the vision, or does it exist as an obstacle? Successfully completing high school isn’t realizable if bingeing and purging is part of daily life; similarly, whereas marriage is possible, having children may be hindered by chronic anorexia.

So the question remains:  does what an individual values, what she desires for her life, her personal goals and aspirations – are they worth the challenge and hardship involved in recovery? The simple truth is that eating disorders are opposed to a meaningful life; the two can’t coexist.

The process of rediscovering identity continues with each additional day spent in recovery. Likes and dislikes, values, personality traits, morals, even unknown talents are revealed through new activities and experiences. Every new revelation has great value because it contributes to recreating the whole — the whole person that the eating disorder sought to destroy.

June 17, 2014

Have the Second Damn Piece of Pizza

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 9:22 am by kellyfdennis

This blog describes very well the amount of mental energy Eating Disorders take up. Stop renting space in your mind to the numbers game. I agree, have the second slice of pizza and savor it!

Lion-Haired Girl

Friday night is supposed to be Pizza Night.

You know if you eat just one slice you’re going to feel like you’re still hungry in a few minutes. Better yet, someone else at the table will forget the unspoken dining rules and take what is clearly marked as your hunk of cheesy goodness because you all know you’re splitting the bill evenly anyway, and they know if they just keep the conversation going, everyone will lose track of who had what.

Everyone except you, that is. Because you notice, and because you’ve faced this before.

You’ve fought hard, and it’s an ongoing fight, but not just against the freeloader in your friend-group. You’ve fought against the mental numbers in your head.

The number of minutes you’ll need to exercise to work off the combination of dough and cheese (and mighty fine pepperoni, if you’re lucky), which leads your brain to remember the last

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June 4, 2014

Every Body is Different (source: NEDA)

Posted in Self Image tagged , , , at 11:31 am by kellyfdennis

purple-sunny-background-100214127It is important to remember that every body is different. We all have different genetic and cultural traits. Even if everyone started eating the same things and did the same amount of exercise for a whole year, we would not all look the same at the end of the year. This is because each person’s genetic inheritance influences their bone structure, body size, shape, and weight differently.
So, how can you determine your ideal body weight? Well, your “ideal” body weight is the weight that allows you to feel strong and energetic and lets you lead a healthy, normal life. For example, when your body is healthy and at its ideal body weight, you are not too tired and you have the energy to interact with friends and family, participate in sports, and concentrate on school or work. While being overweight can be associated with adverse medical conditions, your body weight can be healthy across a wide range of weights. When searching for your ideal weight, charts, formulas, and tables may be misleading and should be used under the guidance of a qualified expert. Focusing on eating balanced meals of nutritious foods and enjoying regular physical activity will help you to achieve balance and arrive at your ideal weight. Consult a qualified expert in medicine and nutrition for more information.
Most of all, avoid comparing your body with your friends’ bodies or the people you see in advertisements or on your favorite TV shows. If you compare yourself to others, try to remember that we are all naturally different, which means we all have special qualities. Make a list of some of your strengths. What do you like to do? What makes you unique?
To make it simple, remember these keys to an ideal body:
Treat your body with respect.
Give it enough rest.
Fuel it with a variety of foods.
Exercise moderately.
Resist the pressure to judge yourself and others based on weight, shape, or size.
Respect people based on the qualities of their character and accomplishments, rather than just because of their appearance.
Listen To Your Body
Choose a variety of foods that contribute to a healthy diet, and eat when you are truly hungry. Stop when you’re full.
Eat what appeals to you. Do this instead of any diet, and you’re likely to maintain a healthy weight and avoid eating disorders.


ponderings on life, food, God, and love

Grace on the Moon

Do Not Weigh Your Self-Esteem on a Scale

on anything and everything

my thoughts on what I see