October 25, 2018

Eating Disorders Anonymous Meeting

Posted in Eating Disorders tagged , , , at 9:39 am by kellyfdennis

people taking group hug

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Where: Christ Lutheran Church 125 E. High St., Elizabethtown, PA (downstairs in Luther Library)

When: Tuesdays @ 7:00pm

More info: elizabethtowneda@gmail.com

About EDA (from eatingdisordersanonymous.org)

“Balance – not abstinence – is our goal.

In EDA, recovery means living without obsessing on food, weight and body image. In our eating disorders, we sometimes felt like helpless victims. Recovery means gaining or regaining the power to see our options, to make careful choices in our lives. Recovery means rebuilding trust with ourselves, a gradual process that requires much motivation and support. As we learn and practice careful self-honesty, self-care and self-expression, we gain authenticity, perspective, peace and empowerment.

Eating Disorders Anonymous (EDA) is a fellowship of individuals who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problems and help others to recover from their eating disorders.”

*This support group has a similar structure to AA, and is very open and diverse. While Eating Disorder support groups have mixed reviews, this framework seems to create the most success. Consider attending and checking it out (be curious!) and determine if it might be beneficial for you if you are in recovery from an eating disorder. Or pass this along to someone you know who might benefit from this type of support. (One note, Kelly is not involved in managing or leading this support group. It is entirely peer based.)

 

 

May 17, 2018

Counseling May Help

Posted in cognitive behavioral therapy, Communication, Compassion, Eating Disorders, identity, Mindfulness, Online Counseling, Well-being tagged , , , , , , at 8:39 am by kellyfdennis

discover a new day ad

 

 

 

 

Engle Printing & Publishing designed the ad.

December 21, 2017

Eating Disorders Anonymous Meeting

Posted in Eating Disorders tagged , , , at 4:32 pm by kellyfdennis

people taking group hug

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Where: Christ Lutheran Church 125 E. High St., Elizabethtown, PA (downstairs in Luther Library)

When: Tuesdays @ 7:00pm

More info: elizabethtowneda@gmail.com

About EDA (from eatingdisordersanonymous.org)

“Balance – not abstinence – is our goal.

In EDA, recovery means living without obsessing on food, weight and body image. In our eating disorders, we sometimes felt like helpless victims. Recovery means gaining or regaining the power to see our options, to make careful choices in our lives. Recovery means rebuilding trust with ourselves, a gradual process that requires much motivation and support. As we learn and practice careful self-honesty, self-care and self-expression, we gain authenticity, perspective, peace and empowerment.

Eating Disorders Anonymous (EDA) is a fellowship of individuals who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problems and help others to recover from their eating disorders.”

*This support group has a similar structure to AA, and is very open and diverse. While Eating Disorder support groups have mixed reviews, this framework seems to create the most success. Consider attending and checking it out (be curious!) and determine if it might be beneficial for you if you are in recovery from an eating disorder. Or pass this along to someone you know who might benefit from this type of support. (One note, Kelly is not involved in managing or leading this support group. It is entirely peer based.)

 

 

November 11, 2017

Eating Disorders Anonymous Meeting

Posted in Eating Disorders tagged , , , at 11:50 am by kellyfdennis

EDABanner

Where: Christ Lutheran Church 125 E. High St., Elizabethtown, PA (downstairs in Luther Library)

When: Tuesdays @ 7:00pm

More info: elizabethtowneda@gmail.com

About EDA (from eatingdisordersanonymous.org)

“Balance – not abstinence – is our goal.

In EDA, recovery means living without obsessing on food, weight and body image. In our eating disorders, we sometimes felt like helpless victims. Recovery means gaining or regaining the power to see our options, to make careful choices in our lives. Recovery means rebuilding trust with ourselves, a gradual process that requires much motivation and support. As we learn and practice careful self-honesty, self-care and self-expression, we gain authenticity, perspective, peace and empowerment.

Eating Disorders Anonymous (EDA) is a fellowship of individuals who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problems and help others to recover from their eating disorders.”

*This support group has a similar structure to AA, and is very open and diverse. While Eating Disorder support groups have mixed reviews, this framework seems to create the most success. Consider attending and checking it out (be curious!) and determine if it might be beneficial for you if you are in recovery from an eating disorder. Or pass this along to someone you know who might benefit from this type of support. (One note, Kelly is not involved in managing or leading this support group. It is entirely peer based.)

 

 

March 24, 2017

Midlife Eating Disorders

Posted in Eating Disorders, Self Image tagged , , , , at 3:32 pm by kellyfdennis

clouds over the bayI thought I’d share an interesting article from AARP:

Think anorexia, bulimia and bingeing only occur in teens and young adults? Think again.

A woman with an eating disorder looks at her warped reflection in a mirror.
Although excessive concerns about weight can appear to be little more than vanity, an eating disorder is a mental illness.

Gayle Hodgins wasn’t planning on buying candy, but then she saw the sale sign in the window of her local drugstore.

She stopped in and bought six large boxes of movie-theater candy and a king-size chocolate bar with one thought in mind. She planned to eat every last bite and then force herself to throw up.

Hodgins suffers from bulimia nervosa, an eating disorder that compels people to binge on large amounts of food and then purge the calories through vomiting, pills or excessive exercise.

Although most people think of eating disorders as a young person’s problem, Hodgins is no teenager. She’s a 53-year-old mother of two living in Philadelphia, and she’s one of a disturbing number of middle-aged adults suffering from life-threatening eating disorders.

Midlife eating disorders
In June 2012 the prestigious International Journal of Eating Disorders published the results of a seminal study on the prevalence of eating disorders in midlife and beyond.

5 Signs You May Have an Eating Disorder
1. You make yourself vomit because you feel uncomfortably full.

2. You worry that you have lost control over how much you eat.

3. You’ve lost more than 14 pounds in a three-month period.

4. You believe yourself to be fat when others think you are too thin.

5. Thinking about food dominates your life.

Lead study author Cynthia Bulik, Ph.D., director of the Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, found that 13 percent of American women 50 or older experience symptoms of an eating disorder; 60 percent report that their concerns about weight and shape negatively affect their lives; and 70 percent are trying to lose weight.

Those figures mirror the rates found among teens and young women, says Bulik, author of Midlife Eating Disorders: Your Journey to Recovery.

“Eating disorders affect quality of life, and this has a tremendous impact on society,” Bulik says. “It can affect productivity at work, well-being at home, and it can have very serious economic impacts” on families, as many insurance companies are reluctant to pay for care.

Although excessive concerns about weight can appear to be little more than vanity, an eating disorder is a mental illness with close links to depression and anxiety.

Besides bulimia, eating disorders include anorexia nervosa, which causes a person to starve herself even while underweight, and binge eating disorder, which causes a person to consume large amounts of food without purging.

Patients who meet some, but not all, of the criteria for anorexia or bulimia or have other symptoms (such as forcing themselves to vomit after eating normal amounts of food, or chewing and spitting out large amounts of food) may be diagnosed with other specified feeding and eating disorder (OSFED).

A mental health condition with a physical impact
Apart from the psychiatric impact of eating disorders — sufferers often isolate themselves from friends and family — these conditions also have a serious medical impact.

Anorexia is the deadliest of all psychiatric disorders, killing up to 20 percent of chronic sufferers. Starvation, binge eating and purging all damage the heart and gastrointestinal systems. Erratic eating can cause hormone imbalances that can lead to osteoporosis. Repeated vomiting and malnutrition damage teeth, too. These problems affect eating disorder sufferers of any age, but they hit harder and faster as people get older and their bodies become less resilient.

Although no one knows exactly what causes an eating disorder, researchers believe it results from a complex interaction between our genes and our environment. Eating disorders most commonly begin during adolescence, amid the swirling hormones, physical changes and psychological adjustments of puberty.

While some patients recover in their teens and 20s, others continue to struggle into midlife and beyond. Some of those who do recover will relapse later in life. And still others will develop an eating disorder for the first time in midlife.
Menopause and other life changes
The physiological and psychological changes that happen during menopause seem to echo changes at puberty, Bulik says, which may make this time a high-risk period for the development of new eating disorders or the reemergence of old ones. These changes occur against the backdrop of America’s youth-oriented culture, which embraces the idea that aging — and the extra pounds that can accompany it — must be fought at any cost.

A Weighty Problem

79 percent of American women say their weight and shape affect their self-esteem
36 percent of American women say they have spent at least half of the past five years dieting
“Women don’t have a way of talking about the physical changes that go along with menopause,” says Margo Maine, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist in West Hartford, Connecticut, and author of The Body Myth: Adult Women and the Pressure to be Perfect. “Instead they seek to manage their bodies with the next exercise craze or taking the latest diet pill.”

These renewed concerns about weight and appearance frequently emerge alongside stressors unique to the 50-plus age group. Children leave home (or move back in), parents begin to age and boomers may begin to struggle with health issues.

Robin McKenzie, a 51-year-old resident of rural West Virginia, had suffered from an eating disorder since age 14, but it wasn’t until the illness and death of her father last summer that her disorder significantly worsened. McKenzie’s mother’s health was failing as well, and her father’s death had left the family saddled with massive amounts of debt. The burden of caregiving and financial management fell squarely on McKenzie’s shoulders.

“I began to exercise to relax,” she says. Plus, she began to eat less, and her weight plummeted to dangerous lows. Unable to concentrate at work, and with her heart, liver and kidneys beginning to fail, McKenzie was ultimately hospitalized last August. Despite being much older than the stereotypical eating disorder patient, she was far from the oldest patient on the ward. Several patients were in their 60s or older.

New ways to get well
Yet, maturity brings substantial advantages to fighting an eating disorder, experts say. Older patients have more life experiences and insights to draw on. In addition, they’re more painfully aware of the physical and psychological costs of maintaining their unhealthy eating patterns. Even those who have tried and failed to control disordered eating in the past can often succeed later in life.

“Lots of times older women feel such shame and hopelessness because they’ve had the eating disorder for so long, but I’ve seen great things happen in people who have sought help in their 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond,” Maine says.

A growing awareness of eating disorders in older women (and some men) has also led to more treatment options. Women whose illnesses are more severe or chronic may require hospitalization, or treatment at a live-in facility. There, all meals are provided, and women participate in a variety of therapies, including cognitive behavioral therapy, nutritional counseling and medication.

After a few small setbacks this past winter, McKenzie is maintaining her weight and working toward a new career. Hodgins remains in therapy and is making progress. “Slow and steady wins the race, right?” she says. “I just want to be well. I want to be a normal person.”

by Carrie Arnold, AARP The Magazine, August/September 2013|

March 10, 2014

10 Ways to improve Body Image

Posted in Eating Disorders tagged , , , , at 11:41 am by kellyfdennis

Be honest and kind to yourself as you examine your beliefs, thought patterns, and assumptions about your body and the bodies of other people. This is fruitful but demanding work.

• Expand your idea of beauty.

Expand your concept of what is beautiful. View art. Observe different cultures. Spend time in nature. Constantly remind yourself that everyone is beautiful in his or her own way. Think about people you admire. In what ways are they beautiful?

• Let go of perfectionism.

In the same way that you are learning to accept yourself—flaws and all—you will also be learning to accept your unique body. Striving to reach an arbitrary idea of physical perfection is a form of self-sabotage, and is not possible anyway.

• Fully experience your senses.

Get more in touch with your body by noticing all of your senses. Concentrate on smells, sounds, colors, and touch. Best of all, connect with taste! Eat something you love (that’s not triggering). Try something you hate! Your body enables you to have physical experiences, so get brave and enjoy them.

• Reconnect your mind and body.

Certain activities—yoga, stretching, dancing, Pilates, Tai Chi—bring the mind and body together by focusing on the physical experience of the moment. These are wonderful practices for both quieting the mind and building a friendship with the body.

• Tolerate negative body talk without acting on it.

You don’t go from bulimia to loving your body in one day. Acknowledge that it’s a process, and that negative body talk is inevitable. But don’t act on the thoughts by turning to old habits. Instead, learn to talk back, or decide that you just aren’t going to listen right now.

• Understand the deeper meanings of negative body talk.

Negative body talk is a symptom of an eating disorder, just like bingeing and purging. There can be deeper meaning behind the phrases “I feel fat” (I feel worthless), “I have to lose weight” (My life lacks meaning), and “I hate the way I look” (I hate my life). When you have these thoughts, recognize that they are code for bigger issues, and investigate.

• Talk back to harmful body thoughts.

When you hear yourself being self-disparaging, talk back. Use positive affirmations and use rational, rather than emotional, language.

• Process body trauma with support.

Sometimes, body image issues are symptoms of past trauma, such as teasing, abuse, rejection, or abandonment. Healing the pain of trauma is a challenging and intimate process. I recommend working with a qualified therapist.

• Write a love letter to your body.

Thank your body for all the good things it does for you. Appreciate it for giving you a life. Tell it the kinds of things you would say to a soul mate, because, after all, your body is your soul’s companion!

stefdennis

ponderings on life, food, God, and love

Grace on the Moon

Do Not Weigh Your Self-Esteem on a Scale

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