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.)

 

 

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.)

 

 

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.

May 15, 2014

Midlife Eating Disorders Part 1

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , at 6:40 pm by kellyfdennis

The diagnosis of midlife eating disorders is increasing. When we think of the term Eating Disorder, some think of a white, middle class adolescent girl. The reality is that eating disorders are a mental illness that can affect anyone across any culture, race or socioeconomic background. Today’s blog post is from a guest blogger who underwent bariatric surgery and developed a dangerous over restrictive style of eating. Recent literature suggests that about 1.5% of bariatric patients will experience this phenomenon, some meeting the full clinical criteria for Anorexia Nervosa. This individual shares her journey through a midlife eating disorder. Perhaps her words will speak to some of you. She writes:

“The journey through an eating disorder is an evolving process of twists and turns leading to the ultimate goal of recovery. I have found as a woman in her forties the process is a lonely journey. It is lonely in the respect that those in my immediate circle aren’t confronted with food in the same fashion as someone struggling with an eating disorder. Nor are they in a place of acknowledgement that food has an important role/control of their life.

I would like to credit my decision to undergo gastric bypass surgery four years ago as the beginning of my eating disorder; when in reality bariatric surgery was yet another twist in the journey. In fact, the journey began as far back in my early childhood that I can recall. From my earliest recollection, food was used as a bribe for desired behaviors from my parents. It was used as an emotional blanket to deal with the trauma of an abusive childhood. Food became my catalyst to deal with the full gamut of emotions, from happy to sad and all in between.

As a result, my relationship with food was never healthy. Food was my crutch not a means to provide energy to my body. Another result from such an unhealthy relationship was my ever fluctuating weight, albeit, I was always on the heavier side. If I had been successful in losing weight it would be a short-lived success as I would inevitably regain the weight.

Fast forward to adulthood, my relationship with food remained emotionally and physically life threatening. Reaching the staggering high of 350 pounds after the birth of my third child. I was a rather active busy mom living my life through the trials and tribulations as an obese mother. It was difficult accomplishing even the simplest of tasks such as tying my toddler’s shoes. I had heard about bariatric surgery and contemplated the process many times as an adult. I was leery about the mortality rate that was associated with the surgery in its early days. As bariatric surgery was becoming more mainstream and less frightening, I began investigating the possibility. Even though there is an inherent risk with any surgery, I was satisfied that the risk no longer out-weighed the benefits. I had reached the stage of fear that my weight would end my life prematurely. I needed to do something radical to ensure that I would be alive for my supportive husband and three young daughters.

So I began the bariatric process. It started with an on-line survey to be invited to the first informational seminar. I went to the first session alone. It was very upbeat and made one hopeful. The comprehensive team of dietitians and nurses accompanied the surgeon as the program was explained. There was friendliness. There was a confidence amongst the team that wooed. The following nine months was laden with blood work, cardiology approval, bariatric nutrition classes, an appointment with a psychologist, a sleep apnea work up, the required minimum of ten pounds lost and on-going visits with the bariatric team. I have since come to realize that there was one additional component that was missing for anyone to be truly successful in the bariatric process. It is my opinion that one should undergo intensive psychotherapy pre-surgery to prepare you for all that will come post-surgery.  At the end of the insurance imposed mandated nine month waiting period, I underwent my transformation with bariatric surgery.

I was a text book successful bariatric patient. I had actually lost eighty pounds pre-surgery and began working out day one of my journey. My then personal trainer, now good friend, and I often recall that it was a success to stay on the elliptical exercise machine for three minutes. Within in the first year of my bariatric surgery, I had lost an additional 100 pounds. I spent my days and nights consumed with the need to exercise and to follow the bariatric diet near flawlessly. My obsession to become healthy very soon became unhealthy.”

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