January 22, 2015

Intuitive Eating is Associated with Lower BMI and Better Psychological Health

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 10:37 am by kellyfdennis

Public Health Nutr. 2014 Aug;17(8):1757-66. doi: 10.1017/S1368980013002139. Epub 2013 Aug 21.
Review article relationships between intuitive eating and health indicators: literature review.
Van Dyke N1, Drinkwater EJ2.
Author information
To review the peer-reviewed literature on relationships between intuitive eating and health indicators and suggest areas of inquiry for future research. We define the fundamental principles of intuitive eating as: (i) eating when hungry; (ii) stopping eating when no longer hungry/full; and (iii) no restrictions on types of food eaten unless for medical reasons.
We include articles cited by PubMed, PsycInfo and Science Direct published in peer-reviewed journals or theses that include ‘intuitive eating’ or related concepts in the title or abstract and that test relationships between intuitive eating and physical or mental health indicators.
We found twenty-six articles that met our criteria: seventeen cross-sectional survey studies and nine clinical studies, eight of which were randomised controlled trials. The cross-sectional surveys indicate that intuitive eating is negatively associated with BMI, positively associated with various psychological health indicators, and possibly positively associated with improved dietary intake and/or eating behaviours, but not associated with higher levels of physical activity. From the clinical studies, we conclude that the implementation of intuitive eating results in weight maintenance but perhaps not weight loss, improved psychological health, possibly improved physical health indicators other than BMI (e.g. blood pressure; cholesterol levels) and dietary intake and/or eating behaviours, but probably not higher levels of physical activity.
Research on intuitive eating has increased in recent years. Extant research demonstrates substantial and consistent associations between intuitive eating and both lower BMI and better psychological health. Additional research can add to the breadth and depth of these findings. The article concludes with several suggestions for future research.

August 3, 2014

Good Enough

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 5:20 pm by kellyfdennis

business-lady-celebrating-success-10084081I read an article from the Renfrew foundation today about recovery. Even though I am very aware of the different perspective on Eating Disorder recovery, I was struck by the differences in the ways that clinicians and clients define “recovery”. Some state that “all ED behaviors and thoughts about behaviors must be non existent for two years”. I was somewhat surprised by this idea. As I thought about this more and read further into this clinician’s definition of “ED behaviors”, I thought to myself, “I don’t have an eating disorder, but there sure are days when I have negative thoughts about my body.”

I resonate with Martina Verba’s idea of “good enough” recovery. She states that recovery is about embracing imperfection and experiencing recovery as a path rather than a destination. She found in her study while there were individuals who reported freedom from weight/food related thinking, most stated that they might experience weight/food related thoughts, however,they stated these thoughts could just be considered “fluid” and not “destroy the day.”

So recovery is different for each person struggling with an eating disorder. How do you define recovery? I’d love to hear your perspective.

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.

October 6, 2009

Reflections on Mirrors

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 1:19 pm by kellyfdennis

antique-mirror-100186151These next few blogs are reposts of an experiment I did with some of my clients a couple of years ago. Since the subject of body checking is coming up more frequently, I thought they would be relevant.

So what did ancient people do without mirrors to reflect their image  back to them?  Did they escape the bondage that mirrors can sometimes bring to people who struggle with negative body image?

I wonder what would happen if you covered all the mirrors in your house for three days? How would you feel? Would you even be able to follow through with the experiment?

So, let’s try it…


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