Being authentic may be a foreign concept to many disordered eaters.  You may not understand exactly what the term means, not know how to be genuine, or find it difficult to connect to your deepest emotions . (A great read on the subject is The Drama of the Gifted Child by Alice Miller, a psychology classic.) You may wonder if you have to be authentic all the time and if the word applies to actions…

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I just went mountain biking with a friend in Alaska. I had not been on a bike in years, but it all came right back to me. Before it all came right back to me, I did have to learn some things about mountain bikes. (I had never ridden a mountain bike before.) In fact, the last bike I had sat on was my childhood one with its little white, flowered basket attached to the…

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When you see another person, a friend or a stranger, is their weight or appearance the first thing (perhaps the only thing) you notice? Do you automatically assess how they look or calculate their weight? Perhaps you have such a knee-jerk reaction that you’re unaware that you judge each and every person’s size, clothes, posture, or hair. Or maybe you know you give them the eye test and assume that’s what everyone does. The truth…

Read More What’s on Your Radar?

Although growing up in a family that contributes to or reinforces unhealthy attitudes toward eating and weight is enough to set you on the path of destructive eating, cultural factors also play a part in shaping you. Understanding these values is part of the process of changing how you think and feel about food and your body. By culture, I mean not only American society, but also the specific ethnic culture in which you were…

Read More How Culture Affects Eating and Weight

My vocal coach, Judy Rodman, and I just wrote an article together that I thought you might find interesting. It is about the effects of eating disorders on singing. Judy watched me struggle with anorexia/bulimia for years and witnessed firsthand how my voice was negatively affected. Judy also helped me to fight Ed. I do not know if I would be here today without her love and support. Thanks for your support! Jenni Singing and…

Read More Singing and Eating Disorders

In this fix-it-quick, make-it-happen-overnight culture, it’s hard to grasp the fact that in order to overcome your eating disorder, you will have to give up doing things (often many things) the way you are doing them now. Some of the surrender will involve thinking, that is, letting go of unhealthy perceptions and assumptions and replacing them with healthier ones. Other kinds of giving up relate to behaviors, food- and otherwise. It’s natural to want to…

Read More What Are You Willing to Give Up to End Your Eating Disorder?

Attending an event when you’re feeling crummy about your body can be highly stressful. You may refuse to go, waver back and forth on a decision, engage in a shopping frenzy to find the exact right thing to wear, or say yes and be filled with dread. The occasion might be a wedding, anniversary, birthday party, or some other family gathering that’s bound to include all the relatives. Or a high school or college reunion…

Read More The Big Event

Most people who contact me through my books, workshops or therapy practice have no idea what they will have to go through to become “normal” eaters. I hate giving them the news that it’s a Herculean job to heal dysfunctional eating and that for many folks it will require lifelong effort because of their genetics, biology, and previous experience. However, I’ve never met anyone who’s done the work and succeeded who isn’t happier and who…

Read More Change Is In The Moment

I just returned from a wonderful time (professionally and personally) at the Lake Austin Spa Resort in Austin, Texas where I’d been invited to do two workshops on eating. Although the resort caters to both genders, unsurprisingly, only females showed up to hear me. During the workshops, it became clear that many women believed they had to be away from work and family to take care of themselves, and I was struck (once again) by…

Read More Putting Yourself First

Many posts on the message boards I advise on (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/foodandfeelings and http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dietsurvivors) lament situations in which family members insist they are being caring and supportive, but instead are unsympathetic, critical, and even unkind to the person with an eating or weight problem. You can recognize when people are being hurtful by paying attention to your emotional reaction to their words, not to their stated intentions. In such instances, it’s all too easy to get into…

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