I hope you are having a wonderful holiday! I am having a great time with family and friends in Texas. I am very excited about the New Year, so I wrote a new article (below). Happy 2008! Best, Jenni A New Year’s Resolution: Making each day a time for changeby Jenni Schaefer Do you have a New Year’s resolution? As the last seconds of the year tick away, we often become introspective and think about…

Read More Happy New Year!

Because we associate the New Year with starting a diet, it may be hard to shake the idea. Come January first and you’re just itching to turn over that new leaf, write that next chapter in your eating or weight story, dump the old body and break out the new one. Although resolutions can seem artificial and silly, a new year seems the right time for a fresh start. This year make sure you’re not…

Read More New Year, New Ideas

Many people have wildly conflicted feelings about the holiday season. My guess is that if folks felt more comfortable with eating, the holidays might be a more pleasurable and relaxing time. However, food aside, the period from Thanksgiving through New Year’s can be highly stressful—buying gifts, seeing family, get togethers with friends, or feeling very alone and apart from all the joy and celebrations. There’s pressure to be cheery and social, which is especially difficult…

Read More Holiday Eating

For years Americans have been scolded for being fat because “evidence” has proven that being overweight increases the chance of developing serious illnesses and dying. However, we know that many Americans have not taken the message to heart because surveys report that about two-thirds of adults are considered overweight or obese. Part of the problem is the way the media and health community have approached the subject—mostly through trying to change behavior rather than thinking—and…

Read More Overweight and Death

Dear Readers,

Many of us have a hard time maintaining a healthy diet in a culture overflowing with sugary, processed and junk food on the one hand, and pathological fear of oveweight on the other.

The New York Times ran a front-page story (”Where the Votes Are, So Are All Those Calories”) on Nov. 23 about how presidential candidates are faced with an extreme form of this dilemma. Constant travel, brutal schedules and lack of control over what they eat add up to an unhealthy diet and, often, weight gain. As former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, who was obese until he shed 110 pounds several years ago, told the  Times, “If you’re really overweight, some people just look at you and immediately sort of write you off. They just assume you’re undisciplined.”

Read More Weightism lives, even on the campaign trail! Advice for a happier, healthier (but not necessarily thinner) society

Dear Readers, In November, I attended the 17th Annual Renfrew Center Foundation in Philadelphia. I had heard that this was one of the best eating disorders conferences out there, and was not disappointed. There were so many great speakers and topics that it was difficult to choose which sessions to attend. In the next several blogs, I’ll be reporting bits and pieces of what I learned. The title of the conference was "Feminist Perspectives and…

Read More 17th Annual Renfrew Center Foundation conference, my report

Recently I attended a seminar on Domestic Violence and have been thinking about its connection to eating problems. I suspect that a number of you may be victims of domestic violence and use food to turn negative feelings against yourself rather than toward your abuser, causing you to feel even worse about yourself. Domestic violence includes chronic anger, blaming, arguing, name calling, threatening violence and other verbal abuse as well as battering and sexual coercion…

Read More Abuse and Eating Problems

I just had the opportunity to present at Family Week at Center For Change in Orem, Utah. I spoke with both family members and women struggling with eating disorders. One young lady pointed out something very important about relapse. She said, “Yes, relapse is normal. But we can’t use this fact as an excuse to relapse.”  Relapse is definitely a normal part of eating disorder recovery. I relapsed often throughout my recovery process, but I…

Read More Ed is Not an Option

Once more, a session with a client has got me thinking: if you don’t know whether or not you have difficulty metabolizing particular foods such as wheat or sugar, do you try to eat them “normally” or avoid them completely? Obviously, if you’ve been tested and diagnosed with a food allergy, you’ll want to steer clear. Remember, testing is the only way to know for certain that you have a bona fide food allergy (see…

Read More To Carb or Not To Carb

One of the great stresses of the holiday season is dealing with relatives who are hurtful, difficult or, perhaps, even emotionally abusive. Maybe you rarely see them and try to be nice when you do or are stuck with them all year long. There is no easy answer for how to deal with these kinds of family members, but you do have options. None will feel just right, but often you have to choose the…

Read More Dealing with Hurtful Relatives