I’ve noticed over decades of treating compulsive, emotional, and restrictive eaters that many of you do not take care of your bodies very well. Disordered eating is only one symptom of poor self-care which includes many ways you don’t keep your body healthy and in good working order.

Read More Taking Care of Your Health

Today I had the opportunity to spend time with the wonderful family of my friend who recently died from anorexia. Her memorial service was this morning in her hometown. Many tears fell. Despite the tears, the service was really a celebration of life. One word heard throughout the service was: hope.

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An article on emotional eating (What’s Your Relationship with Food? by Karen Collins, RD, American Institute for Cancer Research, at MSN.com/Health and Fitness) focuses on possible causes of emotional eating. Collins describes one school of thought which maintains that it’s caused by dieting and deprivation, ie, the rebound effect. She also explains that people who head for the Häagen-Dazs when they’re upset may have faulty perceptions of stress, meaning they work themselves into a tizzy…

Read More Perceptions of Stress

If this New York Times style story The Vanishing Point is to be believed, male fashion models have gone from being athletic-looking muscle men to hollow-cheeked, concave chested stick figures. The latest men’s runway shows in Paris and Milan were full of such young men, reports the NYT, shocking an industry that just over a year ago was telling itself that its female models have to get more real-sized.

Read More Male waifs on the runway: be afraid

Proving once again that what seems too good to be true probably is, a recent LA Times article sheds new light on the use of saccharin for weight loss. A study in the journal Behavioral Neuroscience found that saccharin appeared to drive rats to overeat by “breaking the physiological connection between sweet tastes and calories.” In experiments funded by the National Institute of Health and Purdue University, rats received yogurt sweetened with either saccharin or glucose, which is pretty close chemically to good old table sugar. Because body temperature typically rises after digesting food in the production of energy, the researchers evaluated rat temperature after eating. Interestingly, the rats fed the sugar substitute had a smaller increase in temperature than the ones fed glucose. Moreover, the rats consuming yogurt and saccharin gained more body fat than those eating yogurt and glucose. In short, the sugar substitute not only failed to help the rats lose weight, but made them gain it. 

 

Read More Not So Sweet

At a lecture on aging last month, two approaches for rehabilitating stroke victims—restitutive versus substitutive—were mentioned. Restitutive therapy was described as strengthening the limb/s which are paralyzed, while substitutive therapy helps build up the limb/s that have not been affected. The more I thought about them, the more I realized that these approaches also could be used by people recovering from eating problems.

 

Read More Restitutive vs. Substitutive Reprogramming

I recently began receiving “Weigh-In Wednesday” inspirational emails from the Eating Disorders Coalition of Tennessee (EDCT) (www.edct.net). I love these messages so much that I wanted to share one with you.

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What’s in a name? A recent letter to the editor in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune made the case that people should think twice about using the term substance abuse because alcohol and chemical dependence qualify as diseases. Of course, my thoughts immediately jumped to people who have an unhealthy relationship with food, so I spent a while thinking about the terms we use to describe them—anorexic, bulimic, binge-eater, food abuser, and disordered, dysfunctional, restrictive, over- or undereater.

Read More Abuse or Disease?