For years overweight people have been scolded for lack of will power. If they had more, thinking went, they’d eat less and not grow fat. The term has always made me think of a product, as if out we could go and buy a box of Will Power somewhere (you know, sitting there on the shelf next to the Elbow Grease). At the least, it seemed as if we should be able to scrounge up more of it if we tried hard enough.

Read More Willpower Gene

Dear Readers, There is an interesting court case about to start in Los Angeles involving the parents of a 26-year-old anorexic, Janell Smith, who committed suicide after her insurance company cut off coverage for her hospitalization. It’s amazing how this is still happening, and how insurance companies are still getting away with it. Marcia and I, along with the esteemed David Herzog, M.D., who besides teaching psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, heads the Harris Center…

Read More Check out Our Los Angeles Times Op-Ed: “Starved for Adequate Care”

A little while ago, I made a trip to my local newsstand looking for inspiration for the blog, and stopped cold at the magazine rack.  When I saw the covers I was a bit disappointed. 

I saw teen magazines recommending exercise and food plans, and went on to find magazines geared toward, men, women, African Americans, Latinas, and Muslims that all promoted the underlying message that one needed to improved oneself, and that the current state of affairs is not good enough. 

In some way, this should not be surprising, as man has always been looking for that "fountain of youth," and seeking something more…what that thing is, I am not certain that they know.

Read More Is what you’re reading affecting your thinking?

If you live in Nashville, I hope you attend the benefit for the Eating Disorders Coalition of Tennessee (EDCT) on June 30th at 3rd and Lindsley (see details below). I will be singing one song!

One of the organizers of the benefit is my good friend, Brittany MacNealy. Recently, she shared her interpretation of the hit song, "Stupid Boy" (Berg/Bryant/Buxton), with me. I wanted to share it with you below.

Best,

Jenni

Read More Stupid Boy

Last night I saw Eve Ensler’s The Good Body here in Sarasota. If Ensler’s name rings a bell, it’s because she’s the creator of The Vagina Monologues. From its title, you might guess that The Good Body is about women’s quest for one and you’d be right. In fact, perhaps the show should have been called The Perfect Body. However, the word “good” works because many of these women are struggling desperately to be good girls as well. Sound familiar: trying to be good woman and have a good body?

Read More The Good Body

“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.” The Little Prince, by Antoine St. Exuprey This quote is perhaps at the essence of treating people with eating disorders. We live in a culture based on appearances and external conditions. Image over substance is an unspoken motto in our society. Through the media people are taught to judge themselves and others by the clothes they…

Read More What is Essential is Invisible

Eating problems are about nothing if not control. Exerting too much control around food leads to desires bursting out which causes us to clamp down again—and round and round we go. Rather than micro-manage food intake or let loose completely, “normal” eaters focus on regulation. Regulation connotes flexibility and an appropriate response to internal and external forces to regain balance. Sure “normal” eaters occasionally cut back on food or go overboard, but the thought doesn’t lodge into a permanent attitude.

Read More Control Issues

Some folks readily do what’s advised to help them recover (from anything) without much flak and fuss. They feel cared for rather than lectured to when a doctor suggests they exercise, enlightened rather than annoyed reading an article on the dangers of fried foods, grateful rather than coerced when a therapist recommends that they join an emotional eating support group. Lacking a negative reaction, they take advantage of new ideas and at least try what’s advised. Do you? Or do you feel resentful?

Read More Resentment

Today I am taking a private yoga/meditation lesson from my friend, Waller McInnes. I can’t wait to relax and connect with my body in a healthy way. What are you doing for yourself today?

Here is a post that I love from Waller’s blog:

Read More Do Something Nice for Yourself Today

Dear Readers,                The issue of rising obesity among young children has been a difficult one for those in the eating disorder field. Yes, the increase has been frightening, and something should be done about it. But the fear is that approaching the problem too zealously, or without giving a child the right information and tools to manage weight, well-meaning parents and health care professionals could be putting the child at…

Read More At What Age Should You Start Worrying About Your Child’s Weight?