On the road to “normal” eating, how much should you think about nutrition and how can that focus feed (excuse the pun) into your eating problems? Does trying to eat healthily most of the time make you feel as if you’re on a diet and push your restriction button? How much attention should you pay to possibly toxic ingredients in food? How can you balance how food affects your health and not fall into obsessing about its purity?  

Read More What’s in Food

In short order, beginning with Halloween and probably already in households and workplaces around the country the "holiday spirit" will begin.  Those attempting recovering from an eating disorder often find themselves dreading this time of the year as there are numerous upcoming occasions where food is often central to social gatherings.

Halloween traditions seldom center around dressing up as a goblin and then doing homework.  People tend look forward to the Thanksgiving football game second only to the meal.  The same can be said for Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Ramadan and the coup de grace… SuperBowl Sunday.

In addition to triggers of food, there are stressors of being(or not being) with family.  Ah, the ties that bind.  There may be added stress of money, religion, sexuality, career and of your own immediate family.

Lastly, examining your own insecurities, there is the stress of your weight status.  There may be anxiety over comments being made?  Will you have support?

Read More Navigating the Holidays

In the ongoing struggle eaters have with disregulation, few issues loom larger than sustaining motivation and effort. This happens in many areas: You regularly under- or overdo, bounce back and forth between one extreme and the other and, more often than not, end up where you started.  Ever wonder why?

Read More Despair versus Overdoing

Dear Readers, This weekend, Nancy and I read about efforts in Michigan to publicize the oft over looked fact that boys get eating disorders too. One of the organizers of these efforts is the mother of a Michigan boy who died at the age of 22 from an eating disorder. The boy’s eating problems started when he, wanting to look buff, began undereating and overexercising the summer before entering high school.

Read More Boys at Risk for Eating Disorders

When you’re overeating, you’re often caught up in rebellion, emotional avoidance, denial, or all-or-nothing thinking, so how often do you consider what food is doing to your body? Never mind how many calories it has—or hasn’t. Calorie-free or not, the point is whether a food is a healthy or unhealthy option because of how its ingredients will affect you in the long run. Focusing on the nasty things that toxins can do to your health is one way to help you make better choices.

Read More Toxins in Food

Dear Readers,                 Eating disorders and calorie counting often go hand in hand. The desire to lose weight or stay thin often creates an intense obsession with monitoring calories. Trips to the supermarket become marathon session devoted to reading the calorie and fat counts of every item put into the shopping cart. Marcia and others who treat eating-disorder patients try to help break them of this habit and learn how…

Read More Should college dining halls post calorie counts?

I write a lot about feeling helpless around food and lacking inner conviction that says, “I can do this. I can change my eating.” At the core of this problem is that many of you feel powerless to change much of your life—partners, jobs, friends, etc. Well, yesterday I went to a spirited political rally where people were about nothing but change. By rallying, these folks were not only fighting to make things better, but were empowering themselves. What does politics have to do with healing food problems? Lots.

Read More Self-Empowerment

What is the meaning of a food craving? Science has disproven the idea that craving always means nutrient deficiency—a lack of potassium drawing you to a banana or an iron deficiency driving you to order a sirloin. It can be confusing when you feel an urge to eat—whether you crave something specific like Betty Crocker brownies or have a yen for pasta—to know how to react. To follow the urge or not, that is the question.

Read More The Meaning of Food Cravings

This is the first time I’ve used blog space for anything other than my own writing. I was so moved by a letter a client wrote (but did not send) to her mother that I want to share it in the hope that it will help you as much to read it as it helped my client to write it. It’s a powerful declaration of selfhood based on a great deal of introspection and hard work. When you’re done reading, try writing your own letter (without sending it) to someone who has hurt you or with whom you’ve never shared your authentic feelings. It works!

Read More Letter From a Client to Her Mother

As anyone who hasn’t been living in a cave knows, these are precarious financial times. With Wall Street in disarray, the cost of food and gas skyrocketing and property and 401K values plummeting, families are looking for ways to spend less. Studies have shown that in tight financial times, people are more willing to sacrifice mental health expenditures than other forms of medical care.

Read More Treating eating disorders while watching your wallet in a global financial crisis