Several weeks ago, I participated in a teleconference for those struggling with and/or recovering from eating disorders. During the call, a young woman asked one of the moderators how she was supposed to deal with “the tremendous weight of guilt and shame” she felt over the emotional and financial toll she was certain her eating disorder had taken (and was continuing to take) on those she loved, especially her mom and dad.  Regrettably, the questioner’s…

Read More “It Was Love [Without] Sight”

Bone Health and Anorexia Nervosa in Women, Men, and Adolescents This month, the International Journal of Eating Disorders published a vital new study on the heightened risk of bone fractures in adolescent girls with anorexia nervosa. (See the Academy of Eating Disorder’s press release here: http://www.aedweb.org/web/index.php/2-uncategorised/141-press-release-increased-fracture-risk-for-girls-with-anorexia-nervosa) The authors identify for the first time that girls and young women with anorexia nervosa (AN) have a 60% increase in fractures compared with age-matched controls, even when bone…

Read More Nutrition: It Does a Body Good

A crucial trait that moves people from disregulated eating to “normal” eating is being resilient. High resilience is what makes them more resistant to the stresses and strains of life and better able to cope without turning to food. Read on to learn more about resilience and how to pump yours up. Research suggests that resilience may have its roots in an abundance of the brain chemical neuropeptide Y, with evidence suggesting that its levels…

Read More How Resilience Improves “Normal” Eating

Most of my clients with disregulated eating worry a good deal about doing things right, being “good,” pleasing others, and the future turning out okay. And these anxieties drive non-hunger eating. Moreover, feeling weak, inept and defective that they can’t better “control” their worries causes them additional anxiety. A helpful book, one I read recently, is My Age of Anxiety—Fear, hope, dread, and the search for peace of mind by Scott Stossel (2013, Alfred A.…

Read More Anxiety and Eating

As I settled in to one of the few remaining empty seats smack dab in the middle of the room hosting the introductory session of last year’s NEDA Annual Conference (i.e., “Eating Disorders 101”), I wasn’t at all sure why I was there, let alone why I had selected a seat that made an inconspicuous early exit impossible, as if any seat in a room packed with 150 woman would allow one of only 4…

Read More Not Exactly “Eating Disorders 101” – Supporting An Adult Loved One

Body image can be a source of distress and/or relapse trigger for recovering women. This is not a superficial issue, but a deeper question around identity transition and transformations that happen for moms-to-be. For more on body image during pregnancy and postpartum, see “Does being a mom make me look fat?” Fertility and secondary infertility can be challenging for women with histories of disordered eating or drug/alcohol use. Many women have damaged their fertility due to the eating disorder…

Read More On deciding to have a child/children, issues unique to women in recovery

You know what the greatest thing about being a human being is? Not being Ed. (Okay, that is true, but that isn't what I am getting at here.) The greatest thing about being a human being is is that we can feel, and we can name our feelings, and we can use them to help us get to wherever we want and need to go. Ed can't do that. Ed stays wrangled up in his…

Read More The Greatest Thing About Your Life

Every once in a while I come across enlightening and useful scientific studies which speak directly to actions that disregulated eaters can take to become healthier. Smart people use scientific conclusions (as opposed to irrational thinking or profit-driven marketing) to guide their actions to change behavior . Here are summaries of two studies and their take-away messages which I hope will help you move toward your health goals. “Nighttime Light Exposure as a Risk Factor for…

Read More Science on Weight and Health