A new year brings a clean slate, a chance to forget about the struggles of the past year and make fresh choices for the future. It is common for people to make New Year’s resolutions, goals set to create positive change. In our society, New Year’s resolutions often focus on weight loss and exercise. Go to any gym in January and you will have difficulty accessing equipment because of the crowds. All this focus on appearance and diet can be triggering for people in recovery from an eating disorder. While weight loss goals may have been a focus in the past, in recovery it is no longer a viable option. How can we make healthy, recovery-focused New Year’s resolutions in a culture of excessive dieting and exercise?
There have been many times that a client, fresh from residential treatment or partial hospitalization, has told me that he or she is surprised to return home to find that nothing has really changed. Life around them is still the same. Sure, they learned some skills in treatment but it didn’t solve the life challenges that can be so triggering. Sometimes in the moment emotions are so overwhelming that our first instinct is to return to the coping mechanism that’s become so ingrained in our daily existence. One client actually told me that she didn’t see a point in working so hard on recovery if nothing around her was going to change. She would rather cling to the one thing that’s been consistent in her life: her eating disorder.
The holidays usually mean lots of time with family and frankly, that can sometimes spell stress. Recovering from an eating disorder while trying to manage triggers and deal with family can really be an overwhelming endeavor. Many eating disorder treatment programs utilize Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) to help clients develop skills for distress tolerance, mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, and emotion regulation. Treatment with DBT utilizes individual therapy and coaching as well as skills training to help clients develop mindful awareness, tolerate difficult situations, gain assertiveness skills, and regulate overwhelming emotions. DBT makes use of acronyms within these focus areas to help clients remember the important skills they are learning.
Healing with Horses in Therapy Sessions
Animals can really be best friends: snuggling a puppy after a hard day at work, watching fish swim peacefully in their cool water home, or listening to birds sing are all ways to decompress when life is overwhelming. Service animals play an important role in many people’s lives, serving as the eyes, ears, and protectors for their cherished owners.
The ratio of female to male eating disorders suggest that women and girls are more affected than men: according to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), the female to male ratio for anorexia is 10:1; for bulimia, 10:1; and 2:1 for binge eating disorder. Although eating disorders in females and males are clinically similar, it is feared that the true statistics related to males are not fully known due to underreporting of symptoms and stigma.
Helping your Teen with an Eating Disorder
Center for Discovery has been providing specialized eating disorder treatment to teens and adolescents for over 17 years, and we know how challenging recovery can be. Parents often feel helpless and alone as they struggle to find a way to help their child. Thankfully, there are resources available for parents and families who are caring for a young person with an eating disorder. With the right support, families can face the eating disorder together with strength and hope.
What is Healthy Body Weight? Find Out Here
A simple search of “What is healthy body weight” returns thousands of different calculators that attempt to index your ideal body weight.
But the truth is, those calculators and measurements are at best loose estimations of your body composition based merely on your height, weight and age.
Missouri has become the first state in the nation to expound on the types of eating disorder treatment that insurance companies must cover. The law, championed by eating disorder advocates and signed by Governor Jay Nixon in June, will go into effect in August of 2015. This critical measure will help to ensure that eating disorder patients receive coverage for the treatment necessary to enter into and maintain recovery.
What Does Healthy Look Like?
I think it is fair to say that those who struggle with some type of eating disorder have a really hard time with knowing what a healthy lifestyle and diet is. I know this because I once lived a life with anorexia and bulimia for ten years and knew what I was doing to my body was wrong and hurting it, but at moments I didn’t really care. I didn’t know a life without restricting, binging, and purging, so healthy is a word that I never thought I would live nor understand.
Eating Disorders and Dental Exams
Did you know that an eating disorder can be diagnosed from the dental chair? According to the Institute of Dental Research, 28% of bulimia cases are first diagnosed during a visit to the dentist. Our mouths reveal a tremendous amount of information about our overall health. Dentists may be among the first professionals to notice something that is indicative of a more serious issue.