Activity Trackers and Eating Disorder Recovery: Are They Really Helpful?
The new and popular way to track activity progress is through fitness trackers. It seems as if everyone has the ever popular Fitbit these days, a flexible wrist band, that comes in a variety of bright colors, that can track your steps, calories, distance traveled, calorie intake, heart rate, and sleep patterns. Although these activity trackers can be helpful in many ways, such as providing motivation, accountability, and goal setting, should everyone own one?
Do’s and Don’ts of Talking to Someone With an Eating Disorder
Loving someone with an eating disorder is hard, especially when you do not know how to provide them with the right support. Sometimes what may feel like the right thing, may actually be causing more harm. Twenty million men and women in the United States will suffer from an eating disorder at some point in their lives. These illnesses are just that – an illness. They are not by an means a lifestyle choice. By knowing the right things to say and those that should be avoided we can help our loved ones fight these illnesses. Recovery is possible and having the proper support from friends and family is the first step.
10 Outdoor Summer Activities You Must Do Before Summer Ends
Here at Center for Discovery Hamptons, we love being active. However, being active can take on a life of its own and turn into an obsession. In fact, according to the NIH, approximately 44% of individuals with an eating disorder also suffer from exercise addiction.
Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day: Small Steps Toward Recovery
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?
Intuitive Eating Principles in Eating Disorder Recovery
Our bodies know what they need. We were all born with an intuition about what we need to survive. Food is essential fuel for our daily activities and our overall well-being. What began as an understanding with our bodies about what they need evolved over time to a disconnect. We may have learned growing up that we must clean our plates. Or maybe media messages about “good” and “bad” foods have influenced eating habits and now hunger cues are off. Certainly the development of an eating disorder causes behaviors around food that are very detrimental to physical health. Is it possible to return to intuitive eating when recovering from an eating disorder?
Is It Helpful or Harmful to Publish Calorie Counts on Menus
At lunch with a friend recently, we perused the menu board as we waited in line to order. After I placed my order I stood by as my friend choose a meal, noticed the published calorie count, hesitated, then changed her order to something else. As we moved toward the cash register she whispered “I don’t like those calorie counts on menus. They make me feel so bad. I really wanted the first dish but figured I should stick with something lighter.” As she said this she stared down at the floor, clearly conflicted. My heart really broke for this woman, such a wonderful person and so strong, now overcome with shame for having wanted a meal with more calories.
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.
Staying In Recovery
The decision to seek help and begin treatment for an eating disorder is one that takes a lot of courage. However, there is something more important than the decision to seek treatment and that is maintaining the motivation to stay in treatment and ultimately recover. The hardest obstacles faced on the road to recovery are challenges not usually placed by others but by ourselves. It is no surprise that those who suffer from an eating disorder tend to develop patterns of negative thought distortions about food and themselves. One of the most important tools to use in combating this is education.