Category: Eating Disorders

Helping Yourself With A Eating Disorder

Helping Yourself With A Eating Disorder

Helping Yourself

Be Your Own Best Resource
Are you concerned about the ways you deal with food? Or how you think about your body? If so, there are numerous ways you can help yourself and begin the practice of healthful living from the “inside out.” Here are eight suggestions to get you started.

  • Daily Check-in: Am I Eating to Feed Emotional Hungers?
    Sometimes we resort to dieting, bingeing, excessive exercising, or other unhealthy “body” behaviors as an attempt to deal with psychological or emotional issues. It is all too common for us, especially for women living in a beauty-crazed culture, to transfer everyday life anxieties about jobs, relationships, and unexpected changes onto the shape and size of our bodies. We are under the mistaken impression that our bodies, unlike larger life and relational issues, are under control.Have you ever found yourself eating unconsciously or starting a new diet when you are feeling under pressure, upset, lonely, sad, mad, nervous, or bored? Everyone eats for emotional reasons now and then; this is normal. But when binge eating, dieting, or over exercising becomes your main coping strategy, this is a warning signal that you might be headed into unhealthy territory.If your stomach is not hungry but your mouth wants food, try to pause and figure out what is really “eating you.” Are you angry with someone? An ice-cream cone might taste good and alter your mood in the short run, but it will not solve the real problem.Are you hungry for intellectual stimulation? A friend’s company? Solitude? Emotional release? Creative expression? The challenge is to stay connected to all of our various appetites-emotional, spiritual, creative, relational, and physical-as we learn to nourish our whole selves.

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Students-And-Eating-Disorder

Students And Eating Disorders

Helping Your Student

Please note: For ease in reading, we have used “she” and “her” in the description below even though eating disorders exist in men, women, girls, and boys. This advice is suitable for a child of either gender.

Approaching a student with an eating disorder can be tricky. If you are a coach, your student might be dieting, binge eating, or purging to sustain your approval or to be part of her team’s effort to win. As a teacher or coach, you can help by trying to get your student to see that she needs help.

It is important to remember that her eating disorder is her desperate way of trying to cope with underlying problems, and even though you can see how unhealthy and unproductive it is, for her it may feel like a lifeline. That is why it is common for students with eating disorders to be upset or mad if you try to help them. They may fear that you are going to take away their only coping mechanisms. A student may deny the problem, be furious that you discovered her secret, and feel threatened by your caring. Athletes in particular may feel frightened that their participation in sports will be threatened by your concern. Give them time and breathing space once you have raised your concerns.

Prepare yourself for your talk. Gather general information before you talk to the student. Find out about the resources for help in your school and community without revealing the identity of the student.

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Eating-Disorders-And-Being-Media-Savvy

Eating Disorders And Being Media Savvy

Ten Ways to Be Media Savvy
In today’s world, we constantly encounter the media-when we drive down the highway and see a billboard, when we see an advertisement on a bus, when we read a magazine at home or in a waiting room, when we watch TV. Therefore, it is important to learn to be media savvy.

Being media savvy means knowing how to look critically at the images and messages in the media. It means understanding that media are created through conscious, specific decision-making processes that are primarily part of for-profit ventures. It also means being less vulnerable to manipulation by the media. Below are ten ways to be media savvy.

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Body Image and Eating Disorders

With all those women’s magazines and the television constantly talking about body image – and very often insisting that the ‘best’ body image is an extremely thin one, it is no wonder young women suffer from eating disorders. But it is not only the media that constantly talks about it; social media such as Facebook, which often means your friends and family are at fault too.

If someone gets a little overweight they are harassed and bullied or treated unkindly by their peers, siblings and sometimes their parents. This makes them feel that their self-worth is measured by their weight, which is in reality very far from the truth. But this is where it starts and before long all that person can think about is that they must lose weight, no matter how thin they have become already.

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Understanding Eating Disorders

Understanding Eating Disorders

Facts and Findings


Facts

  • More than 5 million Americans experience eating disorders.  (14)
  • Anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder are diseases that affect the mind and body simultaneously.  (14)
  • Three percent of adolescent and adult women and 1% of men have anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, or binge-eating disorder.  (14)
  • A young woman with anorexia is 12 times more likely to die than other women her age without anorexia.  (19)
  • Fifteen percent of young women have substantially disordered eating attitudes and behaviors.  (13)
  • Between 10% and 15% of those diagnosed with bulimia nervosa are men.  (1)
  • Forty percent of fourth graders report that they diet either “very often” or “sometimes.”  (8)
  • About half of those with anorexia or bulimia have a full recovery, 30% have a partial recovery, and 20% have no substantial improvement.  (10)

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Helping Your Friend With Eating Disorder

Helping Your Friend With Eating Disorder

Helping Your Friend

Please note: For ease in reading, we have used “she” and “her” in the description below even though eating disorders exist in men, women, girls, and boys. This advice is suitable for a child of either gender.

Click here if your friend is already getting help.

If your friend doesn’t admit to having a problem and/or doesn’t want help, the best way to approach her is to help her see that she needs assistance. However, you’ll need to prepare yourself well since approaching a friend with an eating disorder can be tricky.

Remember that her eating disorder is a desperate way of trying to cope with underlying problems. Even though you can see her disorder as unhealthy and unproductive, your friend may view her eating habits as a lifeline. That is why it is common for someone with an eating disorder to get upset or mad if you try to help her. She may fear that you are going to take away her only coping mechanism. She may deny the problem, be furious that you discovered her secret, or feel threatened by your caring. When you raise your concerns, give your friend time and space to think and respond.

Before approaching your friend, find out about resources for help in your community so that you can offer her a strategy to connect with that help.

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Helping Yourself With A Eating Disorder

Helping Your Child With Eating Disorders

Helping Your Child

Please note: For ease in reading, we have used “she” and “her” in the description below even though eating disorders exist in men, women, girls, and boys. This advice is suitable for a child of either gender.

First, remain calm. Approaching a child with an eating disorder can be tricky. Naturally, it is very upsetting to discover that your child might have an eating disorder. If you are panicked, talk to your pediatrician, your partner, or a trustworthy family member or friend. Avoid letting your child overhear you or see you distraught.

Find resources. Before approaching your child, you need to find out what resources are available for your child and for your family, so you can offer her a helpful strategy. Talk with your pediatrician, internist, and school counselor or nurse for information and referrals. You might want to talk to another parent who has been in a similar situation for support and information about available resources. Learn as much about eating disorders as you need to feel like an informed parent and advocate.

Meet with a referred therapist initially – without your child, but with your partner – to learn how the therapist practices and to discuss the best strategy for approaching your child. If you are feeling strong emotions such as anger towards your child, you might want to work with a therapist on your own before approaching her.

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