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Blog: Help for Eating Disorders

 

Are you trying to go cold turkey with your eating disorder symptoms? It won’t work!
Going cold turkey to stop your eating disorder will not work, even if some doctors and therapists have told you it will. Unfortunately, I’ve had many patients over the years who saw therapists, doctors and even dietitians who advised them some form of the following: “You’re going to stop purging tomorrow and we’re going to count the days”.
Do you drop your routines over the holidays? It could hurt your eating disorder recovery!
I'm very happy to be able to help you with an extremely important topic when it comes to eating disorder recovery -- explaining why it's so important to keep up comforting habits and rituals during the holiday season. You don't have to suffer over the holidays if you have food and body image issues, and keeping up your self-care routines can really help.
Is your family’s constant dieting hurting your kids?
Diets are prevalent in our culture. Studies show that the average age that girls start dieting is eight, and they start to talk about dieting even younger. They view the word fat as a negative word starting at age five! As a parent, you may think you are helping your child by encouraging her to lose weight through dieting – in fact, many doctors still encourage parents to put their kids on diets because of the obesity crisis in America. This is a case where the prevailing advice is wrong and even dangerous for our children. Why? Because diets don’t work!
Are damaging negative thoughts getting in the way of your recovery?
 
Today I’m going to tell you about the healing power of affirmations for eating disorders recovery and healing from lifelong body hatred.
 
I know you’ve probably heard a lot in the media about using affirmations, and you may think it’s a bunch of mumbo jumbo.
 
But I’m not talking about some new age hype, here. I’m talking about the role your recurring negative thoughts play in keeping your eating disorder around.
You're a good parent.
It's Lori here from The Body Image Counseling Center and I'd like to applaud you for taking the first step to getting help for your child's eating disorder by visiting this website and searching for the right information to help your child recover from a dangerous eating disorder. I’m concerned, however, that you may be feeling ashamed or guilty despite your best efforts to help them.
Is Your Child a Picky Eater and Losing Weight?
Is your toddler, child or teen reluctant to eat in front of other people? Does he or she have only a few foods that they prefer and are those options becoming fewer and fewer over time? The “Picky Eater” is a common experience for most parents who have toddlers.
Are there really “good” and “bad” foods?
Here is a question I saw in an eating disorder chat room the other day that I think speaks for so many people who are suffering in silence with eating problems, weight and body shame:
Don’t send your child to college with an eating disorder
It’s that time of year again when young people head back to college and school.  Unfortunately many of them take more than their bedding and books with them; up to 25% of college students also return with an untreated eating disorder.  
Don't diet, get ANGRY!
Today I'm pretty mad. I saw a story on Good Morning America yesterday on a married couple whose job is to scout for potential supermodels. Do I care what these folks do for a living? Not really, it IS a free country after all. It's what happens after they find their supermodel progeny that makes my blood boil.
Is an eating disorder the real problem, or just a symptom?
There are so many people who live a secret life, and sometimes a secret lifetime, battling an eating disorder. The physical, emotional and spiritual problems that manifest with eating disorders are so powerful and all-encompassing that it can be easy to believe that these are the primary symptoms that must be overcome.
Do eating disorder therapists REALLY know what they're doing?
The last few days I have been reading some of the comments posted in eating disorder online support groups, and there seems to be a lot of negative thinking and despair about the ability of therapists to be able to truly help people with eating disorders. Too many people have reported bad experiences with therapists and other helping professionals when trying to seek relief and recovery.
Did you know this deadly myth about eating disorders?
I receive this question all the time from parents and loved ones of people with eating disorders. Please know that it is a DEADLY MYTH that someone can’t have an eating disorder if they seem to be of normal weight. Remember, eating disorders are complicated illnesses, and present themselves differently depending on the person. For instance, did you know that studies show most people with bulimia nervosa are of NORMAL weight? Did you also know that you can have symptoms of different types of eating disorders all at the same time? For example
Do “Fat Feelings” bother you day and night?
I’ve worked with hundreds of men, women and children with eating disorders over the past twenty years, and I can tell you that without a doubt, fat feelings and body image distortion are even more difficult to get rid of than the actual eating disorder symptoms (such as purging, compulsive exercise, dangerous weight loss, and laxative abuse). Why are fat feelings and fears so hard to conquer?
Stop Parent Blaming for Eating Disorders
I've had a lot of distraught parents calling me in the last few weeks because they just found out their child is suffering from anorexia, bulimia, compulsive overeating or body dysmorphic disorder. Many of these parents had called doctors, counselors and other medical providers who had been either been unable to help, had implied it was somehow the parents' fault, or hadn't even called them back! The only thing worse than finding out your child has a potentially life threatening condition is to be continually frustrated in finding qualified help. For this reason I wanted to send out a supportive article this week to parents encouraging you to follow your intuition about what is right for your child, and not to waste precious time blaming yourselves.
The 6 Most Common Mistakes People Make When Trying To Help Someone With An Eating Disorder
Even though I truly love being a therapist, one thing about my job that is very difficult is receiving the weekly calls from parents and loved ones of people with eating disorders who ask the same heart-breaking question: “I know my child (wife, sister, brother, mother, or friend) has an eating disorder, but when I beg them to get counseling or see a doctor, they refuse and deny they even have a problem. What can I do to get them help?"
How Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Can Help You Rapidly Recover from an Eating Disorder
As a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), my main focus is to increase socially appropriate, healthy behaviors, and decrease unhealthy, dangerous behaviors. With regard to eating disorders, I will help you to increase healthy behaviors in your life such as: following your meal plan, exercising an appropriate amount, eating an appropriate amount of calories, and regularly using healthy coping skills instead of your eating disorder symptoms. At the same time, I will also help you decrease unhealthy behaviors such as: yo-yo dieting, purging, over exercising, and emotional eating.
Does the man in your life have an eating disorder?
Over the years I have been treating more and more boys and men for eating disorders. Do you know that for a long time it was believed that men do not get eating disorders? For that reason, all treatment was focused on women, basically excluding the needs of men. Luckily, times have changed and slowly but surely, men with eating disorders are finally getting more specialized attention and treatment options.
What would your life look like if you were totally free of your eating disorder?
Think about it for a minute.

I bet you haven't asked yourself that question very much, or maybe never at all. Why do I know this? Because most people with eating disorders live with them in secret, as well as the false belief that they can never fully recover. So, if you believe you will always have to live with your eating disorder, why would you waste time dreaming about what your life would be like without it?

You may be hearing that voice right now, that negative, pessimistic voice, whispering "Don't listen to HER (or HIM!), you know it's impossible to get better, don't get your hopes up". If that voice (some people call it Ed) is there, just tell it to wait a few minutes, and clear a space to answer, what *exactly* would your life look like if you were forever free? Would it include...
When It Comes to Friends, Lovers, and Eating Disorders, Are You Listening to Your Alarm?
Published February 2, 2015 | By Lori Osachy
If you have an eating disorder and you’re having trouble approaching people, you may have turned off your “alarm”.

Our body is like a house. When we’re born, we all have a natural “alarm system” built into our house that tells us when we’re in danger, and when it’s safe. When we’re in danger that alarm goes off in the form of our intuition or instinct, and tells us it is not safe.

Some people end up turning off their alarm.
Don’t Be The One-Legged Woman In a Wheelchair
Published January 6, 2015 | By Lori Osachy
Today’s tip on eating disorder recovery is to think about your deathbed and how you want to look back on your life. This is serious but we have to bring out the big guns to battle negative body image and eating disorders, right? I want you to sit and project yourself one year, then five years ahead in your life and think about how you want to feel. And then I want you to think about the end of your life and ask yourself: “Do I want to look back and say that I hated my body? That I was obsessed with calories and weight for all of my years? That I always struggled with food and body image? Do I really want to look back and say that’s what much of my life was all about?”
Do You Have to Live With an Eating Disorder for the Rest of Your Life?
Published December 29, 2014 | By Lori Osachy
A common and harmful misconception about eating disorders is that you have to live with them in some form for the rest of your life, and just hope you can successfully manage the symptoms. Having an eating disorder is not a natural state. It’s a faulty coping mechanism. Although people can be genetically predisposed to eating disorders, environment is much more influential - about 75% over our genetics. There has been a lot covered in the news lately on the topic stemming from a renewed interest in research about how humans can overcome our genetics. Research has shown that our genetics are, in many cases, a very small part of what influences us.
Why You Need Professional Help To Get Better From an Eating Disorder
Published December 8, 2014 | By Lori Osachy
Many people with eating disorders wonder if professional treatment is absolutely necessary for them to get well. Eating disorders are mysterious to the average person, and individuals often lack full understanding of this complex and dangerous problem. When a person lacks information and guidance about a stressful problem, they can be prone to minimizing it or denying its seriousness. This can unfortunately lead to disastrous consequences.
4 Ways to De-Stress During the Holidays
Published November 25, 2014 | By Lori Osachy
The holidays are here and along with cheer, parties and gift exchanges, they can bring a lot of stress. Many people suffer from stress during the holiday season and if you are one of them don’t feel bad about not enjoying every moment of the season. Attempting to attend every get-together, see every family member, buy gifts for everyone and stay happy while you do it can cause unnecessary stress and you can avoid it! The stress of the holidays can cause relapses and can trigger eating disorder symptoms so it’s important to find ways to stay calm during this season. Finding ways to de-stress during the holiday madness can help you keep your sanity and actually enjoy the holidays.
Mini-Tip #6 to help heal negative body image
Published April 30, 2014 | By Lori Osachy
6. Determine if you eat for reasons other than hunger or enjoyment.
Mini-Tip #5 to help heal negative body image
Published April 29, 2014 | By Lori Osachy
5. Stop Dieting
Mini-Tip #4 to help heal negative body image
Published April 25, 2014 | By Lori Osachy
4. Buy clothes that fit your body comfortably and express your personality.
Mini-Tip #3 to help heal negative body image
Published April 24, 2014 | By Lori Osachy
3. Create an inspiration board.
3 Powerful Ways To Keep Up Healthy Exercise During the Holidays
Published December 2, 2014 | By Lori Osachy
Around this time of year, starting in October, I hear about two main fears that overwhelm most of my clients with eating disorders:
  1. I’ll eat too much (or not enough) food over the holidays, going back to my eating disordered behaviors
  2. I’ll either over-exercise to deal with the stress, or not exercise enough.
My last blog post addressed the first fear. If you missed it, you can read it here. Today I’m going to help you with the second fear.
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