Here are some awesome quotes to keep in your back pocket for the days that harder to quiet the pesky voice of your eating disorder.
Here are some motivational GIFs that I hope will help you progress in your recovery.
We all need a little piece of peace. Check out some of my favorite pick-me-ups below
In this video blog, our prevention specialist, Stephanie Haines, M.Ed., CHES, will walk you through some of the emotions you can expect to experience, why treatment isn’t as bad as you might think and some of the things you can expect when deciding whether or not to seek treatment for an eating disorder.
We often hear from clients post-discharge, that without the support of the staff and milieu in program, the transition back to daily life can be quite challenging. For this reason, it is imperative that parts of the treatment environment get carried over upon discharge.
For women and men suffering from the infliction of an eating disorder within this cultural back drop, it’s no wonder why it has become increasingly challenging for many to feel comfortable in their own skin.
In gyms across America, the biggest barometer for success are marked by external physical indicators– fat burned, pounds lost and waist sizes dropped – without adequate regard to mental health or internal physical benefits.
If someone battling with or those having survived from cancer are heroes (which they are) – why shouldn’t those battling, or those having recovered from a mental illness be considered heroes too?
I’m here to tell you that you are deserving of love. Here are some Valentines that I think we all would all be happy to receive this Sunday.
While Martin Luther King Junior was a brave and profoundly brilliant advocate in the African American civil rights movement, I think it is important today, and everyday, to reflect on his teachings in a way that resonates with each of us individually. Being that this is a mental health blog, I thought it useful to relate MLK's preachings of tolerance and support for the whole person to those who have been touched by a mental illness.
My disdain for the word “or” came in fourth grade when I took my first True OR False exam in Science. “True or false, the world has people in it,” the test question mused. “Well,” I thought to myself, “it is true that the world has people in it, but it also has animals and trees and insects…that must mean the answer is false…but the answer couldn’t be false because there ARE people in the world…”
There are many different theories as to why Americans are consumed by weight loss and achieving the ideal body. One theory is that the American health care system judges the health of patients based on Body Mass Index (BMI), even though there is no direct correlation between the two. The media also portrays thinner people as happy, and we begin to think all our problems will be solved if we just look like that. If we just lose weight.
After working very hard over the past 4 months you deserve a break right? Well after the Holiday excitement wears off and you still have 3 weeks of vacation to go, time can start to drag and when time starts to drag, the mind can start to wander.
What does it mean to be “guilt-free”? To not feel that nagging sense that you’ve done something wrong, let someone down, or hurt someone? When you run an Internet image search of the term “guilt-free,” surprisingly, there are no images of people free from guilt because they are in content relationships being loyal to their partners.
What has kept me from sharing my road to recovery from everyone I meet? Part of it is the fear of being stigmatized for recovering from an Eating Disorder (E.D.) Ignorance can be bliss at times. I remember it like yesterday. The feeling of being crazy and hopeless, barely escapes me.
I took that leap. The leap of faith that got me through the day. I knew I was not alone, I couldn't be. I knew that this could not be an internal struggle inside myself anymore. Despite, all the thoughts I thought inside my head, I believed I was not alone. I hoped that sharing my story would help me and others too.
To an individual with an eating disorder, fear foods are foods that Ed prohibits you to eat. Fear foods vary from individual to individual, day to day and sometimes don’t even make sense. No matter what the fear food is, Ed is right there to be sure the rules are followed and it is not eaten. Should a fear food really be feared? Will something bad happen if it is eaten? The answer is NO.
As I reflect on my life at the age of thirty-five years old, I wonder how I have learned to love myself along the way. I ask myself, "how can one love themselves' when there is so much more to love in others?" Well, I've learned along the way, through the guidance of my parents, that it is important to love yourself first. It can be a hard concept to grasp for a selfless person, but as I walk in my own shadow, I trust and love myself for all of me.
Did you know that Oct. 4 -10 is Mental Health Awareness Week? That’s right, this awareness week began in 1990 when the U.S. Congress recognized the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) for all of their work to educate and increase awareness around mental illness. This year, to commemorate this event, NAMI created web and social media initiatives to help break down the facts and figures around mental illnesses.
During my recovery, one of my therapists Thom, had me talk about and look at my inner child (aka: little Cheryl, a younger version of myself etc.) and how I relate (or related) to her and what may or may not come up in how I am relating it all to Ed.
It seems like eating disorders have become a popular topic lately. There have been countless news stories depicting eating disorders in teens, parents, athletes etc. Catch up on the most recent ones listed below.
People are healthiest when their mind, body, and spirit are integrated, creating an internal sense of wholeness. These parts of the self are meant to be connected to each other, and to function in harmony with each other and the whole. Unfortunately, eating disorders often bring about an internal fracturing of mind, body and spirit. It may feel like you have been trapped in your mind by eating disorder thoughts that disconnect you from your body and spirit.
People don’t choose to have an eating disorder. There are many biological, psychological, and sociological factors that play a role in the development of an eating disorder, and recovery from an eating disorder can be difficult, but it is possible to achieve a full and sustained recovery.
When I read the headline, “Magazine puts a Plus Size Model on the Cover and Twitter Freaks out”, my first reaction was one of frustration. Why, I thought, is the world so irritated by larger bodies? What is it about plus size models that people react so strongly to? Why can’t plus size models be shown running on the cover of a runner’s magazine? Would a plus size male model have caused Twitter to “freak out”?
When an adolescent is struggling with an eating disorder, it can affect the whole family. Often times, there are siblings within the family system that are impacted by their brother or sister (biological or not) who they see struggling. In some families, the eating disorder may be discussed openly, and in others it may not. When clients enter treatment, what is evident is that there is a change in structure and routine for the entire family.
Today I went and saw the new Pixar film, Inside Out. If you haven’t heard about it yet, here’s the gist: You are witnessing the emotional life of an 11 year old girl from the inside of her brain. Specifically, you are watching life in her Limbic System and Hippocampus. You are watching personified emotions-Joy, Anger, Disgust, Fear, and Sadness. Each emotion takes turns “driving the bus” that is this young girl’s brain reaction to her circumstances, and watching these experiences be solidified and stored.
Everyone has a best-friend, right? A friend that guides you, listens to you, and lends you a hand? They tells you the truth and lets you know how they feel. They help accentuate your strengths and support your goals in life. They stand by your side through thick or thin. What if I told you my best friend at a certain time in my life was not that at all?
As the temperature rises in summer, so can the anxiety around body image. Summer is usually the time for shorts, bathing suits, dresses, and capris. For those in recovery, it can feel overwhelming and scary to think about putting on a bathing suit or a pair of shorts. Despite the fear of it, the negative body image that may arise and Ed yelling at you, you can take steps to enjoy the summer fun!
I know for years you've all known I've had an eating disorder. Even if you didn't understand it or know what an eating disorder was, you knew something was wrong. Confronting someone that has a problem is hard, let alone confronting your best friends, so I understand why you never wanted to bring it up. It's a sensitive subject, I get it.
Being on the road to recovery is a path I never thought I'd be on. After ten years of repeating the same habits daily, how in the world was I supposed to change? I was constantly asking myself, "do I even want to change? Can I do this on my own?" I certainly could not.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month and it is important to educate our friends, families as well as our communities around this serious subject. Mental health seems to be more visible in the media in recent months stemming from tragedies of celebrities and students across the country. Deaths like that of comedian and actor Robin Williams sparked the conversation of people everywhere to start talking about mental illness, it’s impact on individuals with mental health problems and the stigma that surrounds mental illness. Here are some statistics that show the prevalence of mental health issues.
If I were to ask you to tell me something that interests you or a talent you possess, what would your answer be? Would you say, “Talents, whatever Cheryl, the only thing I’m good at is listening to Ed” or “I don’t have any talents or interests” or “My interest and talent is my ability to do behaviors and listen to my eating disorder.” Those are the answers I told people when they asked me what I was good at.
Insecurities can play a powerful role in anyone’s life. Insecurities are why we hide our flaws and cover up anything that is less than perfect. As the above quote states, our insecurities become more apparent when we are constantly comparing ourselves to the images we see on TV, magazines, and social media. Many patients at Walden Behavioral Care say that they struggle the most with comparison on Instagram and Facebook, as opposed to in the pages of their favorite magazine.
Walden Behavioral Care would like to acknowledge the passing of our colleague and friend Lynn Grefe, President and CEO of the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA). Lynn was a visionary in the eating disorder field whose passion, dedication and commitment to individuals and families who struggle with eating disorders was always evident and her top priority. She will be missed.
It took all of my inner strength and courage to come out and admit that...I have an eating disorder. When I say it, my voice lowers, almost to a whisper because it's embarrassing and it's not something I want to share or talk about. When I finally came to understand and realize what was going on I used to say to myself, "It's just a problem I have and I'll have to deal with it for the rest of my life."
When I was with Ed free time was non-existent. I spent all of my days listening to him and doing as he said. Ed didn't allow me to have free time. It was all about him and doing what he said in order to get and achieve what he promised. It wasn't until I went into Walden that the concept of free time was introduced to me. We had free time in between groups, on the weekends and on passes.
Upwards of twenty million women and ten million men suffer from a clinically – significant eating disorder in the United States at some point in their lives, according to the National Eating Disorder Association.
From a clinical standpoint, the most crucial role in Family Based Treatment (FBT) is not necessarily the child’s role but their parents’. When a person is in the midst of their eating disorder it is often very difficult for them to see outside of their preoccupation with continuing to use eating disorder behaviors, and that is exactly where the parents become so important. A parent, or parental figure, is able to remove the responsibility of eating from the child, and become the authority on meal preparation and planning.
Each year, Walden Behavioral Care commemorates National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (NEDAW) in order to highlight the seriousness of these devastating illnesses. NEDAW’s goal is “to improve public understanding [of eating disorders]…by increasing awareness and access to resources.”
Throughout history the “ideal” female body has changed quite a bit. While women during the Italian Renaissance (1400-1700) were considered beautiful if they had large breasts, rounded stomachs and full hips, hundreds of years later, flappers in the 1920’s were idealized if they had flat chests, slim waists and boyish figures. Today, society considers the ideal woman to have a flat stomach, be “healthy” skinny, have large breasts and butt and a thigh gap.