Thoughts about Food Feelings and the Holidays from me ( Carolyn)
When the holidays turn into something to “get through” rather than something to celebrate, it is time to take another look because something is wrong. Clients who have been around me during the Holidays know that I love this time of year and do many things that make me happy during this season including getting my tree, making my own Christmas cards, having a holiday party and buying crystals for friends, family, clients and staff.
This Thanksgiving—Be Grateful But Don’t Over Do It.
Recently I was reading an article about the work of Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky, a leading researcher on happiness at University of California, Riverside. Dr. Lyubomirsky's work looks at the contributing factors to an individual's happiness including gratitude. On a day like Thanksgiving, fraught with food, family and fear, I think it’s important to consider gratitude and make sure we are using it to make ourselves feel better, not worse.
Soul Food Part 2
For people struggling with eating disorders and food issues, Thanksgiving is perhaps the single most stressful day of the year. Thanksgiving has seemingly become a day wholly devoted to food with the part about giving thanks being a convenient vehicle for the food focus.
Soul Food for the Holidays, Part 1
When the holidays turn into something to get through rather than something to celebrate, something is wrong. Holidays are supposed to be happy times, so why do so many people get depressed, frustrated and stressed out?
Taking a Moment
The following story, which first appeared in the Washington Post, is a good reminder about the importance of staying present. It is a true story and an interesting test of our collective consciousness.
Happy All Hallow’s Eve
Did you know that the term Halloween actually comes from "All-Hallows'-Eve" or the night-before-All-Saints'- Day... a day honoring the dead. Celebrating this day in October can be traced back to several different origins including the Pagans who had celebrations of bonfires and feasting and honoring the "lord of the dead" who was thought to gather together the souls of the year's dead.
How to Get the Most Out of Your Treatment Team
When asked to write an article about getting the most out of your treatment team, I immediately went to my current clients at Monte Nido to see what they had to say about the topic. I find that clients are usually great at giving advice, even if they are not always so good at following it themselves. My clients gave me plenty of ideas that I have incorporated into this article along with my own reflections. I hope readers will find these tips useful in their own situation.
What Do Eating Disorder Clients Find Most Helpful in Therapy?
We should all be paying attention to what our clients/patients find most helpful in their treatment. A few studies have done just that by asking the clients directly. The following is a summary of what was discovered:
Thoughts on Acceptance
For anyone trying to change something the process can seem quite slow, frustrating, or out of reach. It often feels like you are not getting anywhere, it’s not worth it, or you just can’t do it. Be careful not to criticize or berate yourself for lack of progress. Just imagine if you criticized or berated someone else who was trying to change. How well do you think that would work? If self-criticism worked, most people would not take very long to change. One way to think about the process is to remind yourself that you are working toward something. You are learning to accept yourself where you are at this moment, are doing the best that you can, and will continue working toward change. This will involve having compassion… for yourself.
I came across a blog, recommended by a friend, and through this blog stumbled upon another blog. Now I have plenty of reading to keep me busy. And a lot of inspirational information to keep me engaged. These two blogs were talking about the concept of Happier Hours. These started as a series of gatherings hosted by author Aidan Donnelley Rowley centered around female authors whose work inspires growth. The idea being that we can all be happier, if not all of the time, then even just for more moments in each day.
Fully Recovered… Perspectives from Carolyn Costin, Jenni Schaefer, and Dr. Jennifer Thomas
What FULLY RECOVERED Looks Like... Find where you are in the recovery process based on Jenni Schaefer and Jennifer Thomas's recovery chart from their new book, ALMOST ANOREXIC.
Many people I treat try to get away with having just a touch of their eating disorder left, not being willing to really let go of it all. Giving up some of the eating disorder but not all of it can be thought of as being "Almost Recovered." Unfortunately, this usually ends up as a slippery slope back to a full blown illness.
In their new book, "Almost Anorexic, " Jenni Schaefer and Jennifer Thomas have also come up with a wonderful chart comparing what they call being almost or barely recovered to being fully recovered. I will begin using this with all our clients as a way to help them not settle for less than fully recovered.
What One Client Says About What Makes Monte Nido Different
There are a few core philosophies and distinctions that I believe set Monte Nido apart from all other treatment centers and that I particularly value:
First: Monte Nido greets the individual not the illness.
The atmosphere, philosophy, and energy that strikes the client the moment she enters the door at Monte Nido is one that meets every individual on the level of their soul rather than the defining or manifested features of their eating disorder or illness. This meeting of the souls gives clients the unique sense that one is being seen, encountered, and recognized for their true being, rather than distinguished by a diagnostic label that defies their essence. (I picture you telling me with the wave of your hand how you look beyond the eating disorder to the person).
Second: By greeting the soul, Monte nido invites and engages the soul rather than the ego.
Celebrating Independence and Freedom… A Message from Carolyn
Happy 4th of July!!
Today is a day of celebrating independence. Simply put, independence means Freedom from Control. It is a good day to spend some time thinking about your own freedom and what you need independence from.
I encourage my eating disorder clients to reflect on what has control over them in a way that interferes with their happiness... Is it the scale, is it fear of eating certain foods, is it the obligation to exercise rather than the choice? Is is intrusive eating disorder thoughts?
We ALL DESERVE to be free. Take ONE step toward freedom today... Carolyn
Great Article by Your Eatopia! The Telltale Dozen: How to identify a restrictive eating disorder.
How do you identify a restrictive eating disorder? Because it is a neurobiological condition, it is the mindset you are forced to adopt towards food that is most telling.
The Telltale Dozen
1. Family and friends have shifted from congratulating you on your weight loss and/or your healthier choices to making either careful or even blunt comments that you look too thin, sick, or generally don’t seem to eat enough.
2. You are cold when others are not. You’ve started wearing sweaters when others are in short-sleeves. Sometimes you feel light-headed, dizzy. Other times you feel foggy-headed – like you are listening to others through cotton wool.
3. You are tired and find your mind wanders. You struggle to focus in class or at work. You cannot remember things that others remember easily.
“Real Issue” #13: Terrified of Not Measuring Up… An excerpt from Your Dieting Daughter
13.Terrified of Not Measuring up
"If our will were sufficient to accomplish our desire, many of us would begin to look like our Anorexic sister"
"My best friend had everything, beauty, money, good grades. I didn't have anything better than her. Now that I'm thinner I have something she really wants but can't seem to accomplish. Thinness is the only thing I have."
It is difficult to measure up to the ideal standards set by our society. This is not just true for thinness but for being a super person at everything. A television commercial showed one woman in these various scenes:
• Winning a marathon,
• Cuddling her newborn,
• Graduating from college,
• Dressed for success with briefcase on her way to work,
• Attending her aerobics class,
• Going out to dinner with a great looking man,
• And of course, a great figure, on the thin side, and beautiful of course.
“Real Issue” #12… Lack of Trust in Self and Others
Lack Of Trust In Self And Others
“I can’t seem to make decisions about anything so I just make rules to follow. I don’t know how much is too much, so it seems easier to try to avoid eating altogether.”
“I don’t trust myself or anyone so I am always lost, looking for something to make me feel better. Food fills that gap.”
"I feel as though anything that enters my body, even food, could hurt me.”
Lack of trust can be a temperamental thing but it can also be learned. Most parents do the best they can and do not abuse or neglect their children. Most families are not abusive. Nevertheless there are some families where intrusive or neglectful caregiving results in the child developing a lack of trust in self and others. When trust in others has been violated or trust in one’s self is undeveloped or destroyed, people create ways to protect themselves and their personal boundaries. Disordered eating patterns can be, in part, attempts to resist with the body and to define, establish, or restore a sense of self through body boundaries. Controlling the body, and what goes in and out of it, can be an adaptive and defensive reaction to past neglect and abuse.
Carolyn Costin responds to HuffPo’s article about Professionals in Recovery
So as you know I have been speaking up and writing about the topic of being a RECOVERED therapist forever… well… three decades at least. I was grateful that author Catherine Pearson wrote about the topic of eating disorder therapists with a personal history of an eating disorder. But I did not miss how her recent Huffington Post article was titled, "When Your Therapist HAS an Eating Disorder Too…" As if all of us (therapists) discussed in the article still HAD eating disorders. I actually wrote to Catherine and expressed my concern. The way this topic is often handled brings to mind other examples of therapists who in their life history had illnesses, either psychological or physical, and got over them years ago but end up with a patient who currently suffers from the problem. For example, "When your therapist has depression too," or "When your therapist has cancer too." It actually sounds ridiculous if you know the therapist got over their depression or cancer years ago.
A Safe Place to Go… An excerpt from Your Dieting Daughter
Real Issue #11: A Safe Place to Go
"In a time of trouble, confusion or danger, we'd all like to have a safe place to go, both literally and psychologically. Some people feel "safe" with another person, some people feel "safe" when they stay home, some feel "safe" when they act tough and macho, some when they take drugs or drink alcohol. Some people feel safe when they're working, some only when they're doing something that they are very good at, some when surrounded by friends, others when they are alone.
Guest Blog Post by Don Blackwell: I’ve Listened To “Your Daughter’s” Heart
I realized on my walk this morning that, during the course of our daughter’s illness, I was afforded a very unique privilege – one that (thankfully) few fathers will ever experience – namely, the chance to listen as hundreds of women, young and old, openly shared their pain and the innermost longings of their hearts – and listen I did. I say “thankfully” not because I don’t wish every father and every “father-to-be” couldn’t be similarly gifted – I do; but rather because, at the time of the sharing, most of those hearts were momentarily trapped in bodies ravaged by eating disorders – a circumstance that I wouldn’t wish on anyone.
“Real Issue: #9: Respect and Admiration
Respect & Admiration
In our present day society where thinness is a highly sought after commodity, those who have it have the respect and admiration of the ones who don't. A person with anorexia undergoes the strictest ordeal of "dieting" that the rest of those who want to lose weight cannot tolerate. Unfortunately all too often she gains respect and admiration from others for her ability to win the battle with her body.
It is unfortunate that losing weight receives such admiration from others.
If your daughter is envied for ordering salad at the pizza place and for saying, “No thanks” when offered dessert, her girlfriends might want to know, "How do you do it?" Inside she might be proud or she may think to herself, "How can I not do it?"
“Real Issue” #8: The Issue of Power… An Excerpt from Your Dieting Daughter
8. The Issue of Power
Weight loss, extreme thinness, and the responses that others have to these can make one feel powerful. If this has happened to your daughter she will not easily want to give it up. Just like with the issue of control, the goal for recovery is to learn how to chan¬nel any feelings of power in other constructive ways. Eventually power, that seems to come from a relentless pursuit of thinness or an eating disorder, becomes not only, “not worth it”, but eventually turns into powerlessness.
How powerful are you if you can deny your body food? How powerful are you if all your family is worried about and dotes over you. How powerful is it to be the one who decides where or what the family is going to eat for dinner? How powerful it can seem to sculpt your body like very few people seem to be able to do. How powerful is it to eat whatever you want and secretly throw it up so no one knows how you manage to lose or maintain your weight? How powerful it can be to have others coming to you for advice on how to lose weight. How powerful it can feel to be in the hospital and have all your friends and even people you barely know come to visit or send you cards. How powerful it is to be different, noticed, a source of conversation.
Your Dieting Daughter Book Excerpt—“Real Issue” #7: The Need to be in Control
7. Need to be in Control
“There are many things that are impossible to control, for example, my parents divorce, whether Jim will go out with me, my dad’s drinking, but my weight I can control.”
"Eating or not eating is a way for me to control my body. I decide what goes in or out. Even if it is a bad choice, it’s my choice.”
"I throw up sometimes to get back at my dad. It would be the only thing that got him really mad, that he could do nothing about."
Frequently, when I tell people I am an eating disorder therapist they ask, “Isn’t that all about control?” Control issues do play a part in disordered eating behavior but this is far too simplistic, it is more complicated than that. Chances are though that your daughter is feeling out of control of her life in some way. Life is not turning out how she wanted or expected, or she is afraid it won’t and she might find herself feeling as though she has little or nothing to do with the outcome. This is true for most teens at some point and probably contributes to the fact that the highest rate of eating disorders is found in adolescents and young adults. One way your daughter may attempt to gain control of her life is symbolically through controlling her body.
Young girls and females in general, are indoctrinated with the notion of asserting control over their bodies. Usually when the pursuit of weight loss or “getting into shape” begins it is encouraged and approved of, and therefore is a perfect arena to fulfill a psychological need for control. Unfortunately, too often trying to control one’s body becomes more of a problem than the one it was trying to solve and eventually leaves the individual less in control.
Excerpt from Your Dieting Daughter—“Real Issue” #6: Desire to be Special/Unique
“Nobody wants to be a plain Jane.”
The above quote and the following journal entry is from Carol, an 18 year old with EDNOS.
“When I first started losing weight everyone came up to me saying "You look great", "How did you do it", "I wish I had that kind of will power", and other positive comments. It was wonderful. I loved it. I felt powerful and special. Countless other people I knew, even close friends, had tried without suc¬cess to lose weight. I had done it. People noticed me! How could I give this up? It wasn't just the weight loss or my new weight, which made me special, it was the unique ability to accomplish it, the process, the passing up of delicious treats, the power to say no to food. I stood out because I could do it. Instead of a certain weight as the goal, losing weight became the goal. The ability to behave like no one else! I was the envy of everyone. It is also true that I was afraid that if I let up on the behaviors, I would gain the weight back and worse, become “normal’ again. I didn't want to be like everyone else. The behaviors became a part of me. The behaviors and following my eating rules, were the most important things to me, they made me unique.”
“Real Issue” #5: Need for Perfection and Black/White Thinking
Need for Perfection and Black/White Thinking
“I have to be perfect with my eating or I know I will be a failure and end up obese.”
Katy, a seventeen year old with EDNOS wrote, "I always have to be perfect at everything. I have to do the best at everything. I can't stand it. I hate it but I like it. Anyway, at night is when I don't have to do that anymore. It's my time to NOT be perfect, to get away with something, so then I binge, but of course I have to get rid of it."
“I am really beginning to see how this perfectionism thing has been in my life for a long time. As a kid, when I would compete in sports, I was fine on a team, but in individual competition I would always create an injury or excuse that would keep me from continuing. I did that because I was afraid to lose. Los¬ing alone, because you've blown it, is so much harder mentally than losing with a team. On a team, there is always somebody else to blame. When I was in sixth grade, I was in a tennis tournament. I was a good player, but at the time I wasn't convinced of that. One quarter of the way through the tournament, I freaked out, and came down with the excuse, 'I am not feeling good', and bailed the tournament. I'll never forget that. I was just too afraid of losing. Losing one game wouldn’t mean I lost a game, it would mean I was a failure"
“Real Issue” #4: Filling Up An Emptiness… An excerpt from Your Dieting Daughter
"Real Issue" #4: Filling Up An Emptiness
Brooke, a twenty four year old with bulimia wrote, "I feel empty a lot of the time and bingeing actually fills up that emptiness. I know I'm missing something. I need something and until I find out what it is, until I find a replacement for bingeing, I can't give it up."
Lori writes, "Eating fills up a big black hole inside of me."
Guest Blog Post by Don Blackwell: A Dad’s Perpspective on Life, Love, Faith, and Hope
A Little Girl, A BIG Red Balloon And A Radiant Reminder of What Being “Beautiful” is All About
beau·ti·ful [byoo-tuh-fuh l] (adjective) - possessing qualities that give great pleasure or satisfaction to see, hear, think about, etc.; delighting the senses or mind.
By now you’ve likely seen the link to the so-called “Dove Experiment” that is making the rounds on social media. Apparently inspired by the mind-numbing statistic that accompanies the post (i.e, that “only 4% of women around the world consider themselves to be beautiful”), the ingenious folks at Dove retained the services of a retired forensic artist to prove a point, namely that women are far more critical of their own appearance, specifically their facial features, than even other women are of them! And, as evidenced by the sketches that resulted when the two groups were asked to describe the same face – and the tears that flowed from those faces when the women were confronted with their “self-harshness” – Dove did just that! The video is quite moving and its implications are profound and important. Respectfully, however, it leaves several important questions unanswered: Where do these negative self-perceptions come from? Against what standards are these women self-evaluating? How do we begin to take steps to ensure that our daughters and other loved ones are not part of a similar “experiment” and shedding those same tears 5 or 10 years from now?
“Real Issue” #3… The Need for Distraction
An excerpt from Carolyn's newest book, Your Dieting Daughter:
"Real Issue" #3: Need For Distraction
Sometimes eating disorders take the place of having to deal with any other problems. If being thin or in control, becomes the most important thing in the world, more important than school, relationships or health, then one can concentrate on it to the exclusion of all other things. It’s very overwhelming to deal with all of life’s problems but an obsession with food or dieting or being in the throes of an eating disorder can help put other things aside.
Client With Bulimia: "Binging and purging helps me forget my problems."
Carolyn: “Yes it does, but only for the moment, the problems are there when those behaviors stop."
“Real Issue” #2… Belief in a Myth
Carolyn Costin's newest book, YOUR DIETING DAUGHTER, provides insight into the 14 underlying issues your dieting daughter might be facing. Today will focus on "Real Issue" #2: Belief in a Myth.
2. Belief in a Myth
"I will be happy and successful if I am thin."
Cultural messages may have deluded your daughter into believing a myth. There are many myths involved in the area of dieting and the thinness pursuit. With all the advertis¬ing and the media bombardment, she may believe that dieting or losing weight will solve her problems. The problem is that even if she succeeds at the dieting game, she will soon find that she doesn’t feel happy or successful about her life but only about her thinness. In spite of this she may continue dieting, thinking that perhaps she just hasn't gotten thin enough, or that if nothing else, at least she is successful at something.
I have conversations with all of my clients about what thinness, weight loss and disordered eating does for them. I ask them if they are happier, more successful, or better off. "Do more people like you now?" "Do you have more friends?" Do you get more quality dates or relationships?" "Are you making better grades?" These questions most often test the client’s reality because the answer is, usually “No,” at least eventually.
“Real Issue #1” ... A Deeper Look Into the Issues That Underly Eating Disorders
Yesterday, I posted an excerpt from Carolyn's most recent book, Your Dieting Daughter, identifying the 14 "Real Issues" that underly eating disorders. Today, we will delve a bit deeper into these issues to help either yourself or your loved ones have a better grasp on what's actually going on. I know most people do not like to read epic blog posts, so we will be discussing one of the "Real Issues" one at a time.
1. Poor Self Worth
Despite the fact that you might see it otherwise, your daughter may feel that she has not found any real meaning in life. She may feel empty and insignificant. She may be devaluing herself. She may be torturing her body to conform to some standard she has set, forcing it to be different because it is not good enough.
“The Real Issues” ... From Carolyn’s Most Recent Book, Your Dieting Daughter
Food and weight are merely the symptoms of deeply-rooted issues. Parents often wonder how and why their daughter started the self-destructive dieting and eating disordered behaviors. Carolyn Costin states, "I refer to these as, 'The Real Issues' because they are the issues that help to propel someone from a diet to a disorder. You will find here a list called, “The Real Issues” with examples of statements from clients."
1. Low Self-Worth
Thought-Feeling-Urge-Action Chain… An Excerpt from 8 Keys to Recovery from an Eating Disorder
We have found a simple way to help our clients understand, dissect, and change how their thoughts and feelings lead to their eating disorder behaviors. If you are at the total habituation stage of your eating disorder, the following information will be harder to take in, but it is still possible to do. Whenever you have a strong, triggering feeling, you will have an urge to react and cope with it in the best way you know how.
Exciting Opportunity for Professional Development In Sydney Australia Presented by Carolyn Costin
The Butterfly Foundation is pleased to announce that Carolyn Costin, eating disorder specialist, will be returning to Australia in May to deliver a training program that presents an exciting opportunity for professional development.
As you may know, Carolyn is the Founder of the Monte Nido Treatment Center in California and the author of five books including “8 Keys to Recovery from an Eating Disorder: Effective Strategies from Therapeutic Practice and Personal Experience”.
Carolyn’s treatment methods are renowned for their success in helping patients achieve recovery. On Thursday May 16, Carolyn will train clinicians in how to utilize evidence based treatment along with Monte Nido’s unique protocols and methodology. The training will be held at Butterfly House in Sydney, Australia, from 9.00-4.30pm.
Writing Assignment: How is Your Relationshp to Food Like Your Relationship to People?
Writing Assignment from 8 Keys to Recovery from an Eating Disorder
Your approaches to both food and relationships will have similarities because of your temperament and who you are. Think for a minute about how you are with food. Do you fear you will never get enough? Now ask yourself if this is similar to your relationship with food. When we asked one of our clients with bulimia this question, she said, "Oh, I binge and purge men!" A client with anorexia said, "I scrutinize everything I eat and everyone I meet."
“Recovery is Not a Linear Process”... An excerpt from 8 Keys to Recovery from an Eating Disorder
Don't be alarmed if your progress does not follow the identified phases in a linear fashion and you are not always moving forward. You will likely experience ups and downs, stalls, slips, and maybe even relapses. If you have been using your eating disorder to manage everything from food to feelings, it will not be easy to stop all at once. In fact, it's quite unlikely that you would be able to stop quickly and easily. You might make some progress, and feel OK about how your recovery is going, but then find yourself reverting back to old behaviors when life presents you with a new or stressful situation that you haven't learned to manage.
FREE 21-Day Meditation with Deva Premal & Miten!
21-DAY MANTRA MEDITATION JOURNEY WITH
DEVA PREMAL & MITEN LAUNCHES APRIL 23
Best selling chant artists Deva Premal & Miten are offering a free 21-Day Mantra Meditation Journey beginning April 23. http://tinyurl.com/cwlcagg Don’t miss this special opportunity to explore the transformational power of a daily mantra meditation practice.
Mantras are energetic sound formulas, created thousands of years ago by the rishis (the wise ones of ancient India) who understood the power of sound as a pathway to enlightenment. Deva & Miten will share a new mantra every day, explaining the meaning, chanting it with you, and meditating on the mantra’s essential energetic quality.
“We Have Been There,” an excerpt from 8 Keys To Recovery From An Eating Disorder
In an excerpt from 8 Keys To Recovery From An Eating Disorder, Carolyn Costin and Gwen Grabb show how it can be helpful to have a therapist who has recovered.
An Excerpt from Carolyn’s Newest Book, YOUR DIETING DAUGHTER… How Mothers Can Help
If your daughter has a problem with food, it will not be easy to know what to do, especially if your own mother was unable to role model or teach you, and/or you have some of your own issues. Your relationship with food, your feelings and your body, will likely be most influential on your daughter. As Evelyn Bassoff put it in her book, “Mothering Ourselves,” “Those of us daughters who as children had fulfilled mothers are fortunate indeed. But those of us who did not are sometimes able to encourage our mothers, no matter what their age, to take new pleasure and have adventures now, for their sake and for ours too.”
Effective, Healthy “Self Statements” from 8 KEYS TO RECOVERY FROM AN EATING DISORDER
1. I want to be a role model for other girls and women by accepting my body.
2. If I overeat, I know that I can get back on track without restricting or purging.
3. What good is having this body if I don't have any fun in it?
4. Being alone with my "desired" body doesn't work. Bigger jeans=bigger life!
Visualizing Recovery: A Personal Reflection by Carolyn Costin
An Excerpt from 8 Keys to Recovery from an Eating Disorder...
Even before I was sure I could get better, I started taking time to visualize what it would be like. It was hard, but I had read about the power of visualization and thought I would give it a try.
NEW BOOK ALERT!! An Excerpt from Carolyn Costin’s Your Dieting Daughter (2nd Edition)
How do you think you would respond to the following scenarios if you had a dieting daughter?
NEDA Walk Los Angeles… An Inspiring Speech by Carolyn Costin!
During Eating Disorder Awareness Week it is important we recognize the importance of expanding awareness about and seriousness of these illnesses, and the devastation they can wreak on the lives of those who suffer and their families.
I'm old enough to remember a time when no one knew what an eating disorder was. 40 years ago when I was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa, even the doctor who diagnosed me had never seen anyone with the illness but had heard about it. I could not find a doctor or therapist or anyone who had ever seen anyone like me. I have come a long way since then. I am recovered, where food and weight have taken a proper perspective in my life. No longer do I restrict my food, count calories, compromise my health, or sell my soul to look a certain way, to wear a certain size, or to reach a certain number on the scale. No longer do I battle my body. Today, and for the last 30 plus years, I have been battling other peoples' eating disorders….helping them to become recovered, too.
On Being Recovered… An Excerpt from Carolyn Costin’s Newest Book, “Your Dieting Daughter.”
“Being recovered is when the person can accept his or her natural body size and shape and no longer has a self-destructive relationship with food or exercise. When you are recovered, food and weight take a proper perspective in your life, and what you weigh is not more important than who you are; in fact, actual numbers are of little or no importance at all.
You've got it all wrong. You didn't come here to master unconditional love. That is where you came from and where you will return.
Exploring Your Phase of Recovery
WRITING ASSIGNMENT: Exploring Your Phase of Recovery
I hope you were able to identify the phase of eating disorder recovery you are in after reading the previous blog post, The 10 Phases of Eating Disorder Recovery, in Carolyn Costin and Gwen Grabb's book, 8 KEYS TO RECOVERY FROM AN EATING DISORDER. Being able to identify the phase you are in can help you figure out what is going on now, where you might be stuck, and where the recovery process will take you in the future.
Ten Phases of Eating Disorder Recovery… What Phase Fits Your Recovery Today?
In their book, 8 Keys to Recovery From an Eating Disorder, Carolyn Costin and Gwen Grabb identify several phases people go through in their recovery from an eating disorder. Knowing what the process looks like and what to expect can be very helpful. Below are the 10 phases of eating disorder recovery:
Dr. Lissak’s blog post: The BIOLOGY OF STARVATION
The Biology of Starvation
Most patients remember one specific event as the initial trigger for their eating disorder. For people who get well in the first few months, the story of the illness stops there. But after even just six months of taking over someone's life, the eating disorder often takes a different course. What started the disease is very different from what lets it continue and worsen over time. In the end the factors that perpetuate the eating disorder easily overshadow the initial event. And one central but easily ignored factor is chronic starvation itself.
ATTENTION: National Eating Disorders Association and Optum ED Survey Results
The National Eating Disorders Association and Optum really need to be congratulated for all of their efforts with this survey. The statistics below show just how much support is needed.
• NEDA and OPTUM have tabulated the survey results of 2050 people, (1500 who have or had suffered from an eating disorder, 550 family members of those with an eating disorder, and 45 family members who have lost a loved one to an eating disorder).
• NEDA will soon post the findings on their web site, all are cautious as to these being preliminary findings, and more research is necessary…. but a summary overview is quite interesting:
“Attitude of Gratitude” Comments by Hilary Wilson
Earlier this year I had an experience that brought gratitude to the forefront of my mind and gave me the idea of cultivating an, ‘attitude of gratitude’.
Guidelines for Athletic Coaches about Eating Disorders
There is a fine line between being a dedicated, determined athlete and crossing the line to an obsession that can lead to serious health and psychological problems such as an exercise addiction or eating disorder.
Most athletes are high achievers, extremely driven. Pushing through pain, being in top physical form, focusing on a low body weight or body fat level, and prioritizing training and performance above all else are qualities commonly found athletes. These are often the same qualities found in people prone to develop an exercise addiction or eating disorder. Athletes are encouraged to push themselves further and further in order to win the tournament, award, college title, etc. They sacrifice their health and personal relationships in order to please coaches, cooperate with athletic scholarships and fulfill their dreams or make others proud.
The following information and guidelines are designed to help coaches identify and deal with problems related to exercise addiction and eating disorders among their athletes.
What is a paradox about you?
What is a paradox about you?
Recently in an alumni group this question was asked - "What is a paradox about you?"
It turned into an interesting, insightful, soulful discussion that continued even after the group ended. Inside are some examples we hope readers will find useful.
Anna Shares Her Gratitude in Speaking at the ANAD Conference
After five (5) years of leading/co-leading Multi-Family/Alumni group every Saturday, our monthly 3-Day Family Weekend, and weekly family therapeutic sessions, it continues to be my honor to do this work.
After a long time being ill w/ anorexia, one of our clients writes about how you begin to eat again
"I think you pick up your fork no matter how much your hand is shaking and how many tears are pouring down your face and you put the food in your mouth and chew.
Chew as long as it takes, and once you swallow breathe. Take it slow at first, allow yourself to cry, to feel horrible, but remember why you are doing it. Because you are hoping for life, because you want to be at your sister's wedding, because you want to go to the beach with your best friend.
Write it down, look at it while you chew, have someone with you to remind you. keep doing this until it gets easier, and it will, I promise.
Eventually you won't need to write it down or have someone remind you all the time, eventually you'll be able to stop shaking, to talk, to laugh, to eat with your best friend ON THE WAY to the beach. Soon you will realize the pain that caused you to stop eating can be dealt with and passes, and you learn to move forward, learning from that pain, eating and laughing and living. That's what I would say."
I wanted to share this with you because it's what i came to learn at Monte Nido and it gets me through each day.
I sent this to a client and this is what she sent me back…...
“The purpose of all the major religious traditions is not to construct big temples on the outside, but to create temples of goodness and compassion inside, in our hearts”
-----His Holiness The Dalai Lama, “The Good Heart”
I sent this quote to a client on her birthday and this is what she wrote me back........
Thank you for remembering, Carolyn.
And although I love the very beautiful quote from the Dalai Lama, having my boyfriend take me out to Union Square Cafe for dinner and ordering pasta was also a spiritual experience for me on my birthday!
Blaming Obesity Falls Short Amongst the Evidence
Blaming obesity not only falls short when the evidence is scrutinized, but it continues to cause the fear of fat and the relentless pursuit of thinness which in some cases leads to eating disorders.
RainRock’s Day Treatment program Goes River Rafting to Experience Mindfulness
Joann ZumBrunnen, Clinical Director of RainRock's Day Program, reflects after a river rafting outing for the Eating Disorder Center of Eugene...
Monte Nido supports - AED & BEDA Condemning Disney Character Body Alterations for Barney’s NY
No Mirror Day at Monte Nido
At Monte Nido, we believe one of the keys to recovery is to challenge the idea that our body, or the way we look, can determine whether we are “okay.” When we get on the scale, or body check in the mirror, this is often the information we are seeking. Unfortunately, a scale, or a mirror, is not qualified to provide this answer. We get rid of scales in treatment, but why not mirrors?
Choose to Choose
I choose to respond instead of react. I choose to take the time to look honestly at situations and identify the emotions I am experiencing. I choose to have patience with myself and others. I choose to get up when I fall - and not let the fear of falling prevent me from ever taking that first step. I choose to forgive myself for the inevitable mistakes I will make - and to view them as opportunities for growth and self-improvement. I choose to not define myself by my past - to know that what has happened to me and the things I have done are not what makes me who I am. I choose to take back my power and no longer play the victim. I choose to take a proactive role in my recovery and to trust those who have more experience than I - in other words, I choose to be open to the possibility that I may be wrong at times and don’t always know best. I choose to talk more when I am struggling and to listen more when others are sharing. I choose to view recovery, not relapse, as inevitable. And I choose to be secure in the knowledge that I am OK.
Mindfulness is no longer the “fluffy stuff" of treatment. Research has shown that mindfulness can enhance affect regulation, increase response flexibility and improve tension tolerance among other things. We teach mindfulness at Monte Nido and Affiliates. Below are a couple of Mindfulness Agreements from some of our clients.
Let Go of the “All or Nothing” Attitude
If eating certain foods makes you think that you’ve blown it, and thus you might as well eat the whole box, eat all day, or eat five more servings, chances are you will continue to eat in a self destructive way. You must get rid of the all or nothing attitude.
There is a constant debate over the issue of "choice" in eating disorders
Some, like those on pro anna sites, say eating disorders are a lifestyle choice. At the other end of the spectrum, some believe that eating disorders are brain disorders and there is no choice involved. Like many of these kinds of debates, there is something to be found in each position.
Darryl Robert’s interview of me about the new book, “8 Keys to Recovery from an Eating Disorder”
I finally made my first You Tube Videos !!!
I was interviewed about the new self help book, "8 Keys to Recovery From an Eating Disorder" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVSbn_kfNds that I wrote with my former client ,turned therapist, Gwen Grabb. I also did an interview about a section of that book called "The Thin Commandments" http://youtu.be/g728ZXDfUJs which I blogged about here in Sept.
A horrific story on so many levels
Two people were charged with murder after they ran a 9-year-old girl to death — as punishment for eating a candy bar.
This is a horrific story on so many levels. Sadly it is the extreme version of what eating disorder clients do to themselves!
Excerpt from 8 Keys to Recovery from an Eating Disorders
The last key in my book, 8 Keys to Recovery from an Eating Disorder, is about what are you recovering to. The title, Finding Meaning and Purpose goes beyond eradicating eating disorder symptoms, to find deeper meaning and purpose in your life.
Dieting History & Eating Disorders
In 37 years, since I first developed my own eating disorder and started paying attention, I have never met a person with an eating disorder who did not have a history of dieting.
Become an Anti-Scale Activist
Be the first on your block to become an activist and stop weighing. Hard to imagine but, there was a time before scales and weighing, when in fact, Americans were thinner and in better shape. Get rid of all the scales in your house. Become an anti-scale advocate and teach this activism to others.
Petition To Lego Systems
LEGO used to stand out as an exceptional toy maker who stood apart from the other shameless and reckless manufacturers who make and market gender stereotypic toys devoid of imagination and skill building. Your “Friends” line of “girls” toys challenges this reputation and puts both professionals and parents on alert.
Carolyn’s Introduction to the New Edition of The Eating Disorder Sourcebook
.......Once I recovered and eventually began treating eating disorders, I decided to write a book. At first I hesitated, because I thought, "Who will be interested except people with anorexia and their moms and how many of those could there be," but soon I started pouring out the pages. Before I finished, Hilda Bruch's, book for the public, The Golden Cage was published, and I thought, "That's it, the book on eating disorders has been written!" I dropped my book project and did not pick it up again for another decade and a half when I finally wrote the first edition of this sourcebook.......
BEDA Conference in Philadelphia—March 1-3, 2012
My Comments on “Starving Secrets” by Carolyn Costin
Food, Feelings and the Holidays by Carolyn Costin
Holidays are supposed to be happy times, so why do so many people get stressed and depressed?
ER Docs encouraged to refuse treatment to obese people as risk management
It just doesn’t stop
Weight Stigma Awareness Week Comes To An End
Weight Stigma Awareness Week comes to an end, but our awareness needs to be ongoing.
Weight Stigma Awareness Week Sept 26-30
Do you or people you know “Fat Talk”?
Research by Stice et al 2003 shows that 3 - 5 minutes of FAT TALK significantly increases body dissatisfaction, a key risk factor for the development of eating disorders.
What is fat talk? It is talk that implicitly or explicitly reinforces the thin ideal standard of female beauty.
And, lets face it, it is everywhere
"...we need to...inspire those suffering from eating disorders with the hope and inspiration that they can become fully recovered and in our own caring and loving way demand it of them." ~ Carolyn Costin
I recently wrote this in a post on some on line chat I was involved in.
America the Beautiful 2: The Thin Commandments Trailer
Title: America the Beautiful 2:The Thin Commandments
Watch the trailer!
The Thin Commandments
Darryl Roberts' new documentary, America The Beautiful 2: The Thin Commandments, will be premiering in cities around the nation in October, November and December. This film gets it's subtitle from a section in my new self help book, "8 Keys to Recovery From An Eating Disorder," originally published as a chapter in my earlier book "Your Dieting Daughter"
The "Thin Commandments" was a term I came up with after several years of listening to patients as an eating disorder therapist...
I have finally decided to blog on the Monte Nido website. For quite a while now I have been trying to figure out the best way to get important information out there and to stay connected to a variety of people including; former clients, audiences who attend my talks, people who read my books, and friends and colleagues.