By Sydney Keller, Mental Health Worker at Monte Nido Eating Disorder Center of Boston
I have come across handfuls of clients that feel the only way they have ever identified themselves is through their eating disorder. The number on the scale, the size of their jeans, the amount of times they have been in treatment, the list goes on and on. When I have asked clients in group settings to talk about themselves, I have been shocked when their opening statement is, “I’m Mary and I’m anorexic” or “I’m Linda and I’ve had bulimia for the past ten years.”
Your onhealthy fosamax eating disorder gives you nothing. It takes and takes and will never stop taking. It robs you of your health, your happiness, your relationships with family and friends, and it will continue to take from you. Your eating disorder is not and will not ever be your friend. You are not defined by your eating disorder and your eating disorder will never be your true identity.
On your journey of recovery, your eating disorder identity will begin to diminish and your true identity will resurface. In many instances, clients feel they do not know who they are without their eating disorder and feel they need to relearn the facets that include their healthy soul and self. This is your time to explore. Recognize your role among your family and friends, rediscover your passions, re-establish your self-worth, and redefine your abilities and attributes.
Pat yourself on the back for all you have done and all you will continue to do on your journey of recovery. Now will the real you please stand up?
By Amy Klimek MA, LPC, Eating Disorder Program Coordinator, Timberline Knolls
When individuals leave treatment they are often asked to write a letter to themselves in recovery. As a clinician, this would be my letter to such a person:
Your eating disorder once was considered a friend, a protector, a shield to guard you; it may have navigated your actions and narrated your thoughts. Today and each day that you choose to show up to life in a new, different way, you are breaking down the barriers that limited your growth and potential.
Whether you sought treatment yourself, or you were “strongly encouraged” to do so, is irrelevant. You went and you showed up. Somewhere along the way, you committed yourself to recovery.
You worked hard then, and you will work hard in the days and months ahead.
The voice of the eating disorder that whispered in your ear from the minute you woke up to when you laid down to rest was infused with judgments and fear. That voice will soften with time. As you become more intently mindful, you will learn to listen to a new voice, a voice that may not be as loud, but a voice that will become familiar and safe. You may still hear the whispers, the critical voice telling you to give in; the difference now is how you will respond to that voice.
Eating disorders simply do not give up without a fight.
It would be ridiculous to say just don’t pay attention to these thoughts, onhealthy lexapro since they remain convincingly real. But here is what you can do: widen the lens of your mind. When you had an eating disorder, the lens with which you observed the world was very narrow; now it is time to expand that lens, inviting new possibilities into your awareness. In the midst of terrible thoughts, it is possible to create additional space for new observations, perspectives and experiences. While mindfully noticing the critical thoughts, you can still mindfully notice the recovery thoughts, the ones that help you to show up to recovery each day.
This is not a battle to fight alone. You need supportive people around you; you need a community of family and friends to turn to for help – an army of encouragement and validation. Don’t give excuses why your recovery isn’t working. Instead, give reasons why it is. Give space and attention to change.
It is natural to gravitate to what was known as familiar and comfortable. With time you will recognize recovery as your own.
Here is all that truly matters: right now. Although who you are today is a culmination of previous events and experiences, the past is absolutely gone. It cannot and should not be revisited. The future has yet to happen; the choices you make today can help the possibilities for tomorrow. The present — where you are, what you are doing, right now – is what matters. Living one day, one thought, and one breath at a time.
Someone who cares for you
By Rogers Memorial Hospital
Night eating syndrome, or repeatedly waking up to eat food, even after an evening meal, shouldn’t just be shrugged off as your “midnight snack.” Regular night eating can upset social or occupational relationships, or even impair your daily functioning due to lack of restorative sleep. Night eating can also disrupt your daytime eating schedule, making you not hungry enough to eat breakfast until much later in the day or eat less throughout the day.
Although this eating practice sounds similar to the excessive consumption commonly associated with binge eating, the two are not the same. People with night eating syndrome snack repeatedly throughout the night hours, while people with binge eating disorder eat a large amount of food in a single sitting. People who binge eat also do not typically over-consume during the night.
While people that have night eating syndrome are fully aware that they are waking up to eat, people with a sleep-related eating disorder are not. A person that has this disorder often sleepwalks, or has diminished consciousness while onhealthy cipro they roll out of bed, prepare food and eat it— that is until they find wrappers, opened containers or other evidence the next morning.
This disorder can easily become dangerous since a person may unknowingly harm themselves with kitchen appliances, flames from a gas stove or utensils while preparing food. People with a sleep-related disorder have also been known to consume non-edible materials or frozen food, all while in their unconscious or impaired state.
Even though a person isn’t fully conscious when they are eating, a person with this disorder may still feel tired throughout the day. There are also potential medical concerns that could arise from this disorder, including weight gain, diabetes and dental decay.
Although its name is deceiving, sleep-related eating disorder is not a type of eating disorder. Rather, it is a type of sleep disorder. Sleep-related eating disorder is not as prevalent as sleepwalking is and is also more common among women.
If you are experiencing disordered eating, contact Rogers at 800-767-4411 and request a screening or request one online at https://rogershospital.org/.
By Amy M. Klimek, MA, LPC
Eating Disorder Program Coordinator, Timberline Knolls
Recovery is very meaningful to two groups of people: those striving to achieve recovery and those close to them, mostly made up of both family and friends. Each person is living and breathing their own recovery journey. From the person who is struggling firsthand with the disorder to the loved one who so desperately wants to help them. Each person has a story of their own.
Many of those I work with have had an eating disorder for as long as their memory will serve them. They can recall the days of their first judgmental thoughts about their bodies, restricting at their first meal, and purging after their last. Their history with the disorder becomes their life story, sharing their recurring struggles and relapses over and over again. They deeply desire recovery while living with the fear of who they will be without the pull of the eating disorder. They question how much they can honestly share with others. They question if their loved ones will understand their feelings and thoughts or if they will be judged by them.
On the other side of the table are the family and friends who desperately want to believe that recovery is something that just happens, almost like flipping a switch. They want to believe that, due to the time spent in treatment, the person is “fixed.” Regrettably, this is just not the case. It takes time for a person to become entrenched in an eating onhealthy naprosyn disorder; it takes time to recover. This is no different for family and friends.
In order to move forward, all parties will need to work on accepting the changes of the present and find acceptance of the past. What needs to matter to all of those involved in recovery is today, right now. The past is over, gone; the future is waiting to happen. The present moment is here, now.
In my work, I interact primarily with the parents. Often they are people who are bewildered, sad, exhausted or angry; they are emotionally tapped out. They will pose questions such as, “What if this happens again?” or “What about when you said you were going to do this and you didn’t?” These are legitimate questions engrained in their own history and experience with the disorder. We do not have answers to these questions. We may not be able to “fix” the problem. What’s more, like every other human being in the world, parents will make mistakes; they need to know that mistakes will happen and they are okay.
Each opportunity is a chance to do life differently, feel emotions differently and share thoughts differently. Recovery is a journey, starting with vulnerability of asking for support and continues with strength to truly live life one day at a time. With each breath, each experience, the story of the struggle is being revised. It is authoring new chapters of shared experiences and of strength and resilience for both the person and their loved ones.
By Ami Marsh, MFT, LCADC
Clinical Director, Center for Hope of the Sierras
As a society we are bombarded with ads and information about exercise. Turn on the television, flip through a magazine or peruse the internet and one will hear about the latest fitness craze, the best new workout and the list goes on. It is also true that exercise can be part of a healthy lifestyle. The American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes a day, 5 days week of moderate exercise to keep the cardiovascular system in check. There’s nothing wrong with an active lifestyle or exercise. There are many mental health diagnoses that can be improved when exercise is part of the treatment plan. However, for an individual battling an eating disorder, exercise is often part of the problem and the dilemma for both client and clinician is how and whether it can be part of the solution.
For someone suffering from anorexia or bulimia, exercise is often a way to purge and another coping mechanism for numbing out. It is a way to please the eating disorder voice, to calm and quiet it or even win its approval, though this is short-lived. While exercising, the singular goal is to burn as many calories as possible, to reduce the guilt and shame resulting from a recent binge and to attempt to grasp that elusive happiness that always seems just out of reach because there is always another pound to lose.
Moderate exercise has health benefits of improving onhealthy kamagra mood and sleep, maintaining physical flexibility, increasing energy and improving mood, just to name a few. The key is moderation. Frequently, the barometer for moderation loses its calibration when an eating disorder is present both in regard to eating and exercising. Signs that one is engaging in over-exercising include working out even when ill or injured, avoiding social functions or daily responsibilities to workout, feeling guilty or depressed when a workout is missed, adhering to a strict routine when exercising and not engaging in rest or recovery days. The physical consequences of over-exercising can include dehydration, fatigue, osteoporosis, broken bones, amenorrhea, thyroid and heart problems. Each of these conditions can prove difficult to treat and is even life threatening in some cases.
The challenging part of treating an eating disorder where exercise is used as a compensatory behavior is re-calibrating that moderation barometer. For some individuals exercise can be part of recovery and for others, it becomes a trigger and must be avoided, at least during the initial stages of recovery. One of the benefits of residential treatment can be that it breaks the cycle of excessive exercise. Yoga and mindful walking are ways to re-establish the mind/body connection and encourage clients to listen to their bodies instead of the eating disorder voice. Recovery is possible and working with a team of therapists, nutritionists, psychiatrists, doctors and even exercise physiologists help identify the appropriate amount of movement and activity is appropriate for each individual.