I did a google image search for Shape magazine. And the words above grace the cover. Read through the list. Think of those words being directed at you and your body. Think of those words being directed at your friend and her body. How do you feel?
In my opinion, media is our culture's most powerful medium for shaping womens' views and expectations of themselves. Media is the measuring stick that facilitates self-criticism and hurtful comparisons with one another. We are reduced to a litany of BARBARIC terms (excuse me- burn, blast, and banish?!) and hate ourselves for never getting it right. We begin to see ourselves as a body, something for looking at. And as a result our minds become limited, our creativity stunted, and capacities under-utilized because we are so busy counting calories and hating ourselves. Ladies, THIS. IS. CRAZY.
This post was inspired by a client who said to me yesterday "I'm no longer trying to be air brushed in real life." How's that for a declaration?
I want to hear yours! It could sound like....
- I'm human, I'm meant to get hungry.
- I'm not flawed if a 1200 calorie diet plan leaves me hungry and unsatisfied.
- My energy is precious and cannot be depleted by self-hate.
- I can't be happy if I'm pursuing something I am not.
Thank you to all that joined us last night for our #ENDED Twitter Chat with Nicole Ortiz! We had a great time talking about body image, how stepping outside out comfort zone can help to build self-esteem and action steps for sharing a healthy lifestyle with others.
Q1 Summer is a hard time for many women b/c it brings up body image struggle. What has helped your body image?
@MaryHartleyRD This may sound light, but it's really important to have your clothes tailored. Everyone feels better in clothes that fix well.
@ICDietitian Also, focusing on health and not appearance. Doing outdoor activities, preparing healthy meals together with family. #endED
@MarciRD @Etribole gives good advice: try clothes on with eyes closed. If it feels good, then check the mirror. #endED
@MissDEIntl2012 I made a resolution 3 summers ago to take less photos how i looked in them and focused on enjoying my vacations and friends
@ICDietitian Used to teach morbidly obese #weightmanagement patients - socialize with people not food
@MissDEIntl2012summers are slow at work so I make self care a priority, exercise and spa days! #endED
@MaryHartleyRD For me, the older I got, the less I care about appearance. People are not their looks and looks can be deceiving. #endED
Q2 What are non-traditional" paths to having a healthier relationship with our bodies/food?
@jadorelissa A1 Participating in activities, despite not feeling perfect about your body. #endED” exactly. This has helped me so much.
Q3 17 mag pledged to not alter images, how else can the media play a part in promoting a positive self image?#endED
@morethancereal budding in here a bit, but food blogging. Hated food, now found love (and some popularity) turning hate into passion #endED
@ICDietitian Deliberately refuse to engage in judging others (celebrity weight gain or loss) Put away the TMZ/People mag etc #endED
MarciRD I am super passionate about the pro-body image movement on twitter/blogs. Wrote about it here, w resources:bit.ly/NhOCwl #endED
Q4 What would you like to see on campuses to support a healthy environment?
@MissDEIntl2012A4 Along the same lines love the idea of peer education programs Peers are so influential and easier to approach then say an admin
@MarciRD: Things I would not like to see: weight being measured and put on report cards & elimination of PE #endED
Follow Nicole on Twitter and be sure to join us for our next chat in September-details to come!
If you're new to Twitter, here's a primer on how to participate. It's simple, go to www.tweetchat.com and enter the keyword "#endED" and it will appear as if you're in a chat room. Watch the tweets stream live and join in on the conversation. Be sure to follow @MarciRD and @MIssDEIntl2012
Thank you to all that joined us last night for the #ENDED twitter chat with Eating Disorder Network of Maryland. For those of you that missed it here's a quick recap
Q1. Eating disorders are incredibly complex- can we start by listing as many risk factors for developing an ED that we can think of?
PrjectED A1. Eating Disordered family members, #endED
liberonetwork A1 Comorbid psychiatric conditions such as anxiety + depression; painful life events. "Biology loads gun, environment pulls trigger"
liberonetwork @EDNMaryland Genetic contributors that are passed on and also modeling patterns of food learned from parents perhaps
EDNMaryland A1. Dieting can trigger someone into developing an e/d but we know it is not dieting alone that causes ed's.
Q2. Sharon, you often talk about a person's ED "traits." What is that compromised of? #endED
EDNMaryland We've learned is that many with ed/s have very strong traits. Esp perfectionism. Society pushes for thinness so eds can develop.
EDNMaryland Personality traits: blk-white thinking, strong-willed, rigidity, impulsive, slow to change, perfectionism. #endED
@EDNMaryland: A2. We also know that most people with eds have at least one of the following: anxiety, depression, or OCD #endED -
PrjectED As clients we noticed that really common trait is either being really impulsive or the exact opposite...depending on the disorder #endED
EDNMaryland A2. Food is an easy thing to use and manipulate. You can't get a DUI, it isn't illegal, it comes in all types of flavors...
liberonetwork A2 Shame, people-pleasing, weak sense of self
EDNMaryland A2. Another big one is perfectionism. You have to learn and accept that not everything is going to be perfect nor should it be
MarciRD A2 As a #dietitian, I find food is the perfect play dough for practicing flexibility.#endED As people practice flexibility with food choices- what, what, where, how, why they eat, it dominoes into other areas of their life
Q3. Carolyn Costin says- we can take our traits to the light or dark. How can people with EDs use those traits for recovery?
EDNMaryland One of the common sayings for those with eds is that "they can't see the forest for the trees." Do you know why?
PrjectED A3. With rigidity, it can help when trying to stand your ground against those who can possibly hurt your recovery
liberonetwork: A3 Jenni Schaefer says turn perfectionism into excellency- and use healthy, balanced determination to beat ED!
EDNMaryland When you're anxious it is hard to be emotionally flexible. It is important to really push yourself to see the bigger picture.
MarciRD A3 My clients have amazing drive and commitment that can really support their recovery when channeled!
liberonetwork: A3 A lot of people with EDs are very empathetic towards others. Learn to turn that empathy inward to themselves
EDNMaryland Another grt tool is to make yourself order something diff when you go to a restaurant and not the usual "safe" food
MarciRD: A3 I really see stubbornness transformed into commitment. And perfectionism, when softened can lead to positive action.
Q4 What are tips to dealing with these risk factors of family history including mental illness and substance abuse?#endED
EDNMaryland A4 One important thing to do is to acknowledge that your family has a hx of addiction. Don't be in denial of it.
PrjectED A4. I think it is important to recognize what risk factors your family has. If you fail to see them then you can't deal with them #endED
EDNMaryland A4 Many with family hx of addiction need to focus on doing things in moderation. Not overdoing (food, $, exercise...)
MarciRD A4 Looking for areas of extreme behavior, including drugs, alcohol, emotions, money, exercise, shopping, gambling, etc. #endED -
EDNMaryland A4 Talk openly with family and your tx about the hx of addiction in the family.#endED
ElizabethEats @MarciRD @EDNMaryland I find pt w/ fam hx of addiction like to view food as all or nothing. on or off. No carbs or all carbs. agree? #ended
EDNMaryland @ElizabethEats Also important to find another color besides blk or white. Even if it's only 1 shade over it's a start!
MarciRD A4 With my clients we are often developing new "traditions" or "guidelines" to live by- establishing new patterns that break from old #endED
Thank you to Sharon of EDN Maryland for sharing her wisdom and to all that joined!Be sure to join us on August 22nd at 8:30 pm EST for a twitter chat on Beauty Pageants and body image with Nicole Ortiz @MissDEIntl2012
When you have a healthy relationship with food then…
How would you finish this sentence? Kaleigh, from HugStronger asked me this question and given the culture of eating in the U.S. it’s a really important one. We live in a society that conflates health with morality, size with success, and appearance with identity. This takes a toll on our feelings of self-worth and ability (or lack thereof) to measure up. Our food landscape is over-processed and over-abundant while the sub-text speaks to the virtue of self-denial. How utterly confusing. The line between clinical eating disorders and culturally accepted dieting and body hating continues to blur. Many people feel as if they are living in a food and body prison with no way out. In short, I will never be out of a job.
So this brings us back to what a healthy relationship with food looks like. Here’s my top 10:
1. Eating is often enjoyable- full of flavors and textures you truly love.
3. Eating requires some forethought and planning but food does not pre-occupy the majority of your thoughts.4. Eating is flexible in terms of timing and variety.
5. Eating does not result in feelings of guilt or shame.
6. Eating is motivated by internal cues of hunger and fullness most of the time.
7. When eating or thinking about eating you can feel relaxed and at ease.
8. Sometimes you eat food solely for the pleasure of eating, regardless of nutritional content.
9. Balanced, nutritious eating comes naturally because of your connection to how certain foods make you feel physically and the emotional tug of war is not present.10. Eating is viewed as a way to take good care of yourself.
These are my top 10. What would you add to the list?
Interested in reading more on this topic? Check out Ellyn Satter’s definition of “normal eating.”
We have a very exciting Twitter chat coming your way this month! We are honored to have Sharon Peterson, the director of Eating Disorder Network of Maryland (EDN Maryland) talk with us about the genetic component of eating disorders as well as how clients and therapists can learn to manage personality traits that may be hindering recovery.
If you're new to Twitter, here's a primer on how to participate. It's simple, go to www.tweetchat.com and enter the keyword "#endED" and it will appear as if you're in a chat room. Watch the tweets stream live and join in on the conversation. Be sure to follow @MarciRD and @EDNMaryland
We hope you can join us on July 25th th at 8:30 EST. Feel free to RSVP on Facebook as well!
Thank you to all the participants for our Twitter Chat last night! We helped to ring in a body positive summer by participating with Dr Deah-Expressive Arts Therapist and Health at Every Size Expert .
Missed the chat? We saved a recap here for you!
Q1. What does the term expressive therapy mean? What are some examples?
@dr_deah It’s a form of treatment using a multi-modal approach to facilitate healing, insight, behavioral changes.
@jekjess It's using various approaches - especially creative ones - to achieve therapeutic goals in ways that talk sometimes can't
@dr_deah Modalities used include art, drama, music, movement, imagery, storytelling,writing.
@MarciRD Is based on the assumption that people can heal through use of imagination and the various forms of creative expression.
Q2.1 What are some of the benefits to incorporating expressive therapy into eating disorder treatment?
@jekjess Client can express what they can't put words to/are too ashamed to say, client can discover talents
@MarciRD My clients are the most creative people I've ever met. ED stifles creativity, so important to bring that creative self out!
@dr_deah: Many of our associations & patterns w/food & nurturing occur @ a preverbal level
@MarshaHudnallWe find that expressive therapy helps people access feelings they often can't otherwise
- 2.2 Why are the Ex. Arts Therapies helpful for this population?
@jekjess Client can express what they cant put words to/are too ashamed to say, client can discover talents
@dr_deah body image issues are visually stimulated because messages are delivered via the media. Using art, theater & dance we “fight fire w/ fire” by using the medium that delivers the message
@MarciRD Creativity can be a means to externalize and separate from the eating disorder.
@rosiemolinary I love that the creative arts allow for a partnership between body, mind, + soul, a partnership that may have been alienated w/ED -
@bigpictureRD significant to use creative process & energy for positive reasons, motivation
@ScritchfieldRD: one good belly laugh is as effective as 10 minutes of meditation (which is also good) may be better than meds
3. Often people feel vulnerable creating art, music, dance or other means of self-expression. What might help break through the intimidation?
@dr_deah It’s about material generated not how it looks, which of course is the point of body image therapy in the first place
@rosiemolinary empower them to realize that they are doing it for themselves, not to worry about perfect but process and revelation
@dr_deah: A competent E.A. Therapist sets up sessions w/the premise that there’s no right or wrong in how one expresses
@dr_deah Improv activities are spontaneous not enough time to get self conscious
- 4. In what ways can a RD use Ex. Arts Therapy Activities to achieve their treatment goals?
@MarciRD I like them to draw out what hunger/fullness means to them.
@ScritchfieldRD: I have done vision boards in session. We cut out words from magazines - put together a me board
@MarciRD I encourage my clients to use color and pictures for expressing emotions for before, during, after a meal
@rosiemolinary Fill basket w/random things (rock, rubber duck, etc) +have client pick something out of basket + tell story w/ relevant connection
@jekjess I think I would have LOVED to do an art "food journal" regarding feelings after eating etc, visualize
@dr_deah I have also worked with clients to identify what the real "monster is" in their lives that they are attributing to the food
@MarciRD A4 I have a client who recently asked me to record a mindful meditation track on her phone to listen to while I'm away.
@ MyDietitian I use mountain image, help them to identify the "peak" of having a positive eating experience, what that means for them/their body
@dr_deah I use future fortune telling symbolism sometimes too, eg a crystal ball as an image to play with
@MarciRD A4 This book has been really inspiring, easily adapted to nutrition work: http://t.co/6K9x0z4W #endED -
@dr_deah For more art therapy ideas I post at http://t.co/RD4CO2Ka
5. What is HAES?
@dr_deah: HAES is a health based paradigm that starts with accepting and respecting the diversity of body shapes and sizes
dr_deah It also promotes individually appropriate & enjoyable life enhancing physical activity As opposed to exercise that is focused on a goal of weight loss
@MarciRD: HAES is positive approach to taking care of ourselves. Does away w/ comparison & shame & truly supports well-being
@ElizabethEats: I feel like i say this everyday but: you can tell NOTHING about a person from how they look. why we NEED #HAES
@dr_deah: Many people start dieting because their natural body size and shape is not what society deems as beautiful.
@MarciRD: Q5 Stands for Health At Every Size- check out their website http://t.co/hYkFWpnR #endED
@HAEScoach: What is #HAES? #endED” nutrition + activity + self + fun + curiousity + discovery = healthy mind AND body lifelong #endED -
5.2 What are common misperceptions about a HAES approach?
@MarciRD People think it gives the green light to binge eat and not exercise. They forget the key word- HEALTH at every size
@bigpictureRD So many misconceptions! That it's not health focused, & gives permission to be out of control
@dr_deah We know Weight cycling often results in weight gain and increased eating disordered behaviors
@ScritchfieldRD misconception about #HAES people are lazy, don't want to take care of themselves, that they "could" be thinner, thinness=health
6. Why is it important to emphasize HAES as a society and as a therapist?
@MarciRD We need to work on changing the paradigm of health = thinness. We have the power to affect our personal circles too!
@MyDietitian A6 to prevent doing any harm. Help combat negative self-talk. create a reality of feeling good at any size
6.1 How can we stay HAES focused this summer?
@dr_deah Try 2 avoid engaging in comparing bodies and using negative body talk
@dr_deah Pay attention to your cues of hunger appetite and satiety Move your body for pleasure and health not weight loss
@MarciRD Encourage clients, friends, family to embrace life/fun NOW...not in 10 lbs...
@ dr_deah I have great resources and links on my website http://t.co/blb4ciag
@MarciRD There are so many fun ways to be active in the summer- volleyball, kayaking, frisbee, walks, hikes. Have fun and get outside!
@dr_deah So Try starting from a place of love& self-acceptance it makes it easier 2 take better care of ourselves#ended
Thank you for everyone that joined us! You can see more tweets if you search #endED
You can learn more about Dr. Deah by visiting her website or her Facebook page. Mark your calenders for our next chat; July 25th where we will be talking with @ednmaryland !
Help us ring in a body positive summer by participating in our #EndED twitter chat on Wednesday, June 27th 2012. I'm honored that Dr. Deah will be joining us to talk about body image, self/size acceptance and Expressive Arts Therapies.
Dr. Deah Schwartz has more than 30 years of experience using therapeutic expressive arts in psychiatric hospitals, residential and day treatment programs with clients struggling with Eating Disorders and Body Dissatisfaction. Deah was also a professor at San Francisco State University for ten years and coordinated the Therapeutic Recreation Degree program.She is the author of the size acceptance syndicated blog, “Tasty Morsels”, co-author of Leftovers, DVD/Workbook Set, a multimodality resource for therapists and educators, and has a private practice.In all aspects of Dr. Deah’s work, she strives to provide assistance in preventing and treating eating disorders by switching from a weight based to health based paradigm, defining one’s own standard of beauty, challenging the discrimination that exists towards anyone that doesn't fit the media's expectation of perfection, and finding ways to make peace with one’s body. You can learn more about Dr. Deah by visiting her website or her Facebook page
These are the questions we'll be discussing:
1. What does the term expressive therapy mean? What are some examples?
2.1 What are some of the benefits to incorporating expressive therapy into eating disorder treatment?
2.2 Why are the Ex. Arts Therapies helpful for this population?
3. Often people feel vulnereable creating art, music, dance or other means of self-expression. What might help break through the intimidation?
4. In what ways can a RD use Ex. Arts Therapy Activities to achieve their treatment goals?
5. What is HAES?
5.2 What are common misperceptions about a HAES approach?
6. Why is it important to emphasize HAES as a society and as a therapist?
6.1 How can we stay HAES focused this summer?
If you're new to Twitter, here's a primer on how to participate. It's simple, go to www.tweetchat.com and enter the keyword "#endED" and it will appear as if you're in a chat room. Watch the tweets stream live and join in on the conversation. Be sure to follow @MarciRD and @Dr_Deah
We hope you can join us on the 27th at 8:30 EST. Feel free to RSVP on Facebook as well!
Thank you to all that joined February’s #endED twitter chat with National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) before Eating Disorders Awareness Week. NEDA is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting individuals and families affected by eating disorders. Elizabeth Saviteer ( @NEDAStaff )and Marci Anderson ( @MarciRD ) lead the chat and some wonderful comments were heard! Here’s a recap of some of the highlights
Q1. Eating Disorders have been getting more media attention, has this been harmful/helpful/both?
• @MissDEIntl2012 more helpful! It reduces the stigma associated with ED and has opened a dialogue
• @ScritchfieldRD helpful because it opens a dialogue, silence is the most harmful of all. We cant heal what we dont see/say.
• @NEDAstaff Media can be a great way to increase awareness, decreasing stigma, if presented in a responsible way
Q2. A risk factor for developing an ED is poor body image, how can we promote positive body image in children and teens?
• @jessicaclaytonm: Take the focus off appearance. Teach children to value their minds, passions, opinions rather than weight.
• @MarshaHudnall Kathy Kater has some good materials to help kids build healthy body images bodyimagehealth.org
• @NEDAstaff One way to promote positive body image in kids is to be a good role model for them as a parent, teacher or mentor
Q3. How do you deal with people in your life who are dieting or weight-focused?
@MauveDinosaur My confidence is growing. Fat-talk is so normalized, people look at you like you have 2-heads when u dont join in.
• @ScritchfieldRD: I will tell them that #diets are disordered eating and that eating disorders start as weight focused goals
• @EDNMaryland By remembering to focus on YOUR issues and healthy lifestyle not anyone elses.
Q4 What is some new/exciting research on ED?
1. @KendraTaylor_ more recognition/research out there that EDs affect more than the perceived stereotype.
2. @MarciRD Love #intuitiveeating research: http://tinyurl.com/7v385zk
3. @MarciRD Walter Kaye doing really important research on the #brain and EDs: http://vimeo.com/1678383
4. @NEDAstaff Regarding prevention more research on how screening tools help in early detection and treatment outcomes
Q5 How do you define recovery from an eating disorder?
• @ScritchfieldRD: A5: freedom from the physical and emotional suffering brought on by the eating disorder
• @jessicaclaytonm Trying to embrace that it is a process and perfectionism has no place in recovery
• @EDNMaryland I like Carolyn Costins definition of what true recovery is. NOT being triggered by lifes ups & downs.
• @MarciRD Learning how to manage life without using food
Q6 What are your favorite pro-recovery tools for eating disorder sufferers, family, and friends?
• @YaseminMerwede: For me, family support was instrumental. Feeling safe in my environment to share my thoughts and feelings.
• @MarciRD This article, b/c it lists my favorite positive body and pro-recovery social media friends! http://bit.ly/A8xOgE
• @jessicaclaytonm Listen to your heart and your support system, not the media.
Let your voices be heard for National Eating Disorders Awareness Week! Talk to friends, wear purple, write a blog post! Find out more here: Eating Disorders Awareness Week
Thank you to all that joined #EndED this Wednesday. We had a very inspiring, powerful conversation with writer Rosie Molinary, about kicking off our year in a way that deliberately embraces intentional wellness. If you missed the chat, you can catch some of the highlights below!
Q1. Are there rituals/exercises you start the year with in order to inspire you to joyfully, deliberately live well?
- @rosiemolinary this year, I had a vision board party with friends and it was really fun & allowed us to learn about each other
- RT @rosiemolinary: Here is a link to a post where I shared this years vision boards (1 personal &1 professional)http://t.co/7dllAGVy
- @krjourno I chose to not make resolutions this year (that I wont keep!!) and focus instead on taking action towards being better!
- @marcird I did start a new ritual this year though. I tried to think of something I'm grateful for before dinner. Calming ritual
Q2. What is your vision for yourself this year?
- @jessicaclaytonm Cultivating a healthy body and mind as well as self-compassion.
- @marcird Balance is always something I'm striving for too. It's a constant moving target. :)
- @rosiemolinary I wish to be wholehearted + deliberately healthy.
- @MarciRD My vision (& hope) is to keep an open mind- open to new possibilities, points of view, opportunities for growth, friendships, etc
- @jekjessTo live in balance - eating, exercise, work, social... so far so good! #endED
Q3. What do you already want to celebrate about the way you are intentionally embracing wellness this year?
- @MarciRD I have always been fortunate to have in extremely strong and supportive network of positive people around me
- @GirlEat I am blessed to have chosen a life partner that celebrates true beauty.
- @jessicaclaytonm I am focusing on balancing my social life, academic life, and "me time".
- @jekjess Been really mindful of my physical and emotional needs. Mindfulness has been hard for me but I've really been succeeding recently.
- @MarciRD I make time for laughter. Laughing is one of my FAVORITE past times and makes me feel so so good. I try to do it daily. :)
Q4. Wellbeing encompasses physical, emotional, mental + spiritual health. How are you caring for yourself in these areas?
- @jekjess Physical - balancing exercise and rest days, nutritious foods and less nutritious foods
- @MiltonStokes imagine picking up and then letting go of THE it standing in the way
- @jekjess emotional - Making sure that my relationships with others are healthy, making sure that I have time for self-care
- @krjourno: One word - yoga!!
- @NeedStrength A4 mental: Going back to counseling Physical: T'ai Chi and Self Defense classes
- @jekjess mental - working HARD in therapy! spiritual - exploring different approaches to my religion, and seeking guidance.
Q5. What ways do you still need support for your journey this year?
- @jessicaclaytonm I need to kick the lingering parts of my ED to the curb. I already trust my treatment team, but I need to learn to trust my body.
- @MiltonStokes gotta remember to plan what I need
- @NeedStrength After I graduate from college I will no longer have my counseling center and I will need support in the transition
- @jekjess 5. I need emotional support, true friendships, and the occasional reality check when I get anxious!
Q6. What wisdom can you share with all of us about embracing wellness and ending eatingdisorders?
- @MarciRD Support, support, support, support, support.
- @ElizabethEats I'm all about eliminating guilt and sending your body lots of love on the path to wellness
- @rosiemolinary I like to remind myself that choice- choosing behaviors to best respond to what my body needs and most responds to- is medicine.
- @MarciRD: in order to recover and in order to find true wellness we have to ditch perfectionism.
- @jekjess: Your mind and your body can be your greatest allies. Treat them well. Be grateful. And dont be afraid to ask for help.
- @GirlEat: Ive learned that when I love my body (trust, love, nutrition), it loves me back (health, happiness, strength).
- @NeedStrength Being kind to yourself and consciously caring for your mind and body go a long way
- RT @jessicaclaytonm: Listen to your heart and your support system, not the media.