Have you ever read a book that has truly transformed you? A book that has transformed your world view, your priorities, and your purpose? There have been a few of those books in my life time. Professionally, the first time this happened was when I read the book “Intuitive Eating.” That book profoundly influenced the course of my career and totally altered my perspective. The next book was “Rethinking Thin” by Gina Kolata. And the next book was the seminal feminist writings of Naomi Wolfe in “The Beauty Myth.”
Most recently I have added two more books to the “books that will change your life forever” shelf. I know that sounds dramatic and perhaps cliché. The first of these two is “Two Whole Cakes” by Lesley Kinzel. It’s actually a book that I feel every human being should read because it addresses the very relevant issues of weight bias and weight stigma. An issue that is so pervasive that it is hardly noticed. I’m actually working on writing a book review but am having trouble since I can’t seem to do it justice.
And the second of these two books is “The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are” by Brene’ Brown. Ya, catchy title, huh?! The GIFTS of imperfection…say what?!? I’m not going to write a book review here. But I am going to share with you a tasty morsel.
In 2008 Brene’ and her husband Steve asked themselves “When things are going really well in our family, what does it look like?” Their answers included things like sleep, exercise, nutritious food, going to church, control over finances, time for vacation and time to hang out, meaningful work that isn’t all consuming. These became their “ingredients for joy and meaning.” (This excerpt can be found on page 102 of her book.)
So rather than share with you a list of ingredients for a recipe like I normally do, I’d like YOU to come up with a list of ingredients that are your recipe for JOY AND MEANING. What are the things in your life that bring you joy and meaning? What will you have to sacrifice in order to get more joy and meaning in your life? Less money? Fewer accomplishments professionally?
I’d love to know what ingredients bring your life joy and meaning. If you feel comfortable, please share!
P.S. If you want more Brene' Brown...check her out on TED. I highly, highly, highly recommend it.
I am thrilled to announce the first Intuitive Eating, Intuitive Living Workshop that I will be facilitating with Amber Barke LICSW, RYT. On a day to day basis I am reminded of the number of people struggling with food, exercise, and their bodies. Amber and I have developed a workshop to address these very challenges.
Registration and workshop details can be found on the Event Brite page. If you have any additional questions don't hesitate to send us an email or give us a call! Registration is limited to 12 and the early bird rate of $250 is only available until September 21st. After September 21st the rate will increase to $300.
I am really looking forward to joining with Amber to work with you on finding peace in the process of better self-care.
Marci marci at marcird dot com
Amber bodyandself at gmail dot com
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.”
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 !
"Aha!" moments strike me at odd times. Maybe it shouldn't be a surprise that I had a big "AHA!" moment about "mindfulness" during a yoga class (my first in far too long!). My teacher spoke to how hard it was to just move. To just go through the vinyasa flow, because our brain always wants to know what's comkng next. It is constantly processing, analyzing and determine your next move. The act of just being in the moment, whether during a yoga class, a conversation with a friend, reading a book-anything, is remarkably hard!
"Mindfulness is the miracle by which we can call back in a flash our dispersed mind and restore it to wholeness so that we can live each minute of life." Thich Nhat Hanh, The Miricle of Mindfulness