By Tiffany Hammer, Community Outreach Specialist
Perhaps one of the most culturally ingrained normatives about our culture is the emphasis that we receive from media regarding how one should feel, dress, or behave with regards to our relationship with our bodies and food. In my own personal experiences, even before making eating disorder awareness a professional pathway, I notice that when I get together with my friends, often over food and drinks, how much of a regular topic of conversation it is to discuss: exercises--what we "should" or "have to" be doing, food--the "good" or "bad" of what we have been or are consuming, and body image--what we "can" or "cannot" wear or feelings of "fat."
Now, I feel hyper aware when these topics come up, and how much I notice myself or those around me, making this subject an introductory topic of conversation. These topics, like "how are you doing?" or "what do you do?", have come to be placeholders in our interpersonal connections, where we feel obligated to answer "fine," "ok," "good" and then launch into a discussion about all the things we "should be" doing. If we lift the curtain a little further just beyond what we are already discussing with the people in our lives, we can start to see that body image, exercise and food, is not just on the tips of tongues, but also bombarding our senses via all platforms of media. How are we to feel great about ourselves when we are personally exhausting the topic, then screen, ads, and even radio are labeling our habits "good" or "bad"?
Articles tagged with: Eating Disorders
A person wrote in saying that they feel stuck. Part of their letter said that they feel like the eating disorder has a whole arsenal of tools and all they have is a little wooden stick.
Our physical and mental health, relationships, and day-to-day life are all affected and challenged by disordered eating habits' pervasive nature. When someone suffers from an eating disorder, the risk of health consequences, such as brain damage, could occur. Disrupted eating behaviors negatively affect adequate nutrition absorption; thus, the brain does not get the nutrients it needs to function properly. This is especially concerning in adolescents, as brain development occurs through early adulthood - meaning that significant periods of growth could be disrupted.
Today's yoga focus is a powerful and accessible practice called Nadi Shodhana or Alternate Nostril Breathing (ANB).
This practice is about BALANCE. Alternate Nostril Breathing balances the right & left hemispheres of the brain, the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. In essence, ANB creates balance between "fight or flight" and "rest and digest" responses, calming the nervous system and decreasing stress.
Eating disorders can create a lot of stress and sadness in people's lives. The secrecy and isolation can cause feelings of despair. However, we have to power within ourselves to change how we feel. With a simple gesture we can begin to improve our mood. Now, by no means do the following ideas treat or cure eating disorders but, it could help you feel better every now and again, if even for a moment.
One of The Emily Program – Cleveland's adolescent clients traveled internationally to Cleveland seeking eating disorder treatment, taking on challenges not just in her recovery, but in the simple logistics that most in treatment take for granted.
Without effective treatment, eating disorders can be chronic and life threatening. Therefore as patients, we should be well-informed consumers of the treatment we receive. In fact, being armed with accurate information about what constitutes best practices in treatment could be the difference between life and death.
Join The Emily Program's Sarah Emerman, PCC for a complimentary continuing education event on March 19, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio.
Eating disorders are serious, life-threatening conditions that require appropriate care and management by a team of mental health and medical professionals. This session will provide a basic level of understanding of the multidimensional nature of eating disorder development and maintenance, challenges related to recovery, and communication techniques to help approach someone who may be struggling. The session will also address the diverse range of people that eating disorders impact and how personalized treatment is effective in managing individual needs.
Anxiety is a common issue that individuals struggle with in addition to an eating disorder. In this video, Dr. Jillian Lampert talks about how to ease some of the anxiety and calm your body.
The Emily Program is excited to announce that our Pittsburgh location is now open and accepting new clients.
Eating disorders disrupt the lives of some 130,000 males and 296,000 females in Pennsylvania every day. The Pittsburgh office is being led by eating disorder expert Liz McCabe, who is committed to helping individuals in the area recover.
By Lisa Diers, RD, LD, E-RYT, Director of Nutrition and Yoga Services Manager
Today's focus is a popular pose at TEP- Breath of Joy! When I ask our students what they like about the pose I often hear responses like: "It makes me smile", "I feel less stressed after doing it", "I am not as crabby", "It's silly and fun." Well, what's not to love about that?!
A few benefits of Breath of Joy you may experience: Less Stress or anxious feeling, increased circulation in the body, increased energy levels or increased number of smiles.
The Emily Program – Cleveland and Akron-based RED (Real Edge Dance) Company are excited to join together and present, "Skins," a unique educational and performing arts event on Feb. 28.
It features the powerful modern dance work, "Skins," while educating the audience on the struggles behind eating disorders and negative body image.
We hope you can join us at 2 p.m. at the Akron-Summit County Public Library Auditorium for this special event.
RED Artistic Director Kelli Sanford, who choreographed the performance, opens it up with a commanding solo. Later, the piece features jerky, torqued movements by two pairs of women, who face each other through door-size frames, to confront their bodies in mirrors.
After the performance, Dr. Mark Warren, chief medical officer of The Emily Program, will present on eating disorder triggers, and how to obtain help and achieve recovery.
Meant for all ages, this event is sponsored by the Ohio Arts Council, The Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation, The Mary S. and David C. Corbin Foundation, and the Akron Community Foundation. It's free and open to the public. We hope to see you there!
This is one person's story; everyone will have unique experiences on their own path to recovery and beyond. Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors or symptom use. Please use your own discretion. And speak with your therapist when needed.
By Dallas Rising, a former The Emily Program client and woman in recovery
My eating disorder, like so many others, loves numbers. It loves everything from calories to weight to clothing size. But the numbers it really gets worked up about are numbers associated with exercise.
When my eating disorder was at full volume, it would make unending noise about "exercise numbers." If these numbers didn't grow (as opposed to the smaller set of numbers that I wanted to shrink), my eating disorder would pummel me with horrible self-image beliefs and I would feel the need to punish myself in order to appease it.
It won't come as a surprise, then, that part of my recovery plan was to cancel my gym membership.
By Lisa Diers, RD,LD, E-RYT Director of Nutrition and Yoga Services Manager
Many of us are familiar with the phrase "trust your gut" and now science is starting to show us why that saying couldn't be more relevant or important. In fact, the gut has been coined as "the second brain" because we are beginning to fully understand the complexity of the gut, the important role it plays in communication to the brain and the mechanisms by which the two are linked -- driving many bodily functions from nutrient absorption to serotonin production. As the importance of gut health and it's relation to overall health continues to unfold, you may find yourself both curious and confused about your own gut health. When it comes to the complexities of the gut, I equate it to the complexity of our galaxy. I know my spatial orientation and I can identify the big and little dipper. Beyond that I need to stop, pull out my astronomy guide and consult with someone more knowledgeable in this area. If you are suspecting you are suffering from gut related distress, it is important you track your symptoms and find a resourceful navigator like a registered dietitian, physician, gastroenterologist or another trained health care provider as you start your journey to healing your GI tract.
This is one person's experience; everyone will have unique experiences on their own path to recovery and beyond. Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors or symptom use. Please use your own discretion. And speak with your therapist when needed.
By Alexandra Miles, a former The Emily Program client in recovery
Self-acceptance and Self-nurturance
As I align myself more clearly than ever before with my heart-space, and live with humility, grace, and compassion, I am reminded of my own eternal freedom, my true heart-space, and I begin to believe that each living creature is only a heartbeat away from flying FREE. “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” – Author Unknown
Red roses, hearts, and love fill the month of February, the month of Valentine’s Day. As the day of red roses approaches I am reminded of the beauty of self-love, the seed of Valentine’s Day. A heartfelt relationship begins with deep self-love, self-nourishment, self-trust, and self-acceptance. Unconditional love between two beings begins with unconditional love within one’s heart. As we cultivate love for ourself, then we can love another.
Valentine’s Day symbols a day of romantic love. Often there is external pressures to have a perfect relationship, be in a relationship, or have an exquisite date on Valentine’s Day. If we shift the focus from the external to the internal, we can utilize Valentine’s Day to celebrate the beauty of self -love.
We can utilize Valentine’s Day to be grateful for what we have, instead of feel sad for what we do not have. On Valentine’s Day we can treat ourself, adore ourself, and nourish ourself in all forms. The day of red roses, hearts, and love is a day to fill our own hearts with the roses of life and spiritual nourishment. Valentine’s Day can be a day to deepen our connection to our own soul and heighten our spiritual awareness. We can spend the morning of Valentine’s Day meditating on spiritual love.
If we have a partner in our life we can share the love in our hearts with another being. We can extend our own generosity to another. If we are alone, we can bask in the light within our own heart and soul. Whether single or in a relationship Valentine’s Day can be viewed as a day of deep, soul love. On Valentine’s Day we can remember the deep love our soul has for us. I look forward to the day of soul love and red roses and invite you to as well.
Tips and Advice:
- Rejoice in nature
- Spend time walking through the woods or by a lake, and allow nature to speak to you
- Spend time listening to your heart and soul
- Spend time with friends
- Buy yourself flowers
- Keep a gratitude journal
- Surround yourself with loving music
- Make friends with all of you, even the parts you may not like
- Open your heart every morning through giving yourself a morning hug
Alexandra is a survivor of anorexia, asthma, severe anxiety, and chronic pneumonia. Through her own personal healing journey she dedicated her life to living in alignment with her heart. Today she smiles often, rides her horse, paints, writes, teaches Yoga, and has her own healing practice. She is in the process of publishing her book The Beauty of Wings, a personal healing memoir.