In recent years, an awareness surrounding eating disorders has begun to break its way into society, yet there are still misconceptions associated with eating disorders. Although disordered eating is often considered to be targeted at those belonging to the late adolescence or adult demographic, the reality is: they entirely disregard age. Eating disorders don’t discriminate, affecting individuals of all cultural backgrounds, socioeconomic statuses, and age. For this reason, it is increasingly important to begin encouraging your child to develop a healthy relationship with food from an early stage in their life. Conditioning positive perceptions regarding eating will equip them with a healthy attitude towards creating and maintaining a balanced lifestyle as they grow up.
Posts Tagged ‘Teenagers’
Ellie O’Brien is a yogi and a mother of two. During her free time she enjoys practicing yoga and spending time with her family. She works hard to raise her two daughters to be strong in their own voices, opinions, and physical bodies.
As both a woman and a mother, I am constantly bombarded by messages of what I should look like and how I should behave. These messages, advertisements, and cultural norms have existed for decades in order to make women feel less than. If we ourselves do not feel complete, whole, or worthy, we are more likely to buy new products, invest in new activities, and pay to look like what we see in the media. This become a cycle—the media perpetuates what we “should” look like and we often try our best to adhere to this ideal out of fear of stigma, shame, or judgment. But, I refuse to participate in this cycle. As a mother of two daughters, ages eight and ten, I want to raise my girls to be strong in their own voices. I want them to think positively of themselves and their bodies, and I do the following to make sure my daughters feel strong, confident, and loved in their day-to-day lives.
With school starting, it’s common to feel a mix of emotions including excitement, anxiety, and stress. For those in middle and high school, the start of school often means a new schedule, new teachers, and adjusting to new classes and classmates. For those starting or returning to college, school may mean moving, new roommates, challenging courses, and the difficult task of navigating conflicting priorities.
If you’re also struggling with an eating disorder, starting school may trigger or worsen disordered behaviors. If you find yourself relapsing in your recovery or engaging in eating disorder behaviors to cope with the changes school brings, the most important thing you can do is reach out to get professional help. In addition to seeking treatment, there are other ways to stay on track in recovery during school.
Maggie Meyers, MA, LPCC, is a Site Director at The Emily Program’s Anna Westin House for Adolescents and Young Adults (AWHAYA) in Saint Paul, Minnesota. AWHAYA will be expanding from a 10-bed facility to a 16-bed facility in September.
TEP: Tell us about yourself!
Maggie: I am a Minnesotan through and through. Here at The Emily Program, I have worked as a lead therapist in our Adult Intensive Day Program, done outpatient work, been a Program Coordinator for our Adult Binge Eating Disorder Intensive Outpatient Program, and have been involved in clinical management. I am currently the Site Director of the Adolescent and Young Adult Residential House in Saint Paul. I make sure that things run as smoothly as possible, working directly with providers in the building on a daily basis. I help provide our clients with the best care possible. Outside of The Emily Program, I have a small private practice where I see adults for a variety of mental health issues, and I am currently pursuing my Doctorate in Marriage and Family Therapy.
With the school year nearing, it’s important to start discussing the relationship between school, body image, and eating disorders. Navigating school while living with an eating disorder is undeniably challenging. With school comes independence, social cliques, and sports—all of which can trigger eating disorder behavior. Despite the challenges school settings pose, there are preventative measures individuals can take to discourage relapse.
The Emily Program is excited to announce that we are expanding our Anna Westin House for Adolescents and Young Adults in Saint Paul, Minnesota. The expansion will increase the licensed 10-bed residential facility to a 16-bed facility. The necessary construction will take place throughout August and early September and will not affect current programming. The expansion is expected to be completed by mid-September.