Finding Balance with Exercise in Recovery

Growing up, exercise was a huge part of my childhood. I was the kid who played three sports competitively, five sports leisurely, and always needed to be on the go. Both my parents were college athletes so I have natural athleticism and coordination that allowed me to excel at just about every sport I tried. Soccer? Check. Basketball? Yep. Tennis. Game-set-match. Swimming? Well, I wasn’t fond of getting my hair wet but it was exercise and I was good at it so why not?

Read More

Golden Bloggerz Award

A huge thank you to Rachel Duerden for the nomination. Please be sure to check out Rachel’s incredible blog Jasperden Health here. The Golden Bloggerz Award was created by Chris Kosto to motivate and reward all the amazing bloggers who work hard every day to serve their audiences and deserve some recognition.

Read More

Intuitive Eating

Many of us have heard the phrase “intuitive eating” before on social media, in conversation, or, if you’re like me, from a dietitian or other nutrition and/or eating disorder specialist. But what exactly does it mean? Simply put, intuitive eating is an evidence-based approach to eating that encourages making food choices without guilt, honoring hunger cues, respecting fullness, and enjoying the pleasure of eating. It was introduced in 1995 by dietitians Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch and in eating disorder treatment is considered the “gold standard” and the ultimate goal in recovery.

Read More

The Role of a Dietitian in Recovery

Today marks the five-year anniversary since I began seeing my dietitian Betsy. It feels a bit surreal that it’s already been that long—and even more surreal when I reflect on how much I’ve grown in my recovery and my life since our first session. When I met Betsy, I was two days out of an Intensive Outpatient Program and two months out of residential care. My anorexia was still at large, dictating many of my decisions and driving many of my thoughts. I genuinely wanted to get better but when that voice was so loud and present, better sometimes didn’t seem worth the bother.

Read More

Fear Foods

Fear foods, as the name suggests, describes certain foods that someone feels anxious, afraid, or uncomfortable eating. It’s not uncommon among people with eating disorders to develop these often irrational fears of food and even group food in boxes and assign labels such as “good” or “bad,” “safe,” or “unsafe,” and “healthy” or “unhealthy” to them.

Read More

Refeeding My Anorexic Child

Helping a loved one get well when they’re ill usually involves doing what you can to help them relieve their discomfort and fight to overcome their illness. You’re working together. This isn’t the case with mental illness. For a teenager with an eating disorder like Julia, wellness and relief from pain were not her endgame when she was in crisis, nor we were in it together. It was so complicated and counterintuitive as a parent and caregiver. I couldn’t understand why anyone would feel compelled to harm themselves. But mental illness sends a different message to the afflicted. It makes everyday living full of conflict. Anorexia, experts say, is the worst of all of them with its high mortality rate and long-term physical damage.

Read More

Drinking Calories

Drinking calories to restore weight is very common in eating disorder treatment. ED patients are often required to eat a high number of calories, and that can be a challenging feat—for both the body and the mind. But liquids go down easier. They take up less room in the stomach. Not to mention that they’re a lot less intimidating than a slice of cake or a piece of pizza, even if the caloric value is similar.

Read More

How Health Class Triggered My Eating Disorder

It’s that time of the year when kids say goodbye to summer and return to school. While the current state of the world is posing unprecedented challenges to students, that transition—even under more normal circumstances—was always difficult for me. Whether it was in eighth grade when I rapidly spiraled into an eating disorder days after the school year began or my first hospital admission in the fall of ninth grade or having to medically withdraw from college last year after only one month, going back to school consistently caused quite a few problems.

Read More