There have been a lot of changes since I started my business in 2015. I am still counseling women with eating disorders and associated issues, but now I'm doing even more and am able to reach all new people.Read More
Discovering joyful movement was a game changer for me. I no longer had to suffer through unimaginable workouts because that's what I thought I had to do to be pretty or acceptable. I learned to listen to my body and trust it will take care of me, and you can too.Read More
In my eating disorder I hated everything about my body. Who am I kidding, I hated my body long before my eating disorder showed up. I don't hate it anymore. I have found peace, acceptance, and love for my body. This is the story of me and the body I live in.Read More
There is a new show coming out soon on WEtv called From Not to Hot and it makes me think of everything that is wrong with our society today: how we view women, what sizes and shapes we deem acceptable, what we expect people to do to their bodies to fit into the cultural beauty mold. Beauty is more than just one thing.Read More
As an eating disorder specialist I meet many women who desire to be free from their obsession from food, even though they don't quite know what that would look like. Here are a few things you can experience when you are at peace with food.Read More
As a counselor working with women struggling with body hate, shame, and eating disorders I often find common themes showing up throughout sessions and I will share one resource with a few different clients. Now I'm bringing that resource to you. Read on to find out what the theme is and where I'm sending my clients this week.Read More
Deciding to see a therapist is a huge decision and it can be very stressful. Often times when I talk to potential clients during their free 15-minute phone consultation, they will want to know how long they will have to be in therapy for. That's not an easy question to dissect or answer.Read More
A more common combination than people think, substance abuse and/or dependence is often found in people presenting with eating disorders. Here are some things you may not have known about this combo.Read More
It's that time of year when people start talking about gorging themselves full of food, loosening up a couple notches on their belts, and fasting to make room for the feast.
For some it's a dinner time tradition, while others celebrate it during lunch. Whenever it's held, one thing is for sure: this holiday is all about the food, food, food.
If you have an eating disorder, you may not be thankful for Thanksgiving. Many people report being scared, anxious, and overwhelmed by this holiday. And why wouldn't you be!!
What would it be like for an alcoholic to sit down for Thanksgiving dinner and have the whole table filled with alcohol? I don't think the analogy is far off for someone with an eating disorder, except a table full of alcohol with people sitting around waiting to binge drink is not socially acceptable and probably wouldn't happen.
So, how do you survive this day without binging, purging, or restricting? Use the tools that have gotten you this far, and maybe a few more.
Thanksgiving is not just about food (even though it may seem like that). It's also about being around those you are thankful for.
If you're lucky, that means you may be surrounded by your support network. Use them! If you are struggling with an urge, talk to someone. Maybe even before the big meal, you could give them a list of things they could say or do to help you through. Have them check out this blog on tips for talking to someone with an eating disorder.
Practice your mindfulness
"If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath." - Amit Ray
In moments where you feel overwhelmed by the situation or you feel an urge, remember to use your mindfulness skills to get you back to being centered in the moment.
Focusing on your breathing is a great tool to use.
- Breathe in through your nose for a count of 6
- Notice how the air is cool coming in
- Exhale to a count of 6
- Notice how the air is now warm as it leaves your body
Focusing on your big toe is another fast, easy mindfulness tool
- Focus entirely on your big toe
- Fill your toes with warmth
- Continue breathing normally as you do this
- Wiggle your toes and notice how it feels
Acts of mindfulness can seem silly when reading them on paper or talking about them, but they are powerful when put to the test.
If all of your energy is focused on your breath or your toe, your anxiety has no choice but to decrease.
Sometimes you just need to get away!
Whether physically getting up and distracting yourself or using cognitive distraction, sometimes escaping the urge may be the best option.
Removing yourself from the urge and keeping your mind occupied doing something else will help. Try watching tv, reading a book, taking a walk, getting outside and enjoying the weather, playing a board game, playing with the dog, helping with dishes, and so on and so on. The list could go on forever.
Cognitive distraction takes place in the mind. My body is here but my mind is not!
I came up with a couple of ideas for cognitive distraction to get your mind going:
- Run through all the lyrics to your favorite song
- Create a movie in your mind: who would the actors be? where is it set?
- Plan your dream vacation
Notice the wins
"At the end of the day, you can either focus on what's tearing you apart, or what's holding you together." - Rob Dyer
Yes, Thanksgiving can be challenging, and you will probably face many obstacles throughout the day. Some you may conquer and some you may not. What you focus on will make a difference.
This is about progress, not perfection. You don't have to get it all right to celebrate your wins.
Focus on the wins you had throughout the day.
Recovery is hard and you are doing it, even on what is considered one of the most challenging days of the year for those with an eating disorder. Hold on to that truth. Rejoice in it.
I’d love to hear about the tools you use to get through tough food-focused days like Thanksgiving. Please sound off in the comments section below and share your ideas.
Big changes are in store for Get Centered Counseling as we move into our new location at the H.H. Hall Building in Hazel Dell, WA. From this new location we will continue to serve females 12 and up, and their families, in Vancouver, WA and Portland, OR who are struggling in their relationship with food and their body.Read More
Knowing what to say to a loved one in recovery from an eating disorder isn't easy. Maybe you're scared you will say the wrong thing or makes things worse for your friend? Here are a couple of tips to strengthen your confidence when a loved one is in need.Read More
If you are trapped in a cycle of dieting, consumed by the desire to lose weight, or struggling with an eating disorder, chances are you’ve experienced an urge. I have heard weight-related urges described as overwhelming, exhausting, and never-ending. It's time to deconstruct urges and learn to deal with them effectively.Read More
So many women are chained to the scale. In a daily ritual, often first thing in the morning, they get up on it while recounting everything they have eaten or not eaten and waiting with baited breath for the number to appear. Are you one of these women? If so, you're not alone...are you ready to move beyond the scale?Read More
A clear and precise look at the types of eating disorders I treat in my Vancouver, WA office. If you are confused about the types of eating disorders and how they are diagnosed this will help you.Read More