eating disorders

Are you good enough?

Are you good enough?

Are you good enough? If you listen to the voice that rattles around in your brain and constantly reminds you that you are inadequate, too fat, too slow, and too dumb, you will never be good enough. For some competitive athletes, their drive to be not just good enough, but perfect (perfectly lean, a perfect student, a perfect employee, and of course, a perfect athlete) can drive them crazy, if not drive them into an eating disorder. At what cost will you achieve perfection, including having the perfect body? At what point will you become unhappy enough to seek help?

Speaking at the MEDA (Multi-Service Eating Disorder Association) Annual Breakfast on Nov 2, 2017, Kate Ekman, a plus-size model (that’s all of size 6, mind you) talked about her struggles to rise above her “I’m not good enough” voices. She heard that message from not only herself but also from many others in the fashion industry.

Today, Kate has overcome those negative thoughts and she reminds us that we can be happier letting go of perfection and instead striving to be “good enough.” We can spend our lives comparing ourselves to others and always come up short—to compare is to despair—or we can start each day by saying “thank you” to our bodies.

Your body is the home to your heart, your soul, your brain and all the wonderful things your friends truly like about you. Your friends don’t care if your hair looks great, or if you look phenomenal in a dress. That’s not why they like you. Your appearance does not determine your self-worth. An imperfect body is perfectly OK.

As a sports dietitian, I spend way too many hours helping athletes take better care of their bodies. I remind them: there is no proof the thinnest athlete is the best athlete. The best athlete is genetically gifted, well trained, well rested, and well fueled. The thinnest athlete commonly sits on the bench, injured again.

If you struggle to find the perfect balance of food, exercise and weight, please check out www.MEDAinc.org — and well as the books, excellent podcasts, and information at www.EDcatalogue.com. As Beth Meyer, executive director of MEDA, Inc. says, “Wouldn’t it be nice to wake up every day and not have food or your body make decisions for you?” Your body is indeed perfectly good enough the way it is. Enjoy the day!

Fearful of Food-filled Holiday Festivities?

Fearful of Food-filled Holiday Festivities?

I received this holiday letter from Carolyn Costin, the founder of Monte Nido Eating Disorders Treatment Centers (Montenido.com). Her thoughtful words captured all that I want to say to my readers who struggle with food, weight, and finding a peaceful balance with exercise. Perhaps this will give you a few tips to enjoy the season and not dread it.  Nancy

Carolyn wrote: If you suffer from an eating disorder it is important to take stock of how you can make the holidays meaningful for you. Aside from getting help from others on how you can handle all the food, you can turn this season into a time when you learn more about the seasons and the original reason for celebration during these times. For example, learn about the original reasons for the celebration of the fall harvest and winter solstice.

At this time of year I offer these useful tips in hopes they can make your holidays better:

Tip # 1: Don’t focus on the food.  Make a list of all the other things that you can pay attention to at holiday parties or family gatherings such as, seeing old friends, singing together, decorating things, making gifts.

Tip # 2: Put things in perspective.

  • Remember that a holiday party, and the holiday gatherings in general, are really just a short period of time. There is an end in sight.
  • Be aware that things do not have to be perfect
  • Even if you feel like you make mistakes, over eat or don’t handle things well, you can use these incidents as lessons to learn from.

Tip # 3: Balance is key.             

  • There are no “bad” foods, just bad eating habits.
  • Don’t deny yourself, but don’t ignore body signals such as fullness.
  • Plan to indulge some. Take some risks, eat things you usually don’t “allow” yourself to, but take small steps in doing so.
  • Take/make the time for fun activities, invite friends to decorate, go to the tree farm, or go caroling.
  • Bake with your kids or friends and bring the goods to homeless shelters or others who are need.

Tip # 4: Plan ahead.

  • If you are going to attend a party, plan your food accordingly if you know it will be a problem, for example you might be able to skip your afternoon snack and have dessert at a party instead.  If you are in treatment be sure to check this out with your dietitian or therapist.
  • Plan special time for yourself to “get away” from the holiday stress. Get a manicure, go to the park, take a bubble bath.

Tip # 5: Be on the offense not the defense.

  • If your relatives are coming to you, you can be responsible for having food that you feel comfortable with and you can plan activities.
  • Let the people you love know what a gift they are to you already.
  • Instead of going commercial, make your own cards.
  • Spend time spreading good will and showering people with love.

These tips won’t ensure that there will be no problems or that your holidays will be exactly as you would like, but they can help things be more enjoyable and less stressful. It’s important to figure out what works for you and to remember that you have a part in making your holiday all that it can and is supposed to be.

Love,

Carolyn and all of us at Monte Nido 

Do you think you have “weird” eating habits…?

Do you think you have “weird” eating habits…?

Many active people report they have “weird” eating habits. Some even feel ashamed and embarrassed they can’t do something as simple as eat “normally.” Unfortunately, this shame and embarrassment often becomes a barrier to seeking help. Some of these clients just need nutrition education to get them on the road to healthier food practices. Others have disordered eating practices or outright eating disorders and would benefit from the help of a sports dietitian.

If you wonder if you have an eating disorder, this quiz can help assess your situation.

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