Eating Disorders Category

Fasting and Anorexia Nervosa

Fasting is a practice that almost all eating disorders sufferers participate in, using it to manage weight and gain a feeling of control. The anorectic tends to have the most extreme fasting practices, whereas the bulimic usually fasts for shorter periods. Fasting among binge eaters and food addicts is sporadic, with some individuals using it more than others.

The primary treatment for eating disorders is counseling and psychotherapy. For a psychotherapist treating someone with an eating disorder, having a thorough understanding of the practice of fasting could be a useful standard of care. Without this knowledge, it becomes more difficult to decipher the patient’s motivations and defense mechanisms pertaining to fasting. For the anorectic who has abused fasting to the brink of death, examining her bond with fasting in psychotherapy—much in the same way an alcoholic would with alcohol—could play an important role in recovery.

For patients who have not abused the pra...

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Addiction and the Brain

As a psychotherapist in San Jose, California, I have a lot of clients ask me what addiction does to the brain. Through all of the research done about drug addiction and its affects on the brain, one can see how drug addiction is considered a brain disease. Drug addiction is a disabling disease and can ruin a person's life. By taking drugs, a person's brain becomes rewired to tolerate high amounts of dopamine neurotransmitters, but once those high amounts of dopamine cease to exist, the person experiences withdrawal symptoms. However, there are ways drug addicts can control their drug intake by using classical conditioning techniques, which allows them to associate drugs with negative attributes.

For some time, researchers have suggested that addiction may be a brain disease. The latest research indicates that addiction disrupts brain circuitry. Studies at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), National ...

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You Don't Lose Weight on a Diet of Emotional Deprivation

You have finite energy to split across your life, and if you spend it planning meals, cooking, and eating (and perhaps recovering from episodes of over indulgence), you may have little left for other things like your emotional life. Over-dependence on nurturing from food can leave unsatisfied emotional hunger—this is the anatomy of disordered eating, in which the satisfactions of our emotional life that require patience, frustration, tolerance, self discipline, and anxiety management are forsaken for the easy fix of food. But by taking the easy way out, you train your mind to confuse emotional hunger for physical hunger, leading to the atrophy of our "emotional muscles." Too much easy way out can lead to the loss of willingness and ability to learn new and more adaptive behaviors. Of course, this taking the easy route of food can become a a negative spiral of emotional disregulation leading to chronic unhappiness, leading to more eating. Eating may become the equivalent of an alc...

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Using the WHOA method for Disordered Eating

Stable Meadows and Stable Wellness Center WHOA© Method

Addressing triggers, a step towards recovery Stable Meadows and Stable Wellness Center

WHOA means to cease or slow a course of action or a line of thought: pause to consider or reconsider —often used to express a strong reaction. It also means to ‘hold your horses or to slow down’ before you are on a runaway horse. To take time to collect yourself and your horse before things become too fast of a pace that you and your horse are comfortable at.

At Stable Meadows we focus on incorporating more ‘whoa’ in your life in order to focus on providing self-care and self-awareness in everyday life. The ‘WHOA’ method focuses on addressing your basic needs before you react

“W” defines the Worry, what is the trigger right now, what do I need to do to slow down, focus on my breathing, address the cause.

“H” How am I feel right now am I hungry, do my physical needs have t...

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Binge Eating Disorder: What Is it?

Even the most disciplined of us occasionally overeats, helping ourselves to seconds or even third portions, especially on holidays or at parties. This is not a binge eating disorder. It becomes a disorder when the bingeing occurs regularly and is accompanied by shame and secrecy. The binger is deeply embarrassed about overeating and vows never to do it again. However the compulsion is so strong that subsequent urges to gorge themselves cannot be resisted.The DSM-V, released by the American Psychiatric Association in May 2013, legitimizes the suffering of millions of Americans by designating Binge Eating Disorder as a psychiatric illness which may make it possible to get the cost of treatment reimbursed by insurance.

According to the DSM-V, binge eating disorder is characterized by several behavioral and emotional signs:

Recurrent episodes of binge eating occurring at least once a week for three monthsEating a larger amount of food than normal during a short time frame (any two-hour p...

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Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

Tips to help prevent holiday overeating

1. Never go to the table hungry - you won't "save" calories by skipping breakfast because you are bond to eat more at the holiday meal

2. If it is served buffet style, check out whole selection before putting anything on your ate - give yourself time to "decide" what you want to eat. Stand away from the table,

3. If served "family style" start with salad and veggies than protein, leaving high fat, calorie dense food selections 2nd round of choices. Less likely to over indulge if you have already taken the edge off hunger.

4 . After you have eaten put a mint or gum in your mouth

5. Drink lots of water, always have a glass nearby

6. Avoid alcohol it adds empty calories and will disinhibit your sense of control

7. Remind yourself that the taste is momentary give yourself 5 minutes and a few deep breaths before going for 2nds or sugary desserts.

8. Remind yourself of your goal and that you are stronger than an urge.

Enjoy the people and conv...

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What Size is Normal?

What Size is "Normal"?

Cheers to the Swedish Department Store for using mannequins that reflect a size 12 rather than the emaciated, androgynous ones in many of the popular places young people shop in this country What is normal? According to Pamela Peek, MD MPH, FACP a worldwide respected speaker on the topics says:

To answer this question, let’s look at some facts. The average starlet is wearing a size 2 or 4 which is the sample size designers are making presently. Today, the average American woman is 5’4?, has a waist size of 34-35 inches and weighs between 140-150 lbs, with a dress size of 12-14. Fifty years ago, the average woman was 5’3-4? with a waist size of approximately 24-25?, she weighed about 120 lbs and wore a size 8. Curiously, over the past twenty years, fashion model sizes have dropped from a size ...

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Did My Grandmother Give Me an EATING DISORDER?

Did My Grandmother Give Me and EATING DISORDER?

The statistics on Eating Disorders is increasingly alarming. More than 8 Million Americans suffer from an eating disorder. Children as young as first grade are expressing unhealthy views on weight and being fat. Young girls and boys, yes boys are literally starving themselves to death to achieve some media driven ideal. And conversely, the rate of childhood obesity has almost tripled. We are facing a health crisis of polar extremes!

  • Percent of 1st – 3rd grade girls who want to be thinner 42%
  • Percent of 10 year olds who are afraid of being fat 80%
  • Percent of all dieters who will regain their lost weight in 1-5 years 95%
  • Annual amount spent on dieting and diet-related products each year $40 Billion

What is and Eating Disorder?
According to the Mayo Clinic, Eating disorders are a group of serious conditions in which you're so preoccupied with food and weight that you can o...

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Do These Pants Make Me Look FAT?

Do These Pants Make Me Look Fat?

Now this can be a dangerous question to answer. “No they make you look slim” could be answer that appears safe. But no, the reply is likely, “so the pants I wore yesterday made me look fat” Or the answer that may be honest, “well a little” but duck because you are about to see that honesty is not always the best policy. Welcome to the nightmare of distorted body image. Distorted Body Image is most often referred to as, Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD). Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a condition that involves obsessions, which are distressing thoughts that repeatedly intrude into a person's awareness. With BDD, the distressing thoughts are about perceived appearance flaws. People with BDD might focus on what they think is a facial flaw, but they can also worry about other body parts, such as short legs, breast size, or body shape. Just as people with eating disorders obsess about their weight, those with BDD become o...

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Considering that most alcoholics and other addicts are victims of childhood abuse, should Alcoholics

Considering that most alcoholics and other addicts are victims of childhood abuse, should Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous continue as the most prevalent treatment method for addictions?

I would say no and with good reason. One of the very first things that an individual is told is that he must be willing to accept for the remainder of his/her life that they are forever an alcoholic. They are taught that there is no cure or redeeming power for their situation. Yet they are praying to a higher power who is to give them something that resembles power. This allows for a false reality to influence your own captivity.

There are several contradictions that entrap a person that relies solely on the dynamics of the current practices of the recommended 12 step program. I have been perplexed by the nature in which recovery is to take place, starting with the serenity prayer that strengthens the confession of bondage. My name is BLANK, AND I AM AN ALCOHOLIC. Life and death is in the ...

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