The National Eating Disorder Association will be having the annual NEDA Walk on April 10th, 2021. This year will be a virtual walk event to help provide a safe way to interact during the pandemic, but you can still get involved by hosting or joining a virtual team or making a financial contribution.
Per NEDA, 30 million Americans suffer from an Eating Disorder and the NEDA Walk is a great way to increase awareness and access to recovery. It is likely that you know someone in your live who is suffering from an Eating Disorder, and the NEDA walk can be a great way to show your support for your loved one and their recovery journey. If you are a person who is suffering from an Eating Disorder, know that there is help out there and that you deserve care and support in your recovery journey.
TheraCare Wellness is participating in the NEDA Walk this year and would love to have you join our team. We are a team of Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Therapists, Registered Dietitians, and Acupuncturists that want to help raise awareness to the Eating Disorder Recovery process. You can join our team or make a financial contribution by going here: http://neda.nationaleatingdisorders.org/goto/theracarewellness
We had the opportunity to chat with Joan DeFilippo, Director of Fundraising and Community Engagement at The National Eating Disorder Association, this week about the NEDA Walk. The year for the NEDA walk, individuals can create their own team, fundraise as individuals or as team members, or donate a financial contribution. There are also many volunteer opportunities if a financial contribution is not accessible for some.
Because this year the walk will not be in person, NEDA will be offering a live zoom session on April 10th at 11 AM PST and will include guest speakers, an MC, a musical performance, and a photo booth. Many people are choosing to meet as a family in the safety of their homes, or safely social distance to be able to engage with loved ones. After the zoom meeting, participants will have the option to walk a mile. For some participants, exercise might be restricted due to their individualized movement plan and needs, so folks are being encouraged to explore with their treatment team or providers if they are cleared for this level of movement.
If you would like to get involved with volunteer opportunities, you can reach NEDA via email at firstname.lastname@example.org Volunteers are needed and can help out by calling participants and reaching out to past participants, posting on social media, or even creating their own recovery journey videos to raise awareness. When someone has a story to tell, their story may impact others and raise awareness to the help that NEDA can provide.
The National Eating Disorder Association hosts NEDA week every year to raise awareness about eating disorders, and this year NEDA week is from February 22 – 28. You might be interested in learning more, but might not know where to start. We put together this collection of resources to support individuals who are in their recovery journey, loved ones supporting someone in recovery, or professionals who want to provide excellent care to their clients. Year round, NEDA offers amazing services such as a hotline that can be reached at 800-931-2237 (or text “NEDA” to 741741). They also offer an online chat option on their website. Learn more about NEDA by going here: https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/get-involved/nedawareness You can also join the annual NEDA walk, which on the west coast will be on April 10, 2021, and helps raise awareness for Eating Disorders. You can sign up here: https://www.nedawalk.org/
Eating Disorders are something which impacts the lives of many Americans, as well as people all over the world. The ANAD (National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders) lists general statistics about Eating Disorders as well as for marginalized groups such as BIPOC, LGBTQ+, People With Disabilities, People in Larger Bodies, Athletes and Veterans. You can learn more about statistics surrounding Eating Disorders by going here: https://anad.org/get-informed/about-eating-disorders/eating-disorders-statistics/
ANAD also offers a network of free Eating Disorder Support Groups to the community, and many are being offered online during the pandemic. This is a great resource for individuals and families who are needing community-based support or are new to the recovery journey. You can find more about their support groups by going here: https://anad.org/get-help/about-our-support-groups/
If you are looking for reading materials to become educated on Eating Disorders and the recovery process, you can find some resources here. Sick Enough by Jennifer Guadiani is a book that helps to provide the medical perspective on the impact of Eating Disorders. You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/Sick-Enough-Jennifer-L-Gaudiani/dp/0815382456
A great book that is very healing for women who are on the journey of recovery is Eating in the Light of the Moon by Anita Johnson, which provides metaphors and story telling to aid in the healing journey. You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/Eating-Light-Moon-Relationship-Storytelling/dp/0936077360
If you are interested in reading about the person journey of someone who has also gone through the recovery process, Life Without Ed by Jenni Schaefer provides a perspective on Eating Disorders as a relationship. You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/Life-Without-Ed-Declared-Independence/dp/0071422986 Jenni Schaefer also has a second book about her healing journey called Goodbye Ed, Hello Me. You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/Goodbye-Ed-Hello-Me-Disorder/dp/0071608877
If you are looking for interactive reading materials on improving relationship with food, adopting an All Foods Fit mentality, and challenging diet culture, The Intuitive Eating Workbook by Evelyn Tribole might be a good fit for what you are looking for. You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/Intuitive-Eating-Revolutionary-Program-Works/dp/1250004047
If you are looking to challenge diet culture expectations on body size and cultivate acceptance for body diversity, Health At Every Size by Linda Bacon is a great resource to look into. You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/Health-At-Every-Size-Surprising/dp/1935618253 In line with the HAES philosophy is the concept of Joyful Movement. It can be healing to reframe your relationship with body and relationship with movement by finding movement that feels joyful in the body, versus exercising as compensation or punishment.
If you’re looking for a podcast to listen to, Christie Harrison has a podcast focused on supporting the recovery process and challenging diet culture. You can find her podcast here: https://christyharrison.com/foodpsych and you can also find her book, Anti-Diet, here: https://www.amazon.com/Anti-Diet-Reclaim-Well-Being-Happiness-Intuitive/dp/0316420352
If you are a professional who wants to look into supporting those in recovery from an Eating Disorder, you can connect with organizations like International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals and look into becoming a Certified Eating Disorder Specialist. You can find more about IADEP by going here: http://www.iaedp.com/about-us/ There are also some amazing treatment centers that offer free online trainings for professions to get CEU courses on treating Eating Disorders. One such center is Alsana, you can find more information by going here: https://www.alsana.com/events-calendar/
Most importantly, if you or someone you care about is struggling with disordered eating, or a negative relationship with food or their body, know that help is available. It can be healing to connect with a therapist and a dietitian who understands Eating Disorders and can help you on your journey of recovery.
– Alejandra Rose, LMFT
Just like that, Thanksgiving has passed and we’ve come into the winter season! Speaking of winter, there’s all kinds of delicious winter produce available. Pineapple is actually a winter fruit! Snack on pineapple while you imagine yourself on a warm beach in Hawaii.
There are many benefits when it comes to buying in season produce.
- In season produce is less expensive than out of season produce and it’s also fresher.
- Environmentally friendly
- When produce is in season, it doesn’t have to travel as far to get to you which leads to less transportation and air pollution.
- Buying in season produce will help to give you a variety fruits and vegetables which leads to a variety of nutrients and phytochemicals.
What about frozen produce?
Frozen produce is actually a great alternative to the fresh produce. Frozen produce is picked at its peak ripeness and flash frozen maintaining all the vitamins and minerals and can be budget friendly and time saving too. Frozen veggies like potatoes, broccoli and cauliflower already have the chopping done for you!
Fresh vegetables have a life span of 1-2 weeks whereas frozen vegetables last longer. Buying frozen out of season produce can be great as it’s packaged while it’s in season.
Don’t forget your seasonal produce guide during your next grocery trip!
– Elizabeth Cazares, RD
Alejandra Rose, LMFT
With the holidays rapidly approaching, there is the anticipation of the next family gathering. With the pandemic this year in 2020, it is likely your next family gathering may not look like it usually does. Perhaps instead of everyone gathering at grandma’s house, your family gathering may include a scheduled dinner time and a video chat invite, or a smaller gathering of more immediate family members. But there is one thing that is likely to happen at many family gatherings: diet talk.
Perhaps it is about some new diet craze that someone saw on social media; perhaps it is a new book someone picked up; perhaps it is New Year’s resolutions. Usually in one way, shape, or form, diet talk comes up. This might include cutting this or that out of a diet, or a new exercise routine, or how many pounds a person is hoping to lose in the new year. But if there is at least one person in attendance who struggles with poor body image, body dysmorphia, or an eating disorder, it is likely that someone may be triggered.
Why is diet talk so triggering? After all, it is something which is so flooded in our lives through traditional media, social media, billboards, magazines, commercials, internet ads, mailers, and books. We are always being bombarded with some new way to change our bodies so that we can fit into the image that somewhere down the line we internalized we need to be. It is triggering because it promotes the idea that you should feel like you are not skinny, fit, pretty, or acceptable enough. But what if we were to accept ourselves for who we are? What if we encouraged others in our lives to accept, or even love, themselves for exactly as they are?
Comments about weight, whether it is meant to be flattering or demeaning, can be harmful. The truth is that we just do not know what that person might be struggling with. Maybe they lost weight because they are sick, or even struggling with eating disorder behaviors. Maybe that person gained weight because of a lifestyle change or because they are working on healing from the impact of diet culture. In any case, it is really none of our business.
Comments about things you do not like about your own body are not just triggering to someone at the table who is struggling with their relationship with food and body, but are also toxic to your own self image and self-esteem. Try to become aware of how frequently you engage in self deprecating statements. Chances are, it is more likely than you think. Try instead to speak words of kindness to and about yourself to protect your own mind space as well as to be a positive role model for those around you.
<>Comments about appearance in general, even well-meaning comments, can contribute to a toxic focus on what the person looks like, and not who they are. Try instead to ask questions about the person’s life such as their relationships, job, interests, or passions. And compliment that. Practice curiosity without judgement to deepen your connection with this person. Chances are, this will lead to more intimate conversation.
Negative food talk can be challenging as well. Comments such as how many calories are in a food item, whether something is “fattening” or saying “I’m going to binge on (insert food here)” can create an intrusive spiral in the mind of someone struggling with their relationship with food and body. Keep food comments to positive such as “I love the flavor of this” or “thank you for making this.”
If you are someone who is struggling with disordered eating or relationship with food and body, you can protect your mind space at the next family gathering by planning for some topics you’d really like to talk about with the people you are with, and steer the conversation in that direction. You can politely state “I would rather not talk about that” when diet talk or comments on food or body come up. Enlist someone you feel comfortable with to be your safe person. Give that person a silent gesture to let them know you need support or come up with a code word. Give yourself permission to take a break by stepping outside or going to another room for moment and take a deep breath if the general conversation becomes too overwhelming. It is appropriate to set healthy boundaries in relationships if you need to.
So, at your next family gathering, skip the diet talk. There are a wide variety of other topics that can feel connecting. If there is a lull in the conversation where you feel like you can fill that space with diet talk, try instead to bring up your favorite movie or book, or engage the table in a game like “Would You Rather” or “Twenty Questions”.