Love Your Body. Love Yourself.

I’ve been told many times that body image is the last thing to change when it comes to recovery. Body image problems don’t start at the beginning of an eating disorder, so it’s no surprise that it doesn’t end when symptoms are no longer a problem. We develop our body image very early in life and it continues to develop through the years. My earliest memory concerning my body is when I was only three years old. I specifically remember worrying that I was fat, although, I’m not sure how a toddler knows exactly what “fat” means. Family, Continue reading

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You Must Speak

The image on the left is from the website, Therapy Tales, a hilarious comic strip blog about therapy. In this particular comic, the therapist is merely repeating what the client says. Fortunately, most of my interactions with various therapists haven’t been like this, but I have had a few. When it has happened, I asked myself, “How is this helpful?” It was frustrating not to receive much feedback. The most frustrating circumstance was with a professional who just nodded and mumbled “Hhmm…” a lot. It wasn’t helpful at all. Yet sometimes those struggling with eating disorders have no idea how to communicate back, either, at least about personal feelings.

During interpersonal therapy group sessions in IOP, the hour always started with a check-in. We had to express how we were doing and what we were feeling. While the question, “How are you feeling?” seems easy to answer, it is not easy for any one who is used to stuffing emotions and not speaking about feelings. The easy answer was, “I’m fine.” It got to the point where so many of us said, “I’m fine.” that a new rule was created: No “I’m Fine”‘s Allowed! Or any variation of it (“I’m okay.” “I’m alright.”). With the rule in place, we were required to say how we were really feeling, whether it was good, bad, or indifferent. Sometimes, it took a while to be able to pinpoint a specific feeling. Continue reading

But That’s Too Much Work!

It’s Easter Sunday, and since I saw my family yesterday, I decided to stay home today. During every holiday, we usually have a set dinner, out of tradition. But since I chose to stay home, that meant that I had to fix a meal for myself. I am quite possibly the most lazy person when it comes to preparing meals, and I’m sure my team can vouch for that. I don’t like taking a lot of time to whip something up when it only takes minutes to see it all gone. It seems like a waste to me, and I’ve used that excuse many times. “It’s too much work!” That excuse has run its course and I can’t use it any more. My dietitian doesn’t buy it and she knows how to challenge me. Toasting Pop-Tarts takes too long, so I eat them straight from the package. Preparing tuna salad seems like a lot because a dish gets dirty, a can has to be opened, and then Continue reading

Exploiting Treatment on TV

Oprah’s new television network, OWN, has a new show called, “Addicted to Food.” The series follows eight patients while they are at Shades of Hope, an eating disorder treatment center in Texas. The majority of them compulsively overeat and/or binge, and a couple have different types of bulimia. This may be the first show I’ve seen where the focus isn’t solely on anorexia or bulimia, and the people don’t look like the stereotypical eating disordered patient (extremely thin, young, white, female). All of that is a good thing, since maybe someone out there who needs help may see themselves in one of them, but I’m not so sure of the overall concept of the show.

Obviously, the patients’ had to give permission in order to be filmed and aired to the public, Continue reading

She Left Footprints

I’m hesitant to post this, simply because it leaves me vulnerable and I don’t know who will be reading this. However, since my (somewhat fictionalized) story is available to the public, and this topic is in the next book, I may as well write.

Every once in a while, I have very intense and vivid dreams during the night that leaves an emotional impact. I had a dream last night that has left me feeling upset because it has stirred up emotions that I’ve tried to push away, or haven’t dealt with entirely. Six months ago, I had to say goodbye to my therapist due to her moving. She gave me enough time to process the transition with her (read: a lot of crying) and it was very difficult to terminate. While I never had any really horrible therapists before her, I wasn’t able to connect. The time I spent in therapy didn’t help much and I kept repeating behaviors and staying on the surface with issues Continue reading