The Power of Resistance: Saying No to the Diet Culture

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By: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC

Carefully disguised in the name of health, diet culture has saturated our society, taking many different forms, including “eating clean,” veganism, elimination diets, cleansing diets and more.  When done in the name of wellness and disease prevention, many abnormal eating habits can be justified, the potential dangers overlooked when the objective is to be healthier.

With the damaging effects of dieting trends lurking about, especially for those recovering from an eating disorder, when do things take it one step too far when it comes to health and nutrition?

The Reality of Diet Culture

While diet culture has evolved over the years, often taking different forms, the reality is that our society continues to obsess about dieting, reaching an unattainable body type/weight, and all that this entails.

In the face of an “obesity epidemic,” dieting has in fact become commonplace, a false form of security and control as a means of counteracting our fear of fat and everything associated with this.  It comes as no surprise that some of the top dieting questions asked in Google include, “How to Lose Weight Fast,” followed by “Best Way to Lose Weight.”

In a recent survey about body image and dieting, 91 percent of women responded that they were unhappy with their bodies and resorted to dieting, with approximately 66 percent of Americans currently on a diet [1].  There is something startling and abrupt to be recognized about a dieting industry that rakes in billions of dollars each year.  People are looking for answers in the wrong places, often complicating their health and risking their overall quality in life by engaging in our prominent dieting culture.

Going Against the Flow

Is there anything that is justified about being on a diet? Is health, nutrition, or wellness achieved with anything that condones restrictions in any form?

The reality is that dieting, no matter its form, is counter to what our bodies are intuitively capable of doing.  For individuals who are susceptible to having an eating disorder, dieting can be the trigger that influences the development of these fatal illnesses.

No matter the look or claim of any type of diet, the bottom line is always the same: Diets DON’T WORK!  The things that are often lost with dieting include self-esteem, confidence, energy, health, quality of life, and an overall peaceful relationship with food and body.

So what can you do in the face of our dieting culture? Resist.

Resist the urge to jump on the bandwagon of a new “health regime” you see trending on Instagram or the diets that claim to give you energy and optimize your longevity.

Anything that recommends restricting any food groups, demonizing certain foods, or deters you from trusting your body completely should be scrutinized and likely avoided completely.

do-not-give-up-2015253_640Your body contains all the innate wisdom needed to guide you safely through the diet-infested culture we live in, avoiding the heartache and misery that is attached to dieting in any form.  It’s simply a matter of resisting what our culture has deemed as desirable and fighting for normalcy; going against the flow of what everyone else seems to be doing, and making peace with our bodies through gentle nutrition, intuitive eating and exercise.

This may ostracize you from mainstream acceptability, but in the end, you will never regret the choice you made to stand for freedom from dieting.

 

References:
[1]: Mintel Consumer Reports, “Diet Trends – September 2016”, http://reports.mintel.com/display/748044/ Accessed 19 April 2017

Crystal Karges_HeadshotAbout the Author: Crystal is a Masters-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with a specialty focus in eating disorders, maternal/child health and wellness, and intuitive eating. As a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, Crystal has dedicated her career to helping others establish a healthy relationship with food and body through her nutrition private practice and work with Eating Disorder Hope.  Combining clinical experience with a love of social media and writing, Crystal serves as a Contributing Writer and Social Media Events Manager for Eating Disorder Hope, where her passion to help others find recovery and healing is integrated into each part of her work.

#DontMiss Loving Yourself in Recovery

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It’s so easy to miss the signs and symptoms of an eating disorder. I know, because I had one for over seventeen years, and I was a master at not only hiding it from my family and friends, but deceiving myself into thinking that I didn’t have one.

Thankfully, with the help of God and my support team, I was able to get into a healthy place in my life and learn that it is possible to recover. And just as easy as it is to miss an eating disorder, it’s easy to miss loving yourself in recovery. I am a hard worker, and I love helping others, in fact, it’s one of the things that has helped me to recover. So in this VLOG for the Eating Recovery Roundup, I’ve decided to focus on #DontMiss loving yourself in recovery. Enjoy, and if you have any self love or self care tips you’d like to share, email me at nikkidubosecoaching@gmail.com.

With love and gratitude,

Nikki DuBose

Perhaps you are just as the animal sees you: Someone to love.

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By Shannon Kopp

During every SoulPaws session, each participant spends about twenty minutes of one-on-one time with a service animal. This past weekend, we were fortunate enough to work with the Pet-Assisted Therapy Animals from the San Diego Humane Society—small animals who lead very busy lives visiting hospitals, schools, treatment centers, and more, offering comfort to people in need. After six months of this service, they then become available for adoption at the Humane Society.

Since we had thirteen participants on Sunday, we gathered thirteen pet-assisted therapy animals: a handful of sweet rabbits, a bunch of guinea pigs, and two rats.

The room fell silent as we placed an animal into each individual’s lap, and for the next twenty minutes, the room stayed quiet. People used this time to bond and connect with their animal, to journal, to pet and snuggle.

Afterwards, one woman held a guinea pig close to her chest and shared, “Initially when you gave her to me, I was scared. I thought she would scurry away. Lately, there has been so much sadness in my home, and in me. I thought I gave off bad energy. I was sure this little animal would sense it.

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Photo Credit: San Diego Humane Society

But instead, she nestled close to my chest. She stayed so close to me, content in my arms.

And it made me think that maybe I don’t give off bad energy. Maybe I’m more than this sadness. And maybe if the animals know this, I can know it, too.”

Tears gathered in my throat and behind my eyes. I thought back to when I was working at the Humane Society and had relapsed with bulimia, despite years of treatment and therapy. To say that I felt like a failure then is an understatement. I felt like a monster.

But day after day, the shelter dogs wanted to be around this monster. I’d open the door to a kennel and these beautiful, four-legged companions would come running into my arms like I was the greatest thing they’d seen all day. Sometimes, in their unrelenting excitement, they’d knock me over. Sometimes they’d approach cautiously and softly make their way into my arms. Sometimes they’d lick my face and gaze into my eyes with the fiercest, purest light of love. And I too would begin to feel like maybe I was more than my sadness. My bulimia. My monstrous relapse.

Maybe I was more than this harmful story I’d been telling myself for so long.

Animals aren’t interested in stories of the mind. They aren’t interested in what we look like or the “mistakes” we made last night or ten years ago. They aren’t interested in shrinking our sacred being down to a harsh and rigid label. They are only interested in the now. How do we treat them in this moment? Are we gentle? Are we safe? Are we kind?

Animals don’t demand of us what the world does. We’re not expected to walk through grief in five, neat and timely stages…because our sadness makes them uncomfortable. We’re not expected to be thin or pretty or stylish.

We’re not expected to be strong or brave or put-together. We don’t have to know what we want to be when we grow up. In fact, we never have to grow up.

Around animals, we don’t have to play any roles or live behind this pretend mask of adulthood. It’s okay for us to laugh hysterically, to cover ourselves with dog hair and dirt, to roll around on the floor, to pick our nose, to bawl our eyes out, to express the uninhibited joy or the misery we often try to tame in our human society.

We can just be. And what we often find with animals is that our being is enough. We are enough.

So maybe today you are buying into some story the mind is telling you. Maybe your mind is saying that you too sad or too big or too much or too afraid.

Is there a loving animal nearby?

Look into their eyes.

And through your connection with that animal, give yourself a break from this mental chatter. Press the sacred pause button to your thinking. And hold that button down until you begin to feel that you are not “too” anything.

Perhaps you are just as the animal sees you.

Someone to love.


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Shannon Kopp (Left)

About the Author: Shannon Kopp is an eating disorder survivor, animal welfare advocate, and the best-selling author of Pound for Pound: A Story of One Woman’s Recovery and the Shelter Dogs Who Loved Her Back to Life (HarperCollins Publishers). She is also the founder of SoulPaws Recovery Project, offering free animal therapy and healing resources to those suffering from eating disorders. Shannon’s writing has been featured on CNN, Fox News, Huffington Post, Salon, NPR, Good Housekeeping, Dogster, Maria Shriver, and more. She also regularly posts recovery-related poetry on Instagram! www.shannonkopp.com

Road to Recovery: Liza Kulimanova

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By TJ Spencer

Project HEAL provides grant funding for people with eating disorders who cannot afford treatment. For many, this treatment has gone beyond saving their lives – it helps them save others’ lives as well.

Such is the case for Liza Kulimanova, a 2014 Project HEAl grant recipient who currently runs a website, educational YouTube channel and a blog dedicated to helping others overcome their struggles with bulimia.

For Liza, her 13-year struggle with bulimia began in her home country of Russia. She remembers being happy until around age 11, when she began dedicating more and more of her time to her studies and striving for perfection. After trying different weight loss centers and Chinese acupuncture to help cope with her struggles, she was prescribed Fluoxetine to help with depression – but it just wasn’t working.

Her days before treatment were filled with a routine of “dwelling on negative thoughts, zoning out, restricting, binging, purging…being extremely busy and ‘productive,’” Liza explains.

This routine was further perpetuated with she immigrated to the United States in 2010.

“I had no support in the USA and I was extremely isolated,” she says.

She then began searching online for scholarships for eating disorder treatment and discovered Project HEAL. With the grant, she was able to attend treatment at The New Beginning in Scottsdale, AZ.

“Treatment was hard and painful, but at the same time giving me relief and making me feel so much better. I am so grateful for treatment and I see bulimia as a gift now. It really allowed me to become a healthier and better person and grow tremendously from the inside,” she explains.

Today, Liza’s routine is filled with smiling, being more present and aware, checking in on herself, creating time for herself and being open to people, along with blogging and bodybuilding.

“I am very determined and disciplined, and willing to grow consistently,” she says.

This determination and discipline has allowed her to become an ambassador for bulimia treatment through her website, blog and YouTube channel.

“Believe that recovery is possible, because it is. Love yourself enough to get better — just take the first step and see where this journey will lead you. Let your life to unfold and let go of the control,” she advises.


headshotAbout the Author: Second-year journalism and French double major at Seattle University, TJ Spencer is originally from a small town in California, but Seattle stole her heart. In her free time, she enjoys writing, reading and showing off her embarrassing dance moves at cardio dance class. You can find her around Seattle photographing anything and everything, or in her bedroom practicing her French by talking to her roommate’s rabbit.

Trying Again

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By Kelsey Ognibene

I, like many eating disorder sufferers, am a chronic perfectionist. Growing up, I always wanted the best grades, to win the most awards, and to be everyone’s favorite student. As an adult, these urges are still there: be the best employee, the most liked by the boss, have the most friends. This constant strive toward the unattainable, to be perfect in all aspects of life, is something that I know, logically, is impossible. And yet, I still strive toward it, and it in part fueled my eating disorder.

Recovering from an eating disorder is not perfect. There are no clean parts of it—it is all messy, time consuming, difficult, emotional work, and none of that is part of anyone’s five-year plan. When I left treatment, though, that perfectionist mentality manifested itself again, this time about my recovery: You can be that person that never relapses. You can do recovery perfectly from now on, never needing help again. I told myself these lies for weeks, until I realized that I was wrong.

I, and many others, wrongly assumed that once you leave a treatment center, that’s it. You have all the coping skills you’ll need, you’ve dealt with all the emotional work that needs dealt with, and you will reintegrate into society seamlessly. I realized, of course, that I was wrong pretty quickly. Leaving the relative comfort and controlled environment of a treatment center is terrifying, and realizing that decisions that were once made for you and were not options are now your decisions to make is harrowing. As soon as you leave the center, everything is essentially exactly as it was before—except for you.

I had to understand that perfection in recovery, just like perfection in life, does not exist. I had to relearn how to make food choices, and how to do so in a way that seemed healthier and also like a normal part of life. I had to realize that no recovery is perfect and that no one never has another eating disorder thought ever again. There have been numerous periods of relapse, ruining my image of “perfection” that I assumed would be my life post-eating disorder center.

It has been two years this month since I entered residential treatment. During that time, I have worked to lose the attitude that perfection is possible and have tried to realize that all of the messiness and ups and downs of eating disorder recovery are what makes it so difficult and so rewarding. If recovery was perfect, why would we do it? Why fight for something that you don’t have to work for and that doesn’t make you better?

board-786119_640There are days that I wish I could go back to believing I have the power and control to make my life perfect and my eating disorder tells me often that life was better that way. But then I look at my life now, a life where I accept that I have flaws, and that everyone does. Today I live a life where I live authentically, tell people when I need help, and allow myself to be told when I need improvement. It is not an easier life in that respect, but it is a real life and one that I wouldn’t trade.

Your eating disorder lies to you constantly. You cannot be perfect, and you cannot control everything in your life. What you can do, though, is learn to accept yourself just as you are now, not at a magical weight that you think will make things perfect. Life is so much better when we give up the illusion of perfection—breaking free from the eating disorder is the first step in a long journey, one that ends with acceptance, self-love, and a love of flaws. We are not perfect—but if we strive to love ourselves, our life can become somewhat more rewarding and happier, the goal that perfection and control can never give us.


About the Author: IMG_4353Kelsey Ognibene is a social worker living in New Orleans, Louisiana who graduated with her masters in social work in 2016. She received a Project HEAL grant in 2015 and has been working to help others with addictions and mental health issues since. She also has a dog, Daisy, who is a pretty cool canine. Follow her on Twitter.

Messages for My Non-Disordered Friends & Family

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By: Erica B.

1. You mean a lot to me: If I have divulged to you that I have/had an eating disorder, you must be pretty important to me. This is not something I share lightly, so if I have shared, I want you to know that I trust you implicitly.

2. Please refrain from “diet talk” or “fat-shaming”: Though it may not seem like a big deal, calling yourself “bad” for having an extra brownie or commenting on how you need to “diet for bikini season” is incredibly triggering to me. I understand that commenting about how “huge your thighs are” is an activity that bonds women and is very prevalent in our society; I can go on for days about how stupid all of that is, but that’s not relevant here. What is relevant is that those comments can send me into a downward spiral of my own insecurities; this may or may not be a problem for non-disordered people, but I will spend days thinking about how “huge I am” and how you all “must be thinking about how fat I am.” It might cause my behaviors to fly off the walls, and that can be really dangerous for my physical and mental health. One seemingly innocuous comment might break me, depending upon any number of factors, so please just avoid them.

3. Please don’t tell me about your friend’s disorder: You may have the best of intentions when you tell me that “you understand” my disorder because your childhood friend went through this “phase where she stopped eating and got super skinny, but then she got over it when she found cross-fit a few months later, and now she eats super healthy and is super fit, look at this picture of her now.” When you tell me well-intentioned anecdotes about eating disorders, my mind immediately jumps to a number of disordered thoughts: I can get competitive, or worried about you comparing my body to your friend’s, or convinced that I must do cross-fit in order to get better, which may not be healthy for me. Whatever my response is, I do not want to see a picture of this girl now. Everyone’s disorders are different.

4. Please don’t make comments on my body: Hearing about how “healthy I am now” is not always a compliment in my mind. Hearing that I’m “thick, but in a healthy way” might send me into internal hysterics. I know you mean well when you make comments about how “sexy” I look in that outfit, but I might then spiral off worrying about the benefits of looking “sexy” versus “skinny.” Body comments are rarely helpful, so please refrain.

5. Please don’t comment on what I eat: Odds are I’ve already given too much thought to the nutrition content of what I’ve put on my plate. If I take a second cookie, I probably didn’t do so cavalierly. I don’t need to hear whether I “eat like a bird” or “must be ravenous today!”

6. Please don’t ask me how low my weight got/how much I’ve put on: This is really personal information. It also doesn’t matter AT ALL. Eating disorders come in all shapes and sizes, so weight is not always indicative of severity. Also, I wouldn’t ask you how much you weigh.

7. I am not crazy: This is here more to ease me than for your benefit. I fear that people associate eating disorders/mental illness in general with insanity. I am not my disorder; I am the same smart, kind, responsible person you knew before I revealed to you my struggle.

8. Feel free to ask questions: Other than ones about specific weights, I am open to questions. I don’t want this to be an elephant in the room. If you want to know something, please just ask me. If it is something I don’t feel comfortable answering, I’ll tell you.

The National Eating Disorder Association and Project HEAL Team Up For Recovery Heroes Campaign

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In honor of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, February 26- March 4th, Project HEAL and The National Eating Disorder Association have teamed up for a new campaign, Recovery Heroes, to honor our loyal supporters who make recovery possible.

To get involved, post a picture or video of yourself and your hero on Instagram with a caption talking about how they helped you on your journey using the #RecoveryHeroes and #NEDAwareness hashtags.

Kristina Saffran

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Recovery is never an individual process. That’s why I’m so glad @projectheal and @neda are highlighting the importance of #recoveryheroes. No big surprise that mine is my fearless, kind and passionate cofounder @lianarosenman. Thanks for saving my life.


Liana Rosenman

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To begin, I’d like to thank Kristina Saffran for being one my #recoveryheroes Thank you Kristina for saving my life and showing me that I was worthy of recovery!

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Recovery would not have been possible without my family’s constant love and support. Thank you Mom, Dad, and Josh for being my favorite part in this crazy life. Thank you for always being my loudest cheerleaders and for reminding me of my strengths when I was discouraged. I would not be where I am or who I am today with out each of you!

1*mQtOqbH8U6MDVYnWh3MJbgReflecting back on the years I spent sitting in classrooms, there is one thing that I know for certain to be true: I would not be the person I am today without the teacher who believed in me. Thank you for teaching me life lessons that are far more invaluable than anything I could have learned from a textbook. Thank you for giving me the tools to succeed. Thank you for always encouraging me and believing in me even when I didn’t in myself. And, finally, thank you for being the teachers that inspired me to be just like you.

1*55IMGUhjqcpxErgt2fztAwThey say I am their anchor that keeps them grounded. What they don’t realize is they are the light in the darkness, a shining source of strength and courage. Emitting wisdom, hope and love to those around them. Today I dedicate my #recoveryheroes post to the 70 Project HEAL treatment grant recipients.

1*UF9u_ACzu1sQJ0VXirclrgWhat many people may not realize is that much of Project HEAL’s achievement would not be possible without the dedication of our volunteers. Their enthusiasm for Project HEAL and spreading the message that recovery is possible inspires me everyday. I am so thankful to work with such dedicated, kind, and loving people who are truly HEALing the world. Thank you for being #recoveryheroes to so many people and being my everyday heroes!

1*q_cKIuXT4YZXDgK3ctcB5AFor my final post, I am giving a special shout out to my treatment team. You invested heavily in my recovery when I couldn’t even begin to see the starting line. You constantly reminded me of what recovery was not only about from a technical aspect, but what it was for: my family and future, but, most importantly, for myself. Thank you for giving me the tools to succeed and for helping me reach a full recovery.


Tonya Brown

1*4ZToTO_N9FsmZZfBnHfO2gMy #recoveryhero is Megz (Meghan). Together we fight, we cry, we kick, we scream — together we do not give up — especially not on each other. From the time we met in treatment in 2015 and to this present day she has been my partner in crime, my best friend and my recovery sidekick. It’s easy to make friends in treatment, but to maintain that friendship afterwards; that’s dedication and commitment. The last time we saw each other was when she discharged from NYC, just weeks before me…the thought of reuniting gives me goosebumps and shivers down my spine and fills my eyes with tears.

This girl is my world. Recovery is not easy but with her by my side, it’s easier.

Together but apart — we fight.


Allison Dombroski

1*Wpcn3j_obYBzbkYPfr7hswTo celebrate #nedawarenessweek, I’d like to thank my friend Sara, who never gave up on me, even when I pushed away. In recovery it’s important to have a support system. They don’t have to understand exactly what’s going on in your mind, but they’re willing to keep seeing the true you deep inside. Sara helped and continues to help me overcome many obstacles, and ultimately, because of her loyal friendship, I can now say I’m recovered.


Cara Lyons
1*L7KZAw5iJnZKQeeTFZG3NQGrowing up, I was always told how much I looked like my mom — of course, when I was 8 years old, I couldn’t really see the resemblance. Now that I’m older, though, I smile when someone tells me that because she is exactly the woman I want to become. She is my role model, my confidante, my therapist, but most importantly, my best friend. She never forgets to text me each morning and night, even if we haven’t spoken all day and she’s never given up on me, even when wanted to give up on me.

I don’t think I’ll ever truly know how my eating disorder affected her because when I was at my lowest points, she was forced to be strong enough for the both of us to move forward. She never let me see how afraid she was of what my eating disorder had made me become because she knew that would only make me more closed off. So instead, she smiled. She laughed. She cheered me on when I asked to go for ice cream (at one point she even said she would have driven 100 miles just to find an ice cream shop that was open late at night for me). She pointed out the good things that the world still had to offer because I couldn’t see them for myself. And slowly, because of her, I began to get better.

Now that’s not to say the numerous treatment stays, doctor visits, and therapy sessions didn’t play a role too, but my mom was the one who never left my side no matter how bad things had become. She never gave up on me and constantly reminded me of my goals and potential to make a difference in the world. It is because of her that I always try to better myself in the hopes that just maybe, I can be half the woman she is.


Vanessa Frances Poulson
1*9UjD-i7QLeduqRpI4s7zTwI think, as with most children, out first love will always be our mothers. Mom’s are the ones who teach us to be brave, hold our heads up, and stand up talk for what we believe in. Our mother’s help to form and craft our personalities, breed us in strength, and protect us even in our tragedies.

Mothers are protective and understanding, caring and firm, and hold us close when the world tries to push us away.My mother was an incredibly powerful influence through my recovery journey. She was not only a guiding light, but a beacon of hope through darkness, and for that I will never thank her enough.

Recovery, however, is not just about those that helped us through the recovery itself, but also those that stood with us when we came out on the other side, and reminded us in our moments of weakness what it means to be something truly exceptional and valuable. Though I’ve always tried to be the girl that refuses validation from others, falling in love with someone who knew just the right way to keep me steady and moderated with perhaps the best thing that’s ever happened to me. He is the love of my life, and for that, I am so thankful.

These two are my #RecoveryHeros not only for their continued kindness and compassion, but because they are both the complete and well valued lives of my life. I don’t think that I would be half the woman I am today if I didn’t have the shoulders of these two incredible human beings to help me stand again.


Meg Burton

1*a1MLwqsK9at7bAKIrxD3QAI wouldn’t be where I am today without all of the amazing #RecoveryHeroes I have in my life.

This right here is Mary. Mary was my therapist when I first moved to Southern California for college. I was still having phone session with my therapist from home and having difficulty finding resources at Cal State Fullerton to help me with this new life transition. I found Mary online while searching for an eating disorder therapist within the area. Her website was awesome and she looked so kind — so I texted a friend consulting her on this very important issue and we decided that it would be good to send Mary an email. To my very anxious surprise Mary called me that night and then followed up by emailing me potential resources in the area.

I can’t explain how much this meant to me. I was pretty self-sufficient but I was having a hard time finding any help in this new place. On top of that nobody was even trying to help me. I was just having doors closed in my face instead of finding a hand reaching out to help me. And that’s what Mary did. She was the first person to extend a hand and allow me not to walk alone.

Our first interaction with each other pretty much sums up our time together. Mary never left me to walk alone. She stayed present with me through many highs and lows. The moments when I would hide underneath the blankets in her office, unable to communicate; or when I would decide to not talk to her if I was angry. And also the moments where I got stickers for self-care, told epic camp stories, and cried from joy and and gratitude for life after being featured in 17 magazine.

It’s so hard to sum up the impact of a certain person in your life. But I do know one thing, I would not be the same without the time I was fortunate to have with Mary in my life.

All you therapists rule. You have a hard job but it is filled with SO much meaning. Keep making a difference in this world because we need you.


Michelle Blazofsky

1*NTdQJlBRPDvkjIrMe4-mdgAs we approach National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, I’m joining the #recoveryheroes movement, a collaborative movement between @neda, @recoveryspark, and @projectheal, to send out some love to those who have helped me along the way. I’m forever grateful and thankful for Liana, Kristina and all of Project HEAL for taking a chance on me and allowing me the opportunity to not only gain my life back but also grow in ways I never thought possible. I would not have made it through treatment without my recovery heroes. I went from daily meltdowns to daily triumphs. Thank you all for always being a voice of reason in times of struggle and true examples of confidence and self love.


Danielle Deutsch

1*rcDH8VCYhXgoD_jrephH1wI want to give a HUGE shoutout to Liana Rosenman for being a #RecoveryHero to so many people and being my everyday hero! You’re the most selfless and amazing person I know and I’m so lucky to be able to call you my friend.


Amanda Leigh Lupacchino

1*PufT7tgA_Fvk9hLrMAzlHgIt’s hard to believe that 3 years ago last month I went into treatment for my eating disorder, which I struggled with for 11+ years. As we approach National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, I’m joining the #recoveryheroesmovement, a collaborative movement between @neda, @recoveryspark, and @projectheal, to send out some love to those who have helped me along the way. It takes a village my friends and these are some of the heroes in mine.

First and foremost I’m forever grateful for Liana, Kristina and the Project HEAL family for taking a chance on me, giving me the opportunity to receive the proper treatment and for sticking by my side. A shout out to my amazing bosses Mel, Hanne and my DDF crew for being an amazing and understanding support system. My EDTNY family for walking through the unknown with me. Pippa, Diana, Natalie, Kylie, Garrett, Marisa, Ginny, Dr. Hong and the many others who have helped me, supported me and tough loved me through this process. The countless friends, family, recovery warriors, theater communities and even strangers who have had a positive impact along the way. There are no words that will ever adequately express how grateful I am for all of you, but I can say confidently and adoringly that I could not have wished for a better team of recovery heroes. Thankful every day. THANK YOU!


Sarah Kravette

1*A0zWfDxX21eTEWKOBtVrnwIn honor of #NEDAwareness Week, I’d like to give a shout out to my “Recovery Hero.” Liana Rosenman came into my life at exactly the right time and showed me that there is an incredible life worth living beyond an eating disorder. To my best friend, thank you.


Christina Grasso

1*osRPObzIP0S42tMfRYCF-QWith upcoming #nedawareness week, we @projectheal-ers are launching a new campaign today with @iskra and @neda called #recoveryheroes to highlight the importance of a support system in eating disorder recovery. I’m lucky to have an incredible family, wonderful friends, and a special doctor who have gone above and beyond to save my life and help me through this process.

But Liana Rosenman is one friend in particular who gives me hope and purpose every day. I met her 5 years ago when I started working with @projectheal, which she co-founded at the age of 15 (!!) while recovering from her own eating disorder. Since then, we’ve grown very close and she is always there to celebrate the good days and let me vent on the not so good days. She watched Betty Piddles for me while I was in the hospital last summer and wrote cute notes on my mirror for my return. Most of all, she is my living proof that recovery is possible. I don’t know where I would be without her and Project Heal, but I do know I wouldn’t be half the woman I am today, that’s for sure. Thank you Liana for changing my life, inspiring me to share my voice and story,and giving me the opportunity to turn the ugliest, most difficult thing in my life into something beautiful and meaningful.


Hannah Smiley Jones

1*8HDY33OuGqC5HQ70fX-gwQMy #RecoveryHero is my best friend, my partner in crime, my person @tessmichelemullen When I found out I was being admitted to the hospital she dropped everything and hopped on a bus from Pittsburgh to Philly to work my two nannying jobs and take care of my cat while I was learning how to care of myself again. She’s seen my good, my bad and my ugly and has loved me unconditionally through it all. Her unrelenting support and belief in both me and my recovery empowers me everyday. I’m so lucky to have had you by my side and I cannot wait for the day when we don’t live on opposite sides of the state anymore. Thanks for being my bestie and recovery hero.


Kelly Byram
1*tZFUWBKstYTNFpvhtVW_sgWhile there have been SO many people I would love to thank who have helped me over the last 12 years and continue to help me on my journey towards recovery…. I want to thank my 3 biggest #RecoveryHeroes-my mom, my best friend Anthony and my precious niece Avery. These 3 people have given me to strength and courage to continue to fight even when I’ve felt I no longer could. Whether they know it or not, they have saved my life. I want to thank them for always believing in me. For cheering me on in the darkest of times and for being there to celebrate my triumphs.


Caroline E. Och
1*kvnsJk0g3QQaEeIZEB1qgwIt’s almost #EatingDisordersAwarenessWeek, and here are my #RecoveryHeroes! Mom, Dad, and Sarah, thank you for your constant support. Because of you, I’m able to recover and pursue my dreams of helping others. I love you!


Jacquie Rangel

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Summer 2016- my brothers, mom and I first met my father in Kuala Lumpur before taking off to Thailand for a family getaway. It was our first visit there in nearly six years and it was a truly incredible time to reflect and think about how much has happened in a seemingly short period of time. I couldn’t help but smile to myself as we sat at the beach for lunch that first day, thinking how the five of us were fundamentally different humans than the ones who sat in a similar formation just years before.

Though I had been developing and attempting to manage an eating disorder for some time then, the Thailand 2010 trip was the moment in time where I think we all truly realized that I was deeply entrenched in behaviors that could end my life and therefore all of our lives as we knew them. Here we were last summer, what felt like several lifetimes later and I sat relishing not only in the freedom to enjoy some of my favorite Thai dishes; but also with the cognitive ability to stay present and open heartedness to recognize how making a full recovery from my eating disorder had, in many ways, liberated the people I love the most. I recognize my family as a group of recovery heroes because I appreciate the absolute fact that we ALL fully recovered from an eating disorder. Yes, I was the one with the symptoms, but that doesn’t mean that I was the only one who was faced with the challenge of a healing experience. In many ways, I believe the pain my family endured was more grueling than my own since they had to go through it without the well-rounded care that I was afforded in treatment. They carried on with their wounds, not even thinking twice to let them heal until they were sure, years later honestly, that I was better.

While I spent a long time feeling a lot of guilt for what I put them through, I’ve come to better understand the ripple effect of healing. My mom says that she always knew I was going through my eating disorder to be able to heal others. However, I believe that they, too, have great amount of healing to share with the world. Their individual experiences of what happened triggered transformation that has healed pieces of them and as a result, provided further space in the world for them to extend this further still to others. Felipe, only eleven at the time, was required to grow up much faster than I did in many regards, yet in the process tapped deep into a thoughtful nature that I see him channel into his many positions of leadership today. Nicholas, my middle brother, was afraid to visit me in treatment, carrying around the preconceived notion of what mental health treatment looks like. In facing his fears, he was able to destigmatize this perception in his mind and I watch with amazement when I see him compassionately showing up for people in his lives when he recognizes a struggle. Then there are my parents of course; who showed up for many difficult conversations and willingly undertook the battle with insurance companies to provide me with life-saving care. Now, I watch as their friends reach out to them, riddled with shame for feeling as though they have failed when their children develop eating disorders. They are able to comfort these people and let them know they are not to blame and counsel them on what did and didn’t work in their experience. I think are times in which we all feel responsible for fixing all that is wrong in the world around us. One thing my journey to being recovered from an eating disorder has opened my eyes to is that we are really only responsible for our own pain. We can be there for others and comfort them, but the action of recognizing and transforming the painful experiences in our own lives eases a fraction of collective suffering in the world. When we do this, we let other people know they have the power to do the same.

So there we were with our Thai spread and the sound of calm waves rolling in. Far from perfect, but that’s not really the point, is it? In that moment we had our health, we had laughter, and we had our ever-expansive healing. Again, I smiled in infinite gratitude for a family that is both strong and easy. These people are my sunshine, my warriors; they are my tribe of recovery heroes.

FAQ Friday: Are Weight Transformation Images Liberating or Triggering?

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by Dr. Colleen Reichmann, Licensed Clinical Psychologist 

 

“Are the weight transformation images a good thing or are they negative for the recovery community?”

 

woman-smartphone-girl-technology-2-650x437This is an important topic, because of the recent swift growth of the online pro-recovery and body positive community. The notorious “Transformation Tuesday” pictures that have historically reeked of diet culture (i.e. images of individuals pre and post-weight loss) have been commandeered by our beautiful community.

If you search #transformationtuesday on social media today, you will still find a slew of weight-loss before and after pictures. However, dotted among these pictures will be the occasional weight-gain picture– typically an individual pre and post-weight restoration during recovery from an eating disorder.

Recently another hashtag started trending – one that is more specific to the recovery community- #gainingweightiscool. A search of this hashtag will almost exclusively yield these before and after weight restoration pictures of individuals in recovery from eating disorders.

Additionally, some of the most loved body positive and recovery accounts routinely post these transformation pictures. These accounts are widely followed, and hence have the potential to deeply impact the community as a whole.

So while I am typically against black and white responses, I do tend to believe there are more negatives to these transformational images than positives. Let me explain:

 

The Negatives

These images focus on just that – images.
They put a face to eating disorders. This encourages us to do what we are all subconsciously primed to do anyway – focus on someone’s appearance as a gauge to estimate how sick they are or once were. The vast majority of individuals suffering from eating disorders are not underweight-indeed many individuals with anorexia may not ever appear drastically underweight. Hence the dangerous myth that eating disorders are all about weight loss is not something that we want to perpetuate via social media.

Additionally, more simply, they encourage us to focus on the outside. We are all SO used to focusing on the outside anyway, and recovery from an eating disorder usually involves a fight to recognize that worth stems from the inside. So putting focus on visual depictions of the illness seems like a step backwards.

They ramp up competitive eating disorder voices.
This is a no-brainer. These pictures are triggering for many individuals struggling with or in recovery from an eating disorder. Though the message may be that #gainingweightiscool, the stark visual image of sickness leaves the door open for the eating disorder voices, saying things like, “I’m not sick enough,” or “I never got sick enough,” to creep, ever so sneakily, back in.

An important note is that some well-known body positive activists will post disclaimers on their transformation pictures to address this very point. For example, some will post pictures featuring the pre-weight restoration and post-weight restoration with a notation at the bottom to the tune of: *YOU DO NOT HAVE TO LOOK LIKE I DID FOR YOUR STRUGGLE TO BE VALID. EATING DISORDERS COME IN ALL SHAPES AND SIZES*

Disclaimers like these might, however, have the drawback of speaking to rational thought, and the “I’m not sick enough” thinking is anything but rational. Rather, it’s ED thinking. For some, this notation may not be enough to break through the thoughts that come along with the triggering images once they begin. The “I’m not sick enough” thoughts can still be pervasive even after one has been well-educated about the fact those suffering come in all shapes and sizes.

They perpetuate societal misunderstanding.
Society (and sometimes doctors, insurance companies, etc.) already seems to have a tough enough time grasping the fact that eating disorders have no face. ED’s affect people of all different genders, sexual orientations, ethnicities, ages, and YES- body types. They Do. Not. Discriminate. And yet, the vast, vast majority of articles and educational pieces for the mass media are written about one type of eating disordered individual – the young Caucasian female with Anorexia Nervosa. Articles for the commercialized media are more often than not accompanied by images of emaciation.

Why? Because this sells. Anorexia is easily sensationalized in the media because of our current societal obsession with the thin ideal.

Those of us involved in recovery awareness and activism cannot necessarily help what a women’s magazine chooses to focus on. But we can help what our social media community chooses to promote. By posting these transformation pictures, we are adding to the societal idea (as well as the eating disordered thought) that anorexia is Everybody’s Favorite Eating Disorder, and that people who are not underweight are not sick. In doing so, we are also perpetuating the tendency to overlook those suffering from other forms of this illness like Binge Eating Disorder, Bulimia Nervosa, Other-Specified Feeding and Eating Disorder (OSFED), and Avoidant and Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID).


The Positives

They fight stigma.
It cannot be denied that these transformation pictures buck the trend-among a slew of weight-loss idealization pictures, it can be so refreshing to see someone celebrating weight gain! It is a great reminder that weight loss is not always the goal, and that “healthy” can mean different things for different people.

They allow people to own their stories.
The pictures can be liberating to post. Our society sends an overwhelming message that mental illness is something to hide or be ashamed of. These pictures are an attention-grabbing, incredibly courageous way of saying, “Hey! I went through something. I’m STILL going through it. And you know what? I’m not ashamed. I’m a brave warrior and I’m fighting every day.”

Also, sometimes when one goes through something as trying and difficult as an eating disorder, there is a pull to show people just how much suffering occurred. A pull to shout, “Hey! I went through hell and back, see?” After staying silent and numb for so long, (as people tend to when suffering from their eating disorder), sometimes there is that irresistible pull to break free, tell one’s story, and in turn, set it free. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this.

And furthermore, not everyone considers their social media account to be part of a social justice movement. Some people simply want to document their journey, and posting their pictures is 100% their right in doing so (although sometimes the pictures depicting severe emaciation do get reported and removed by Instagram).

They start a conversation.
If the pictures are public (and even if they aren’t) they start a conversation. They start a conversation among strangers, family and friends. They force people to confront their own biases about weight gain and health. The pictures are a visual declaration that weight gain can be positive, beautiful, and life-saving. They are a pictorial screw-you to the diet culture script- the idea that weight loss is ALWAYS the goal and that skinnier is ALWAYS healthier no matter what. These pictures have the potential to open people’s eyes and minds to the idea that all bodies are good bodies, and that health can fit every size.

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There are both positives and negatives to these transformation pictures, but my final thought would be to proceed with caution. You never know who could be triggered by the image.

Your journey is yours to own, so of course it is within your right to post your photos and empower yourself and your recovery. I would simply suggest that you be deeply thoughtful about what your reason is for posting the pictures before doing so. Consider not putting too much emphasis on them, and instead focusing on your inner strength, your mind, your newfound ability to deal with tough emotions, and your fresh starts in relationships.

Eating disorder recovery involves so, so much more than the outside.

And, as a final note to the well-known body positive accounts: please use the images sparingly. You are all doing such amazing, impactful work. Your message is SO important, and you have the potential to influence so many. So while your journey may have involved weight gain, there are an infinite amount of other variables involved that make you YOU. Be sure to shine a STRONG light on those as well.

 


 

About the Author:

As seen on a Sussex Directories Inc site

 

Dr. Colleen Reichmann is a licensed clinical psychologist, practicing in Virginia Beach. She works in a group practice, and is a staff psychologist at the College of William and Mary. She is an eating disorders and women’s issues specialist She is an advocate for feminism, body positivity, health at every size, and FULL recovery. Connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, or send her an email.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*The views expressed in this posting are based on this writer’s professional knowledge, training, and experience in accord with current and relevant psychological literature and practice. These views do not indicate that a professional relationship has been established with any recipients. Readers should consult with their primary medical professionals for specific feedback about any and all questions.

 

 

 

 

Loving All Parts of My Body

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By Danielle Sherman-Lazar

Why do you still order maternity swimsuits?” My husband said, eyeballing me as I slipped on the new polka-dotted swimsuit I got on Amazon to see if it fit.

I quickly  looked down at my body and went through the checklist in my head: it fit ✓, covered my thighs ✓. Perfect, I thought, and then robotically stripped it right off. It ran through my head that this bathing suit was a “winner winner chicken dinner,” in my book (which brought me back to another very important decision in my life– hmm, what should we have for dinner?)

“Hello, Yoo-Hoo, Earth to Dani?” The hubs said, waving his hands in front of my face. Waking me up from my zombie, or more like zombie-chicken-like trance.

Because they are more comfortable, a little lose, more flattering.” I answered, swatting his hands away like he was a pesky bee zigzagging around my head.

Plus, he was kind of acting like one. He clearly doesn’t know my checkered history with swimsuits. At least I will now wear one in public.

My worst nightmare was to have to go to a store and put one on in front of the mirror. Both, terrible nightmarish situations—especially for this self-proclaimed anti-shopper with a poor body image.

My shopping experience used to go something like this:

1. Try it on.139136870_4fadd2f255_z

2. Look in the mirror and be terribly unhappy with my body and what I saw.

3. Then, feelings of sadness and failure.

Needless to say, my shopping experiences were quite difficult and triggering, and as Barney from “How I met Your Mother” would say, “Not so legendary.”

If you still don’t get it, here is a simple equation:

I would stare in the mirror completely horrified. Now, I find myself in this bathing suit situation every Thursday.

My daughter takes swim lessons and obviously an eight-month-old can’t swim alone, meaning I must go in with her. Though her instructor informed me she is buoyant, I don’t think I should chance it just yet. So, every Thursday we go to swim, and I change myself, then her, into our bathing suits.

When I walked out of the locker room our first lesson, to my surprise, I didn’t even think about the fact that I was wearing the dreaded swimsuit. And five months later, I still don’t. Recovery is the key that unlocked all my doors clasped tightly together by shame. Recovery has let me live, and thus experience. These amazing momentous things happened to me because I am in recovery.

There was a trickle-down effect of sorts: If I wasn’t in recovery, I couldn’t have a baby: one, because I wouldn’t have let anyone in (so unless I was The Virgin Mary herself that wouldn’t be possible) and two, because I wasn’t healthy enough to conceive.15238438089_7f8e078277_z

If I didn’t have a baby, I wouldn’t have fully understood how amazing my body was and appreciated it.

So yes, because I am in recovery and my body could give me my daughter, wearing a swimsuit has become a non-issue. I hardly think twice about how I look while playing in the pool with her.

I see my daughter’s smile, hear her laugh as she “splashy splashes the water,” and that’s all that matters.

In that way, I’d like to thank my eating disorder recovery for giving me the experiences and perspective to make a swimsuit that—is just a swimsuit.

So no, I won’t be the girl rocking the tiny string bikini, thinking I look hot, but that just isn’t me or what I am about at all. Plus, I think some old-fashioned modesty goes a long way.

So yes, I will be the girl in the one-piece, or comfortable two-piece playing confidently with my daughter, smiling, laughing. And you know what, I don’t care what society says about my frumpy suits; I am happy and have come a long way.

 

This piece originally appeared on https://livingafulllifeaftered.com/


 

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About the Author:

Danielle Sherman-Lazar is four years in recovery from anorexia and bulimia, Vice President of a transportation company, and a mother to a nine-month-old. Hobbies (when she has a minute to breathe!) include reading, writing or blogging, anything on Bravo (she is not afraid to admit her reality-TV/Real Housewives of Anywhere addiction) and the occasional workout. Follow her on her blog Living a Full Life After ED and like it on Facebook.

 

 

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions Friday-Pregnancy and Eating Disorders

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Frequently Asked Questions Friday

FAQ

Pregnant-Woman

This week’s question is:

How do I maintain recovery from my eating disorder during pregnancy?

So this is an interesting question, because I think that the answer very much depends on the individual. I have had friends in recovery who have said that being pregnant saved them, that those nine months were the most carefree nine months ever, because the pressure to maintain an idealized body was gone. Others that I have worked with have told me that pregnancy was the time that their eating disorder was the loudest. Others still have confided that pregnancy sparked a relapse.

What is important to note is, if you have a history of an eating disorder, it’s likely tricky to predict how you will react to all of the physical, psychological, and emotional changes that pregnancy brings. This is why I think this question is good for EVERYONE to consider-not just for those who are currently in recovery and pregnant, but for anyone who ever might become pregnant one day.

Because pregnancy is so personal and individualized, I felt that this question deserved a more well-rounded answer than my sole clinical opinion-so I called in the troops! Two brave, smart, warriors who have experienced pregnancy during recovery agreed to share their feelings, tips, and tricks about this very topic with you all!

 

Veronica:  When we found out we were having a baby we were so excited, but in the back of my mind I was afraid of how I would do with gaining all of the weight that comes along with the blessing. I was afraid that it would trigger old habits and behaviors with the new changes that were about to begin. Throughout the 9 months as my belly grew, I just kept reminding myself of the little miracle that was growing inside of me and how he was depending on me to take care of myself in order to thrive. I was actually a little surprised with how much I loved being pregnant. I loved that I was eating not only for me, but for my baby. For once in my life I didn’t worry about the weight I was gaining, but instead embraced it. Embraced the life that my body was able to nourish. How amazing is that…my body was able to nourish and grow another human being! So wonderful!

I think the hardest part for me was after my son Lane was born. My body had changed, but now I had a tiny human to take care of other than myself. I was nursing so I was starving all the time (even in the middle of the night). So although my body had changed, and I weighed more than I did pre-pregnancy, I knew I needed to eat in order to produce enough milk to feed him. Things were different. It was far more important for me to eat to fuel my body and his than for me to fit back in my clothes. I also knew that once he was older he was going to watch me. I knew that from this day forward I was not just taking care of me; I was taking care of him and setting a good example. That meant having a good relationship with food and exercise.

I am now 24 weeks pregnant with our second son (!) I continue to remind myself not to worry about the changes in my body. It continues to be a daily challenge, but I am using the same coping tools and support systems as I did during my first pregnancy to work through it. I went to the doctor today for my standard check-up and was dreading getting on the scale. I wasn’t going to look-but then I reminded myself that I am more than a number. My weight and body shape does not make or break the woman I have become. Our bodies are amazing, God designed them to grow another human being, and that is a true gift.

Jen: It was surprising to me how quickly my eating disorder voice came back as soon as I found out I was pregnant; I had been in recovery for a solid eight years by the time we got the news. Some of the voice’s content was the same, especially surrounding numbers and perfection. I was quickly obsessed with being a “perfect pregnant woman.” I wanted to gain the perfect amount of weight, no more no less. I wanted to eat only the most “perfect” foods. I was gripped by the thoughts of being a perfect mother and took on so much of the responsibility. Often my thoughts went something like this, “If I do X, then Y would happen to my baby, and I am a terrible mother.”

My first piece of advice and truly the most important is to rally your troops. Tell your support system about the thoughts you are having or that you are concerned you will start having the thoughts. Make a plan before you are “in it.” Second, become informed and educated about your pregnancy. Doctors are good sources, google is not. It is easy to get swept up into new mother forums because it can give us instant gratification (instant gratification is totally not something people with eating disorders like or anything…sigh), but it can almost always give us something else to worry about. Lastly, actively practice awareness, mindfulness, and gratitude. My favorite moments in pregnancy took place in my bathtub. I would be fully immersed in my connection with my daughter. I would be gratefully thinking about the incredible things my body was doing in its efforts to grow a baby. I would accept my anxious thoughts if that came to me but kindly bring my mind back to my baby. Towards the end, this would usually result in sweet reminder from my girl giving me a kick or a roll, as if to say, “I love you.” I was unbelievably grateful that I could be so terrible to my body for so much of my life and it was still willing to give me my most precious gift. You are a goddess, Mama, let your body do what it was made to do.

 

As you can see, Jen and Veronica struggled and triumphed in unique and separate ways with their recovery journeys during pregnancy. Veronica talked about the body negativity that plagued her throughout both of her pregnancies- specifically when it came to gaining the necessary weight. This aspect of pregnancy can actually be upsetting to both recovered and non-eating disordered individuals alike; especially if low body image and self-esteem were a struggle prior to pregnancy (which research tells us is the case for the majority of women).

As Veronica mentioned, it is important to use continuous self-talk when these thoughts pop up. Remind yourself of the miracle that your body is making (despite, as Jen stated, how much you may have put your body through in the past!) Remind yourself of how much this miracle needs the energy from the food that you are providing him/her. Perhaps you may even take on a mantra at this time-something simple like, “Nourish to (help my baby) flourish!”

And of course, if weight gain feels overwhelming to you during your pregnancy, ensure that you have professional support, as well as moral support systems in place to lean into and discuss these concerns.

Contrastingly, Jen struggled with the idea of being the “perfect mom,” and having the “perfect pregnancy.” She referenced how this was most definitely her ED voice, albeit cleverly disguised as thoughts of wanting to be the best for her child. That is the thing about eating disorders. They are wily. And they might not present themselves in a completely overt manner. This is why it is so important, specifically during pregnancy, but also during every other phase of life, to be very mindful and aware of how ED speaks to you. When do these thoughts get loud? How have they tricked you in the past? The more aware you are, the more pitfalls you can pinpoint and avoid-like a true warrior. For example, if you, like Jen, are drawn to instant gratification, but also suffer from anxiety, be sure to avoid things like the mom forums that she mentioned. If you tend to be a perfectionist, and you know that this has triggered your ED in the past, identify one or two point people that you can talk to about this during your pregnancy. People that know this tendency in you, and that you can trust to be honest and empathic. (“Listen I’m feeling a lot of pressure to use only cloth diapers and make all my food for my baby by hand when she is born…Is that doable or is my perfectionism getting on top of me again?”).

Summarily- I don’t know that I can put it better than Jen- “Rally your troops.” Make sure you have a solid professional and personal support system in place for this journey. And, as Veronica mentioned, use your coping tools! Whether that means mantras, daily reminders, journaling, self-talk, mindfulness, gratitude-doesn’t matter which one it is, as long as it clicks in and works for YOU. Because along the way during those nine months, there are a plethora of other triggering situations not addressed here that can arise-feeling sick, feeling very full, comments from others- “You have GOT to be having twins!” “You are getting so big!”-But as long as your have your professional support systems, personal support systems, and coping toolbox, you will likely be able to handle these as they come. Sure, they may not be the most enjoyable situations to endure (seriously, why do we feel it is our right to tell pregnant women how big we perceive their bellies to be-or TOUCH them at that?!) but with the awareness and tools, you will be able to b r e a t h e and utilize healthy coping mechanisms instead of resorting to eating disordered behaviors during these times. Shine on recovery mamas.

 

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Jen Misunas Buckwash is a happy, healthy new mom to a 5 and a half month super girl. She is a practicing professional counselor in PA and will complete her doctoral degree in Psychology in May. She has been in recovery since 2008.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Veronica Carr Yerger is stay at home Mom and online fitness entrepreneur from Dillsburg, Pennsylvania where she lives with her husband Mark, little boy Lane and another boy on the way in March 2017. She shares her 20+ years of experience in coaching, mentoring, and fitness with her clients on a daily basis emphasizing a strong balance of positive body image, family, life, and faith. veronicayerger@gmail.com, FB@verionicahealth, IG @veronicahealth

 

 

 

 

 

 

me

Colleen Reichmann is a licensed clinical psychologist, specializing in the treatment of individuals with eating disorders, body image issues, self-esteem issues, and women’s issues. She lives in Virginia Beach with her husband, goldendoodle and (brand new!) sheepadoodle.

Let’s connect!

Email questions to: blog@theprojectheal.org

Instragam @drcolleenreichmann

Facebook Page: Dr. Colleen Reichmann

 

 

 

*The views expressed in this posting are based on this writer’s professional knowledge, training, and experience in accord with current and relevant psychological literature and practice. These views do not indicate that a professional relationship has been established with any recipients. Readers should consult with their primary medical professionals for specific feedback about any and all questions.