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Eating Disorder Recovery During the Holidays

Eating Disorder Recovery During the Holidays

By Alex Raymond, RD, LD. Aah, the holidays are right around the corner…… Even though Christmas stuff has been out in the stores since August. Sure, the holidays can be a joyful time for many of us. I personally remember loving the holidays growing up. I got to travel to my grandparents’, hang out by fire, eat some cookies, and most importantly, I didn’t have to go to school. Nowadays, the holidays are a bit different… I wind up traveling to see my mom or dad who live out west. My apartment sadly doesn’t have a fireplace, but I’ll snuggle under a blanket. And, I still eat cookies… As wonderful as the holidays can be, they can also be extremely stressful. When healing from an eating disorder, being around food, maybe moving less, hanging out with family, can all be triggers to increased ED thoughts about food and body. With many of my clients, we spend time discussing these triggers and possible healthy coping tools. That’s why I created this holiday guide. I wanted to give my clients space to brainstorm ideas about the holidays (struggles, excitements, plans, worries…etc) and different coping tools to use. You can refer back to this guide throughout the holidays when you feel you need a reminder of what to do. I’d encourage you to add to it and to use with various members of your treatment team. Click here to Download the Guide to ED Recovery During Holidays Worksheet     I also wanted to use this blog to talk about some coping skills to use, especially on the big family gathering days:   ...
Interview with Jessica Setnick: Eating Disorder Dietitian

Interview with Jessica Setnick: Eating Disorder Dietitian

Interview with Jessica Setnick, a Rockstar Dietitian By Alex Raymond, RD, LD with contributions from Caroline Best, Empowered Eating Intern I am so excited to feature another rockstar dietitian, Jessica Setnick. Jessica’s mission is: empowering health professionals to confidently and competently treat eating disorders. Jessica does amazing work to complete this mission! She developed the Eating Disorder Boot Camp for dietitians as well as created the Eating Disorder Clinical Pocket Guide. The RD community is so lucky to have her wealth of knowledge! Here are some questions we asked Jessica:  What do you want the world to know about eating disorders? What is the most important thing in prevention of eating disorders? Why do you love working in the eating disorder field? What is a fun fact about you :)? Key Points From Jessica Jessica wants the world to know that everyone eats and everyone has feelings. Sometimes those things get mixed up and we should be aware and sensitive concerning that. She  wants to stress that there’s no specific type or of person who has an eating disorder. Eating disorders affect anyone. Jessica talks about ways to prevent the development of eating disorders. A huge part of this is not assigning morality to food or body sizes. Additionally, she really loves her work. Jessica loves feeling like she’s doing her part to “help repair the world”. We think this is so awesome! Jessica runs two workshops and is the author of two books on eating disorders. The resources she provides are informative and definitely something to check out....
How to Follow Your Meal Plan When You are Busy

How to Follow Your Meal Plan When You are Busy

Seven Tips for Meal Planning in Eating Disorder Recovery Fail to plan is a plan to fail especially in terms of a meal plan. I have been talking to many clients this week about how following your meal plan is so much easier when you plan ahead. Of course, mentally it can be hard to fight your eating disorder and meet all of your exchanges, but logistically planning out your meals for the week can help you get one step closer to making it a reality. Particularly on weeks when you are busy, having a plan in place will help you prioritize your recovery. I want to note that your recovery is your top priority and should not be set aside for anything, however we do want to see you living your life and doing what you love whether a parent, working full time, a college student living outside the home, or a high school student with various after school commitments here are some tips for following your meal plan when you are busy. Talk to your loved ones. It can help to be on the same page with others in your household so you can plan accordingly to meet your meal plan and not be thrown for any surprises. Perhaps mom/dad or your loved one would be willing to plan out some meals together and therefore you can fill in the gaps to help you meet all your exchanges (dairy, fat, etc) if the meal prepared for you does not include it. Don’t be afraid to speak up and ask for help or suggest ideas as well depending on your recovery plan with the treatment team. Rely on one pot/one pan meals. These...
Seven Tips: Avoiding Eating Disorder Relapse

Seven Tips: Avoiding Eating Disorder Relapse

Avoiding Relapse from an Eating Disorder Recovery from an eating disorder is 100% possible and you can live a life free of behaviors and symptoms. However recovery can feel different for everyone and can often times be a hard transition. There can be feelings of discomfort, feelings of being stuck, or perhaps confusing thoughts about recovery as it may not have been what you expected. The rest of your life including the people, environment, and potential eating disorder triggers are still present. Here are some things that can help avoid relapse: Accountability– Make sure to have systems in place to keep yourself accountable- continue with your treatment team, engage family and friends, and make time for self-check ins. Identify Red Flags-  Be proactive. Create a list of your specific red flags that have been triggering throughout your recovery process. Being aware and having a plan for each of them can help. If you need a list (or ideas for your list), email us to share our list with you rebecca@empoweredeatingblog.com. Act fast– If you notice a red flag pop up don’t wait until it progresses or another one shows up. Address it right away. Structure- keep up with your meal plan and recovery reading and assignments. Plan ahead for unique situations. Define yourself– Keep defining yourself outside or your eating disorder and make time for the things you love and even trying some new things. Support– continue to go to support groups and appointments.   Create a positive environment– perhaps your childhood room or college dorm is triggering if this was one of the places your eating disorder first reared it’s head. Change-up your space, hang positive quotes and radiate...
How to Prepare for Going to College in Recovery from an Eating Disorder

How to Prepare for Going to College in Recovery from an Eating Disorder

Preparing for College while in Recovery I have to start this blog by saying that depending on where you are in your eating disorder journey, taking a semester or year off can help tremendously with stabilizing your recovery long term. In the moment it can be so hard and upsetting to do this but the long-term benefits cannot be matched. Please talk to your treatment team to make sure that going/returning to school is right for you at this time and if it is not, know that a small break will not change things in the long run. A student with anorexia nervosa should have been eating properly and independently for at least six months prior to going away to college. August: Oh August- so many feelings and memories associated with this month as I write this blog and remember the first time I left for University of Maryland. Being away from home, living on your own, taking the next step in furthering both personal and professional values and of course having so much fun. While leaving for college can be an emotional and perhaps challenging experience for anyone, leaving for college with an eating disorder can make things even more difficult. New Routine: Anytime you are out of your natural environment and routine, it gives the eating disorder a chance to rear its ugly head yet again and stir up those restrictive or obsessive thoughts-tempting you to give into this voice in situations you have never been in before. Not to mention all the stress that comes with school, finding activities that you enjoy and finding “your people”, your support away from home. Dining Hall: And of course, the actual act of eating in...

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