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Top Ten Gold Nuggets from Jennifer Gaudiani’s Talk for Eating Disorder Professionals at the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals (IAEDP) Conference

Top Ten Gold Nuggets from Jennifer Gaudiani’s Talk for Eating Disorder Professionals at the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals (IAEDP) Conference

Eating Disorder Facts: New Information Learned Being a lifetime learner, one of my favorite activities is going to conferences and learning new information to bring back to my clients to help them recover from eating disorders. Many times the conferences reinforce things we are already doing, rekindles our passion to help our clients heal their relationships with food and themselves, reminds us to use new activities and metaphors and most importantly stimulates us to be the best nutritionists that we can be. Here are some gold nuggets I learned from the first speaker: Jennifer L. Gaudiani, MD, CEDS spoke on Advanced Medical Management of Critical Eating Disorders for the Highly Experienced Medical Professional: Optimizing Your Program’s Clinical/Medical Outcomes. This was the second time that I was able to hear Jennifer speak in person. I have heard her numerous times on video-conferences and I learn so much each time from her extensive experience working with critically ill patients. 1. She spoke on the importance of checking blood glucose with her clients with anorexia nervosa. As Registered Dietitians, we are already trained in glucose monitoring, so let’s check blood sugars! Make sure all labs are drawn STAT. Many clients with anorexia experience chronically low blood sugar with no symptoms. Make sure a Registered Dietitian is one of the first members of the treatment team to see the client. 2. Because one of the symptoms of an eating disorder is ambivalence to recovery, emphasize gently where the client is NOT FINE. For instance, use this metaphor: many people are in denial that their house is on fire just because the sidewalk is...
Lauren uses Journaling as a Tool to Recover from her Eating Disorder

Lauren uses Journaling as a Tool to Recover from her Eating Disorder

  Empowered Eating Recovery Stories: Recovery from an Eating Disorder Journaling helped me recover from my eating disorder. Proud of… I am proud of my life. Proud of what I have accomplished. Proud that I had an eating disorder. Proud that I am recovered. I can be proud of the fact that I decided to choose life over ED. I did not take the easy path. My battle was hard fought, and my victory is even sweeter for it. Learned to express my feelings As I pull out the therapy homework, article clippings, and journals that were critical when I was in therapy, I ride the emotional roller coaster that accompanies each journal entry. My pen was a crutch when I felt driven to act on my symptoms. I wrote furiously until my hand cramped, spilling my emotions onto paper. Each food log I kept documented my successes or failures, and sometimes, in a wonderful, shining moment of true clarity I was able to balance both. On those days even failures had a silver lining, if only an opportunity to better prepare myself for next time. “I can do this” Years later, I enjoy looking through these scripts of ED; they are both my battle scars and my badge of courage. Are they hard to read? Absolutely. My entries are a direct passage back into the first few months of my diagnosis and through to recovery. In the initial entries my words are uncertain and shaky, clouded with disbelief and confusion. They are documentation of straying from my meal plan, of acting on symptoms, words full of anger, self-hatred, and...
Avoiding Binge Eating During the Holidays

Avoiding Binge Eating During the Holidays

Don’t let weight or food concerns prevent you from enjoying life and attending fun events. Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, corn, sweet potatoes, rolls, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, cookies, wine, cider…. the list goes on and on. We can pretty much predict the exact foods that will be gracing our Thanksgiving Day table, however, just because we know what to expect doesn’t mean that there aren’t other stressors to deal with. If your eating preferences, stress, or guilt about food make the holidays rough, you are not alone. Not only are there the food stressors, but family dynamics, travel, and financial burdens that increase our overall stress level- or what I like to call the metaphorical plate, around the holidays. The goal is to find enjoyment again as you take part in traditional and social food situations! Here are some tips to help you navigate holiday eating and avoid overeating or binge eating. Don’t skip meals in order to save up for the main event, rather, fuel yourself with small meals or healthy snacks throughout the day. Potluck or holiday buffet? Survey the foods and pick your favorites. Do you only get your mom’s homemade stuffing once a year? Definitely go for your favorites and think twice about more generic sides like frozen corn or boxed mashed potatoes that are around all year long. Aim for 1-2 starches, a serving of protein, and 1-2 vegetables. Choose your favorite off the dessert table and savor the taste! Make sure to stop periodically during the day to check in with yourself. Ask the questions, “How am I feeling? Am...
Parent Rick Deise Inspires Love, Hope and Faith: Empowered Eating Parent

Parent Rick Deise Inspires Love, Hope and Faith: Empowered Eating Parent

Family Eating Disorder Support Group We had the honor of having Rick Diese, an advocate of eating disorder recovery and president of the Eating Disorder Network of Maryland join us at our last parent support group meeting. The meeting was extremely positive and powerful. I thought it would be useful to outline some of the highlights of the meeting. Rick shared his story of what it was like for him when he realized that one of his daughters was suffering from an eating disorder. He spoke of the flood of thoughts and emotions that he experienced throughout his daughter’s recovery and how her journey helped his entire family heal. Rick has shared his story at many ANAD group meetings and graciously allowed me to post his talk on our blog to help spread the word to even more families in need of hope and healing. Here is Rick’s story: My friends, eating disorders are like puzzles – they come in a wide array of complexities and with many levels of challenge – and, most hopefully, they can be solved! Now, I wish I could say that eating disorders have a manageable number of pieces and are relatively easy to solve. The truth of the matter is that every eating disorder diagnosis is as individual as the daughter or son who is struggling with its effects. The good news is you have a wealth of highly qualified resources available in this area of the country and there has been an impressive amount of research and progress toward understanding and treating the eating disorder as well as the underlying, co-occurring disorders....
Teen Finds Confidence and Energy in Recovery

Teen Finds Confidence and Energy in Recovery

  Empowered Eating Recovery Stories: Recovery from an Eating Disorder with a Registered Dietitian At just 14 years old, our next successful client has made tremendous progress and has come to realizations that put her way beyond her years. She started seeing Bobbi about 7 months ago for her eating disorder, which had previously put her in an in-patient rehabilitation center. Upon her first visit, her Eating Attitudes Test (EAT-26) score was a 44. If someone’s score is above a 20, it is recommended that they discuss their results with a counselor and it indicates that there may be a serious problem, so I was not only concerned to see that initial score, but am now very pleased and proud to report that her latest score was a zero! Bobbi had told me how much progress this client had been making, and I recently got the chance to hear from the patient just how much she has changed. She told us that she has learned to trust her team of experts, as they are just here to help her. She also said that understanding how her eating disorder affected her friends and family gave her motivation to get better, but that she eventually learned to heal for herself. She says she now goes out to eat more with friends, enjoys chocolate and other sweets, and feels “normal,” which is just what any 14-year old girl should feel. “I’m not really concerned about how others see me and it feels like a weight off my shoulders.” Her confidence has shot up, and she is now truly enjoying her food rather...

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