Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving and eating disorders

Thanksgiving has been said to be the most challenging holiday for people living with eating disorders. If you are looking to create a plan to navigate this difficult day The Center For Change has some ideas. Good luck and hopefully you can find something in the day to be thankful for.

Twelve Ideas to Help those with Eating Disorders Negotiate Thanksgiving and Christmas - Center for Change Inpatient Treatment Team; Compiled by Michael E. Berrett, Ph.D.

For most people, the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season is a wonderful time of year. It is often a time of family reunion and celebration, when families, friends, and co-workers come together to share good will and good food. The season is to be bright, happy, and full of the best parts of relationships. Yet, for women who suffer with eating disorders, this is the worst time of the year. For these people, trapped in the private hell of anorexia or severe bulimia, Thanksgiving and Christmas magnify all of their personal demons, causing them great internal pain and turmoil.

  1. Eat regularly and in some kind of reasonable pattern. Avoid "preparing for the last supper." Don’t skip meals and starve in attempt to make up for what you recently ate or are about to eat. Keep a regular and moderate pattern.

  2. Worry more about the size of your heart than the size of your hips! It is the holiday season, a great time to reflect, enjoy relationships with loved ones, and most importantly a time to feel gratitude for blessings received and a time to give back through loving service to others.

  3. Discuss your anticipations of the holidays with your therapist, physician, dietitian, or other members of your treatment team so that they can help you predict, prepare for, and get through any uncomfortable family interactions without self destructive coping attempts.

  4. Have a well thought out game plan before you go home or invite others into your home. Know "where the exits are," where your support persons are, and how you’ll know when it’s time to make a brief exit and get connected with needed support.

  5. Talk with loved ones about important issues: decisions, victories, challenges, fears, concerns, dreams, goals, special moments, spirituality, relationships and your feelings about them. Allow important themes to be present and allow yourself to have fun rather than rigidly focusing on food or body concerns.

  6. Choose, ahead of time, someone to call if you are struggling with addictive behaviors, or with negative thoughts, or difficult emotions. Call them ahead of time and let them know of your concerns, needs, and the possibility of them receiving a call from you.

  7. If it would be a support or help to you, consider choosing one loved one to be your "reality check" with food, to either help plate up food for you, or to give you a reality check on the food portions which you dish up for yourself.

  8. Write down your vision of where you would like your mind and heart to be during this holiday time with loved ones. Take time, several times per day, to find a quiet place to become in tune again with your vision, to remember, to nurture, and to center yourself into those thoughts, feelings, and actions which are congruent with your vision for yourself.

  9. If you have personal goals for your time with loved ones during the holidays, focus the goals around what you would like to do. Make your goals about "doing something" rather than about trying to prevent something. If you have food goals, then make sure you also add personal emotional, spiritual, and relationship goals as well.

  10. Work on being flexible in your thoughts. Learn to be flexible in guidelines for yourself, and in expectations of yourself and others. Strive to be flexible in what you can eat during the holidays. Take a holiday from self imposed criticism, rigidity, and perfectionism.

  11. Stay active in your support group, or begin activity if you are currently not involved. Many support groups can be helpful. 12-step group, co-dependency group, eating disorder therapy group, neighborhood "Bunco" game group, and religious or spiritually oriented groups are examples of groups which may give real support. Isolation and withdrawal from positive support is not the right answer for getting through trying times.

  12. Avoid "overstressing" and "overbooking" yourself and avoid the temptation and pattern of becoming "too busy." A lower sense of stress can decrease a felt need to go to eating disorder behaviors or other unhelpful coping strategies. Cut down on unnecessary events and obligations and leave time for relaxation, contemplation, reflection, spiritual renewal, simple service, and enjoying the small yet most important things in life. This will help you experience and enjoy a sense of gratitude and peace.

Center for Change Inpatient Treatment Team; Compiled by Michael E. Berrett, Ph.D.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

eating disorders and other addictions

According to Dr. Russel Marx, Princeton HealthCare System: Those with eating disorders at higher risk for substance abuse. In an article on Friday, November 21, 2008 1:21 PM EST he states, "Risk factors for eating disorders and substance abuse are strikingly similar". Not great news for parents who have a child living with an eating disorder. As parents living with this constant worry and fear that eating disorders bring on we all know, there usually isn't much good news. But, at least we can have a heads up from this information.

Dr Marx asks us to consider these statistics from a groundbreaking study released in 2003 by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University:

• Individuals with eating disorders are up to five times more likely to abuse alcohol or illicit drugs.
• Those who abuse alcohol or illicit drugs are up to 11 times more likely to have eating disorders.

• Eating disorders occur in 5 to 10 million Americans, mostly girls and young women.

So, as parents or people who care about someone with an eating disorder what do we do with this information? Please share your ideas here. I cannot think of much besides:
1. Continue to practice "letting go with love"
2. Let your loved one's care providers know these stats
3. Have a conversation with your loved one stating that you are concerned

We would all like to hear if you have more suggestions for those of us who care about someone who has multiple addictions. I know Al-Anon is a great comfort to a lot of people, worth checking out if you are feeling consumed by worry about your loved one.

Dr. Russell Marx is a board-certified psychiatrist and medical director of the Eating Disorders Program at University Medical Center at Princeton. He also is the author of the book “It’s Not Your Fault: Overcoming Anorexia and Bulimia.”

Next week: how to handle Thanksgiving with your loved one who is living with an eating, my best advice...move to Canada,they already had theirs. Humor is essential.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Holiday Survival for People with eating disorders

My google alerts today brought an early holiday gift! The gift came in the form of some of the best tips I've seen so far for people who find the holiday season extremely challenging due to their eating disorders. These great tips come courtesy of; Cynthia Bulik, Ph.D., the William and Jeanne Jordan Distinguished Professor of Eating Disorders in the UNC School of Medicine’s department of psychiatry and director of the UNC Eating Disorders Program. I have heard people say that Thanksgiving is the worst holiday of all due to the main focus on food. So, the best thing to do with a gift is to share it, so here you go! Thank you Cynthia and best of luck with your latest book, “Crave: Why you binge eat and how to stop”.

Many people equate the holidays with food – big meals equals big times. Americans, especially, attach a lot of social and personal value to what, and how, we eat, often through family rituals or attitudes. For many, family gatherings are positive events, but for the 9 million men, women or young people who have an eating disorder, the holidays, without proper planning, can feel like nightmares.

Three out of four American women have “disordered eating” behavior, and 10 percent have an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia nervosa or binge eating disorder, says Cynthia Bulik, Ph.D., the William and Jeanne Jordan Distinguished Professor of Eating Disorders in the UNC School of Medicine’s department of psychiatry and director of the UNC Eating Disorders Program. Her latest book, “Crave: Why you binge eat and how to stop,” is due out in early 2009.

If you have an eating disorder, plan ahead. Bulik and the UNC Eating Disorders team offer the following suggestions to navigate the food minefields of the holidays:

• Have a “wing man” – someone you trust to help run interference at family get-togethers or office parties. This should be someone who knows your triggers and can help distract you from temptations (or someone pushing your buttons), change the subject or assist you while you handle the stress.

• Make up a code signal or phrase with the wingman before going to the holiday party. If you start to feel overwhelmed give your friend the signal so that you can both step out of the room and they can offer you some support.

• Keep your support team on speed dial and call them at any time during or after a party. Talking relieves the pressure. You're not overburdening them. They will undoubtedly have stories to share, too.

• Potlucks are your friends. Don’t hesitate to take a food you prepared that feels safe enough to you so that you will have at least one manageable entrĂ©e.

• Lavish holiday spreads don’t have to be the enemy. If faced with one, channel your inner Boy Scout or Girl Scout skills and be prepared! Before stepping in line, and before getting a plate, evaluate the options. Mindfully consider which foods you'll sample, portion sizes and whether you feel comfortable trying a “feared food.” Make a decision and stick with it!

• If your treatment team has given you a meal plan stay on track so you aren't starving when you get there.The gift

• Listen with your heart, not your head. Hear the happiness and caring in a person’s tone when they tell you that you look “so much better.” They are saying they care about you. Don’t let the eating disorder lead you to misinterpret those words in a way that deprives you of hearing that people really care about you.

• Get Real! People too often have a fantasy about how “perfect” the holidays are going to be. When family members fail to live up to unrealistic expectations, it might be tempting to restrict or overeat in an effort to feel better temporarily. Try to anticipate some of the possible emotional traps in advance so you can cope (and maybe even laugh) when you encounter them.

• The well-known HALT slogan works for any type of recovery. Don't let yourself get too hungry, angry, lonely or tired. This is especially important over the holidays.

• 'Tis the Season to Forgive, so forgive yourself if you have an eating slip.

• Try your best not to skip appointments with your treatment team. It’s an important time to stay in touch with people who can help.

If you think you might have an eating disorder, the best first step is a comprehensive evaluation. For more information, call the UNC Eating Disorders Program at (919) 966-7012 or visit

Thursday, November 6, 2008

NEDA Charter Launch

Here it is November In MN, getting cold and rainy and time to get to work for the NEDA (National Eating Disorders Association) Charter Launch that will happen on February 22nd at the State Capitol.

As a volunteer for the National Eating Disorder’s Association’s (NEDA) STAR program, (States for Treatment, Access and Research) I am working on a campaign to help launch the Worldwide Charter for Action on Eating Disorders, a patient’s bill of rights, in every state over the next year!

Today I am writing to ask for your help in connecting us with those;
parents, support people and interested public, who may welcome an opportunity to participate in a brainstorming to share opinions and give us feedback on what they believe would be relevant issues to focus on... do they believe that we should focus on awareness, prevention and education? In MN we are fortunate that we already had parity before the National Bill was signed, so we find this a great opportunity to use this launch to support the most pressing aspects of eating disorders.

The Charter will serve as a tool to assist people with eating disorders and their loved ones in identifying high quality, appropriate services and practices, and to guide them in challenging unhelpful, outdated, and anti-therapeutic practices. This Charter will provide service planners and providers with the basic building blocks for quality program and service development.

Real people — individuals and families — are the strongest advocates for championing our cause. Together we hope to increase access to treatment for eating disorders by expanding insurance coverage, advocating for quality treatment, increasing public understanding of eating disorders and urging more funding for research.

If you or someone you know would like to share your feedback please send an email to and we'll get your opinions.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Mental Health Parity Passes!!

If part of your self-care is avoiding the negative news, then you may have also missed the BIG NEWS – On October 3rd President Bush signed into law the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008. This requires most employers and insurers to cover mental illnesses just like other medical conditions covered by their plans.

With all of the media focused on the negative news that sells I missed this on October 3rd:

By a vote of 263-171, the House October 3 gave final approval to the Paul Wellstone-Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 as part of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act (HR 1424).

According to NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness):
“This will mean that group health plans will no longer be able to impose limits on inpatient days or outpatient visits or require higher deductibles or cost sharing for mental illness or addiction treatment that are not also applied to all other medical-surgical coverage.”

So, for families living with the impact of an eating disorder, this is potentially great news! Who knew that there was any good news out there these days? Here are some of the details so that you can be informed when talking with your care providers and insurance companies.

Here are the details and explanation of “parity” according to WebMD, written by Todd Zwillich and Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD:
“The big economic bailout passed by Congress and signed by the president last week had an attachment. Part of the bill said insurance companies must now cover mental health and substance abuse services on "parity" with medical and surgical treatments.

Under the bill, which goes into effect in 2010, group insurance plans that cover mental illness already must now equalize its value with medical and surgical coverage. The number of covered visits, the cost of copays, and the total value of treatment covered each year would have to be on par.”

To read all of the bill go to:|/bss/110search.html| this is the Library of Congress website with the details of the bill.

David Shern, PhD, president and CEO of the group Mental Health America, called the bill's passage "a great civil rights victory."

"It recognizes that mental health disorders are every bit as debilitating, and just as treatable, as cancer and diabetes," he said.

I am so glad to see that we have people in government who can see the big picture and see that long term this is cost effective. This is what Nada Stotland, president of the American Psychiatric Assn., had to say: “Properly managing mental healthcare can reduce costs overall because people with untreated mental illness are more susceptible to physical illnesses such as heart attacks. It is not cost effective to separate mental and physical healthcare.” she said. "We cannot separate the body and the mind."

I also want to recognize our tireless supporter from MN, Jim Ramstad, an 18-year House member who is retiring at the end of this term who has fought for years to see mental health legislation become law and wanted to see this happen before he retired.

"For all practical purposes this was my last vote," he said. "It's ironic that it also, to me, is one of the most important votes I've ever cast in 28 years of public service." Thank you Jim Ramstad!

Please share your comments on this blog and on this bill.

For More Information:
Eating Disorders Coalition for Research, Policy, and Action
David Jaffe, Executive Director

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Harvard Removes Calorie Cards From Dining Halls

With all of the negative news this past week with the state of the U.S. Financial Situation, it is good to hear some good news finally. Yesterday, the Harvard Crimson published a story by Melody Hu about the bold move made by school leaders in the student dining halls that could positively impact students fighting eating disorders. I was so encouraged to read that at the request of several students and families "nutritional information, which included number of calories, serving size, grams of fat, and grams of carbohydrates, is no longer displayed alongside the food..." according to Melody.

It gives me hope that our higher learning institutions are seeing that this dangerous disorder needs to be addressed pro-actively. These are settings in which so many of our country's future leaders are currently fighting for their lives in a battle with what
Dr. Craig Johnson, director of the eating disorders program at Laureate Psychiatric Hospital in Tulsa, Okla., calls the most deadly of all mental illnesses.

I was so excited to see this courageous step by the leaders of one of our top colleges I wanted to acknowledge them for setting a great example that I am hopeful will be followed by other colleges and universities throughout the world. Here is the letter to the editor I sent the Harvard Crimson:

Dear Crimson Editor,
As a coach supporting families living with the crisis of an eating disorder I am so pleased to see that Harvard University Dining Services has removed the nutritional information index cards from the dining halls. As eating disorders have become an epidemic in our country, especially in our colleges and universities I commend all of the departments on the committee of representatives that made this decision to support students living with the impact of an eating disorder. I see this as a bold step by Harvard in taking a stand in supporting students fighting eating disorders and in addition setting an example for other institutions of higher learning to do what they can to facilitate recovery and success for students with these life threatening challenges.

There is so little positive happening in the fight against eating disorders and I see this as a brave, pro-active and positive change that a few people have implemented that may well save lives. Kudos to HUDS Executive Director Ted A. Mayer for addressing “the challenge a quiet and surprisingly large contingent of our community faces with eating disorders.” From someone who regularly sees the devastation that eating disorders have on not only the sufferers but also the family and friends I am encouraged to see this change being made and this example being set, for we have an epidemic on our hands that is affecting some of the brightest young people in our country. This brightness can carry with it the characteristic of perfectionism which consistently shows up in people with eating disorders. Therefore it does not surprise me that there is a very high ratio of students at Harvard fighting this most deadly of all mental illnesses. For, to have made their way to this tough school most students have had to utilize their perfectionism to make it this far. The sad part is this very quality can be the worm in the crimson apple.

If I could throw a lifesaver to these brilliant young people it would be; love yourself for who you BE not what you are or know and if you learn anything this year; learn to BE good enough and not perfect. The world needs your brilliant minds to solve some of our problems and that won’t happen if you try too hard to be perfect and end up being another sad eating disorder statistic that died from organ failure or suicide.

My thanks to this forward thinking committee of representatives from HUDS, the Bureau of Study Counsel, Harvard University Health Services and the College for taking this brave step in supporting this quiet population of students.

Becky Henry

With a statistic that over half of our college students are living with eating disorders, supporting these students needs to be addressed.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Being Fearless

This is the Fearless Woman Photo that I was able to have done by Mary Ann Halpin while I was in Dallas, TX at the eWomenNetwork Conference. What a treat this was! Last year I had purchased Mary Ann Halpin's book; Fearless Women 'Midlife Portraits' while I was on vacation. I found it to be very inspirational when I'm having those doubtful moments about being able to do all of this. The stories and photos of the women are so powerful and motivating. I look at it every now and then when I need a boost to believe in myself. We all have those moments of feeling like I cannot do this, it is too scary, no woman has ever done this, etc, blah blah blah. So I take out Mary Ann's beautiful book and read a few stories and look at the amazing women with the sword and regain my footing. If you get a chance to get the book it will inspire you too.

Holding the same sword that all of those powerful women held was powerful in itself. I was on a high for a week! I have the hard copy now of the photo and will also use it on the back of my book; From fear and panic to peace, joy and hope - guiding families living with the crisis of an eating disorder (temporary title). By the way, I'm open to suggestions for the title if you have any great ideas. In the book I'm talking about how as families living with the bully (ED - we call it) can choose to feel the fear and do it anyway or in other words, be fearless. I do believe that the essence of being fearless or brave as I like to call it is feeling the fear and doing it anyway. I get so much joy from helping families in this particular crisis to be able to experience joy even while they are in the midst of this life threatening situation with their loved ones. It doesn't make the crisis go away, it's just I teach them how to choose how they react to it, once they get that, they have access to experiencing joy. I wanted to do this photo to share with all of the families out there who are suffering with the pain, fear and panic of possibly losing their loved one to this bully of a disorder. I hope that in sharing this photo with you, the family member that you can feel inspired and motivated to make the choice to have joy, peace and hope again.

I will talk more about this aspect coming up and when I am speaking to groups about body image and eating disorder awareness and prevention but just want to mention it briefly now. I laughed at the irony when the hard copy of this photo came. I saw the unretouched photo online before the hard copy came. That looked like me now. The hard copy, all retouched and professional and I might say quite beautiful AND I thought, "huumm, I look 10 years younger..." and then I laughed at the irony. I speak all the time to students (and adults) about looking at photos in magazines and on TV and remind them that none of them are real, that they are all re-touched! And here I am with my book coming about eating disorders, body image and being brave and choosing joy AND my photo doesn't depict what I really look like. So, I'm just using it as a great example and when you see me in person and see the photo next to me you'll know what I'm talking about. I have jelly arms and a bigger tummy and a think of it as playing dress up and having fun. It can be a fine line (ha, bad pun - I have lots of those in real life), between presenting your best self to be professional and going to the point where you are no longer you. Here's to your best you and being fearless in all you do!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

eWomenNetwork Conference - July 2008

It's been almost a month since I returned from the eWomenNetwork Conference in Dallas and I'm still amazed at the incredible experience. I'm pictured here with the Founder and CEO of eWomenNetwork, Sandra Yancy, who is creating enormous opportunities for women business owners to connect with one another and to resources. In addition to the conference being very fun and a chance to meet some fabulous women I gained some insights for the direction of Hope Network. I hired eWomenPublishingNetwork to help get my book out there! I will be getting direction from Jan King the co-founder. I got very positive feedback about the concept: Coaching families to navigate the crisis of an eating disorder; From Fear and Panic to Peace, Joy and Hope.

The conference attendees also gave me the push I needed to get involved with the non-profit world to bring more eating disorder prevention education to schools and women's shelters and promote healthy body image. It will be interesting to say the least to see how this all goes, I'm meeting some very generous and helpful people who want to help this endeavor succeed. It is exciting to think about being able to provide coaching to women who have beat their eating disorders and are ready to create the next phase of their lives. Right now as I am in the research phase of setting up a non-profit it is overwhelming to say the least. I have to remember the divine synchronicity that confirmed that this is the way to go. I had just had a fun dinner with the Minneapolis group, some of whom challenged me to add the non-profit arm. Then we headed to the Chocolate Decadence part of the evening (couldn't miss that being the chocolate lover that I am) and the first person I met was a woman from our chapter here in the Twin Cities that I hadn't met before. After being introduced, I asked, "What do you do?" Jeanette Meyers replied, "I help people set up non-profits." Well, I think she thought there was something wrong with me as I stood there with my mouth literally hanging open. So, that is just one of the magical things that happened at the eWomenNetwork Conference. Can't wait to get this non-profit up and running and get back to Dallas next July! We were indoors most of the time so it wasn't bad for us northerners to take. I am still in awe of the incredible sense of respect and giving first philosophy that all the women I met embody.

I'll keep you posted on the progress into the world of non-profits! And the book...for now, enjoy summer!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Overcoming Perfectionism

Summer, once it is finally here in Minnesota we all head to "the lake", wherever that might be. It makes it a challenge to get some work done now that we aren't cooped up in our homes huddled by the fire. For anyone with an ounce of perfectionism it can be a challenge to balance the work with the play. So many people fighting Eating Disorders are burdened with the characteristic of PERFECTIONISM. It goes along with being very bright and very driven which are also common traits for people who develop eating disorders. Now, don't go thinking that just because you are bright, driven and a perfectionist you will get an eating disorder. I got C's in Logic in college so don't ask me to chart it out about the odds there. One can have those traits and not develop an eating disorder and you very likely have those traits if you have an eating disorder. If it doesn't make sense call me and we'll hash it out. Many of us deal with our own perfectionism to one degree or another. For instance, starting to write today I thought I had to have something earth shattering and amazing to share with you all. I have put this off long enough (as you can see by the break in blog posts) and if it has to be perfect I'll never get it done. So I chose to "Just Do it" as Nike tells us. Sometimes that is all it takes is the courage to put ourselves out there and do it and live with however it turns out. If we don't try it certainly won't happen but if we try then there is at least a chance it will get done.

In my coaching I often talk with clients about their "gremlins", those little negative voices we all have that tell us we aren't good enough or don't have the skills etc and blah blah blah. For those challenged by their own brand of perfectionism we can tell that Perfectionism Gremlin to take a hike. First we can thank him/her for serving us, keeping us from making a total fool out of ourselves and then we can choose a method of asking the little bugger to leave. Here are some ways I have heard of that work for people: Open the sunroof and let him fly out onto the freeway, flush him down the toilet, open the door and ask the little gremlin to leave. Get creative and have fun with it. All you have to gain is some sanity and getting things done - maybe some peace.

A challenge to you: Simply notice (without judgment) when your perfectionism gremlin is showing up. That is your first step in "Overcoming Perfectionism". Once you have that mastered (you are able to notice without judgment), then you can take the next step and find your own personal creative way to ask that Perfectionism Gremlin to leave. AND have fun with that. Laughing at ourselves can be very calming and make the world a more fun place. If nothing else you will be able to contribute to making this world a more fun place and that is sorely needed. Life is way to serious to be taken so seriously. Yeah, now you can see why I got the C in until next time, enjoy your summer wherever it is and quit trying to be "perfect". If you let go you might see that you already are perfect just the way you are.

Happy Summer!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Binge Eating Disorder

You never know who you are going to run into when you are out and about, or do you? Maybe we are meant to meet certain people to fulfill our purpose. It sure is a wonderful thing to find others who are out there with a similar mission of empowering people. When I was at Eden Prairie High School speaking about Eating Disorders Awareness and Prevention I was fortunate enough to get to hear some speakers who are members of O.A. (Overeaters Anonymous) and it was so great to hear their stories of recovery. I love to hear these stories so that I can share them with the sufferers and their families who call me with such hopelessness. I wasn't familiar with O.A. and I am thrilled as usual when I hear of another potential resource to share with people when they call me for Eating Disorder Treatment needs. I heard them share the incidence of Binge Eating Disorder and I wasn't surprised when they stated that it is the eating disorder with the most sufferers. The statistics I looked at were from three sources:
  1. NEDA (National Eating Disorders Association) : 10 million Females and 1 million Males fighting AN(Anorexia) and BN (Bulimia Nervosa). While 25 million struggle with B.E.D. (Binge Eating Disorder).
  2. ANRED (Anorexia Nervosa and Related Eating Disorders, Inc.):1%-2% Women struggle with BED or 1-2 million adults.
  3. EDC (Eating Disorders Coalition): AN - .3-1% of young Women, BN - 1-3% Young Women, BED - 3% of population.
So really no matter how you slice it the incidence of BED (Binge Eating Disorder) is much higher than either AN or BN which I think surprises a lot of people. For up until very recently most treatment programs didn't even include treatment for binge eating disorder. What's up with that? Makes my cynical (for good reason) mind think that the insurance companies have something to do with this. Yes, big scary insurance companies, if you are reading this, let's talk. I have spoken to so many people who are fighting for their lives and part of the problem is lack of coverage so you really don't want to get me started here. I suspect another reason that BED has been overlooked is partially due to the stigma. So much of the problem with getting people treatment is that this is a mental illness and in the US that has stigma unfortunately. Another piece of the puzzle, I suspect, is the low self esteem that is present for so many sufferers. It is hard to get yourself help when you don't feel empowered or loved even by yourself.

Which brings me to the cool person I encountered today (wasn't by accident either, I planned to go hear her speak), Ann Bancroft! What a treat that was, she is so inspiring. She is all about empowering women to believe in themselves and their dreams. She encourages women to Dare to Dream through the Ann Bancroft Foundation. I told them I will support their foundation as I truly believe in what they are doing to empower women. And empowering women seems to me to be vital in helping to both prevent and treat eating disorders.

Thanks for reading and pondering. The more people talk about this deadly disorder the more we will help to de-stigmatize it.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Becky's back in Minnesota's frozen tundra

So, I got to escape a tiny bit of Minnesota winter in AZ for a few wonderful days. While there eWomen Radio aired the interview I did with Sandra Yancy, the Founder of eWomen Network. You can still listen if you missed it at: How fun that they aired that on the first day of NEDAW (National Eating Disorders Awareness Week). It so great to be out and about in the community talking with people about their struggles with eating disorders and hearing the hopefulness that people actually can get well. I love talking with all of the people who are recovered and the Hope that they are so willing to share with those still suffering. If you want to talk with one of these people just email me and I'll connect you with them. They are so generous about sharing their time to give hope to people still fighting.

Looking forward to spring here in the snow covered land. I'm planning a Women's Mind Body Balance Retreat at the MN Landscape Arboretum for May 17th and it is so great to picture flowers and bright colors. See the invite below, a peek into spring (attendance is limited):

This is so great that I'm able to get a picture to show up here, just need to figure out how to get the second picture to show up. Maybe next post.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Numero Uno!

I did it! My first blog! However none of it would have been possible without the help of my eighteen year old daughter. What am I going to do when she goes off to college?? I suppose she can make extra money by helping me virtually.

In Hope Network news-
So excited Eden Prairie Rotary has awarded a grant to Eden Prairie High School to compensate me for speaking to their wonderful students about the dangers of eating disorders.
Note to the students: You guys were great! Thanks for your fantastic questions and attention.

In honor of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, (NEDAW) you can hear Sandra Yancy, the founder of eWomen Network interviewing me on eWomen radio. It will air this Sunday evening at 7-8pm CST on eWomen's radio show.