Thursday, December 24, 2009

Eating Disorders and the Holidays

Families living with an eating disorder can find the holidays extra challenging with all the focus on food. There are so many different stresses and foods that can be frightening for people facing eating disorders.

Last night I got to have a conversation with Peter McClellan on his radio show 401k Latte about eating disorders at the holidays. We talked about the huge spreads of food that can be overwhelming and stress inducing. Take a listen:

Peter asked some great questions to open up the conversation about how both parents and health care providers can support someone with an eating disorder. A few things we talked about were:

* As family member; put on your oxygen mask first-make a Top Ten list and do 1 each day
* Family members can help by: Learning to let go with love
* Don't make comments about other people's bodies
* Low fat - Low Calorie diets backfire - they don't work
* Language from health care providers is important - telling patients to lose weight not only doesn't help - it hurts.
* Health care providers can ask open ended questions about what a patient's health care goals are can enroll the patient in the process of making healthy choices.
* Health Care providers can attend: to learn more
* The book: Just Tell Her to Stop can be pre-ordered at:
* Weight-ism is alive and well and needs to be addressed
* People can be health at many different sizes
* Focus on overall health to achieve your health goals
* Insurance and eating disorders coverage - Academy for Eating Disorders works for mental health parity
* Book on family stories of living with eating disorders website will be live in a couple weeks:
* I received the Braveheart Award for living life with Passion and Inspiration
* College professors can order the book to add to their curriculum
* Pharmaceutical companies are invited to purchase the books to donate to eating disorders treatment centers.

I welcome your comments on the show. What have you heard from your health care provider that has backfired for you? What comments have you found helpful while recovering from an eating disorder?

I hope you will focus on what you are grateful for this holiday season and have peace.

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