How to find the gray in eating disorder recovery and intuitive eating.

Finding the Gray: When Intuitive Eating and Eating Disorder Recovery Aren’t So Black & White

Written by Ashley Seruya, B.A.

There’s a common refrain in intuitive eating and eating disorder recovery work: when am I going to be done?

There’s this enduring idea that there’s an end point; an event or moment that you can look at and say, “Hey, here’s where it all was fixed!” But recovery and intuitive eating work isn’t like that. In fact, I would say life isn’t like that. Not one bit.

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Eating Disorder

To the Bone Trailer Chills to the Bone: Trigger Warning for Disordered Eating & Diet Behavior

The movie hasn’t been released — yet the trailer itself has created much controversy in the eating disorder community and press. In the first 9 seconds we see disordered eating behavior. By the end of the 2 minute & 23 second promo we have now seen at least 5 very serious eating disorder rituals, including calorie counting, excessive exercise and fluid intake, difficulty eating, body checking, as well as scenes from the hospital, fainting and the skeletal spine of an emaciated body. These can negatively impact someone struggling with recovery or potentially trigger someone over the edge into an eating disorder.

diets cause eating disorders

Here are some of my concerns:

1) Lily Collins plays the main character and she has been very open about her own battle with anorexia. She lost weight to play the character in an authentic manner, yet we know that weight loss can trigger relapse. This feels extremely irresponsible, although the producers claim that she lost her weight “healthfully?”

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try intuitive eating

Values and Intuitive eating: Can they help me stop dieting and make peace with food?

Do you constantly diet, feel super motivated and suddenly — out of nowhere —  comes a craving?  You give in to it and your resolve is gone. “I cheated” say those voices in your head,  feel like a failure – so what the heck? I might as well eat more and worry about it later.”

If you value yourself — and authentic health and happiness — than starving, bingeing, and over-exercising certainly seems to go against those values.

 

What are values?

Values are the core aspect of who we are as people. We drive our kids to soccer and attend all their baseball games because family is a core value. We spend hours cramming for an exam because we know deep in our hearts that we value education and want to attend a good college. We get out of bed to earn a living because we value being a productive member of society. Our actions are all driven by the values we hold near and dear.

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healthy children

Should I be worried about my child’s weight?

I have seen an alarming trend in my nutrition therapy practice — repeat customers. These customers are the kids, tweens, teens and families with childhood weight concerns I have worked with over the past decade. Here is what I am seeing — eating disorders — lots and lots of eating disorders. Anorexia, bulimia, binge and emotional eating, and unspecified poor relationships with food and body image. I am seeing this in both males and females.

On a personal note, I can remember a powerful body-shaming message that I received when I was younger. It was like yesterday that my ballet teacher told me, in front of the entire class, that I simply must slim down since it is important to be thin for ballet. I was ten years old, at the very beginning of puberty and never set foot in that ballet school again.

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Why I Won’t Be Going Vegan… Like, Ever…Ashley Blogs

Though the Grapefruit Diet and the like may finally have been condemned, there are other pseudo diets that lurk in the mainstream, masquerading as the key to optimal health while continuing to promote restriction, fear of foods, and disordered eating. For many of us who have dealt with disordered eating or eating disorders, vegetarianism, veganism, a gluten free lifestyle, and so forth can be a gateway to a whole new dimension of restriction. So many of us have gone down this path, cutting out this and limiting that. We swear it’s for health reasons; that we just saw the latest research and bacon will surely kill us, and we are making our decision based on what is best for our bodies, not our waistlines. And maybe for some that kind of decision might work. Maybe for some that might be true. Maybe for some, cutting out meat or limiting dairy might actually make their digestive system run a little smoother and their energy a little higher. Maybe for some it truly isn’t a big deal, and the ethical nature of veganism is reason alone to make certain dietary choices. I am not one of these people.

For me, the moment I think about restricting a single food item, alarm bells go off. My brain starts going loop-de-loo, and all I want is everything. The moment in which I think hey, bread is evil, let’s not eat bread, for example… all I do is eat bread. It happens with every single food group, and it has ever since my binge eating disorder really took ahold after years of yo-yo restriction. You see, my brain has been trained. It believes that every time I even think about removing something from my diet, I am about to go down the path of deep and heavy restriction. Past experience has told it so. And so when those thoughts start mulling around, my body’s survival mode kicks into high gear, and it’s binge season up in here.
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Ashley Blogs: Nice to Meet You!

Hi there! My name is Ashley, and I’m the newest member of Erica’s team. I’m super thrilled to be here, and I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you a little about myself, specifically how I came to work with Erica, and how my relationship with food and my body has impacted my life. Believe me, that’s a long list of things that I won’t have the time to really dig into now, but I thought I might at least share the tip of the iceberg.

 

I, like many of you, was preoccupied with food and my body at a young age. From the first time I can remember being aware that I had a body, I can only recall an overwhelming feeling of discomfort. As I moved through puberty and my body began changing, things really started to heat up. I was getting subliminal messages every day from family, friends, and the media about what my body was supposed to look like, what I was supposed to be eating, and what I had to do to be worthy of anyone’s time and effort (re: be pretty and skinny). Food was a constant point of contention – I can recall scarfing down freshly fried chicken cutlets in my formal dining room, hiding because I was afraid of my own hunger and ashamed that my mother would see me bingeing and think I was a failure – and my body consistently made me feel at odds with everyone around me.

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