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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Weight gain doesn't make you a diet failure

3 Steps to Making Peace With Weight Gain

Written by Ashley Seruya, B.A.

The intuitive eating process brings about a lot of change, some of which can be downright terrifying. Enter: weight gain.

It should be noted that weight gain is a possible side effect of making peace with food, but it isn’t necessarily inevitable. Some people lose weight on their intuitive eating journey, others maintain, and still others gain. Which camp you will eventually fall into is really anyone’s best guess, but making peace with weight gain – or any bodily changes – during this process is a huge part of body acceptance and truly embracing the intuitive eating model. This can be a really difficult process though due to the fatphobic world we live in, and some people avoid intuitive eating altogether just due to the FEAR of weight gain. It’s time to step in and assuage that fear… everyone deserves to seek out food peace, and making peace with weight gain can open that door. Ahead, my top three strategies:

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Avoid the diet culture trap and start intuitive eating today

Intuitive Eating is Not Another Diet! 3 Things to Remember

Written by Ashley Seruya, B.A.

Are you noticing yourself placing diet rules and restrictions on your intuitive eating journey? Leave diets behind once and for all and avoid these 3 diet mentality traps.

For many of us, intuitive eating is something we come to when we finally give in and seek refuge from diet culture. We’ve likely been battered for so long, the rules and restrictions hammered into us for years on end, and we’ve seen it all fail miserably time and time again. Those of us who come to intuitive eating often do so with heads hung low, knowing we’ve finally hit our diet limit, and hoping beyond hope that maybe there’s another way; a way out.

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The Three Things You Have To Let Go Of Once You Are An Intuitive Eater

Written by Ashley Seruya, BA

We live in a diet world, plain and simple. Our entire perception of health and fitness is molded by a diet mindset. Our views about nutrition, food, exercise, movement, and wellness are all colored by this paradigm that permeates every aspect of our lives. This diet culture that we live in takes us all hostage, and the result is a dysfunctional, if not completely disordered, relationship with food and our bodies.

Many of us come to a point where we know we need something else; something different. The constant yo-yo dieting, trips down eating disorder lane, and various obsessive tendencies eat at us until we are begging for a way out. The only way out, of course, is through. We have to dig through the muck and change our perspective; shift our paradigm. We have to leave the world of dieting behind and embrace a new way of being. Simply put, we have to walk forward into the world of intuitive eating and Health at Every Size. But this transition is anything but simple, and walking away from dieting means letting go of many perceived “truths;” truths that you’ve likely learned and held onto throughout the majority of your life.

food choices

So what do we actually have to leave behind when we walk into the world of food and body peace? What parts of our lives do we have to shed and mourn? Ahead, three diet-centric “truths” that get the boot once intuitive eating takes root:

1. Weight Loss:

Diets are sold off of the promise of weight loss. Some diets have gotten a little more clever, and claim that “health” is the goal… but health and weight are currently so conflated in our world that claiming your meal plan or way of eating will lead to greater health while promoting restriction, restraint, and rules about we can and cannot eat is really just a weight loss goal in disguise. The core of intuitive eating, by contrast, is blanket permission to enjoy all foods without guilt or self-judgment. In order to truly find satisfaction and not fear certain foods, or certain amounts of food, we have to let go of the hope of weight loss. If we truly tap into our hunger and fullness cues and don’t try to interfere or curb our cravings and appetite, our weight will naturally regulate itself to the place that feels most comfortable for our body. For some of us, that will mean losing weight. For others that may mean staying the same weight, or gaining weight. If we aren’t neutral about these outcomes and prepared for them, we can never truly embrace intuitive eating and body trust.

2. “Good” and “Bad” Foods:

We live in a world obsessed with “super foods” and ultimate nutrition. The thought of eating a doughnut pushes people into a sinful frenzy, and drinking a kale smoothie is akin to finding deliverance. It is so hammered into our heads that heated debates can erupt over the sheer idea that someone who eats steamed broccoli doesn’t have claim to superiority over someone who eats cupcakes. The fact that this statement would ruffle feathers at a cocktail party is truly laughable, because the reality is that no food on this planet is inherently better than another. Do some foods have different macronutrient qualities? Yes. Do some people feel both physically and mentally better when they focus on including certain food groups in their diet? Yes. But there is no morality attached to food, and until we accept that, we can’t give ourselves non-judgmental permission to eat all foods. Without non-judgmental permission, we can’t stop the shame spirals that lead to emotional eating and bingeing. The key to stopping these binges is stopping the guilt; to stop the guilt, we must stop attaching morals to our food. Food is just food, an apple is just an apple, a cheeseburger is just a cheeseburger, and all foods fit into a well-rounded life.

3. Shoulds: Diets have rules… rules about what time you should eat, what you should eat, how much of it you should eat, and many more. There are clear parameters so that you know when you’ve “failed” the diet, and you know what you “should” do in order to do it “right.” Intuitive eating on the other hand doesn’t really have any rules. There are guiding principles to help you along, but learning and integrating these principles takes time and personal experimentation. The only “right” way to do intuitive eating is to approach it from a place of exploration and discovery. There are no prescriptive ideas; no you “should” do this or that; no perfect set of rules to follow in order to do it perfectly. The beauty of intuitive eating is that every moment, whether it feels good or bad, is a learning experience, and a chance for you to undo all of the shoulds. There are no shoulds, but rather the opportunity to find your own truth in this mess.
You will likely discover many other diet “truths” that need to be let go of once and for all on your journey towards intuitive eating, food peace, and body trust. These are just a few of the most common, and I hope you find your own experience within them.

To begin your intuitive eating journey, or deepen your practice, join my 6-week Online Intuitive Eating Class which starts this Wednesday night. To sign up or get more information, Click below.

To learn more:

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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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