A New Year!

As we fully enter into the 2012 year, I am overwhelmed with all of the adds for weight loss and body sculpting programs, the new diet gimmicks and pills and low gym membership offers.  Everyone seems to focus on changing the size and shape of their bodies at the new year.  I certainly like the idea of change, but why does it have to be external?  I have been challenging my clients to focus on what to change on their inside as a goal for the new year.  Maybe this is the year to alter your obsession with food and dieting, or the year to set healthy boundaries with your friends and family members.  Setting and sticking to regular visits with your therapist or dietitian can be a resolution, or perhaps exercising for pleasure rather than weight loss or body sculpting would be a change worthwhile.  When the focus shifts to an internal place, the outcome can be more rewarding.  Think of how much anxiety ensues when you spend your energy trying to change your outside appearance.  Wouldn’t it be nice to decrease the amount of time you spend thinking about food and body image?  What on earth would you fill all that time and space with…  spending more time with your loved ones, creating good memories?  I propose you do just that!  Make a resolution this year that will create an internal change within.  I heard this saying somwhere, and it always sticks with me, especially in this moment….”a waist is a terrible thing to mind.”

Anorexia Linked to Psychiatric Disorders

A globally significant study, which began in 1985, concerning the behavior of teenagers suffering from anorexia nervosa has been published in both the British Journal of Psychiatry and the International Journal of Eating Disorders. This is the only study of its kind and has provided valuable information to compare against widely accepted statistics about anorexia nervosa.

Elizabeth Wentz, Associate Professor in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Sahlgrenska Academy, comments, “This study is unique in an international perspective. It is the only study in the world that reflects the natural course of anorexia nervosa in the population.”The results show that 39 percent of the study group “have at least one other psychiatric disorder, in addition to the eating disorder. The most common of these is obsessive compulsive disorder.” This study contrasts with the accepted fatality rate of 1 in 5 for anorexics, as not a single test subject in this study has died.One encouraging finding that emerged from the study related to pregnancy of the test subjects. Because infertility is a commonly accepted side effect of anorexia nervosa, it is surprising that there was no difference in the number of births between the test group and the control group. Childbirth also appeared to have a routinely positive influence on anorexics.(Source: www.eurekalert.org)

Addressing Bulimia Treatment

A new novel call Purge has been published by a Connecticut-based writer name Sarah Durer Littman. The novel, told in the first person in the format of a journal, is the story of Janie Ryan. Janie is a 16-year-old bulimic and the novel relates her experiences while receiving treatment at a fictional residential treatment facility called Golden Slopes. Janie’s journal reveals the traumatic events that led to her development of an eating disorder, and how she developed bulimia as a sort of coping mechanism.

Emotional Eating

Many of us occasionally engage in emotional eating. We eat as a way to deal with uncomfortable thoughts or feelings. We eat when we didn’t get an expected promotion, or had a fight with our spouse, or are stressed by a thorny decision. However, sometimes these behaviors become habitual, and we begin to feel the physical and emotional consequences of using food to cope. We get discouraged because we want to change, but can’t seem to do it. Sometimes we try eating very little during the day, only to find we are doubly hungry in the evening and eat more than usual.