How Body Shaming in Media Affects Eating Disorder Recovery and How to Handle It

How Body Shaming in Media Affects Eating Disorder Recovery and How to Handle It

Feel badly about your body? Having a hard time dealing with media’s images of how bodies SHOULD look? Are you just OVER watching movies or Netflix or other TV shows that have NO body diversity? Sick of social media promoting a certain kind of body type and disguising it as “health” or “wellness”? It can feel as though we are bombarded with images on or phones, on TVs, on computers, and on movie screens that send us the message that we need to look a certain way. In San Diego, messages about having a “bikini body” or a “beach-ready” body assault us on a daily basis. Both in San Diego and other places, summer can especially be difficult. All the media show people in fewer clothes, so you may feel even more conscious about how your body looks. In this post, I’m going to identify three ways the media portrays bodies and how it influences eating disorder recovery. PLUS, I’m going to share what you can do about it.

Read More

"My Eating Disorder Recovery Story": Get to Know Author and Advocate Shannon Kopp

"My Eating Disorder Recovery Story": Get to Know Author and Advocate Shannon Kopp

 Hi everyone! I first met author and advocate Shannon Kopp several years ago, when she was working in the eating disorder field in San Diego. I vividly remember having lunch at Panera, and I felt an instant connection with her. She was so AUTHENTIC and open and honest about her eating disorder recovery story. It impressed me so much. Shannon shared how she felt so passionate about helping people recover from eating disorders. At that time, she was working on writing a book on her recovery, and she published it a couple of years later—it’s called Pound for Pound: The Story of One Woman’s Recovery and the Shelter Dogs Who Loved Her Back to Life. it’s truly inspiring. Since that time, Shannon has also started a nonprofit organization called SoulPaws Recovery that does a lot of awesome work, especially in San Diego. She is also a National Recovery Advocate for Eating Recovery Center. I’m excited for you to get to know Shannon!

Read More

Six Ways to Stare Down Shame in Eating Disorder Recovery

Six Ways to Stare Down Shame in Eating Disorder Recovery

Feel like shame sometimes hijacks your brain and leaves you wounded and broken, laying bleeding on the sidewalk? You’re not alone. Most people grapple with shame in eating disorder recovery. Whether it’s shame about your body, shame about your eating disorder behaviors, shame about your thoughts, or even deep, dark shame that you even exist—shame can be so pervasive and paralyzing. It can be especially hard in San Diego, where the “beautiful life” exists all around you and you feel even more shame because you feel as though you’re not a part of it. Whether you live in San Diego or elsewhere, I want to let you know that it IS possible to overcome shame in your eating disorder recovery. I’ve outlined six strategies to stare down shame, borrowing some from Dr. Brené Brown, who is a shame, courage, and vulnerability researcher.

Read More

What the Heck is Intuitive Eating? Three San Diego Eating Disorder Dietitians Explain

What the Heck is Intuitive Eating? Three San Diego Eating Disorder Dietitians Explain

Heard of the term intuitive eating and not sure what it means? Or, do you know a little about intuitive eating and aren’t sure how it can help you heal from your eating disorder? Well, I have a WEALTH of information for you in this blog post! I’ve asked three gifted San Diego eating disorder dietitians to articulate their thoughts on intuitive eating and how it can be an integral part of eating disorder recovery. These amazing women are Diana Wright, M.S., RD, CEDRD of Life Inspired Nutrition, Erika Salaman, RDN of Erika Salaman Nutrition, and Lindsay Stenovec, M.S., RDN, CEDRD of Nutrition Instincts.

Read More

Exploring Binge Eating Disorder Treatment Options? Meet UCSD CHEAR Clinical Director Dr. Rebecca Bernard

Exploring Binge Eating Disorder Treatment Options? Meet UCSD CHEAR Clinical Director Dr. Rebecca Bernard

Looking for binge eating disorder (BED) treatment options in San Diego? I’ve interviewed licensed clinical psychologist Dr. Rebecca Bernard. She is the Clinical Director for the Center for Healthy Eating and Activity Research (CHEAR) at University of California San Diego (UCSD). I attended a training at UCSD by Dr. Bernard, and I really appreciated how well she understood binge eating treatment and how clearly she was able to explain the research on it.

Read More

Want Body-Positive Eating Disorder Help? Meet San Diego Dietitian Sammi Montag, RD

Want Body-Positive Eating Disorder Help? Meet San Diego Dietitian Sammi Montag, RD

Tired of focusing on your weight? Want to improve your health but sick of feeling shamed about your body from medical providers? I want to introduce you to a passionate San Diego eating disorder dietitian, Sammi Montag, RD, who works both for Kaiser and in her private practice. Sammi specializes in incorporating intuitive eating and positive body image development into her treatment. She really loves helping people identify their unique health goals by providing evidence-based nutrition care. Sammi takes a health-focused (rather than weight-focused) approach with emphasis on normalized eating and behavior change. Her nutrition philosophy incorporates an “all foods fit” mentality. Sammi is doing some amazing work helping people recover from eating disorders in San Diego!

Read More

How to Get Help for Binge Eating Disorder

How to Get Help for Binge Eating Disorder

Struggling with binge eating? Feeling out of control of your eating and don’t know where to turn? I have an excellent starting point for you. I discussed what binge eating disorder is and how to get help on a recent podcast on the Embodied & Well Mom Show that I did on with the fabulous Lindsay Stenovec, MS, RDN, CEDRD of San Diego’s Nutrition Instincts. I have provided a transcription of the main part of the podcast in this blog post. Enjoy!!

Read More

Sick of Body Shame and Diet Culture? Meet San Diego Eating Disorder Dietitian Amy Ornelas, RDN, CEDRD

Sick of Body Shame and Diet Culture? Meet San Diego Eating Disorder Dietitian Amy Ornelas, RDN, CEDRD

Struggling with accepting your body size? You want to be healthy, but you’ve tried so many diets over and over and nothing works. You’re sick of the assumptions people make about you because you don’t fit the “norm” of what bodies should look like. Plus, you are just OVER what friends, family, co-workers, and even medical professionals say about your body and what you should and shouldn’t eat. It’s so challenging to navigate the messages we receive about our bodies and the food we eat. Especially in San Diego, where there’s such a focus on health, wellness, and appearance that it sometimes feels impossible to take a different perspective. Well, I have a WONDERFUL resource in San Diego Eating Disorder Dietitian Amy Ornelas, RDN, Certified Eating Disorder Registered Dietitian (CEDRD). She wholeheartedly embraces the Health at Every Size (HAES) and intuitive eating approaches, and she loves working with people struggling with body shame and fighting diet culture that’s so pervasive in San Diego and elsewhere. Enjoy getting to know her!

Read More

Five Tips for Managing Overwhelming Emotions in Eating Disorder Recovery

Five Tips for Managing Overwhelming Emotions in Eating Disorder Recovery

Have you ever felt so filled with emotion that it was almost unbearable? Do your mind and body feel flooded with feelings such as fear, anger, disgust, frustration, irritability, anxiety, or sadness—to the point at which you feel almost paralyzed? Having an eating disorder in San Diego and elsewhere is so hard. Sometimes the overwhelming emotions can be triggered by things such as discomfort with food and with your body, negative interactions with others, and work and family stress. At such times, it seems like the emotions take over both your brain and your body, and you would do anything thing in the world to make them stop. It is so so hard. Thankfully, there are a few coping strategies that can help you navigate such situations. These coping skills come from dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), which is an approach I integrate in my work with people struggling with eating disorders in San Diego.

Read More

Let's Talk About Sex and Body Image! Meet Sex Therapist Dr. Nicole Van Ness, LMFT

Let's Talk About Sex and Body Image! Meet Sex Therapist Dr. Nicole Van Ness, LMFT

Have you been struggling with your body image so much that it has been affecting your sex life? Is your partner complaining that you don’t want to have sex that frequently, and you feel hesitant to share that it’s because you feel uncomfortable in your own skin? Whether you live in San Diego or elsewhere, you likely know that having a regular and fulfilling sex life is important for intimate relationships. The reality is that A LOT of people struggle with sexual intimacy, and when you have an eating disorder and feel negatively about your body, it becomes a drain on your life and relationships.

Needing answers? I have brought top expert, as well as friend and former top doctoral student of mine, Dr. Nicole Van Ness. Nicole went to school and learned her trade as a sex therapist in San Diego, and in recent years she has moved to Texas, where she has a private practice and is adjunct faculty at Southern Methodist University. Nicole has maintained her California license as a marriage and family therapist, and she provides videoconference services for individuals and couples in San Diego and other parts of California.

Read More