Tap into Your Creativity in Eating Disorder Recovery: Meet Artist Jennifer Shiman

Tap into Your Creativity in Eating Disorder Recovery: Meet Artist Jennifer Shiman

Looking for new ways to practice self-care in your eating disorder recovery? Feeling like you aren’t really creative, but need a new outlet to help process your emotions this summer in San Diego and elsewhere? Art and creativity can be a key component to eating disorder recovery, but often we feel as though we aren’t “talented enough” to engage in it. Well, I want to let you know that you don’t have to be super-talented to be creative (take it from me, as I draw stick figures!)—EVERYONE has a creative process!!! I’ve interviewed artist Jennifer Shiman who believes just that. She also happens to be my fantabulous sister-in-law (I’m sooooooo lucky to have her in the family!). One thing I really appreciate about Jennifer is that she really ties the creative process to being authentic and practicing self-care, which is a vital component of eating disorder recovery! I’m so happy that you’ll get to know more about her awesomeness.

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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!!

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Four Tips to Navigating Triggering Family Situations in Eating Disorder Recovery

Four Tips to Navigating Triggering Family Situations in Eating Disorder Recovery

Do you ever struggle with all of the focus on “family” and “togetherness” this time of year? Does it seem as though you can barely get through family events without feeling like you want to run out of the room screaming? Holidays can be such a challenge if you have an eating disorder. A lot of family-focused activities center around food, which can trigger a lot of anxiety and other uncomfortable emotions. It is hard when parents, spouses, grandparents, great-aunt Petunias, or whoever comment about your body and what you are (or aren’t) eating. Especially in San Diego, when in December you can be wearing tank tops, shorts, or a skirt as you take family trips to the beach. It can feel as though your body and how you eat is on display. It may seem that loved ones have free reign to comment on it. It really, really sucks. As an eating disorder therapist, I love helping people navigate family situations that can be tricky and triggering, so I’m here to help you get started.

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Tapping into Mindfulness: Part 5 of Finding the Spiritual in Eating Disorder Treatment—A 5-Part Series

Mindfulness is moment-to-moment nonjudgmental awareness.  It is accessing our physical senses and focusing on the NOW instead of worrying about the past or the future.  Practicing mindfulness in San Diego is so challenging.  We live in a beautiful place, yet our schedules are packed with work, school, appointments, and other family activities.  San Diego is also an expensive place so live, so I think that often we feel compelled to make as much money we can, sometimes to the detriment of our health.  In this post, I’m going to identify three simple ways to tap into mindfulness to help us calm down our overactive brains and have an easier time negotiating the stresses of San Diego life. 

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Diving Deeper into Spiritual Healing: Part 4 of Finding the Spiritual in Eating Disorder Treatment—A 5-Part Series

Diving Deeper into Spiritual Healing:  Part 4 of Finding the Spiritual in Eating Disorder Treatment—A 5-Part Series

Sometimes when you feel overwhelmed by your spiritual pain, you can think that there is no hope.  It is at these times when you need to dive deep into your pain to let yourself experience spiritual healing.  If you struggle with disordered eating, you know how painful it can be . . . emotionally, psychologically, physically, and spiritually.  Becoming acutely aware of all aspects of your pain as you go about your daily life in San Diego lets you open yourself to healing. It’s like when you have an infection in your arm—you need to open it up and clean out all of the gunk and then put the medicine on it so it can heal.  Spirituality can be your medicine—the balm for your soul.

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Starting Your Journey to Spiritual Healing: Part 3 of Finding the Spiritual in Eating Disorder Treatment—A 5-Part Series

Starting Your Journey to Spiritual Healing:  Part 3 of Finding the Spiritual in Eating Disorder Treatment—A 5-Part Series

You’ve recognized that you’ve got some spiritual pain.  Congratulate yourself for the awareness—it’s a hard thing to acknowledge.  You may be thinking, is spiritual healing even possible. Do I even want it?  I feel so far away from God or my higher power in my life in San Diego that it just seems like too big of a gulf to bridge.  I understand that it can feel overwhelming.  I want to encourage you that all you have to do is take the first, small step.  Sometimes you have to walk before you run, and sometimes you have to tiptoe before you walk.  Let’ go ahead and stick that foot out there and start the journey.

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Dealing with Spiritual Pain: Part 2 of Finding the Spiritual in Eating Disorder Treatment—A 5-Part Series

Dealing with Spiritual Pain:  Part 2 of Finding the Spiritual in Eating Disorder Treatment—A 5-Part Series

Has your soul ever ached? Is it difficult to reconcile living in such a beautiful place as San Diego and feeling such pain?  Have you ever felt so far away from God that it hurt?  Have you ever questioned your belief in God, or in any sort of higher power?  Have you ever wondered how God can exist if there is such pain in the world?  Have you felt angry with God?  Have you ever felt hurt, shamed, disappointed, or discriminated by spiritual leaders?  Many of these emotions and experiences can lead to spiritual pain.  Spiritual pain is a soul-deep ache that is beyond depression or grief.  Spiritual pain is an existential crisis in which the deepest parts of ourselves are crying out, “Is there a God or higher power out there?”  “If so, how could this God or higher power let such pain and suffering happen?”

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Filling Your Spiritual Cup: Part 1 in a 5-Part Series on Finding the Spiritual in Eating Disorder Treatment

Filling Your Spiritual Cup:  Part 1 in a 5-Part Series on Finding the Spiritual in Eating Disorder Treatment

What brings you peace in your life in San Diego?  When do you feel most connected to the world around you—to other people, to animals, to nature?  When do you feel a sense of well-being?  These are some of the questions I might ask my clients when getting them to focus on what feeds them spiritually in San Diego.  In eating disorder recovery, so much of the focus can be on food and our bodies, but what often is a missing piece in treatment is nourishing our souls.  

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Three Steps to Start You on the Path to Body Acceptance

Three Steps to Start You on the Path to Body Acceptance

Body image.  Do I hear a collective sigh? Groan of frustration? Chorus of “I don’t wanna think about it?” And yet, we live in San Diego, where it feels like it is bikini season 90% of the year. And where wearing tiny shorts and a bikini top inside the store or a restaurant isn’t considered completely inappropriate. You don’t need to have an eating disorder or low self-esteem in San Diego to have issues with accepting your beautiful body as it is!

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