Ever wish you could take a break from negative thoughts—like take a vacation from your brain? Feel like you’re on a self-criticism merry-go-round that you can’t get off? Many people struggle with self-criticism, especially those in recovery from eating disorders. It can be easy to be hard on yourself in San Diego, as you see people around you splashing in the ocean and laying on the warm sand. You might think, “what’s wrong with me that I’m not like them?” Even on social media you see everyone else posting about how wonderful their lives are, triggering negative thoughts that crash over you like a wave. You may feel hopeless and that there’s no way out. I want to convey that you CAN get out of the self-criticism cycle and live a more satisfying life. Check out the four steps in this blog post, and you’ll be on your way!Read More
Feel like you aren’t good enough? Always comparing yourself to others? Constantly cataloguing your faults and feeling like a failure? It sounds like you are struggling with perfectionism. It can be so challenging to fall into the “compare and despair” pit when you are in San Diego and there is such an emphasis on perfect looks and perfect achievement, materialistically or otherwise. Even elsewhere in the U.S. and around the world, perfectionism is a trait that can be common in people suffering from eating disorders.
As most eating disorder researchers and experts will say, eating disorders are brain disorders. When compared to brains of people without eating disorders, people with eating disorders have areas of their brains that don’t function as efficiently or effectively. What that means is that if you have an eating disorder, it’s not your fault. It’s not about willpower or about sucking it up to “just eat” or “just stop eating.” It’s about needing to get help to change how your brain works. Struggling with perfectionism AND an eating disorder can lead to (a) feeling like you have to be perfect, so you engage in eating disorder behaviors to try to be perfect, or (b) feeling disappointed or ashamed that you’re not perfect, so you you engage in eating disorder behaviors to counteract these emotions. Either way, perfectionism can be a challenge to recovery.Read More
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
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
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.Read More