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.Read More
Feel out of control with your eating? Find yourself restricting your food during the daytime and overdoing it at night? Having a hard time resisting the urge to eat “forbidden” foods, especially when you feel tired and stressed? Do you experience a wave of shame after you eat a large amount of these foods—or a large amount of any foods? It sounds like you could be suffering from binge eating patterns, or even binge eating disorder (BED). I think that one of the best outpatient treatment strategies for binge eating and/or BED is to work with a therapist AND a dietitian who specialize in BED. I’ve shared my therapy approaches treating to BED, so I now wanted to convey the opinions of expert San Diego eating disorder dietitians: Theresa Carmichael, RD of Center For Discovery (and private practice), Dr. Megan Holt Hellner, RD of Potentia Therapy, and Dr. Saori Obayashi, RD of UCSD CHEAR. They have some wonderful tips on how to manage binge eating from a nutritional perspective.
***Trigger warning*** This blog post interview does include the term weight loss, as well as discussion of how some people seeking treatment for binge eating also want to lose weight. I cannot stress enough that these San Diego eating disorder dietitians do NOT advocate extreme behaviors that could trigger eating disorder symptoms. In fact, their approaches encompass reducing binge eating symptoms instead of focusing on weight loss.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
Hello all! I hope you had a Happy Fourth of July with loved ones. I wanted to introduce you to Crystal St. John, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, who works with eating disorders in the Carlsbad area of San Diego County, as well as in Temecula. Crystal formally worked with Center for Discovery eating disorder intensive outpatient in North County San Diego. She is a really nice person and has a unique approach to treatment that I think you’ll find interesting.Read More
Hello all! I’m so excited to present a transcript of a wonderful podcast I did in San Diego last fall on spirituality in therapy. It is called Breaking Down: The Podcast with Edie Stark, LCSW, and Mia Najor, LMFT. I discussed my background and how I came to understand what integrating spirituality in therapy means, and how important it is to do it ethically. We also talked about the importance of following clients’ lead when attending to spirituality, as well as the unique needs of working with the LGBTQ+ population, as well as with eating disorders in this area. I had so much fun talking with these very deep women. Enjoy!Read More
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
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
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
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
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