National Eating Disorders Association
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Binge Eating Disorder

The holidays can be a challenging time of year for many people. Some get stressed out because they’re hosting, some are anxious because of the time with family or being around a lot of people. Others may have a really hard time being around so much food or alcohol since both of those tend to be cultural aspects of the holiday season. 

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Yesterday marked the final day of the Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA)’s National Conference in partnership with the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA). Titled “Building Resilient Communities Through Collaboration,” the conference united survivors, caregivers, and treatment professionals for vital conversations about binge eating disorder (BED), body image and weight shaming, and marginalized communities. 

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The Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA) in partnership with the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) kicked off its 2017 National Conference in New York City. Titled “Building Resilient Communities Through Collaboration,” the day united survivors, caregivers, and treatment professionals for vital conversations about binge eating disorder (BED), body image and weight shaming, and marginalized communities. 

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I've noticed a tremendous inconsistency throughout my years of eating disorder treatment. When I was in treatment for anorexia nervosa purging type, one of the first parts of my recovery was weight restoration. I felt like before I even got into the work of dissecting how/where my eating disorder started, I was required to gain weight.

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Having both an eating disorder and codependent traits, I am a professional at people-pleasing. From the time I was little, I never really got a fully-informed education in setting boundaries. I have been conditioned to accept what was happening, given excuses, told to “respect my elders,” and assume that they knew what was best for me, even when what they were doing was harmful. 

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For 21 seasons, The Bachelor has invited viewers into the infamous mansion to follow the love story between two people. We as the audience sit at home, critique, judge, and become infatuated with the lives of these strangers, holding our breath as each rose is passed out until the bachelor has found the love of his life. 

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I spent many summers in fear and trepidation. I felt like this was a season that I didn’t fit in.

There’s good reason because leading up to the warmer months, magazines told me how to get the perfect beach body. When swimsuit season was upon us, I was mortified that I never achieved a body with shipshape abs. 

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Binge eating disorder (BED) is the most common, but least understood, eating disorder in the United States. Intuitive eating and Health at Every Size® may be helpful tools for those in recovery, but public understanding of these concepts is limited. 

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How many of us who struggle with binge eating and/or weight management have been given the guidance to simply eat less and exercise more? Well, if you’re anything like me and my clients, this is not the solution; rather, it is a setup for a cycle of deprivation and demoralization. 

A diet and exercise plan alone will not suffice for someone who binge eats. Those who are struggling are typically best served by a treatment plan that addresses the complexity of the behaviors, thinking patterns, and relationship with food.

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There is nothing quite like the sound of a cracking twig under a boot. Perhaps, a close second is the breeze in the canopy above, feeling the forest all around. Though, the best feeling of all, for me, is the sun on my face after embarking on a fun and joyful adventure.

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