National Eating Disorders Association
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“Change happens when you understand what you want to change so deeply that there is no reason to do anything but act in your own best interest.” — Geneen Roth

Food, family gatherings and thankfulness are centerpieces of many Americans’ holidays—often in that order. These very traits commonly deemed attributes are precisely what make the food-centric season challenging when you have an eating disorder, which can make festive food displays daunting and the company of others intimidating

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EATING DISORDERS ARE FAMILY DISORDERS

Eating disorders are family disorders. Keynote speaker at this year’s National Eating Disorders Association Conference, Dr Thomas Insel, spoke from the heart.

The Federal government shutdown meant he could not speak as director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) so Dr Insel, the father of two children born in the late 1970s, spoke as a parent.

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I can waiver back and forth endlessly and aimlessly on a decision. In thought or on paper, my mind can justify Choice A or Choice B (or Choices C and D!).  I'll list out pro's and con's in side-by-side columns, but that doesn't necessarily clarify either.  I can sink into frustration and feel inept and stuck.

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Technology is increasingly building bridges in eating disorder prevention, treatment and recovery.

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When I was a child, teen and young adult a series of traumatic events, hurtful words, and a dysfunctional environment led me to develop this coping mechanism called an eating disorder.  My eating disorder spanned over twenty years of my life bouncing back and forth between anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating.  At one time or another my weight was at one end of a spectrum to another.  The scale or the size of my pants became a measure of my worth.  My weight was a number that became my value system.  Magazines and media shout loudly at the world saying that what we look like, what we wear or

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We all have inner demons, some of them very familiar and believable.  In a recent write, I explored what felt like work overload in my life, leaving me fearful, overwhelmed, burdened, generally flattened and wanting to avoid work.  As I wrote, tension bubbled up in my stomach.  I felt dejected and defeated.

Overwhelm in particular has haunted me through my life.  I decided to look straight at it, combat it with creativity and Dialogue with it.

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Does fear convince you that you lack talent and that your writing will shamefully sound more elementary-school than polished and dazzling? A journal is a great place to challenge that voice that tells you you're lacking talent, you're doing it wrong, that you and your writing aren't good enough.  The voice confuses, slips, slides, taunts. 

In my head, I'm unable to disentangle from that voice. Only nailing it on paper gives me clarity and power.  How does it know I’m doing it wrong?  What makes it an expert about writing (or anything else)? 

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Is writing one more burden on your to-do list of recovery tasks?  Just you and a blank page staring at you?  Does this image leave you feeling alone and on your own, drained and deflated?

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“When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul and brings joy, care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life.” —Jean Shinoda Bolen

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I sat in the doctor’s consulting room, not knowing where to start sharing my problems of the past 18 years. The spectacled, middle-aged male MD gazed across his desk.

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