15 Things Every Caregiver Should Know About Navigating Eating Disorders

Knowing the right thing to do or say is not always easy, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution to navigating eating disorders. In fact, the “right thing” to say one day may be the “wrong thing” to say the next. It is a challenge…

5 Ways Moms Can Self-Care This Mother’s Day

With Mother’s Day approaching, I began to think of the moms in my life as well as the moms I treat in my practice. A running theme for many of them is the struggle with balance, happiness, and the demands of motherhood. More often than not,…
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Thanks, Mom, for Never Giving Up On Me

My mom has always been one to rescue those in need. One time, in second grade, I got a D on an oral math test. I’ve always been a math whiz, but doing what is now known as “mental math”—you know, doing math in your head instead of on…
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Fostering Body Positivity in Children

I have been practicing psychotherapy for close to 18 years now. In this time, I’ve focused most of my work on the treatment of eating disorders. Having suffered with an eating disorder in high school, prevention, education, and treatment have…
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Raising Resilient Kids in a Fat Shaming World

We want our kids to grow up feeling strong and confident in their bodies. We’ve learned a lot about what to do—and what not to do—to promote a positive body image. We know better than to comment on other people’s weight and engage in…

Dear KJ: How Can My Partner Help Me During a Relapse?

"Dear KJ" is a monthly advice column by Dr. Kjerstin "KJ" Gruys, sociologist, author and body image activist. She holds a Ph.D. in sociology with a focus on the politics of appearance and is the author of Mirror Mirror Off the Wall: How I Learned…

How to Help a Loved One

If you are worried about your friend’s eating behaviors or attitudes, it is important to express your concerns in a loving and supportive way. It is also necessary to discuss your worries early on, rather than waiting until your friend has…
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Balancing Motherhood and Self-Care

There is a tendency for the media to portray eating disorders as superficial illnesses of female adolescence. The limited scope of these stories mitigates both the severe emotional and physical consequences inherent to eating disorders, as well…
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Why is it So Hard to Discuss Body Image with Parents?

Why is it so hard to talk to our parents about our struggles with ED, poor body image or low self-confidence? Guilt and shame probably play a pivotal role in why we don’t want to talk about these things with Mom and Dad. First of all, eating…
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Breaking the Silence Around Eating Disorders

As I walked Sarah and Allison home from school, I noticed Allison falling behind. She began walking slower than us and staring down at the ground, silent. Our walks home from school usually involved nothing but talking and laughter, but today…