As we work with people on eating disorder recovery in California, one thing is abundantly clear: the path to eating disorder recovery is anything but straight. It involves many twists and turns, including times when it doubles back on itself in the form of relapse. But while relapse can be frightening and frustrating, it definitely doesn’t have to mean you can’t or won’t achieve your goal. In fact, overcoming a relapse and getting back on track only makes you stronger and wiser and more resilient for the next time you encounter challenges on your journey.
Your Plan for Getting Back on Track
Here are some things you can do to get refocused on your recovery when you relapse:
Seek help right away. Whether it’s a counselor, therapist, or doctor, the advice and words of reassurance from a professional who understands what you are going through can be instrumental in getting you back on track.
Ensure you maintain proper nutrition. As you know, recovery is an intense process that requires a great deal of energy. Be sure that you get the nutrition you need.
Dismiss your “might as well” attitude. One of the most common and most dangerous emotions that accompanies relapse is the feeling that as long as you have fallen off the path to recovery, you might as well fully indulge your unhealthy impulses. Confront that voice in your head and tell it to get lost!
Talk with trusted friends/family. Connecting with a professional is an important step in getting past a relapse, but it’s also critical that you get support from loved ones. Let them know that you have found yourself in a place where you need some extra encouragement.
Reflect on your triggers. In order to decrease your odds of a future relapse, you have to face the reasons that this one occurred. Don’t dwell on them, but be sure you understand what they are and how to avoid them going forward.
Write down your reasons for pursuing recovery. When things look bleak, it can be very helpful to journal about why you want to be successful in beating your disorder. That beacon of hope can be a powerful motivator.
A Temporary Detour
Wherever you are on the path toward eating disorder recovery in California, keep in mind that relapse is just a temporary detour. To learn more about programs for helping you achieve the happier, healthier life you’ve envisioned, call us at 916-784-1120.
While eating disorders have many causes, one of the most powerful in women is the pressure they feel to meet certain body shape expectations. When we talk with people pursuing anorexia recovery in Roseville, and help with other eating disorders as well, we point out that while those expectations are unfair and unreasonable, they can still have an impact on the person who faces them. The postpartum period after a woman has given birth can be especially stressful.
Knocking Down Harmful Post-Pregnancy Statements
There are a number of things that people tend to say to a woman after she has had a baby that, although they may be well-intentioned, are not helpful to the new mom. Some of the more common statements are below.
“You need to get your body back.”
No, you don’t. You may choose to work at losing the weight you put on to support your unborn baby, but the expectation that you must do so is wrong. For many women, pregnancy produce body changes that become the new normal, and there is nothing wrong with that. The stress produced by worrying about getting back to some pre-pregnancy ideal isn’t healthy for mom, baby, or other loved ones.
“You need to breastfeed. It will help you lose your baby weight.”
It’s true that breastfeeding increases your caloric output. However, how it affects body shape is different for every woman. And, the decision to breastfeed (how much if at all, for how long, etc.) is a very personal one that should not be influenced by someone’s insistence that you do it.
“Check out that new mom. It’s like she was never pregnant.”
Here again, the goal to look like you were never pregnant can be a very harmful one, both emotionally and in some cases physically. What you should really be striving for is getting your overall health and energy level to where you want it to be for your own good and that of your baby.
A Commitment to What Matters Most
New moms have a whole host of challenges ahead of them as they work to ensure that their baby gets off to a happy, healthy start in life. They also have the potential for developing postpartum depression. Pressure from a spouse, friends, or family to “get fit” is not helpful and can cause significant harm to a person who may already be experiencing a great deal of stress. If you know a woman who has recently given birth, we encourage you to help her stay focused on optimal wellness for herself and her baby.
If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder — related to pregnancy or otherwise — our anorexia recovery in Roseville can help. Contact us today at 916-784-1120 to learn more.
When working with people at our eating disorder treatment center in California, we explain to them that eating disorders like binge eating, anorexia, and bulimia aren’t simply about disordered eating habits. In fact, in virtually every scenario there is an emotional issue (or issues) that is the root of the condition. In many cases it is trauma. Consequently, many studies have shown a link between post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and eating disorders.
Trauma and Disordered Eating
Researchers, counselors, and healthcare providers have found that there are a number of kinds of trauma that increase the likelihood that a person will develop an eating disorder. They include:
Child sexual abuse
Teasing and bullying
Why do trauma and PTSD contribute to the development of eating disorders? The exact link is currently unknown. However, what is known is that trauma disrupts the nervous system in a way that negatively affects a person’s ability to manage their emotions. As a result, they resort to eating disorders, addictions, and other unhealthy behaviors to cope with their feelings. In cases of trauma that is sexual in nature, there is speculation that a person might subconsciously seek to change their appearance by losing or gaining weight in order to decrease the likelihood that they will suffer the same trauma again.
Addressing the Disorder and the Trauma
Both PTSD and eating disorders have high rates of “dissociation” — the desire to distance oneself from disturbing memories and emotions. In eating disorders, this can be seen in actions like purging (symbolically getting rid of something painful) and binging (filling an emotional void created by a traumatic experience).
Not everyone with an eating disorder has suffered trauma or PTSD. However, for those who have, it’s critical that the trauma and its lingering effects be discovered and addressed. Doing so helps ensure that the trauma doesn’t continue to be a long-term source of potential relapse.
A Comprehensive Approach to Recovery
At our eating disorder treatment center in California, we have holistic programs that take into account the entirety of a person’s experience. Our focus isn’t limited to short term success, but instead looks to create long-term stability. To learn more about how we help the people we work with, call us today at 916-784-1120.
Transitioning from one living situation to another is stressful for anyone. For someone who is recovering from an eating disorder, it can be even more so. And that is especially true for a college student who has come home for the summer and is heading back to school — what is likely a second transition in just a few months. At our bulimia treatment center in Roseville, we encourage the people we work with to look ahead and have a plan.
Prepare Your Strategy for Heading Back to Campus
While a new year at school will involve many unknowns — and the anxiety that comes with them for many people — there are steps you can take to maintain balance and stay on the path to recovery regardless of the challenges that arise. In particular, you should:
Connect with your campus care team. If you go to school far from home and have a different counselor, dietician, etc. on campus, it’s a good idea to touch base with them before the new school year starts just to confirm they will still be available to work with you. Whether you intend to see them regularly or only on an as-needed basis, it’s comforting to know that your support network is in place.
Talk with your counselor about your triggers. Whether it’s the counselor at home or on campus, you should talk with someone about what your triggers are, where/when you’re likely to encounter them at school, and how you intend to manage them.
Be clear on how nutrition will fit into your class/work schedule. With classes, social events, and possibly a part-time job, college life can get hectic. Be sure you know how you’ll keep your body properly fueled throughout the day, every day. From meals to snacks, you want to have a solid plan prepared before you arrive on campus.
Make stress reduction a priority. From meeting assignment deadlines to meeting new people, college involves plenty of pressure. What will you do to let off steam? Yoga? Hiking? Swimming? Meditation? Be sure you have plenty of options in mind and a commitment to using them.
Easing Your Transition to Keep Your Recovery on Track
Heading back to college doesn’t have to have a negative impact on your recovery. With a little bit of planning and preparation, you can continue to make steady progress toward your goals. If you have questions or are looking to talk with someone this summer, contact our bulimia treatment center in Roseville at 916-784-1120. We’re eager to assist you!
It would be easy to dismiss your wardrobe as something unimportant. After all, your health and happiness are far more critical. This is especially true of someone who is battling an eating disorder. However, having clothing that fits properly and that you like the look of can take some of the stress out of coming to terms with your new, healthier body shape. So, we encourage the people we work with at our eating disorder recovery center in California to modify their wardrobe as appropriate to ensure it meets their needs.
Tips for Clothes Shopping While in Eating Disorder Recovery
Clothes shopping while in recovery can be stressful, frustrating, and in some cases overwhelming. Things like general body dissatisfaction, body image distortion, excessive body comparisons, and obsessive body checking behaviors that often accompany eating disorders can make shopping miserable. Use the strategies below to turn it into a more positive and successful experience:
Shop with a trusted friend or family member. In many cases, a person with an eating disorder will have a distorted perspective on clothing in the same way their perspective on their body is inaccurate. Having someone along to provide a second opinion can be very helpful.
Look for one item at a time. Before you head out, decide on what it is you are looking for, where you will shop for it, and how much you’re willing to spend on it. Having made these decisions in advance will make your trip less stressful.
Focus more on fit than fashion. It’s more important that the clothes you buy during recovery are functional than fashionable. With each item you try on, assess how it would work in the real world. Is it the right length? Is it too tight or too loose? Will it stay in place when you bend and move?
Use stress reduction techniques. If you start to find your shopping experience is making you feel anxious, use techniques like mindfulness, deep breathing, etc. to stay in control of your emotions.
Ignore numbers. Clothes sizing across all brands is inexact at best. A four in one line might equate to a six in another. Don’t be concerned about the numbers. Pay attention to how an item feels and then secondarily how it looks.
Leave the mirror until last. Here again, comfort and function are more important appearance. Of course you’re going to want to look in the mirror, but try to save that part of your evaluation for last.
Be Ready for Success
Self-confidence plays an important role in recovery. At our eating disorder recovery center in California, we know that having the right clothing can help you feel up to the task. Call today to learn more about our programs: 916-784-1120.
With an increasing number of states legalizing marijuana for medical use, recreational use, or both, there is a growing conversation about whether it can be helpful as a treatment component for people recovering from an eating disorder. For those receiving eating disorder treatment in Roseville, CA at our treatment center, we encourage them to know the facts about marijuana and recovery.
The Possible Benefits and Drawbacks of Marijuana Use
The greater availability of medical and recreational marijuana has researchers assessing two aspects of its effect on the body and how they might be valuable as part of eating disorder treatment. The first is its ability to stimulate the metabolism and increase appetite, which might be beneficial for people with anorexia. The second is its ability to relax a user, allowing them to be more open in addressing underlying emotional issues that might play a part in their disorder.
However, at this point, major eating disorder organizations and advocacy groups have been reluctant to endorse the use of marijuana in treatment. There may be many reasons for this reluctance, including some of the acknowledged drawbacks of marijuana use.
For one thing, many experts feel that a person who uses marijuana is simply substituting one form of issue avoidance with another, and therefore isn’t truly advancing their recovery. The marijuana may address some of the symptoms of the person’s underlying issues, but not the issues themselves.
A second concern is that marijuana affects everyone differently. While some people find that it produces relaxation, others experience negative mental and emotional states like anxiety and paranoia. In addition, while some people may report that they find marijuana useful in treating their eating disorder, there have been very few scientific studies on its effectiveness in general. What’s more, marijuana is proven to have harmful effects on the brains, and cardiac systems of younger patients, so they would not be candidates for treatment with it.
The Jury Is Out… But Effective Treatments Already Exist
So, as research on the use of marijuana as a medicine continues, we remind people seeking eating disorder treatment in Roseville, CA that we have a number of programs that are safe and effective for helping people recover from an eating disorder and achieve greater health and happiness. If you have questions about our services, please call 916-784-1120.
While caring for someone who has an eating disorder is a labor of love, it can also be very taxing — mentally, emotionally, and physically. That’s why at our bulimia recovery centers in California, we remind caregivers that it’s critical that they take care of themselves as well. We say this for two reasons. First, because they deserve to be as healthy and well-rested as possible. And second, because taking care of someone with an eating disorder requires strength and mental clarity, which are things that are in short supply when you aren’t caring for yourself.
Important Self-Care Tips
Here are some things you should do on a regular basis to ensure that you stay healthy and happy as you try to help your loved one:
Do a self-assessment. As a caregiver, much of your time and attention is focused on the person you are caring for. Are they improving? Are they getting worse? What can I be doing to help? But, it’s important that you ask those same questions of yourself.
Seek assistance. Taking care of someone with an eating disorder is a major commitment of time and energy. There’s no shame in asking family and friends to help when you need a chance to recharge your mental and physical batteries.
Be kind to yourself. Nobody is perfect. And that’s especially true when it comes to helping someone whose thoughts and emotions can be all over the map. You won’t always say and do the right things for your loved one, but you’re trying. Give yourself credit where credit is due.
Get away. Sometimes the only way to give your mind and your heart a break is to put some distance between you and your care responsibilities. Take a hike, go the museum, take a road trip… do whatever you have to to clear your head.
Pamper yourself. When a loved one is struggling with an eating disorder, it can feel wrong to have a spa day or go out with friends to your favorite restaurant. But you deserve it, and it will help you be a better, more refreshed caregiver.
The Key is Balance
As one of the bulimia recovery centers in California that people turn to for advice, we emphasize the importance of balance. Yes, be as devoted to your loved one as you need to be. But don’t forget about yourself in the process. If you’ve got questions about our programs, please call 916-784-1120.
People who are battling eating disorders don’t always share what’s on their mind — even with the people they care about most. It can be hard to talk about an eating disorder and the emotions behind it. From our work at our eating disorder treatment center in California, we know that there are a number of things that people would love to say to their family and friends to help them understand what they’re going through.
Just So You Know…
Below are some of the statements the people that we work with wish they could make to their loved ones:
“My condition isn’t a choice. I would never choose to hurt you or myself this way.”
“This isn’t your fault. It’s an illness, and nothing you’ve said or done is directly responsible for it.”
“Eating disorders are complex illnesses. Recovery is not just about getting back to an appropriate weight. It involves changing my perspective on many things.”
“Much of my battle with my eating disorder takes place in my head. Even if I seem to be fine, that’s not always the case. I’ve gotten good at disguising my feelings.”
“There are lots of resources available on eating disorders. I’d love it if you read up on mine so you could understand it better. If you’re ever facing a major health challenge, I’ll do the same.”
“Your praise for me winning even the smallest of battles with food means a lot to me. I don’t always express it, but please know how important and how encouraging it is.”
“One of the scariest things to me about my illness is how sad, depressed, and hopeless it makes me feel at times. I don’t enjoy being in my ‘dark place,’ but sometimes I just can’t find my way out. I’m sorry if that worries you and makes you sad, too.”
“I know you can’t heal me, and I don’t expect you to come up solutions to all the thoughts that keep me trapped in this illness. Just being there for me is hugely helpful.”
Enabling Constructive Dialogue
One of the most important things people suffering from an eating disorder get from working with an eating disorder treatment center in California like ours is help communicating more effectively with their friends and family. Both sharing and listening are skills that not many of us have mastered, but focusing on them can make all the difference in eating disorder recovery. To learn about our programs, call 916-784-1120.
As a person with an eating disorder starts making progress in the recovery process, it’s important that they make peace with the people in their life. People looking to achieve anorexia recovery in Roseville must open a dialogue with family and friends in order to clear the air and move forward in a healthy way.
Making Peace is a Two-Way Street
Eating disorders involve behaviors that can be very hurtful not only to the person with the disorder, but also to the people around them. And family and friends sometimes respond in ways that aren’t constructive. It’s difficult for a person to fully recover from an eating disorder until that emotional “baggage” is unpacked. It can be a very difficult process, but it’s worth the effort.
It’s important to note that “making peace” isn’t about simply saying “I’m sorry.” Apologies might be part of the process, but making peace goes much deeper. It’s also not about assigning blame or asking for/granting forgiveness. It involves looking at why the person with the eating disorder said the things they said and did the things they did — and making the same assessment of the behavior of family and friends. It’s only through understanding our motivations that we can truly grow.
For example, if a person began losing weight in response to what they perceived as subtle pressure from a parent or significant other, that needs to be discussed so that the pressure doesn’t have a negative impact on their recovery efforts. And, if what was felt to be pressure was really the loved one trying to provide positive encouragement for what they thought was the achieving of fitness goals, that needs to be explained and discussed. Often relationship issues are the result of lack of communication or miscommunication. By discussing the different ways a shared experience was perceived, you can start repairing and strengthening bonds.
When the Time is Right
In many cases, the right time for making amends with loved ones is after you’ve started getting some traction in your recovery. That’s when you are more likely to have the physical and emotional strength, and the perspective on past events that you need to start a healthy dialogue. If you’re striving for anorexia recovery in Roseville, our programs can help. Give us a call to learn more: 916-784-1120.
It’s not uncommon for people to think that eating disorders are conditions that are almost exclusively limited to women. However, there is evidence that approximately 25 percent of people diagnosed with disorders like anorexia and bulimia are men. At our eating disorder treatment center in California, we encourage men to seek help for their condition, and families, friends, and the community in general to be understanding about the fact that both women and men suffer from eating disorders.
Cultural Pressure toward an Idealized Image
Both men and women are continually subjected to images — often altered — of models with the “perfect” physique. It’s no wonder that we are often left feeling sad and frustrated at our inability to attain an unreasonable (and often unhealthy) goal. For women, this image centers on being slender. For men, one version of the “ideal” body involves having large, well-defined muscles.
In trying to live up to this standard, some men develop what is called muscle dysmorphic disorder (MDD). They become obsessive about weight training and bodybuilding, and they make their physical appearance their top priority. When they “fail” in any way that impacts their physique, they feel intense anxiety. As with other eating disorders, there are other negative side effects to MDD as well, including excessive weight loss, stress fractures and other injuries, depression, and strained relationships with family and friends.
And MDD is just one of the conditions that affect men. They also develop anorexia, bulimia, and virtually every other eating disorder.
Saying Goodbye to the Strong, Silent Type
There was a time when women supposedly had a preference for the “strong, silent type.” Whether or not that was actually true (it may have just been a catch phrase made popular by Hollywood), it’s time for men and the people who support them to stop being silent about their eating disorders.
These conditions are mental illnesses that should not be dismissed or excused because, “Mike’s just really into working out.” Mike needs help. And while it may be uncomfortable for him to ask for it, it’s critical that he gets it. The caring friends and family of a man with an eating disorder owe it to him to open a dialogue with him and encourage him to take action to address the illness.
If you or someone you love is struggling with an eating disorder, we have programs that can help at our eating disorder treatment center in California. Call 916-784-1120 to learn more.