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As a writer who is a grandmother, a mother and a psychotherapist who specializes in the treatment of Eating Disorders, I have noticed a trend in the past 30 years that disturbs me. It is the death of the “family dinner”.   More often than not, as I interview prospective patients for higher level of care programs at EDTC, I hear there are few to no meals that families eat together in a week. I can’t help but believe this is part of the socio-cultural climate that breeds eating disorders.

We’ve become so busy with work and planned events that what used to be sacred now seems impractical and worthless. Yet, research has been telling us that children who sit down to dinner with family at least four times a week have fewer eating disorders, fewer drug or alcohol addictions and an increased chance of graduating high school.

There are more benefits too!

  • Family dinner teaches valuable interpersonal skills. It is a chance to connect with each other.
  • Family dinner expands children’s vocabulary and reading abilities and their socialization skills.
  • The more time children spend with family, the more likely they are to comply with parental expectations and share family values (aka: less “acting out” behaviors).
  • Regular family dinners help protect the mental and social health of children.
  • Family dinners often encourage more healthful, adventurous food choices.

So, why not give it a try? Put the cellphones away, turn off the screens and meet at the table for some healthful nourishment of the mind, body and spirit.

The post Family Dinners—A thing of the past?? appeared first on Eating Disorders Treatment Center.

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This time of year, we are surrounded by society’s “New Year’s Resolutions.” We see them on TV, we hear about them on the radio, they are plastered on the billboards we pass driving to work, and we hear them from our coworkers in the break room. We are surrounded by them. As we all know, our society has created a world where our New Year Resolutions are encompassed by the goal of changing the way we look. But, did you know, according to U.S. News, almost 80% of resolutions fail by the second week of February? Having a New Year’s Resolution of “becoming healthy,” can lead many people down the dark, spiraling path of using eating disorder behaviors. When that goal changes from “becoming healthy,” to restricting caloric intake and going to the gym for countless hours, we are no longer focusing on our actual health. Instead, we are creating the perfect environment for the eating disorder.

Instead of falling into old habits and resolutions that keep us far from the recovery path, let us focus on REAL health. Let us make goals that benefit our minds and goals that build us up instead of tear us down!

Make it a point this year to acknowledge your accomplishments. The big ones are great, but sometimes it’s the little ones that got you there.

Focus on your life! Not your weight. Make it a point to learn new things. Make it a point to step out of comfort zones.

Let’s be the 20% that are starting a journey and lastly remember, “Recovery is not one and done. It is a lifelong journey that takes place one day and one step at a time.”

The post “Recovering is more than surviving. ITS THRIVING.” appeared first on Eating Disorders Treatment Center.

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When eating is a problem for you, or when binging , purging or starving are daily struggles. Know that you are not alone. The Eating Disorders Treatment Center (EDTC) at 5203 Juan Tabo BLVD. NE in Albuquerque can help.

What you weigh is not more important then who you are. Living your life free of destructive behaviors is a worthwhile goal to have. To get there, you’ll need recovery skills that will help you make behavior changes that feel right for you. When you  or someone you love struggles with an eating disorder, get the facts. Focus on thriving, not just surviving, by visiting us at EDTC.

Eating disorders have serious consequences. For example, it has been estimated that five to ten percent of people with untreated anorexia will die within ten years and Binge eaters and Bulimics can have a variety of medical complications.  Early action improves the chances of recovery and our warm, safe and friendly atmosphere is a special place to heal.

The clinical directors here at EDTC, Holly Finlay, Ann Flosdorf and Kimberly Payne, have a combined fifty-seven years of experience in the treatment of eating disorders. They treat the person, not just the problem. Since 2011, more then 1000 people have come to EDTC for help. Our dedicated staff of almost twenty counselors and dietitians have the experience and the training to give you the help you need and deserve.

We support you on your individual path, and we understand that controlling your eating is often a way to feel in control when other parts of your life feel chaotic. It is estimated that many of Americans have an eating disorder and body hatred is all too common. But there are ways to feel better.

We know that people with eating disorders often have other challenges, we identify and treat depression, anxiety and trauma too. Here at EDTC, we take the time to get to know you. Our goal is to help you find the strength within to live a happier life.

The post What those experiencing eating disorders should know about The Eating Disorders Treatment Center! appeared first on Eating Disorders Treatment Center.

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Recovery is like life…. It’s Bumpy
Don’t we all love the quick fix? The solution that you try once and everything goes as planned! Well we
know in life that doesn’t really happen… Things that we want so badly take work, dedication and some
stumbles along the road. Well, eating disorder treatment (and mental health treatment in general)
mimics life in that way. So many patients and families come in wanting professionals to tell them what
to do and how to make everything better as fast as possible. And then when things don’t go as planned,
you have a slip, or maybe a relapse, you feel as though it’s a failure! Well guess what – it’s not a failure
and I hate to break it to you but it’s part of the process. Recovery, like life, is full of ups and downs,
waves of success, and struggles and that’s okay. Instead of seeing a slip, a lapse, or relapse as failure,
see it as part of the journey and see it as a way to gain more information. With every bump you get
more information on where you need to strengthen your recovery and what else you may need to help
you along the way. Plus, you are never back where you started! No matter how big or small the bump
is you still have everything you have learned and gained along the road, the insights, the support, the
skills! These things will help you bounce back up and keep going, even stronger then you were before.
So don’t get down on yourself and challenge that idea that recovery should be perfect! Give yourself
permission to be human and grow as you walk through your journey, no matter how bumpy the road!

This blog was contributed to EDTC by Kayla Rogers, Clinical Therapist LPCC

The post Recovery is like life……It’s bumpy! appeared first on Eating Disorders Treatment Center.

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Fall has officially begun! The start of the month of October, comes with the start of everything pumpkin! Is there more to pumpkin then just the wonderful taste? The answer is YES! Canned/pureed pumpkin is a great source of potassium and beta carotene, a powerful antioxidant. Did you know that canned pumpkin (or puree) can be used as a replacement for butter or oil in baking recipes? Give it a try! Pumpkin seeds are jam packed with many important nutrients like fiber, protein, Vitamin K, phosphorus, and magnesium. They may even help with lowering your blood sugar and blood pressure! So, make sure to keep those seeds when you are carving pumpkins this Halloween. Here are five easy ways to add pumpkin to your meals/snacks this month:

  1. Overnight Oats: Add 1/2 cup canned/puree pumpkin to your overnight oats recipe. In the morning, stir and enjoy!
  2. Roasted pumpkin seeds: Toss the seeds from your pumpkin with a little butter or oil, and salt and roast in the oven at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes. Enjoy alone, or add to another dish, like salads, sweet potatoes, or even for desserts!
  3. Spice up your coffee: Use 3/4 cup canned pumpkin, milk, plain Greek yogurt, bananas, and raisins. Add a sprinkle of cinnamon/nutmeg!
  4. Chili- Add a spoonful or two of pumpkin puree to you cooked chili for a great boost!

The post Pumpkin Benefits! appeared first on Eating Disorders Treatment Center.

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Eating disorders are a very complex and dynamic mental illness and there are some common myths around them. There is no quick fix, and in fact many people with eating disorders will spend much of their lives recovering. Because of this, it is important to have an understanding of some of the signs and symptoms of eating disorders, as well as to provide a continuous support network.

And just like with everything else in the world of nutrition, there is overwhelming amounts of misinformation on the internet about eating disorders. Check out these 4 common myths below:

MYTH 1: Based on appearance, you can tell if a person has an eating disorder.
TRUTH – Eating disorders come in all shapes and sizes and do not discriminate. Making an eating disorder only about the weight can perpetuate the eating disorder behavior itself.

MYTH 2: Eating disorders are a choice.
TRUTH – Eating disorders are a diagnosable mental illness, and while they are many precipitating and perpetuating factors that trigger eating disorders, they are not a choice! Acknowledgement, empathy, and open communication are all key in providing a positive supporting role for a loved one with an eating disorder.

MYTH 3: Eating disorders are in females only.
TRUTH – While the incidence of eating disorders is significantly higher in females, eating disorders will affect about 10 million males in the United States at some point in their lives… and that is only capturing reported eating disorders! As the gap between “socially acceptable standards” for body image and actual body shape/size grows, the rate of disordered eating and eating disorders in both males and females will continue to grow as well.

MYTH 4: Disordered eating and eating disorder can be used interchangeably.
TRUTH – An eating disorder is a clinically diagnosable condition, whereas disordered eating is defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) as a “wide range of irregular eating behaviors that do not warrant a diagnosis of a specific eating disorder.” However, disordered eating should be addressed and treated as early on as possible.

By Liz Fox, LD, RD, CSSD

The post Common Myths Surrounding Eating Disorders! appeared first on Eating Disorders Treatment Center.

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Okay, here’s my vent/soapbox speech.

We had a good friend pass away. From her eating disorder. I log into Facebook, and all my newsfeed is about this. Yes, it is sad. Yes, it is heartbreaking. Yes, it is unfair. Yes, it is disturbing.

But… and, here it is…

39 years, basically, I have been dealing with some kind of eating disorder. Or, disordered eating. Doesn’t really matter how I, nor anyone else refers to it. It is painful. It is agonizing. It takes away from you, and your life. It strips away the very existence you were supposed to be having. It rips away careers, families, friendships, relationships, and financial stability.
Every. Single. Day…

It destroys you, and those you love, and who love you. It is not a choice. It is not a statement. It is not who we are. It is not who we become. It is especially important that we find some sort of recovery.

Recovery can mean anything. It is different for everyone. It is essential to life. It keeps us from becoming so entwined within our flaws, and imperfections, that it can save us from ourselves.

Now, I have a friend, who is more than just a friend. A human that I call family. She pointed something out to me the other evening…

Who gives a flying F if you gain weight? Who cares if other humans make comments about your body?

And, that has been spinning in my brain ever since. And, you know what? She is right! My whole life has been dedicated to restricting, losing weight, disappearing, losing myself, exercising, trying so damn hard to live up to society’s nastiness. Trying so desperately to be something and someone I’m not. Trying to please everyone else. Trying to destroy myself. And, I’ve almost lost myself… sooo many times.

I took myself, my life, my family, my friends, my stability, my everything for granted, never opening my eyes to see myself the way others see me.

I’m not in full recovery; it will be a very long time before I am. However, I am more than just “trying”. I find myself doing. I am doing recovery. I am not perfect, I have my flaws, I have my bad days, bad body images, (we ALL do!!!), my moments of hesitation, my fears, my thoughts, my imperfect life… some days I have to rest all day, other days I’m full of vim and vinegar…

You know what else I have thought???

My friends, my children, my sanity (although questionable at certain times),

I have hope,

a genuine smile and laugh;

I can enjoy the sun,

the wind, the breeze across my skin.

I can enjoy children, and appreciate their mischief,

and my friend’s hearts of gold,

I can smell the flowers,

and dance in the rain.

I can catch lightning bugs, and pick up baby deer.

I can run, and jump, and dance, and swim, and ride a bike,

I can play, and act goofy, and make fried Oreos and eat them,

I can enjoy a burger, and fried chicken,

I know when to stop, and let my body heal and rest…

But, most importantly, I’m no longer dying…

I’m far from full recovery, I’m far from being perfect, and, I’m far from where I want to be… but, I am also far from where I once was.

Point blank my humans… we lose a lot in our eating disorders. And, it is okay to morn those we lose. It is okay to be upset, and hurt, and scared, and sad, and angry…

I however, I am no longer a statistic… my question to you is this…

Will you become one???

Use this time to set yourself free.

To become.

To live.

To love.

To hope.

You are worth it. Aren’t we all?

– Irene April, Survivor

The post My vent/soapbox speech on Eating Disorders appeared first on Eating Disorders Treatment Center.

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I love who I am becoming…

Over this weekend with all my crazy… I realized who cares if I’m an attention seeker, who cares if it’s all about me, who cares if I’m a know it all, or whatever else anyone says about me.

I am strong, I am recovering, and I am here, and I’m doing the work, and if that means it seems like I wanna be center of attention and only care about myself and it’s Katie’s world then cool, because that’s a far cry from who I was 8 months ago when I didn’t think I deserved anything, when I didn’t think I was worth anything.

My kids love me as I am, my husband loves me as I am, my family (even though they don’t always agree) loves me as I am, and the friends that know me love me as I am. So why am I worrying. If I’ve been this way my whole life, why am I trying to change to make others happy. If they don’t like me for who I am and can’t overlook flaws that mean nothing to who I am as a person. Then that’s on them.

I love who I’m becoming and if some of the rest of the world can’t see that then that’s theirs to deal with. I don’t need them in my life if they can’t support me regardless of my issues.

Hope that made sense.

Katie is sharing her insights with us via her Facebook page ‘Recovering Katie’

The post I love who I am becoming… appeared first on Eating Disorders Treatment Center.

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