Archives for June, 2011

Binge Eating

An Expert’s Struggle With Binge Eating & Her Successful Recovery

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As I said yesterday, sadly, people with binge eating disorder (BED) can feel a lot of shame and embarrassment about having the disorder. They feel totally out of control and blame themselves for their wilting willpower. They beat themselves up because they think they should be able to stop bingeing on their own or that binge eating somehow makes them a bad person.

But please know a few things: that the above are myths, that you're not alone in struggling with BED and that, with treatment, recovery is absolutely possible.

I'm grateful to Amy Pershing, who in part two of our interview, shares her own struggles with BED and how she recovered. She also offers several tips to help readers.

If you haven't yet, be sure to check out yesterday's first part.

Again, Amy is the executive director at PershingTurner Centers and clinical director for The Center for Eating Disorders in Ann Arbor, MI. Amy specializes in treating binge eating disorder (BED) and is an advocate of Health At Every Size and intuitive eating. (I've included her bio below.)
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Binge Eating

Myths About Binge Eating & The Challenges Of Recovery

Today, I'm thrilled to present my interview with Amy Pershing, the executive director at PershingTurner Centers and clinical director for The Center for Eating Disorders in Ann Arbor, MI. Amy isn't only an expert in treating binge eating disorder (BED) but she's also an advocate for Health At Every Size and intuitive eating. (Read more about Amy below.)

Binge eating is a topic I keep returning to because like other eating disorders, it's terribly misunderstood, and myths run rampant in the media and public overall. Misinformation not only creates stigma but it means that individuals struggling with binge eating are left confused and ashamed - and may not seek treatment.

Remember that BED is a real disorder that is highly treatable!

Here, Amy talks about the biggest myths about BED from several standpoints along with the common challenges that impede recovery and how to navigate those obstacles.

Her words aren't just thoughtful and accurate but they're also inspiring and eye-opening. I think you'll find the same.
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Body Image Booster: Dance

Every Monday features a tip, activity, inspiring quote or some other tidbit to help boost your body image — and kick-start the week on a positive note!

Got a tip for improving body image? Email me at mtartakovsky at gmail dot com, and I’ll be happy to feature it. I’d love to hear from you!

One of the best ways to boost your body image is to appreciate all the amazing things that our bodies help us do - everything from walking to hugging to engaging in activities we're passionate about.

But there's another kind of movement that can help, too: Dance.

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Body Image

What Is Your Passion?

When I was deep in the body image black hole, I could barely see past my stuffed stomach, hefty hips and thunder thighs.

I could barely see past calories counts, low-fat, no-fat, weigh-ins, women's magazines, guilt and shame.

It's not surprising. When our minds are focused on our physicality, when we develop this tunnel vision for thinness, we have difficulty focusing on anything else.

When I was in the midst of thinking thinness was my answer, I genuinely forgot, regularly, that there's more to life! I was so fixated on my "flaws," that I forgot about having fun.

I forgot about cultivating my other qualities, about growing as a person and thriving.

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Eating Disorder

Eating Disorder Recovery: Courage In The Everyday

A few days ago, Therese published a beautiful post on courage on her blog Beyond Blue. In it, she recounts the stories of two very brave people from The King's Speech and a 1978 film called "Ice Castles."

She writes why both films resonated so much with her:
I laughed and cried through the entire film because I felt so many of the same emotions as “Bertie,” second son of King George V, while preparing to give the commencement address this last pay May to Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana. I have never been so nervous about anything in my entire life.

I don’t stammer, thank God. But I am on Lithium, which causes me to tremor and feels much like a stammer. When I’m nervous, the Lithium makes me shake even more. In fact, on my first day at the consulting job – where I was somewhat concerned about someone finding out that I was a religion major and didn’t know what change-management was — I was shaking so much that the guy in back of me asked if I was a diabetic in need of insulin and handed me a cup of orange juice. I chugged it and told him I felt much better, thanks so much.

Like many things, public speaking and media appearances never bothered me before my colossal breakdown of 2005 and 2006. Even duking it out with Bill Maher on the ABC show “Politically Incorrect” didn’t interrupt my sleep or appetite. However, my self-confidence—both publically and privately–crumbled to microscopic pieces the months before my hospitalizations. When I emerged, I was a mere shell of my former self.

I had to learn how to do everything all over.

Somewhat like the ice-skater Alexis (Lynn-Holly Johnson) in the 1978 American romantic drama, “Ice Castles.” Because of her extraordinary skill and aptitude (so that part’s different), the young talent becomes a star practically overnight. One night she escapes from a party and skates in her dress clothes. Coming down from a dangerous jump combination, she trips on a set of tables and chairs, hits her head, and is blinded.
These two stories, Therese writes, also tell the stories of people with depression and anxiety, of battling the inner critics that bash you regularly and keep saying you're unworthy.

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Disordered Eating

How To Build Healthy Relationships Despite A Harsh Inner Critic

Yesterday, Katie wrote a fantastic post (as always!) about being yourself. Basically, she blurted out a curse word in front of strangers at a networking event. The big deal? Well, Katie never curses. She did so in this case to be cool, to be liked.


Wow because I have been there. So. Many. Times.

So many times I've blurted out things I didn't really mean to fit in, or tried to make myself like something because others did (whether it was music or certain hobbies). So many times I thought I wasn't cool enough, which translated to I wasn't good enough.

Building relationships is hard. They're especially hard if your inner critic, well, keeps criticizing you. Keeps telling you that you aren't worthy as you are. That you must change in order to be liked, because why would anyone like the real you in the first place, right?

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Body Image

Your Positive Body Image Starter Kit

Every Monday features a tip, activity, inspiring quote or some other tidbit to help boost your body image -- and kick-start the week on a positive note!

Got a tip for improving body image? Email me at mtartakovsky at gmail dot com, and I’ll be happy to feature it. I’d love to hear from you!
Today, let's chat about the simple ways you can start building a better body image.

While your body image is like an onion -- with many layers to peel back to get to the core of the negativity, shame or dissatisfaction - you can still take small steps and get very far in how you feel about your body.

Here are some posts from the past to get you started -- or continuing -- on boosting your body image.

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Body Image

Bravery In Unexpected Places

This post was written as part of the Self-Discovery, Word by Word series. This month's word is "brave," hosted by Dana at Body and the Brood. Here's how to participate. And be sure to check out her eloquent post on the small "b" bravery.
It's been so hard for me to see some of my actions as being brave, because I thought that I was weak for so many years. And I rarely praised myself for anything.

But I am getting there.

In 2006, I am leaving a doctorate program after receiving my M.S., because I don't love what I'm doing. I want to write.

Days ago, I am writing a post about being fatherless on Father's Day.

I am trying to feel my feelings and letting the tears flow without telling myself to stop.

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Body Image

Fat Stigma & Dieting Run Deep: 5 Surprising Facts From History

I used to think that fat hate was a product of the 20th century - starting with the Roaring 1920s, peaking in the 60s with the popularity of Twiggy and perpetuated by the diet and weight-loss industries of today.

Unfortunately, I was wrong. (Well, about fat hate being a fresh 2oth-century invention; definitely not the part about the diet industry.)

I'm currently reading Fat Shame: Stigma and the Fat Body in American Culture by Dickinson College professor Amy Farrel. And I wanted to share some facts with you on fat shame and stigma.

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