Archives for Interviews

Body Image

What to Do When Your Family Comments on Your Weight

Recently, a reader, Jen, left an excellent question on my post about what to do when you gain weight. She wrote:

"Also, I was wondering if you could write on the topic of family members commenting on weight gain. I grew up in a family that focuses a lot on weight and appearance, and doesn’t care to discuss emotional health. I’m visiting family over Thanksgiving this year, and have been ruminating and ruminating and ruminating about what my family will think of me. Some of them I haven’t seen for 3 years, so they’ll certainly notice if I’ve changed; and they’ll comment on it, too. That’s what I’m most afraid of, and why I keep thinking about Thanksgiving, and dreading it very much in the process.

Currently, I don’t have tools that I can use to deal with the emotional pain of them commenting on my appearance, if they do. I’ve learned to handle my own mean comments, but comments from family members just seem too difficult to manage."

Of course, she's not alone. This is a common, very common, issue that we face, whether we're recovering from an eating disorder, working on embracing our bodies or trying not to focus on weight at all. Our families might comment on how much weight we've gained or lost. They might comment on how much we're eating or not eating. They might make other comments about our appearance, which hurt us.

And they might make these comments at any time, at any gathering. Which is why I wanted to explore this topic right away. (Plus, the holidays are right around the corner.)

I've asked a few different experts to chime in. Today, I'm sharing an excellent response from Amy Pershing, LMSW, ACSW, the founding director of Bodywise BED Recovery Program in Ann Arbor, Mich. She's also the clinical director of the The Center for Eating Disorders in Ann Arbor, and a past Chair of The Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA).
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Body Image

A Powerful Body Image Book for Kids

Today, I’m excited and honored to share my interview with Judith Matz and Elizabeth Patch, creators of the powerful kids book Amanda's Big Dream. It tells the story of a girl who dreams of a solo in the Spring Ice Skating Show. But her confidence plummets when her skating coach makes a comment about her weight.

I’ve known Judith and Elizabeth for several years now, and have featured their important work here on Weightless. Elizabeth is a high school art teacher and illustrator who creates beautiful images that reflect a diversity of body types. As she says on her website: "Happy art for every body!"

Judith is a licensed clinical social worker who's been helping people overcome overeating and build a healthy relationship with food and themselves for over 25 years. She's also the author of The Diet Survivor's Handbook: 60 Lessons in Eating, Acceptance and Self-Care and Beyond a Shadow of a Diet: The Comprehensive Guide to Treating Binge Eating Disorder, Compulsive Eating, and Emotional Overeating.

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Disordered Eating

World Mental Health Day: Eating Disorders In Older Adults

Today I'm blogging for World Mental Health Day. This year's theme is mental health and older adults, so I'm focusing on eating disorders in this population.
One of the biggest myths about eating disorders is that they only affect adolescent girls, that somehow older adults are immune to them.

However, eating disorders affect people of all ages, young and old. (They also affect all races, religions and both men and women.)

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Body Image

What Does Your Inner Critic Look Like?

Everyone has an inner critic. And this inner critic can do some serious damage. It might stop you from pursuing an important passion, lead you to start yet another diet or trigger an all-around unease and unhappiness about yourself.

But your inner critic can become a genuine supporter. (In fact, inner critics are just trying to protect us, anyway. This was a big revelation to me, and has helped me learn how to deal with my own inner critic.)

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Body Image

Celebrating Your Life Every Day & A Giveaway: Q&A With Mara Glatzel

Today, I'm super excited to share my interview with coach and writer Mara Glatzel about a beautiful way to cultivate self-acceptance and self-love: celebration.

Mara has created a new project called "Born to Celebrate," a 4-week course, from July 15th to August 15th, all about celebrating who you are. Right now. Right this second. In this skin. In this body. In this weight. With this job. With this income. In this house.

And that's exactly why I love Mara's idea of celebration: It's a path to accepting, appreciating and loving ourselves, without any conditions. Come as you are, and celebrate precisely that.

Below, in our interview, Mara reveals what celebration means to her and why daily celebrations are so important. She also shares how we can cultivate our own everyday celebrations -- and much more.

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Body Image

Self-Love Series: Michelle Marie McGrath

Last month, in this must-listen podcast, Mara Glatzel, a brilliant life coach and writer, chatted with the amazing Vivienne McMaster, a photographer who helps women use self-portraiture to build a deeper and more loving relationship with ourselves.

If you remember, Mara and I started our monthly interview series to demystify self-love and show readers what self-love really looks like on a day-to-day basis. We hope these interviews inspire you to create your own practice and treat yourself with more kindness and compassion.

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Binge Eating

Binge Eating Disorder Week: Q&A With Sunny Sea Gold, Part 2

In honor of Binge Eating Disorder Week, I’m republishing posts that focus on dispelling pervasive myths about binge eating disorder (BED) and tools for overcoming this common disorder.

Remember that BED is a real disorder, and it's highly treatable.

Learn more about the online campaign here. Also, check out these valuable posts from eating disorder experts, including Amy Pershing and Cynthia Bulik.
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