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Dealing with Bad Body Days

What do you do when you have a day where you’re not feeling good about your body?

Most people can relate to these kinds of days. Sometimes feeling bad about your body can seem like it comes out of nowhere, and that can be frustrating. One of the Foundation’s amazing guest-bloggers Ragen Chastain, posted in her own blog strategies to deal with your bad body image days. She provides 4 steps:

  1. Find the Source
  2. Acceptance/Gratitude
  3. Over, Around, or Through
  4. See the Light at the End of the Tunnel

Read more about Ragen’s “Dealing with Bad Body Image Days” post.

Ragen Chastain

 

 

Ragen Chastain, creator of the blog “Dances with Fat,” has acquired some beautiful insight when it comes to body acceptance. She helps inspire and motivate people from all walks of life to love their bodies and be grateful for what they can do.

Anna Westin Act Virtual Lobby Day Delayed until Thursday, January 28

Delayed Anna Westin Virtual Action Day

5 Ways to Shut Down Body Bashing This Holiday Season

Posted by: Pooja Patel, Proud2Bme Contributor, at Proud2Bme

The holidays can be tough! Attempting to juggle the stresses of constantly being surrounded by food and people is A LOT, especially if you struggle with an eating disorder or weight-related issues.

Everything from your mom slyly (in her opinion!) eyeing you from the corner in hopes of seeing your food intake to your grandparents asking why you’re not eating can create an uncomfortable environment. Here at Proud2Bme, we know that the holidays and their subsequent interactions can be stressful! So to help you out, here are some uncomfortable questions and statements you might hear and responses to help you combat them!

All responses are broken up into two parts: a scenario in which the people around you already know about your ED struggle and you don’t mind divulging (Do Divulge), and a scenario in which many people around you may not know your struggle and you don’t necessarily feel comfortable sharing (Don’t Divulge).

1. Is that all you are going to eat?
Do Divulge: Person X, I know that you may be trying to encourage me to eat more and challenge myself to make progress in my recovery, but when you ask a question like that I cannot help but feel targeted and self-conscious about my food intake. Thank you so much for your support and concern, but let’s try to use better, more encouraging lingo!
Don’t Divulge: Person X, thanks for your concern! Yet, this is what I feel comfortable eating right now. Let’s focus on the holiday cheer instead. What’s your favorite holiday movie?

2. Goodness—you have so much self-control, don’t you? I wish I had that!
Do Divulge: Unfortunately, it is not really self-control, but actually a disorder. I know that media is often centered around dieting so my struggle may just seem like a part of that; however, it is important to understand that it is not something to be praised, but something to be worked on.
Don’t Divulge: I don’t think it’s necessarily an issue of self-control. Let’s just enjoy the company, and enjoy being with each other! How is work going?

3. Are you eating more?
Do Divulge: Person X, I know that you may be trying to make a joke or keep an eye on my recovery, but when you ask a question like that I cannot help but feel targeted and self-conscious about my food intake. Thank you so much for your support and concern, but let’s try to use better, more encouraging lingo! [Yes, this is the same as the response to question one—when someone uses negative language to question you about eating too much or too little, you don’t need to engage with their judgments; let them know you’ll only respond to responsible, empathetic language.]
Don’t Divulge: The more the merrier is what I always say! I hear you got into graduate school. How is that going?

4. Make sure to watch the holiday weight gain!
Do Divulge: I actually try to avoid talking about triggering things like weight gain in order to focus on my overall health and happiness! I find those things in reading and listening to holiday music. What about you?
Don’t Divulge: Oh, perhaps we shouldn’t worry about that, but rather enjoy the company and focus on our health and happiness!

5. Why don’t you just eat?
Do Divulge: Actually, my struggle with ED doesn’t just revolve around food. It also revolves around control, body image, habit and compulsions, among other things. So just eating doesn’t really solve the problem. I understand it can be hard to understand for those not experiencing it, but it’s important to realize that eating disorders aren’t just about food, much like gambling addiction isn’t just about money, or alcoholism isn’t just about being drunk.
Don’t Divulge: Person X, I realize that you are simply trying to fix a problem that you see, but it is not as easy as that. Thank you for your concern though! I was meaning to ask Person Y about something so I’m going to go and try and find them. See you later!

– See more at: http://proud2bme.org/

Mental Health Insurance Survey

Do you or a loved one struggle to get the eating disorder treatment or mental health care you need? Do you have insurance that covers the costs of your care?  Our friends at NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) are fighting to make mental health coverage stronger.

 
Take the Coverage4Care survey and tell NAMI about your experiences.

 
The survey takes about 20 minutes. Your answers will help us advocate for better coverage for yourself and your loved ones. It doesn’t matter what type insurance you have, or whether you have insurance at all. We want to hear from you.

With your input, we can learn how the mental health parity law affects access to care for eating disorder treatment and other mental health needs. Together, we can make sure that you or your loved one is getting the treatment and support you are entitled to under the law.

Spread the word. Share this survey with your family and friends. Post links to your Facebook and Twitter.

The survey closes on Monday, December 14th, 2015 at Midnight EST.

Thank you for your help.

Therapy Dogs Helping Heal from an Eating Disorder

-Created by an anonymous volunteer from The Emily Program Foundation

 
goldenI have always had a love for animals! When I was battling the worst of my eating disorder, my parents decided that I could buy a cat (which is one of my favorite animals). My sister and I went to the Humane Society. I fell in love with a scrawny female grey cat that was around 9 months old. After visiting with her and having a discussion with my parents they decided to let me adopt her. I named her Shirley. I came to learn that Shirley would be my best friend during my lonely times when my parents would go out and I was left home alone. She would sit with me and watch tv. I learned the importance of taking care of myself so that I could take care of Shirley.

Animals are very important to me because of the support and loving that they provide. I have always loved cats and had many when I was younger. Shirley was special because she helped me through a difficult time in which I was struggling with food and body image problems. I was restricting a lot. Having Shirley gave me something to focus on other than my eating habits.

I have done some research on animals that can help with healing from an eating disorder. There are service dogs that have been used for people with eating disorders. I think this would be a great benefit for the person as well as for the animal. Dogs can serve as Therapy Dogs or Emotional Support Dogs:

“Two factors must be simultaneously present for a dog to be considered a service dog: A person with a life-limiting disability and a dog who has been individually trained to mitigate the manifestation of that person’s disability.”

Emotional Support Dogs do not need extra training but Therapy Dogs do. Emotional Support Dogs provide companionship. This is what Shirley was to me, despite being a cat! Emotional support dogs are allowed in places that otherwise would prohibit an animal. They can also travel in the same area as the person on the plane. Each eating disorder presents itself in a different
way. Contacting support in finding a animal that helps with this disability may be very beneficial. Here is a link to a site that provides further information:

https://guidinggolden.wordpress.com/2013/02/26/assistance-from-service-dogs-for-people-witheating-
disorders/