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Best Practices for Eating Disorder Recovery During the Holidays

Meggan Desmond discusses Do’s and Don’ts for the Holiday Season. "For many people the holidays are “the most wonderful time of the year” as families gather to share in food and festivities of the season. For people recovering from and eating disorder such as anorexia, bulimia or binge eating disorder, the holidays present numerous obstacles and challenges.

With proper preparation, a strong support team and a high level of motivation, the holidays can become a successful triumph in the journey through recovery."

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Are we putting too much blame on ‘emotional eating’?

Carrie Dennett shares her thoughts on emotional eating. "It’s a truth universally acknowledged that emotional eating contributes to weight gain — but is this a false truth? Many patients come to my office with the “emotional eater” label firmly affixed, convinced that if they could solve that problem, all their food and weight woes would evaporate. That’s rarely the case because emotional eating isn’t about food.

The concept was born in the 1960s, the idea being that emotional eaters couldn’t tell the difference between hunger and the physical sensations that accompany unpleasant emotions. Today, we often think of emotional eating as “feeding our feelings.” But even though we think emotions drive us to overeat, research suggests that may be more perception than reality.
Believe it, then become it?

There are a number of emotional eating self-assessment scales that quiz you about how often you feel the urge to eat in response to emotions. The problem with self-assessment is that it’s hard to accurately recall past emotions, past eating behavior, and whether there was a connection between the two. Your score may reveal more about how you think your eating is tied to your emotions than your eating behavior.

Calling yourself an emotional eater could reflect conflicted feelings about your food choices — whether the amount or the perceived healthfulness — even if your eating habits are not all that different from someone who doesn’t identify as an emotional eater. Research suggests that people who are concerned about their eating behavior may retrospectively attribute overeating to emotions or stress, because emotional eating has become a commonly accepted explanation for food choices we judge as less-than-desirable."

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Eating Disorder Recovery: Tips for Perfectionists

Ellie Herman Pike shares her tips for perfectionists. "Many people with eating disorders have an inborn temperament that tends to be on the more perfectionistic and rigid side.

Black and white thinking (the opposite of flexible thinking) is common in perfectionists and is addressed in many treatment modalities as rigid thinking and cognitive inflexibility.

As a clinician, one of my main goals has always been to help my clients move towards a more balanced, flexible way of thinking. Here’s how that might work:

We might talk about changing rigid and inflexible statements like, “I have to…” to more flexible statements that start with “I may or I may not…”

In doing this, one can increase their cognitive flexibility.

But, lo and behold, my friends in eating disorder recovery often surprise me!

Recently, one of our ERC Alums, Savannah Kerr, told me that her rigid way of thinking was actually helping her with some parts of the eating disorder recovery process!"

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The Power of Circle

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Hello Beautiful Souls!

I am just returning home from an inspirational weekend retreat spending time with twelve other soulful female entrepreneurs. My heart is overflowing after sharing and witnessing our visions and dreams. I loved the shift from the awkward coming together at the beginning of the weekend to the deep connection that occurred after we experienced one another’s soulful inner beauty.

Through this experience, I am reminded of the power of a circle of women to share and witness our journey to Reclaiming Beauty. I am so thrilled to be offering the first in person Reclaiming Beauty Circle here in Asheville this month. It is my desire that we will circle together and feel seen, appreciated and valued for our inner gifts, and supported as we shed the inner obstacles to experiencing ourselves as beautiful.

Together during this 8 week group, we will playfully and tenderly:

+ Develop an intuitive, personal relationship with the Reclaiming Beauty Wisdom deck as a guide for your Reclaiming Beauty journey
+ Learn mindfulness tools to heal body image
+ Explore our Original Beauty and the stories of what led us to become disconnected from our unique beauty
+ Shift our relationship to our Body and Soul from self-critical to self-compassionate
+ Explore Pleasurable Embodiment and develop our bodies as a resource
+ Practice Authentic Mirroring as a tool to heal our self-image

What: Reclaiming Beauty 8 Week Journey to Body Love and Self-Love
When: 8 weeks, Tuesday, October 17th - Tuesday December 5th from 6:45pm – 8pm
Where: Nutritious Thoughts, 31 College Place, Bldg B #200, Asheville, NC 28801

There will be only 8 spots in this circle, and 2 are already claimed!

I so look forward to you joining us and stepping into community on your Reclaiming Beauty journey.

For more information feel free to contact Heidi at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Walk in Beauty,

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An Alternative to a Proposed Guideline Suggesting Weight Loss for Kids

Rebecca Scritchfield shares her thoughts on how "instead of dieting, families should focus on an overall healthy lifestyle. Two experts say the American Psychological Association's proposed guideline isn't supported by research."

"As parents, we pretty much focus every single day on helping our kids get what they need. When it comes to their health and well-being, we know that supporting consistent and restful sleep, regular meals and giving kids chances to play are all part of the deal.

Unfortunately, our diet culture sends negative messages when it comes to kids' body sizes. Instead of respecting that some kids are going to be born and grow into larger bodies, we get told that there could be something wrong with our kids who weigh "too much" – and by implication, there could be something wrong with our parenting.

In my counseling practice, I've heard heartbreaking stories, like about a doctor who body-shamed a growing kid, poking his belly and handing out warnings about deteriorating health; weight-based bullying at schools; and even teasing from family members. Far too often, this weight stigma is not only unhelpful to families, but it may be cause lifelong harm. A 2015 study published in the journal Psychological Sciences concluded that weight discrimination is linked to poor physical and mental health and may shorten life expectancy."

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