Pathways to Peace, Inc.
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Binge Eating Disorder
|Posted on March 28, 2018 at 8:10 PM||comments ()|
Binge Eating Disorder is a real disorder. It is the most common eating disorder in the United States and can be severe or life threatening.. but it is also treatable.
Binge Eating Disorder is defined as repeated episodes of eating large amounts of food, usually in a short period of time, to the point of discomfort. There is a feeling of loss of control during the binge oftentimes resulting in feelings of shame, distress, and guilt afterwards. The binge episode occurs without the regular use of unhealthy measures such as purging or laxative use.
A binge episode is associated with eating more rapidly than normal, eating till uncomfortably full, eating large amounts of food when not hungry, eating alone due to embarrassment, disgust with self, and feeling depressed or guilty afterwards. The duration is at least once a week for 3 months. Clinical obesity, weight stigma, and weight cycling are often associated with binge eating disorder.
Binge eating disorder is a serious problem for a lot of people and should be taken seriously. These are the 10 most common signs and symptoms of binge eating disorder:
1.Lack of control over food consumption.
3.It is not bulimia - the self-induced purging part does not exist.
4.Overflow of emotions - such as guilt, sadness,disgust, similar to addiction, self-loathing, depression.
5.Binge-eating alone - alienation from loved ones, friends, and family due to the shame and embarrassment over their lack of control.
6.Normal eating to outsiders.
7.Hiding food - in order to keep the binging a secret.
8.No set meal time - binging in private may not coincide with set meal times.
9.Obesity - those who suffer from binge eating disorder never seem full and are not satisfied, despite the amounts of food they may binge on. This may cause obesity which can bring on a slew of health concerns such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and other medical problems.
10.Mental Health - Binge eating disorder has a strong mental health component linked to stress, anxiety, and depression. Sufferers may have issues with control, struggle with loneliness, poor self esteem, and body image issues. The deeper they fall into these problems, the more the binge eating progresses, turning into an unhealthy cycle that affects them both physically and mentally.
Eating is important to all of us. However, like anything there is a fine line of balance required to be beneficial. Anything in extreme, be it too little or too much, is walking into dangerous territory. When an eating disorder becomes the result, it is time to speak to a professional.
Pathways to Peace can help with the suffering related to binge eating disorder... For more information, contact Maria Nemec, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Eating Disorders Therapist, and Owner of Pathways to Peace, located in Lake Mary, Florida.
Eating Disorders Warning Signs
|Posted on January 16, 2018 at 9:20 PM||comments ()|
Eating Disorders have the highest mortality rate of all mental disorders which is why early detection and intervention is key to helping people recover and live normal lives. Here are a few warning signs that someone you care about may have an eating disorder:
1.) They tell you they're struggling with food. It is assumed that someone who has an eating disorder must be really thin and / or female. This couldn't be further from the truth. Eating disorders come in all shapes and sizes, gender, race, and ethnicities. If someone opens up with you that they are struggling with eating, take it seriously and encourage them to seek help.
2.) They seem to have a rigid eating or exercise program. Eating healthy is one thing, but a pattern of rigidity around only eating "safe" foods (i.e., low calorie or low fat) or meticuously monitoring their caloric intake could be a red flag. They may also deny being hungry in spite of food consumption or become emotionally distressed if forced to stray from their eating plan. Sometimes there are also abnormal rituals involving food which would also be a red flag.
3.) You've noticed they are socially isolating or avoiding social situations, especially ones that involve food. They may avoid people in order to work out or time their appearance at a social gathering to avoid food exposure. They may attempt to hide their eating by eating in secret. You may find food wrappers or notice them wearing extra layers of clothes to cover up any weight loss.
4.) You notice that someone appears to be "obsessed" with their weight and size. Conversations seem to center around dieting, losing X number of pounds, or how "bad" they were and now have to make up for it. Distress about body shape or size may also be an indication that someone could be suffering with an eating disorder.
5.) You notice that someone makes frequent trips to the bathroom after eating. This could be a sign that someone is struggling with an eating disorder, possibly bulimia. Bulimia is an eating disorder that typically involves eating an extremely large amount of food in a short period of time, followed by an atempt to get rid of the calories either by vomiting, exercsing, or laxative use. Some people will also eat what's considered a normal amount of food, but will attempt to get rid of it afterwards. Regardless of the amount of food consumed, a pattern of regular bathroom visits following eating could indicate that a person is suffering with an eating disorder.
Sometimes it takes a family member or close friend to recognize an eating disorder and put it into words that something is wrong for someone to acknowledge there's a problem. Support from family and friends is crucial throughout the reovery process. Show love and concern by demonstrating compassion and acceptance, while at the same time encouraging them to seek help from trained professionals. It often takes a team of specialists to work with these disorders successfully.
If somone you care about seems to be struggling with an eating disorder or body image issue, speak up! It could save the person from years of struggling. Early detection and intervention can greatly improve the chances of a full recovery.
Listed below are links to various organizations who support the education, prevention, and treatment of eating disorders. Pathways to Peace is also committed to helping individuals and families through this journey...
Sports and Weight Issues
|Posted on December 3, 2017 at 2:15 PM||comments ()|
My son recently ended his first season of football. I was attending the end of the season party when I overheard a parent speaking about how her son "fasted" each week in order to make weight. As an eating disorders therapist, the idea of weekly weigh-ins before games didn't sit well with me. However, I do understand the reasoning behind the weigh ins. Naturally, you would not want your 95 pound 12 year old getting hit by a 150 pound kid, even if he is the same age. It's about player safety and I get that.
With that being said, however, there is tendency for the kids to worry, or should I say, become concerned, about the weigh ins due to the fact that if a kid goes over the weight limit, he will be bumped up to the next weight class. What this actually means, though, is that the kid will have to leave the team he has gotten used to, his friends, his coaches, his position, and even his shirt number which has become a part of his identify. The kid now has to deal with loss... Loss of his buddies, lossof his coaches, loss of his position, and loss of a part of his identify. Thus, the weigh in can become a source of stress.
Football is not the only sport where weight can be an issue. Wrestling, dancing, gymnastics, just to name a few, are sports where there are either weigh-ins or some type of focus on one's weight. Unfortunately, the unspoken message that kids hear is "don't gain too much weight, or there will be consequences".
I have been thinking about the issue of sports and weight since my son's season began several months ago. I've wondered, and quite frankly, worried somewhat about the effects of this "weighing in" issue on not only my son's, but other kids' mental and emotional health. As an eating disorders therapist for over 20 years now, I have seen many adolescent girls who were once talented, healthy, athletes become entangled in the throws of anorexia, simply because someone gave them the message that they were not good enough at their natural body weight.
So how do we as parents help our kids who aspire to play these sports? Can we prevent them from developing eating disorders or some other body-related insecurity? I believe we can.
We can help our kids understand first of all the reaoning behind the weigh ins, for example, safety on the field. That of course is first and foremost. Secondly, we can help them not obsess about the weigh in by not making it a big issue ourselves. We can educate them about healthy eating as well as nutritional requirements for athletes. We can also educate them about the fact that everyone's body is diferent and that's ok. We can be good role models ourselves by eating healthy and not focusing on our own weight. And lastly, we teach them coping skills... coping skills to deal with loss and disappointment because life is full of them and somewhere along the way, our children will experience loss and disappointment. Sooner or later, they will be forced to deal with that very issue. As parents, we are capable of teaching our kids positive coping mechanisms and give them a level of confidence and understanding that will help them grow into healthy adults. That's what parenting is about and with that, perhaps we can avoid any unnecessary negative focus on weight.