Anorexia/Eating Disorders/Hate

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Question
Hey,
I literally hate my body and can't go a day without not obsessively trying to change it. I'm 19 female, 5'9", and 135 lbs. so if you saw me you could imagine I am certainly not near being a stick. Any ideas as to how I can accept myself the way I am? I used to be 120 and am aching to get back down there but I am having trouble.
Achieving that.  I'd do anything to be a stick but it's not working so do you have any way I can either accept myself the way I am or shred off those extra pounds? Thank you.

Answer
Hi Gabby,

I am so sorry you are going through this right now. You are actually at a healthy weight for your height, so I am more concerned about your negative body image. I do, however, want to make sure you are eating enough to fuel your body. So, I'd like you to go to this website and create a profile: https://www.supertracker.usda.gov/CreateProfile.aspx. Once you've done that, it will tell you how much you should be eating of each food group each day. If you click around, you'll even find sample meal plans.

2) I'd love for you to seek professional help for your body image issues, but if that is not feasible for you right now, I'd like you to check out the following resources that I use with my clients:

Books:

Body Dysmorphia:

The Body Image Workbook by Thomas Cash - http://www.amazon.com/Body-Image-Workbook-Eight-Step-Learning/dp/1572245468

Diet of Despair by Anna Paterson - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Diet-Despair-Eating-Disorders-Families/dp/1873942192

Books on Eating Disorder Recovery:

Just Tell Her to Stop by Becky Henry

Many of my clients are parents and teens struggling with eating disorders. The teens aren’t sure they even want help and are afraid of gaining weight. The parents are afraid of losing their children to a battle with an eating disorder. Mostly, they all just want it to stop. I cannot tell you have many times I have recommended Becky’s book to clients and friends. Her story-telling method is just what my clients need. They read her book and realize that she “gets” them. With 20 stories to choose from, every client has been able to find at least one that resonates with them. Just Tell Her to Stop is a powerful testament to the effect an eating disorder can have on the life of not only the person who has been diagnosed, but also everyone around him or her. At the same time it offers the advice you need to hear to help yourself, your family, and your friends who suffer with eating disorders.



Food to Eat: guided, hopeful & trusted recipes for eating disorder recovery by Lori Lieberman and Cate Sangster

I talk to young women every day who are in the midst of their battle with an eating disorder or just embarking on their recovery. Every single one of them is afraid to eat. They worry that if they start eating, they’ll get fat overnight. And for someone with an eating disorder, that is the worst fear imaginable. If I could reach out to my clients across the globe, I would give every single one of them a copy of this book. Lori and Cate’s compassionate approach to recovery is just what these young women need. They give practical advice and explain why each recipe is nutritious and okay to eat in their “outsmart your ED voice” sections. Their conversational style makes it feel like you’re sitting down in your living room with them, a non-confrontational approach that my clients can all relate to.



Eating Myself Crazy by Treena Wynes

Treena’s poignant story made me laugh, made me cry, but most importantly made me feel empowered. This is a book I would feel comfortable using as a resource for my clients and students. Treena tells her story in a compassionate, easy-to-understand way that just about everyone should be able to relate to. Her hands-on approach will allow readers to explore and heal their own relationships with food. Her journal questions are insightful and her recipes are quick and easy to make with ingredients most people have on hand. This is a valuable resource in the emotional eating field for both clients and clinicians.

-Here are several good web resources for healing eating disordered thinking:

http://www.helpguide.org/mental/eating_disorder_treatment.htm
http://www.healthyplace.com/eating-disorders/articles/eating-disorders-self-help
http://www.eatingdisorderself-cure.com/
http://www.eatingdisorderhope.com/recovery/self-help-tools-skills-tips
http://www.something-fishy.org/whatarethey/coe.php
http://anred.com/welcome.html


I hope you find these helpful. Good luck and let me know if there is anything else I can do to help.

Anorexia/Eating Disorders

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Mary Pritchard

Expertise

I can answer questions about the psychology of eating, disordered eating attitudes and behaviors such as drive for thinness, drive for muscularity, binge eating, body dysmorphia, dieting, excessive/obsessive exercise, and body dissatisfaction. I can also answer questions about anorexia and bulimia.

Experience

I have a PhD in Psychology and teach courses in the Psychology of Health and the Psychology of Eating. I have been conducting research on disordered eating and exercise behaviors for 15 years.

Organizations
Midwestern psychological association, rocky mountain psychological association

Publications
Over 50 peer-reviewed journal articles in journals such as Eating Behaviors, Eating Disorders, and Eating and Weight Disorders

Education/Credentials
PhD in Psychology from the University of Denver

Awards and Honors
30 teaching awards, have received funding to conduct my research from academic institutions and state and local government

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