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Archive for February, 2011

Your Anorexic Daughter’s Desire for Wholeness is Reason for Hope

There are reasons for you to have hope if your adolescent has an eating disorder.

1) One reason is there is an effective treatment called The Maudsley Approach;

2) There is truth that replaces the lies of ED.

There is also a third reason:

The human spirit has a desire for wholeness
Before your child developed this illness she was probably full of life, vibrant, funny, creative, and outgoing. This is evidence of her spirit’s desire to live a full and healthy life.

Your challenge is to remember that this pre-eating disorder child is still in there somewhere. It doesn’t matter how far down under the deception of ED she is; the girl you knew is in there.

As difficult as it is; when this new frightened, confused and angry child shows up at the dinner table you have to remember this is not your child. It is the eating disorder rising up to bully, manipulate, and intimidate you so you will not make her eat.

She’s trying to fight her way out
You have to remember that whether you can see her or not, your little girl is doing the best she can to fight her way out. But she can’t do it without your help. ED is too strong, obnoxious, mean, loud and controlling for her to deal with by herself. She needs your help whether she knows it or admits it.

So when you have to “guess who’s coming to dinner,” be prepared for whoever shows up. Your child wants to get well and is crying out inside to be whole again. She just doesn’t know how to get there.

Never, ever forget that deep inside she wants more than anything to be whole and healthy.

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Do you want to learn more about eating disorders?

If so, download my free e-book “Eating Disorder Basics for Parents” here http://www.why-my-daughter.com/edb.html.

Lynn Moore educates, coaches, and consults parents on how to help their adolescent with eating disorder behavior. She will help you figure out what kind of help you need and what you can do to help your child.

Grizzly Bear Parenting and Hope when Your Daughter is Anorexic

Why can you stay hopeful when it seems like all the odds are against you and your child? There are a lot of reasons why you can hope and we’ll just talk about one. Here it is:

Love and grizzly bear parenting is stronger than ED (eating disorder).

I know girls, women, boys and men die from eating disorders. Believe me, I’ve read the statistics. I also know we can’t live life with our heads in the sand thinking, “It will never happen to me.”

But I also know the power of love and the “mama and papa bear” that comes out in parents when their child is ill or in danger. It is that strong, grizzly, powerful love and protection that is going to help you help your daughter whether she believes she needs it or not.

In the past parents have been sidelined when it comes to helping their eating disordered children. You may have been placed in the periphery of your child’s treatment. I don’t have research to back this up; but parent’s lack of involvement could be part of why treatment has been less than effective over the years.

Thankfully that is changing. The Maudsley Approach is becoming more respected as the treatment of choice if you have a teenage anorexic daughter or son. Research is showing it is more effective than individual therapy and recovery rates are impressive to say the least.

You can have hope because there is a form of treatment that empowers you as a parent. The Maudsley Approach gives you permission to allow the mama and papa bear in you to come out; not toward your daughter but directed at the eating disorder. She needs you to get grizzly toward ED so you can save her life.

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Do you want to learn more about eating disorders?

If so, download my free e-book “Eating Disorder Basics for Parents” here http://www.why-my-daughter.com/edb.html

Lynn Moore educates, coaches, and consults parents on how to help their adolescent with eating disorder behavior. She will help you figure out what kind of help you need and what you can do to help your child.

Diet Pepsi’s “Skinny Can” Debate

Many of you probably know about this but I am going to give you the link to the Wall Street Journal article in case you haven’t.  The long and short of it is; Diet Pepsi has come out with what they are calling a “skinny” can and it is being launched at New York’s fashion week.

Many say, “Its just a can.”  And you will read other arguments as well.  Here is the article link.

http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2011/02/15/diet-pepsis-skinny-can-campaign-riles-eating-disorders-group/tab/comments/#comment-1087318

I’d encourage you to put your 2 cents in but believe me your opinion on this is worth far more than that!

This was my response.

“’It’s the Diet Pepsi media campaign that’s the problem, she says. The campaign celebrates being skinny and suggests that strong, confident women must be so.’” And that it is “being paired with fashion week” is the problem.

For those who see this as ridiculous and that it is just about a can shows how much we have bought into the cultural “norms.” We are unknowingly brainwashed to the point that we don’t even think for ourselves about possible consequences to others. We just inhale whatever the marketers, money makers and media say.

Anyone who does “think” about the impact of a given marketing ploy on other people, no matter how large or small the percentage of those impacted, are ridiculed and are sarcastically deemed stupid. After all, if it doesn’t affect me, then who cares right? That’s your problem.

What has happened to compassion and empathy in our society? Other companies have come out with these taller and “skinnier” cans but there was no reference made to body image. It was marketing without an agenda for body size and appearance.

Pepsi needs to take an empathy class I guess and I personally am glad I don’t use that brand. If I did, I’d be switching to diet coke or nothing at all.”

Go Make Your Voice Known!  There are many young women and men suffering from eating disorders right now who do not yet have a voice.  The only voice they hear is the voice of the eating disorder.

Be their voice!  Take a stand for the sake of our young people and the impact this kind of culture shaping marketing has on them.  I’ll get off my soap box now.  What’s that country song lyric, “You have to stand for something, or you’ll fall for anything.”

Go to this Wall Street Journal link and take a stand.  Be the voice of those who are too ill to speak.  Protect future generations from the cultural crap they are being fed on a daily basis!

Lynn

I’m Afraid I Will Hurt My Anorexic Daughter if I Pressure Her to Eat More

When you are trying to feed your child more and she is resistant, one thing that will help is to remind yourself that she is separate from the eating disorder. Her fear and anger are coming from the anorexia, not from the little girl you know and love.

When you keep this truth in the forefront of your mind it will help in multiple ways.

  • It will help diffuse your own anger and frustration because you remember you are mad at the eating disorder and not your child
  • It will help you be firm and consistent in your encouragement for her to eat more because you know it is the only thing that will help her get better from the anorexia

I understand a parent’s fear that firm and consistent urging to do something she doesn’t want to do will harm their relationship with their daughter or son.  This, however, is not like trying to get her to clean her room or do her homework.  It is a life saving measure that only you can take.

You are the one who sits down at the table with her at meals.  You are the one who knows her inside and out.  You live with her day in and day out.  No therapist, nutritionist or physician can do this; only you can.  We can coach, encourage and support you; but you have to be the one to get her to eat.

There will come a day when your child will thank you for urging her to eat when she didn’t want to.  She will fight you in the moment because she is terrified of eating and weight gain; but at a deeper level she knows you are helping her.  You are taking control when she is out of control.

I had a parent just yesterday tell me they had started re-feeding their daughter a couple of weeks ago.  The mom was so scared she was doing the wrong thing.  Her next words were, “It’s so weird.  My daughter almost seems relieved.”  That says it all.

So here is the question for you.  Can you tolerate both your discomfort and hers for a period of time while you take measures to save her life?  For the sake of your child’s life, you can tolerate anything.

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Do you want to learn more about eating disorders?

If so, download my free e-book “Eating Disorder Basics for Parents” here
http://www.why-my-daughter.com/edb.html

Lynn Moore educates, coaches, and consults parents on how to help their adolescent with eating disorder behavior. She will guide you through the treacherous waters of deciding what kind of help you need and what you, the parents need to do and can do to help your child.

Insurance Issues and Eating Disorders

I saw this article today and thought you might find it interesting.  It is good there are people talking about the difficulties families have in paying for ED treatment.  Also the role of insurance companies in that.

It must be absolutely terrifying for parents to have mortgage their home so they can pay for their child’s treatment.  It is a life threatening illness, just like cancer and families need help to pay for it.

http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2011/02/15/2-investigators-eating-disorders-and-insurance/#comment-74946

___________________________________________________________

Do you want to learn more about eating disorders?

If so, download my free e-book “Eating Disorder Basics for Parents” here
http://www.why-my-daughter.com/edb.html

Lynn Moore educates, coaches, and consults parents on how to help their adolescent with eating disorder behavior. She will guide you through the treacherous waters of deciding what kind of help you need and what you, the parents need to do and can do to help your child.

Eating Disorder Recovery Using Art and Music

I love using art and music in therapy. It is a powerful way for people to express themselves.

When my own dad committed suicide almost 7 years ago I was lost in terms of finding a way to express my thoughts and feelings.  I have always been a writer and have journaled most of my adult life.

When my dad died in this violent fashion though, I could not write.  There were no words.  I had always wanted to try art but was scared and felt like I would humiliate myself if I tried.

I decided to risk it in the hope it would help me express my grief.  Long story short…it did!  I cannot tell you how art saved my life.

Art especially, is something you don’t need to be in therapy to do.  There are so many “non-artist” activities you can do to explore your eating disorder and recovery.

Enjoy these two articles…one found recovery in art and the other in music.

http://www.secondact.com/2011/02/translating-the-pain-of-eating-disorders-into-art/

http://www.thisisstaffordshire.co.uk/news/Ellie-courage-live-nightmare-bulimia/article-3220799-detail/article.html?pid=tistaff_PD_Bulimia

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Do you want to learn more about eating disorders?

If so, download my free e-book “Eating Disorder Basics for Parents” here – http://www.why-my-daughter.com/edb.html

Lynn Moore educates, coaches, and consults parents on how to help their adolescent with eating disorder behavior. She will guide you through the treacherous waters of deciding what kind of help you need and what you, the parents need to do and can do to help your child.

Help Your Anorexic Daughter Sleep

It is common for girls to have difficulty sleeping, going to sleep or staying asleep.  This may be related to the anxiety and depression that go along with eating disorders.  The eating disorder thoughts may be rampant in their minds after a day of trying to eat more or trying not to purge.

Evenings are increasingly difficult for girls to eat because they often believe they have already eaten enough or too much that day.  They are more likely to restrict at dinner time or not have the evening snack they need.

They may also be more tempted to purge after the evening meal.  Many will also spend this time before bed or late at night exercising to get rid of calories they ingested.

Imagine trying to go to sleep with all these things on your mind.  It makes sense because they finally have to be quiet with themselves to go to sleep and cannot as easily distract from ED thoughts.  A lot of anxiety comes to the surface at bedtime.

I have problems myself going to sleep and I don’t have the kind of anxiety these girls have.  Bedtime is vulnerable for a lot of people and it is often because our defenses our down.

We aren’t busy with other things and our minds are not otherwise occupied.  We may use this time to evaluate the day and any mistakes we made we haven’t yet dealt with.

One thing that helps me a lot and that I use often is called just being very present with yourself in the moment.  When you are lying in bed and your thoughts are racing, start by focusing on what you can hear.

For example; “I hear my husband breathing next to me.  I hear the clock ticking in the dining room.  I hear the cats chasing each other.”

Next focus on what you feel physically.  By that I mean, “I feel my left hand lying against the sheet.  I feel the pillow that is between my knees.  My left foot is lying heavily against the sheet.”

You can also focus on how your body feels in the moment.  “There is a dull ache in my lower back.  I can feel some head ache pain above my right eye.  My knee feels better tonight.  My stomach is not upset and that feels good.”

You can increase your awareness just by noticing the room temperature.  My hands and feet are cold at night so that is a common awareness for me.  You may notice, “The room is cold, the room is hot.  I feel the warmth of the electric blanket increasing.”

This may sound silly to you I don’t know; but it works!  If you keep focusing in on your own body, your surroundings and your 5 senses you will eventually go to sleep.  When your mind wanders to something you are worried about, bring it back to your 5 senses.

You are training your mind on what to do when you are in bed.  It is time to sleep, not worry.  It is time to sleep not worry about what you ate today.  It is time to sleep not solve tomorrow’s problems.

If you consistently bring your mind back to your 5 senses you will go to sleep.  Sometimes I have to do this for 5 minutes; other times I might have to focus for 30 minutes.

Eventually though it will work if you keep doing it.  Do this every night and it will get easier to go sleep when you get in bed.

Teach this skill to your daughter and it will help her.  It will help you too!  After all, you’re just her parent.  You don’t have any worries right?

__________________________________________________________

Do you want to learn more about eating disorders?

If so, download my free e-book “Eating Disorder Basics for Parents” here http://www.why-my-daughter.com/edb.html

Lynn Moore educates, coaches, and consults parents on how to help their adolescent with eating disorder behavior. She will guide you through the treacherous waters of deciding what kind of help you need and what you, the parents need to do and can do to help your child.