Healthy at any Size

1 04, 2017

Binge Eating Disorder: More Than Emotional Eating

2017-03-29T16:45:15+00:00 April 1st, 2017|0 Comments

From time to time we all overeat, and many of us will occasionally engage in “emotional eating.”  But what’s the difference between occasionally adding that extra serving of yummy potatoes to our plate after we’re full or eating that handful of M&Ms when we’re stressed and a legit eating disorder?

The National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) describes Binge Eating Disorder (BED) as recurrent episodes of eating large quantities of food within a short period of time. It is important to understand that a binge is not characterized by caloric amount but rather,  by the consumption of food significantly larger then what most people would eat under similar circumstances and period. There is also the emotional component with a binge, like most eating disorders, there is a sense of lack of control during the episode, often followed by shame, distress or guilt.

In order to diagnose BED and to distinguish it from other forms of eating disorders, The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5) adds a few more qualifiers to help determine the correct diagnosis such as  level of distress over bingeing episodes, loss of control over amount of eatin, frequency of the bingeing episodes of at least once weekly for at least three months,  as well as things like eating until feeling uncomfortably full, eating more rapidly than normal (i.e. two hour period), feeling depressed, guilty, or disgusted with oneself after overeating, eating alone because of embarrassment associated with how much one is eating, and eating large amounts of food when not feeling physically hungry

A few interesting statistics about binge eating disorder:

  • 40% of those with BED are male
  • 3 out of 10 individuals looking for weight loss treatment show signs of BED
  • Research estimates that only 28.4% of people with BED are receiving treatment for the disorder
  • eating disorder can affect individuals at any age, for BED it often begins in the late teens or early 20’s.
  • BED is actually more common than Anorexia Nervosa or Bulimia Nervosa, with data revealing that about 5 million women and 3 million men in the United States struggle with this disorder

What tips the scales from the occasional overeating episode into truly disordered eating?  Studies have shown that many factors can play a role in the development of BED. Among those factors may be a family history of eating disorders, psychological issues such as feeling negative about yourself, your skills and accomplishments (triggers for a binge episode can include but are not limited to poor body image, stress, boredom and food), or a a history of dieting sometimes dating back into childhood.

Complications

Binge Eating disorder can lead to obesity which could create a host of health issues and medical conditions related to obesity (joint problems, heart disease, sleep-related breathing disorders etc).  It can also influence quality life by leading to social isolation, problems at work, depression, anxiety, substance use, feeling bad about yourself, and a poor quality of life.

The good news?

Binge eating disorder is treatable. Here at Empowerment Treatment & Counseling Center in Phoenix/Glendale Arizona, clients work with experienced, compassionate therapists and registered dietitians to reduce binges and address the underlying emotional and psychological components that lead to the binging.  We offer a wholistic approach to eating disorder recovery which includes the dietetic management and education component, individual counseling and therapy, as well as Intensive Outpatient (IOP) group therapy for both adults and adolescents.

Sabrina Landa is a clinical intern who offers counseling services here at Empowerment Treatment & Counseling Center while she completes her Masters degree in Professional Counseling at Grand Canyon University.

If you or someone you know needs help, talk with your health care provider or give us a call!  We have a caring staff of seasoned therapists in our Phoenix/Glendale, Arizona offices who have experience in helping people heal from the past, find meaning and joy in the present, and embrace hope for the future.  (623) 810-1663

References:

  • Mayo Clinic Staff Print. (2016, February 09). Treatment.  http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/binge-eating-disorder/diagnosis-treatment/treatment/txc-20182948
  • National Eating Disorder Association. (n.d.). Overview and Statistics. https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/binge-eating-disorder
  • National Institute of Mental Health.  “Eating Disorders Among Adults – Binge Eating Disorders”.  http://www.nimh.nih.gov/statistics/1EAT_ADULT_RB.shtml
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5) http://www.dsm5.org
15 03, 2017

Dying To Be Thin: Anorexia Nervosa

2017-03-22T21:39:54+00:00 March 15th, 2017|0 Comments

Anorexia Nervosa (AN) is a disease in which individuals severely restrict their energy intake.  This leads to significant low body weight in context to the person’s age, development trajectory, sex and physical health. Those diagnosed typically have an intense fear of gaining weight.  They may also have a disturbance in the way their body is shaped along with denial of the seriousness of the diagnosis or medical consequences. Men or women suffering from anorexia may find that it is difficult to maintain the appropriate weight for their age and height.  Anorexia affects men and women of all ages and some individuals may not simply restrict their intake; they may purge, use laxatives, manipulate prescribed medicines, or exercise excessively as their primary mode of restriction and compensation.

According to NEDA, anorexia can affect people of all ages, genders, sexual orientations, races, and ethnicities.   There is evidence the people have suffered from anorexia for thousands of years all over the world.   Anorexia nervosa is the third most common chronic disease after asthma and diabetes. Often the disorder occurs in adults and adolescents but diagnosis is increasing in elderly populations.  It is important to remember that extremely low body fat percentages aren’t the only indicator for diagnosis. Some clients may even appear be of average size or even overweight.

Those suffering from the most common forms of anorexia tend to be severely underweight or malnourished, which can lead to many health complications.  Not only are they suffering on the outside, but there is also usually severe internal damage occurring as well. Some of the hidden internal damage attributable to anorexia nervosa can be brain shrinkage due to malnourishment and over time, the body effectively begins to “eat itself” due to the extreme and often extended states of starvation.Generally, the health risks of anorexia become more severe as the disorder progresses.  Other possible consequences include:

  • Development of heart conditions
  • Impairment of blood sugar management including the possibility of Diabetes
  • Loss of bone mass
  • Kidney and liver damage
  • Osteoporosis
  • Insomnia
  • Anemia
  • Infertility

There are many red flags to help identify those who may be suffering from anorexia nervosa.  Below are some indications:

  • Obsession with fat and calorie contents
  • Feeling cold most of the time due to lack of fat on organs
  • Continual dieting even though the person is underweight
  • Amenorrhea which is an absence 3 consecutive menstrual cycles
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Hair loss or thinning
  • Brittle nails
  • Becoming isolated or withdrawn from social situations especially around food
  • Ritualistic eating patterns
  • Excessive exercise
  • Obsession with body weight and looks
  • Avoidance of eating

Anorexia is a deadly disease.  It has the highest mortality rate of all psychiatric conditions and can destroy not only a person’s body but it also affects their mind, body and spirit. Even though the disorder can be deadly there is hope!  Awareness of eating disorders and a body positive movement is growing nationwide.

Those suffering have a variety of treatment options based on the severity of their symptoms and current functioning: inpatient hospitalization, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient programs (IOP), and outpatient treatment, and many insurance carriers will cover therapy and treatment for eating disorders. Due to the complexity of the disorder, it is critical individuals suffering from anorexia be treated by qualified, experienced counselors and treatment teams specializing in eating disorders.

Rachel Peru is a clinical intern in the process of completing her Masters in Professional Counseling at Grand Canyon University.

If you or someone you know needs help, talk with your health care provider or give us a call!  We have a caring staff of seasoned therapists in our Glendale, Arizona offices who have experience in helping people heal from the past, find meaning and joy in the present, and embrace hope for the future.  (623) 810-1663

9 03, 2017

Spring Eats: Roasted Carrot & Avocado Salad

2017-03-22T21:40:16+00:00 March 9th, 2017|0 Comments

Here in the greater metropolitan areas of Glendale, Phoenix and Scottsdale, you can tell Spring has arrived:  people are out and about, enjoying Spring Training baseball, exploring our beautiful parks and hiking trails, and relishing evenings on patios with windows open.  I don’t know about you, but this puts me in the mood for fresh and highly yummy food….bonus if it’s packed with nutrients and amazing flavors.  Enter this fantastic cumin roasted carrot and avocado salad over arugula and Israeli couscous…a delicious way to nurture your body while savoring a feast for the eyes and taste buds!

This recipe features a few simple ingredients that individually are nothing spectacular, but combined are a taste sensation.  Farro, also called “emmer” in some parts of the world, is a type of ancient wheat grain that has been eaten for thousands of years around the world and is typically found in Mediterranean cooking. Farro is an excellent source of protein, fiber and nutrients like magnesium and iron and is a fantastic addition to this plant-based recipe. If you can’t find farro in the dried grains section your local store or natural market, you may substitute with cooked quinoa, barley, buckwheat or even a hearty wild rice.

Bon Appetit!

Kimberly Mahr is a licensed clinical therapist who is also a “foodie” at heart.  When not supporting others on their journeys towards health and wellness she enjoys trying new recipes and entertaining friends and family.

If you or someone you know needs help, talk with your health care provider or give us a call!  We have a caring staff of seasoned therapists and Registered Dietitians in our Glendale, Arizona offices who have experience in helping people heal from the past, find meaning and joy in the present, and embrace hope for the future.  (623) 810-1663

8 03, 2017

Eating Disorders: Men Suffer Too!

2017-03-22T21:40:47+00:00 March 8th, 2017|0 Comments

When people think of eating disorders they often think it’s all about women.  This is not always the case: eating disorders can and DO effect males, and they can suffer from a range of eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, or EDNOS (Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified).

According to The National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA20 million women and 10 million men will suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at sometime in their life.  Men who identify as homosexual have a higher rate of eating disorders ranking at 15% and heterosexual males at 5%.  Just like their female counterparts, men with eating disorders may also suffer from depression, substance use, anxiety and excessive exercising.  Males may also suffer from body dysmorphia, where they obsess over real or perceived body flaws and muscle dysmorphia, where they obsess about being small worry that they are too “little” or too frail.

As with their female counterparts, men are bombarded with media images where men are portrayed with young, tall, strong, “built” physiques…often facing media pressure to look a certain way that is not attainable for most.  It can be very difficult for men struggling with eating disorders to seek treatment; they are often faced with social stigma and misunderstandings about how eating disorders affect their gender.  Getting a clear diagnosis can also be problematic as many of the assessment tests used tend to use language catering to women.

The good news? Prevention and treatment are available for men suffering from an eating disorder.  It is important to know the warning signs and risk factors of an eating disorder.

Genetic Vulnerability
Sociocultural Influences
Psychological Factors such as

  • perfectionism
  • obsessive-compulsiveness
  • neuroticism
  • negative emotionality
  • harm avoidance
  • core low self-esteem
  • traits associated with avoidant personality disorder

Using these warning signs, professionals and loved ones can help identify those who are at risk for an eating disorder.  It is important to keep in mind that men of all ages, shapes and sizes can suffer from any form of eating disorder or disordered eating.

Rachel Peru is a Counseling Intern at Empowerment Treatment & Counseling.

If you or someone you know needs help, talk with your health care provider or give us a call!  We have a caring staff of seasoned therapists in our Glendale, Arizona offices who have experience in helping people heal from the past, find meaning and joy in the present, and embrace hope for the future.  (623) 810-1663

 

 

 

15 02, 2017

Explore The Connections Between Food, Body & Feelings

2017-03-13T13:37:06+00:00 February 15th, 2017|0 Comments

 

  • Do you find it hard to love your body?
  • Are you done with fad diets?
  • Do you think you “should” exercise, but you’re embarrassed to go to the gym?
  • Have you considered the relationship between food and feelings?
  • Do you eat certain foods to help you feel better?


Join our EMOTIONAL AND BINGE EATING PROCESS GROUP which begins March 29th and meets weekly on Wednesday nights from 6:00-7:30 in our Glendale, AZ office.

If you live or work in the greater metropolitan Phoenix area, please join us and connect with others who share your struggles, and begin to move towards healing and wellness. Topics covered will include nutrition, body image, movement and more!

Call our office for details: 623.810.1663.

26 10, 2016

The Benefits of IOP: Eating Disorder Outpatient Treatment in Arizona

2017-02-22T02:07:01+00:00 October 26th, 2016|0 Comments

For many people, getting help for an eating disorder isn’t a matter of admitting that they have a problem. The issue is getting the right amount of support that can be flexible enough to accommodate a busy schedule. Inpatient eating disorder treatment isn’t always necessary, and it’s not the right option for most people. Even so, traditional outpatient treatment can leave participants feeling as though they need more than just a meeting or a group one or two days a week.

Intensive outpatient programs offer the perfect level of treatment for most eating disorder patients, and these programs carry many benefits.

Plenty of Time for Counseling in Arizona

Counseling is an integral part of eating disorder treatment in every case. It’s essential for you to be able to work one on one in a therapy environment and discuss the issues that could have led to your eating disorder. When you choose IOP, you’re giving yourself plenty of time to work with your counselor without having to wait a long time between your appointments.

Availability of Eating Disorder Groups

Research has shown that participating in group therapy has been instrumental in helping people recover from eating disorders. When you have an eating disorder, you typically feel as though you’re all alone in your struggles. You may feel depressed when you see others who are living their lives normally, and you wish you could achieve that goal for yourself. In a sense, the weight of your eating disorder and the isolation it brings can drag you down. Eating disorder groups reinforce the truth – that you’re not alone, and there are others who have struggled the same way that you are struggling. In addition, you’ll reap the benefits of hearing others tell their stories, and you’ll help many people through their own struggles too.

Health Insurance Companies Prefer Intensive Outpatient Treatment in Arizona

If you have ever tried to begin an inpatient treatment program for your eating disorder, you may be familiar with how difficult it is to get some health insurance companies to approve your stay. The fact is that for most people, inpatient treatment isn’t necessary, and yet, traditional outpatient treatment doesn’t provide enough support for recovery.

IOP offers an excellent middle ground for eating disorder treatment, which health insurance companies prefer. Many times, their reimbursement rates are much higher for intensive outpatient programs than they are for inpatient treatment programs, and you’re able to get started much faster. Choosing IOP relieves a lot of financial stress, and gives you the excellent support you need.

Intensive Outpatient Programs in Arizona are Flexible

One of the biggest reasons people tend to shy away from going to inpatient treatment is that they don’t have the time to commit to such a program. Some of these programs are thirty days long, or even longer in many cases. Life is busy, and if you work full-time or have a family to care for at home, inpatient treatment is probably out of the question for you.

With IOP, you can get the level of support you need on a schedule that fits into your busy life, and allows you to take care of all of your responsibilities.

IOP in Arizona at Empowerment Treatment & Counseling

At Empowerment Treatment & Counseling, our approach to eating disorder treatment is a holistic one, and our goal is to get to the underlying root cause of your eating disorder so that we can promote healing and recovery.

Our intensive outpatient program is an eight-week program for men and women who are age 18 and older. You’ll have the opportunity to work closely with our treatment team, and other patients in a group setting several days during the week. The flexibility of our program allows you to continue going to work or school during the day and receive the help you need during the evening hours.

How can Empowerment Treatment & Counseling help you recover from your eating disorder? Contact us today to learn more.

22 03, 2016

How to Use the Body Positive Idea To Facilitate Your Recovery

2017-01-17T01:45:13+00:00 March 22nd, 2016|0 Comments

There’s a new movement occurring across the nation, including in Phoenix Arizona, that may affect you. It’s one that has been suppressed for many years. Luckily, some brave souls have stepped out of the mold to bring a new aspect of healing to light.

It’s called body positivity, and basically, you’re given permission to love your body no matter what size you are.

Being Shamed, Shunned and Neglected in Phoenix Doesn’t Have to Happen Anymore

For many years, those that were overweight or obese have been shamed to the point where they can hardly stand to look in the mirror. What they see in their reflection is someone that is unhealthy, someone that looks ugly, and someone who is not worthy of receiving good things in life.

Health practitioners have been supporting this bad idea for decades, blaming overweightness and obesity for a number of health disorders that affect the nation. The list of disorders includes diabetes, high blood pressure, polycystic ovaries, high cholesterol, joint problems, back problems and even stomach disorders. Their reasoning is that studies prove that being obese is connected to being unhealthy.

Many health practitioners in Phoenix Arizona and elsewhere even go to extremes, attempting to address a patient’s overweight condition when the patient did not come in for weight loss.

Consequently, the patient ends up being hit with overwhelming feelings of frustration and depression, which plug into his or her neurological pathways contributing to eating disorders, yoyo dieting, self-loathing. What this means is that the cycle of negative thoughts and feelings is ‘fed’ by the establishment.

The Media is Part of the ‘Collusion’, Thus Contributing to Eating Disorders

Of course, the media is constantly programming us all to be thin and beautiful and to fall for the myth that only those who meet these requirements are entitled to everlasting happiness.

What about you? Have you noticed negative ramifications from this type of ‘attack’?

What would happen if you suddenly changed your whole paradigm and simply started loving yourself, no matter what the number is on your scale? This is the whole idea behind the Body Positive Movement that fosters total body acceptance.

And it’s catching on. Women in Phoenix Arizona and other major cities in the U.S. are realizing that they really can feel OKAY with their body – and this does them some good.

Body Positivity Now Has Research Behind It

One researcher, Harriet Brown, has even documented how science, history and culture drive the obsession with weight in her book.  The central theory behind it is called Health at Every Size or HAES. This idea is basically that you should forget about reaching a certain body size and go for what works for your body.

And it makes a lot of sense. In fact, it brings up the fact that modern medicine really likes to treat everyone the same way – and ignores individuality. Insurance companies are geared towards physicians only treating patients one way, and doctors are chastised for thinking outside the box and/or going beyond medicine’s stymied view to really try to foster health transformation.

As a result, the alternative medicine movement has risen in power and social standing among patients of all ages.

There’s even a nonprofit association dedicated to the Body Positive movement, which may be found at www.thebodypositive.org The charity’s co-founder, Elizabeth Scott, is even offering an upcoming two-day training for health professionals on May 13-14, 2016 to initiate body positive campaigns across the nation via the community and in schools.

According to Ms. Scott, boosting body image is based on five core competencies:

  1. Reclaim health.
  2. Practice intuitive self-care.
  3. Cultivate self-love.
  4. Declare your own authentic beauty.
  5. Build community.

Results from an additional research study done at Stanford University on the whole model is expected to be released later this year.

So think about this body positive concept today. Why not give up society’s standards and move into a new time where what’s important is YOU?