Making Connections: NEDA

NEDA's (National Eating Disorders Association) Making Connections, a parent, family and friends network magazine, is now available to read online. Check it out!

"Making Connections, is now available online! Even better, the publication, which started as a short newsletter years ago, has now grown into a full-blown magazine. Thanks to the passion of the many wonderful contributors toMaking Connections, the publication is presented for the first time in a digital magazine format.
What does this mean for you? For starters, an improved interface makes it easier to read and zoom in when needed. You can also easily share the magazine via email or social media. And, it's optimized to be viewed from mobile devices, so you can enjoy it on the go from your tablet or phone.
Making Connections offers vital information on a diverse range of eating disorders topics, including insightful personal stories and tools and strategies for recovery, self-care and hope."


Wanted: Mothers Of Children With Anorexia Nervosa For Anonymous Study

Are you the mother of a child with Anorexia Nervosa?  An anonymous study is looking for your input concerning your experience.

I was recently contacted by Marissa Alexander, who is looking for participants for a study. In her own words;

I'm now a 5th year Counseling Psychology student working on my Ph.D. at Fordham University in New York. I have been working on a research team for about 4 years that has aimed to shed light on the experience of parents and caregivers of children with Anorexia. In our research, we found that the caregiving experience was often stressful and overwhelming, and caregivers often reported feeling misunderstood by treatment providers, excluded from their child's treatment, and even blamed for the development for their child's disorder. In addition, parents often reported having little information and feeling "lost," not knowing which treatment provider, hospital, or method would be effective in treating their child's illness.

With that in mind, I developed my dissertation research in order to lend a voice to parental caregivers, and understand how it is that parents and families cope with Anorexia. My hope is that with these findings, more effective support services can be developed for parents, and the stigma surrounding Anorexia and other eating disorders may be reduced.

I am so grateful for the mothers who have already participated in the study to share their experience and allow us to understand how the illness has affected them. I'm hoping to reach as many people as possible with the opportunity to participate. 

More on the study;

Are you the mother of a child who is currently receiving treatment for Anorexia Nervosa? If so, we’d like to invite you to participate in an anonymous study that examines the experience of caring for a child with Anorexia Nervosa. This study will look at how a child’s eating disorder affects the parents and family, and how families cope with caring for a child with Anorexia. We hope these research findings will provide greater insight into how a child’s illness affects families, so that more support services can be developed to help parents and caregivers.

To be eligible for this study, you must be the mother to a child with Anorexia and currently be in a committed relationship or marriage, cohabitating with your partner or spouse. If your child is between the ages of 10-21, is currently receiving outpatient treatment for Anorexia Nervosa, and is currently living with you and your spouse/partner at home, we invite you to participate in this important study. Participation will involve: Completing the questionnaire online will take approximately 15-30 minutes.  You will not be asked to provide your name at any time-- Publications or presentations about the research findings will not include individual responses, only summary data on all participants will be presented. If you would like more information about this study, please contact Marissa Alexander at, or Dr. Merle Keitel at 

To participate in this study, click on the following link:

 Please share this post with anyone you know who qualifies for participation. Your help is greatly appreciated.
Thank you,

Recovery Quote Of The Week: August 24 2012

In life one has a choice to take one of two paths: to wait for some special day - or to celebrate each special day.
Rasheed Ogunlaru

See sidebar menu for more Recovery Quotes of the Week, Recovery Inspiration, and Inspirational Recovery Quotes

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Self-Love Changes Everything

Self-Love not only changes how we see ourselves... it changes how we see everything!

Love yourself and change your world!

see also: 
Self-Love Jar
Self-Love Quotes
10 Ways To Love Yourself Better
The Unconditional Love of Self

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Recovery: What Are You Afraid Of?

Does the thought of recovery fill you with fear?
If so, you are not alone. It's really quite common to feel this way.

Why, when we know something is good for us, do we feel afraid of it? 

The reasons vary. Individual experiences come into play. Reasons can range from simple to complicated, making it difficult to narrow it down to one, simple answer. When an eating disorder is also part of the equation, the whys can become even more complicated. Change and control, though, are major factors for almost everyone.

Change is scary. You're taking a risk. You're leaving behind familiar territory for the unknown. There's comfort in the familiar, even when the familiar is a horrible place to be, because you know it well. The ins, the outs, the lows, the highs ... there's not much that can surprise you, not much to catch you off guard and throw you off kilter.

Fear of losing what little control you have can be scary, too. How can you control the unknown? You may have mastered controlling and navigating your current situation so well that the thought of relinquishing that control may feel too scary to even contemplate. But...

You must surrender your fears.

It's not easy to let go, even when what we're holding on to is what we most need to let go of. But, letting go is necessary to achieve change and change is necessary to achieve recovery. We have to be willing to venture out of our comfort zone and let go of what currently is, in order to begin creating what can be.
"The only way out is through."
So how do you let go despite the fear? 

With practice and patience. Acknowledge your fear. Recognize it for what it truly is, and then move forward regardless. Each time you deny your fear the chance to be in charge you gain confidence and courage, making the next time a little bit easier. Soon, what you once thought impossible, becomes reality.

You must do the thing you think you cannot do.   
Eleanor Roosevelt

Here are some suggestions and links to help with the process:
  • Keep your thoughts and words positive. Use positive, encouraging self-talk.
  • Visualize the change you desire in a positive light.
  • Believe in your ability to overcome your fears, to change, and to recover.
  • Have faith. 
  • Make a 2 column list. On one side list what you're afraid of, the other side list why that fear is invalid (or how to let it go).
  • Seek reinforcements (counseling, mentoring, organizations, people in recovery, supportive family and friends, recovery sites and forums)
  • Stay honest with yourself and others. 
  • Be kind and patient with yourself. Change takes time. Recovery takes time.
  • Get involved in something creative (writing, sketching, dance, doodling, painting, crafts,...). It gives you something positive to put your energy into and is a great outlet for stress and anxiety. 
  • Remember the recovery sayings; "Fake it 'til you make it," and "Act as if". Doing this gives you a taste of what it feels like to achieve the change you're seeking. It sets your mind on track. (It doesn't mean to lie to yourself, or others, in an attempt to deceive)
  • Journal.
  • Use affirmations throughout the day and at bedtime.
  • Choose a mantra to say to yourself whenever you're feeling less than brave (example: I am not my fear. I am capable of moving past these feelings. I can accomplish anything I set my mind to. I believe in myself). Repeat, repeat, repeat.
  • Surround yourself with positive influences. 
  • Create a recovery sound track of music that makes you feel good. 
  • Create a recovery feel good image file. Fill it with things that make you feel good, strong, serene. (Do not use anything that relates to the body, weight, or appearance in any way). 
  • Take care of yourself every day.
  • Create a Relapse Prevention Plan
  •  Give yourself credit when you make even the smallest progress. Each positive step is a victory. Celebrate it!
  • When you feel overwhelmed, turn it over to your higher power. 
     Recovery Is Possible! You are capable, worthy, and deserving of it!


    One of the 18 Best Eating Disorder Blogs of 2012

     Weighing The Facts was named one of the 18 Best Eating Disorder Blogs of 2012 by Healthline!
    Healthline says:  

    Battling an eating disorder can be a long and dangerous challenge for people of every age and background. Thankfully, a flourishing online community has emerged in recent years to offer reliable information, support, and advice. From personal journeys to medical facts, these blogs offer the best of the best on the web about eating disorders.

    Share your own stories with others in the chat rooms or comment sections on these blogs, and find an opportunity for healing and community in these pages. Hope and health may be closer than you think.

    Here's what the had to say about Weighing The Facts.

    I'm so excited and honored to be named with so many wonderful ED blogs. You can find all the blogs, and a blurb about each one, here.

    Check them all out. They're great resources.

    Recovery Inspiration: Happiness

    Happiness is like a butterfly; the more you chase it the more it will elude you. But if you turn your attention to other things it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.
    Henry David Thoreau

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    Eating Disorders News and Views: August 8 2012

    Warning: Articles may be triggering.
    articles do not necessarily reflect the views of this blog

    FAMILY HEALTH MATTERS: Eating disorders a concern for not only teenage girls

    Eating disorders describe several serious conditions that affect 24 million Americans each year, according to the Renfrew Center Foundation for Eating Disorders. And, it’s not always those you would expect.

    Boys, adult women and men are not immune from developing this life-threatening condition, either. In fact, according to the National Association for Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, 10 to 15 percent of individuals suffering from anorexia are male.

    Eating disorders fall under several categories, the most widely publicized, and dangerous of which are anorexia (severe food restriction) and bulimia (consuming and vomiting large amounts of food). Binge eating (excessive eating without vomiting) and excessive exercise are also considered eating disorders.
    Read Family Health Matters in full

    Anorexia’s scary online empire
    Nothing tastes as good as blogging feels

    Once upon a time, anorexia was a relatively private matter. The person suffering from it usually denied their affliction to avoid treatment. Most often, it would remain a secret once diagnosed, in part to avoid becoming the subject of local gossip. And once detected, the person in question would undergo treatment and find herself sequestered away from the outside world in a hospital that wouldn’t even allow Barbie or Disney princess paraphernalia to infiltrate its walls, lest it trigger her urge to starve. Hopefully, she would recover. She would go on with her life, and her friends and family would encourage her to eat, maybe relax a little. Her once-secret eating disorder would become something that she had overcome. It was possible that she would even write a memoir about it one day; Wasted; Solitaire; Feeling for the Bones; Thin; I could name at least a dozen that aren’t about eating disorders, but simply memoirs of a troubled life involving starving yourself at one point in a longer line of suffering.
    Read Online Empire in full

    Young with eating disorders 'missing out on vital help'

    Eating disorders in children are not being taken seriously enough, depriving them of vital treatment, a leading expert has told BBC Newsnight.

    Professor Bryan Lask said he is seeing ever younger patients, with increasing numbers becoming ill under age 10.

    His pioneering research suggests a strong genetic predisposition to anorexia, which experts say needs to be tackled through early intervention.

    New figures reveal eating disorders cost the NHS £1.26bn a year in England.
    Read Young with EDs in full

    Young, beautiful, anorexic and dead

    AT 19, with several teen magazine cover shoots behind her and the prospect of a lucrative modelling career, Bethaney Wallace faced a crippling struggle with eating disorders which finally claimed her life this year.

    Doctors believe that over the three years since she developed anorexia and bulimia, her condition had weakened her heart and it stopped beating as she slept.

    Her father said: "She lost her self-esteem. She would say she was fat but she was so beautiful -- she didn't realise how beautiful she was.

    "She had up days and down days. It was like Jekyll and Hyde.

    "I tried to warn her that her organs would fail but she just said: 'Don't be silly'. If you mentioned food it would start an argument."
    Read YBA&D in full

    Eating disorders exact a toll on older women, too

    Molly Woolsey was 19 when her anorexia was diagnosed. Once she passed her 20s, the St. Paul woman said, passers-by assumed she had cancer or another terminal illness because she was so thin.

    “It doesn’t occur to them that someone my age could have an eating disorder,” said Woolsey, now 45.

    Anorexia, binge eating and bulimia are considered afflictions of teenage girls or women in their 20s. But increasingly, older women are admitting to eating disorder symptoms, which put them at higher risk for a wide range of health problems.
    Read Toll on Older Women in full

    The pressure to be everything

    In the recent Wenatchee World article about eating disorders, nutritionist Laurie Kutrich noted that she has seen an increase in patients with anorexia and bulimia. In October 2010, The Guardian reported a significant increase in prevalence of eating disorders seen in women ages 30 and above. I believe we need to look beyond conventional explanations for the rise in eating disorders and consider ways that the economic downturn may be increasing these illnesses in our society and community. The slow economy creates pressure on women to become an “equal or greater” breadwinner in the family unit (in addition to fulfilling all the other more traditional female roles).
    Read Everything in full.

    Great Majority of Women with Eating Disorders are Vegetarians

    A new study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has determined that women diagnosed with an eating disorder are four times more likely to be vegetarian compared to women with no eating disorders.

    In addition to this, women with a diagnosed eating disorder were twice as likely to have been vegetarian at some point in their lives, compared to women without eating disorders.
    Read Great Majority in full.

    Eating Disorders Tied to Drug Use, Drinking

    Adolescent girls with a variety of eating disorders -- even conditions less severe than anorexia or bulimia -- are at risk for obesity and alcohol and drug use, a prospective study found.

    Among those who reported binge eating but not purging, the risk for becoming overweight or obese was doubled (OR 1.90, 95% CI 1.04 to 3.48) compared with healthy peers, according to Alison E. Field, ScD, of Harvard University in Boston, and colleagues.
    Read Tied To in full


    Live The Life You Deserve

    When you stop letting yourself be defined by outside forces; when you refuse to compare yourself to others in order to determine your worth, when you no longer allow your past to choose the course of your future, when you realize that who you are is more important than how you look... Then you will begin to live the life you truly deserve.