“Spearheaded by the National Eating Disorders Association, the goal of National Eating Disorders Awareness (#NEDAwareness) Week is to shine the spotlight on eating disorders and put life-saving resources into the hands of those in need. This year’s theme is It’s Time to Talk About It and we’re encouraging everyone to get screened.”
Did You Know? Four out of 10 Americans have suffered from an eating disorder or know of someone who has. Over the past few years I have encountered more and more disordered eating patterns and beliefs, affecting individuals across the spectrum of age, gender, race and socioeconomic background.
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Our society’s focus on food, external beauty, weight, and physical appearance, and the increasing number of social media platforms and images now accessible can be a source of intense pressure and scrutiny for many, and  trigger those susceptible into a negative health spiral.
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We must understand that weight can fluctuate, even on a daily and hourly basis. One’s self-confidence should not waver based on a fluid number that is affected by physiological, psychological, or medical changes.
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As a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN), my goal is to help you thrive. I look at a variety of different elements of health using many tools in my toolbox–One of those tools may or may not be weight, in the context of lots of other clinical information. Questions I might ask include: What is happening physiologically? What are some barriers that prohibit you from getting to your most optimal health? Working through these answers should naturally move you toward an ideal body weight for you, but that is not the focus—health is.
You have every right to be self-confident where you are at, right at this moment. You are perfect and enough. Set yourself free and see the beauty that has been there all along, and if you need help with your health goals and nutritional needs, I’m here!

Disordered Eating vs. Eating Disorder: What’s the difference?

Disordered eating is more of a descriptive phrase of behavior and thoughts versus a diagnosable disorder. It is “a wide range of irregular eating behaviors that do not warrant a diagnosis of a specific eating disorder.” Disordered eating can be of concern as it can turn into more problematic conditions or a specific eating disorder and may put the individual at risk for factors that negatively influence health.

 

Signs and symptoms of disordered eating may include, but are not limited to:
• Chronic yo-yo dieting
• Frequent weight fluctuations
• Extremely rigid and unhealthy food and exercise regime
• Feelings of guilt and shame when unable to maintain food and exercise habits
• Pre-occupation with food, body and exercise that causes distress and has a negative impact on quality of life
• Compulsive or emotionally-driven eating
• Use of compensatory measures, such as exercise, food restriction, fasting and even purging or laxative use to “make up for” food consumed

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Signs and symptoms of an eating disorder may include any or all of the above as well as more specific criteria within each subcategory (anorexia, bulimia, binge-eating) such as binging, purging, restricting and can be identified by more extreme emotions, attitudes, and behaviors surrounding weight and food issues.

Do you think you might be struggling with food or exercise issues? Take a free, online confidential screening here.

Resources:

A Place of Healing, Johnson City, TN

National Eating Disorders Helpline: 800.931.2237

National Eating Disorders Awareness Week Info

 

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