Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Body Dysmorphic Disorder

This week's topic was an interesting one - the little known disorder called BDD (Body Dysmorphic Disorder). I discuss how this relates to eating disorders and give a basic background.

As usual, click to view on YouTube, as embedding will be disabled.

Hope everyone is doing well - and I promise, I won't keep feeding you videos each week - I have some other posts coming up. :)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

What To Do About the Overweight/Fat Stigma

I really enjoyed this week's topic for my Wednesday video. Hope you guys do too. Check it out: What to do about the stigma against overweight/fat -

As usual, click to view on YT as embedding has been disabled.

VERY interesting BMI link: If you click on the photos it tells you the status of the people and it's very eye-opening. BMI is often completely ridiculous.

Photo of Lizzi Miller (she's obviously the second photo on the page):

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Eating Disorders & Substance Use Disorders

Here's my Wednesday video from yesterday. This week's topic is: "Can EDs and SUDs co-occur? (..Drunkorexia?) How are they linked psychologically, to make them come together?"

I touch on the term "drunkorexia" and other terminology like that. As usual, click to view on YouTube as embedding has been disabled.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Proof that Eating Disorders Affect Everyone

I received some mail from ANAD (Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders) on Monday. I'm an ANAD eating disorder support group leader and they send me regular mail. Well, this week I was really intrigued by the contents of their mail. In fact, I made a brief video about it and read the (less than 1 page) letter. Check it out. It's very telling.

By the way, YouTube is having some major issues this week, so a few of my videos from earlier posts may not be working. Hopefully all will be fixed soon, but I know some videos are not currently viewable.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Question # 20: Taking Responsibility & Being Real

KRYSTAL left a comment a couple of months months ago (sorry it's taken me so long to get to your questions, Krystal!) and I'm going to break them up up into 2 parts to respond. First:

"Thanks for your videos, Arielle. I am just now catching up on them (of course, after the holidays are over)! One thing I have been struggling with lately is a realization that I may really not be the nice person I always thought I was. People have always thought of me as a really nice person. I have been able to find numerous flaws in my personality, but whenever I have had a "mean" moment, I have written it off and blamed it on depression, ED, or whatever stress was going on at the moment. I have been pretty negative and downtrodden lately about my realization that maybe I am just not as nice of a person as I have always thought.

On the brighter side, I am going to take some of your advice from your video "Appreciating What You DO Have Instead of Trying to Change What You've Got". I am going to blog about some things I am thankful for, maybe every day if I can find the time to get on my blog. I am also going to look for some good quotes to frame - I loved those quotes in your bathroom - awesome!"

Okay - you've probably heard the saying "You are your own worst critic" before, but let me talk about that for a second. We can all find flaws in our personalities, and not one of us is perfect. We can strive for perfection, we can strive to be nice, but we may never live up to our expectations. If you are looking for flaws, you will find them. You can keep in mind that you are only human - without making excuses for yourself. You don't always have to be one extreme or the other. By that I mean, you don't have to either be a horrible person or a perfect one. It doesn't work that way. You are who you are and you will change in many ways as you grow as a person.

That said, a part of recovery is definitely taking responsibility for your actions. So if you think you've been making excuses for yourself based on depression, stress, or your eating disorder, perhaps you are. But it doesn't mean those things are not a factor in why you are not able to be as nice as you wish to be.

I think being honest with ourselves is a difficult thing at times. As you say,you're downtrodden lately about the realization you may not be as nice of a person as you originally thought. If this is a true assessment, I can imagine it's rough. But keep in mind that many things can alter one's perception, and one of those things is an eating disorder. Your very sense of self could be askew. The way you view yourself could be completely off. The best thing to do is examine your actions, thoughts, and feelings - and see where they lead you. If you can recognize that you are not feeling like a nice person for valid reasons, you will be better able to change that.

The best advice I can offer is akin to what you are already doing. The more positive reinforcement you have around you, the more positive you will become. Surround yourself with the right things, and you will see a change. You can help your mood, you can help your "niceness." So definitely frame some positive quotes - and put them where you can see them on a daily basis. Make that list of things you're thankful for - and while you're at it, make a list of all the positive attributes YOU possess.

Might be hard at first... but don't let it slide. Complete a list. And add to it as you think of more positive traits. We all have them. Dig for them.

Krystal continues:

"On another note, I have been struggling with the decision on whether to blog about ED stuff. I was bulimic for so long and it was such a big part of my life, but since I was mostly normal weight, not a lot of people knew about it unless I told them. A lot of the new people I know have no clue I ever struggled with ED. I feel like blogging about it sometimes, but don't know if it would change things between me and my newer friends, or make things weird between us. . . What has been your experience? Sorry if you have already blogged or done a video about this. If so, you can just direct me there. . .Thanks."

I think blogging can be very therapeutic. Whatever you want to disclose to the public is up to you. Do only what you feel comfortable doing. If you want, start out small and see how it feels. See what kind of feedback you get. You don't have to tell your whole story all at once. You don't even have to give a backstory if you'd rather not. You can simply write your thoughts, and if some of those thoughts happen to be eating disorder thoughts, put 'em in there.

Your blog is your space. No one can tell you what to write. But if you constantly feel you are censoring yourself, it doesn't make for as therapeutic an experience. You know? Furthermore, if you are refraining from putting some honest bits of yourself out there because you're worried about what other people will think, say, or do - you're giving in to something that will not help you. That mentality is only going to hurt you. That is no way to live your life.

My two cents: I'd rather have a friend who's being real than a friend who's not.

Can I promise you one of your new friends won't ask questions? No. Can I promise you one of them won't shy away and act strangely? No. But as you've probably been told many a time, if they are really your friends, they'll still be your friends when they know more of your story. Don't let fear back you up against a wall.

I have met and befriended a lot of people since I recovered. Do I start having full blown conversations about my disorder with them? No. But do I blog about it? Obviously, yes. I'm not ashamed. And if someone will think differently of me because of my past, that is on them, not on me. Go in with the right attitude and you will not be disappointed.

Best of luck!

Videos of mine from the last year or so you might find helpful:

Friendships & Eating Disorders: Gaining Perspective Part 1
Friendships & Eating Disorders: Gaining Perspective Part 2
Addressing Trust and Friendships
Perfection & Imperfection
Telling, Fielding, and Dealing
Learning to Like Yourself
Stop Pretending & Start Being Real

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

When Your Distress Tolerance Plan Doesn't Work

Here's today's video, for this week on the ED recovery collaboration on YouTube. This week's topic:

"How do I continue with my distress tolerance plan when it doesn't seem to be working?"

In this video, I answer that question, as well as explain what a distress tolerance plan is. :)

As usual, click to view on YouTube, as embedding has been disabled.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Question # 19: Wishing You'd Never Come Clean About Your ED

JULIA asks:

"I came forward without prodding; no one knew about my EDNOS except for me. Am I still allowed to have days when I wish I'd never said a word? How can I deal with those feelings?"

I finally got a new webcam so you can actually hear how I REALLY sound without that lispy, snake-like Ssss noise, so I thought I'd respond via video. It's a short one, and I realize I don't offer any earth-shattering advice, but it's my thoughts on the matter nonetheless.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

How To Eat When Hungry & Stop When Full

Thought these videos might be helpful. I responded to a YouTube viewer's question - and man, is it an important question! The video is in two parts, but Part Two is short, I promise - you have to watch them in their entirety or a lot of the importance is lost.

Oh! And good news! A new webcam is in the process of being shipped to me! This is great because you will no longer have to hear that awful lisping noise my camera gives me when I make videos. I do not really lisp or sound like a snake, I promise. It's terrible the way the camera makes me sound. I can't wait for the new webcam!

Part One: How to Eat When Hungry and Stop When Full

Part Two: How to Eat When Hungry and Stop When Full