Tuesday, December 31, 2013


To start the year off on a positive note, avoid resolutions in the spirit of self-dislike.  Rather than focusing on weight loss, why not resolve to improve your relationship with food, and while you're at it, your relationship with your body?  This will help you now and will last way beyond the crash-diet/gym-heavy January norm.

Other ideas for resolutions:
  • Develop a healthier relationship with exercise
  • Improve self-acceptance
  • Practice imperfection
  • Accept yourself as is, while still leaving room for change and growth
Happy New Year.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Truth in Advertising

Have you seen the new Special K campaign that encourages us to put an end to Fat Talk? 

So inspirational, right?  Except that the video tells us that fat talk is a barrier to managing our weight, rather than a barrier to being happy or being alive. . .  And this is the same Special K that asked us "What will you gain when you lose?", that promised us we could drop a jean size in two weeks, and that introduced us to weightless Melissa. Remember her?

Pantene is responsible for a simultaneous viral campaign that encourages us to buck the women-as-bossy or-bitchy stereotype and lean in just like Sheryl.  

But is Pantene really after our best interests?  In a Time article, research psychologist Peggy Drexler asks: "After all, is there anything more sexist than the notion that professional women need a hair care brand—or anyone, really—to help them learn to 'be strong and shine'?" Keep in mind, this is the same Pantene of the 1980's "Don't hate me because I'm beautiful" campaign.  Remember her?

Unilever's Dove "Real Beauty" campaign was perhaps the first to market with the purpose of body positivity. But in these ads, which aimed to cast "flawless" women, we saw gradations of thin, curvy physiques with spotless skin and beautiful hair. This is the same Unilever that owns Slim Fast.

These companies don't really care if you love your body or achieve your personal or career goals. If so, they would have built themselves around this philosophy from the start. They want you to buy their products. Consultants have advised them that the route to enviable sales now lies in promoting self-empowerment.  So they are.  But body love and personal growth are independent of cereal, body wash, and shampoo selection, and these campaigns are hypocritical at worst, see through at best. Don't believe the hype.

Monday, December 09, 2013

Fatness: A Public Health Crisis?

Hey Tweet Peeps,

Do you have plans for Friday, December 13th, at 1pm EST?

If not, join the Academy for Eating Disorders' upcoming TweetChat!  We will be hosting UCLA sociology professor and author Dr. Abigail Saguy, who wrote the book, What's Wrong With Fat? released earlier this year. (Hint: Buy it--it's good!)

I'm honored to be helping out with the TweetChat behind the scenes.  You can follow the buzz using #aedchat or the handles @aedweb, @WhatsWrongWithFat, or mine, @drstaceyla.

Enjoy the dialogue!

Monday, November 18, 2013

My Thoughts on Lululemon

Last week, yoga/fitness/lifestyle clothier Lululemon's founder Chip Wilson made a huge body image/weight stigma blunder by refusing to take any responsibility when accused of poor product construction. Instead, he blamed yoga pant pilling on poorly constructed women. "Some women's bodies just actually don't work," he said. "It's about the rubbing through the thighs." It's not the fabric's fault, silly; it's your bulging gams.

Wilson has apologized publicly for the offense, but many in the eating disorder community just won't have it. Body Image Advocate Marci Warfhaft-Nadler makes some excellent points here and also started a change.org petition encouraging Lululemon founder Chip Wilson to "stop shaming women's bodies" and "apologize and make clothes for women of all sizes!"

In defense of Lululemon, I happen to like their products, swayed early on by the brand's comfort, fit, and seeming impermeability to sweat smells and stains.* Granted, unlike the average American woman, I wear a size that entitles me to shop at Lululemon in the first place, but in my experience, their yoga and running pants actually pill less than other brands. And, for those of you who have never seen me, I'm sans thigh gap and not even close to a top-shelf Lululemon'er. And yet, my trusted Lulus have held up over
time. . .

Wilson made an offensive comment and for that, he should take responsibility, but let's hate the player and the game. Wilson's fat-shaming sentiment, and the brand's refusal to carry larger sizes, are not at all unique to Wilson or Lululemon.  Rather, they are problems that plague the fashion industry and our culture as a whole. The conversation about bodies, clothing, and weight stigma goes way beyond Chip Wilson and Lululemon and must evolve, along with the industry, to be more inclusive and less offensive to all of us.

*Product plugs:  I'm grateful to Lululemon, Nike, Hard Tail, New Balance, and Apple products for outfitting and entertaining me during today's morning workout, which allowed me the time and space to write this blog post in my head.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013


You may have heard that Michelle Obama is scheduled to appear (again) on an episode of NBC's The Biggest Loser.

This time, the eating disorder community won't go down without a fight.

The last couple of weeks have witnessed a social media* blitz suggesting our first lady reconsider her appearance. The folks over at Binge Behavior started a change.org petition encouraging Mrs. Obama to cancel on TBL. The petition already has 3,500 signatures, including mine!

Binge Behavior, together with the Binge Eating Disorder Association, the Academy of Eating Disorders and some other key e.d. players, also sent a letter to Mrs. Obama explaining why we are challenging her appearance on the show.

What do you think?

*Speaking of social media, a couple of months ago, I signed on as one of the official Tweeters for the Academy of Eating Disorders.  For great content on eating disorders, check out their Twitter feed: @aedweb (and mine, too: @drstaceyla)!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

No Excuses

"What's your excuse?"
By now, you've probably seen this photo (motivational campaign?), which has quickly made the internet rounds.

Maria Kang is, as she describes on her website, a "recovering bulimic."  I would hope that all women in recovery understand that images and messages like this are often difficult for women, with and without eating disorders, to tolerate.

The word "excuse" has a judgmental, shaming connotation to it.  If you're not doing it her way, then clearly, you're not doing it right.  Already, many women have spoken out with their "excuses," from lack of time or other resources, to serious illness.  How's cancer for an excuse for not rocking Kangian abs?

The reality is, most women's "excuse" is simply genetics.  Even if they spent three hours daily at the gym (and really, how healthy would that be?) and ate only unprocessed, organic, vegan, dairy-free, sugar-free, gluten-free morsels at two-hour intervals throughout the day, stopping by 7pm, of course (and really, how healthy would that be?), they still wouldn't look like this.  Because their genes just don't want them to.  Their bodies would rebel from over-training by getting sick and injured and they would compensate for caloric restriction by overeating or bingeing when given the chance.  And their lives would be monumentally out of balance. . .

There are hoards of athletic, flexible, strong, in-shape women who can run marathons or climb mountains, hoist dumbbells, office printers, or six-year-olds, who earn cardiovascular and metabolic gold stars at each and every doctor's visit, who look nothing like this.  The reality is, by looking at the photo of Kang, we can't even know if she's healthy.  We simply know that she's thin.  The more we equate health with appearance, the more we encourage exercise as punishment (rather than life-affirming recreation) and promote cultural-sanctioned disordered eating and body dissatisfaction.

And until women can come together and stop judging, criticizing and attacking one another, we really don't stand a chance in tackling the many forms of competition and adversity we experience in our roles as mothers, in the workplace, as sexual objects, etc., etc., etc.

Motivating people through judgment, shame, and attack isn't motivating, at least not in the long-run.  My hope is that women like Kang can motivate her fitness audience through accurate information, encouragement, and support.  There are plenty of forces and factors in this world that denigrate women; let's at least call it a truce with one another.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Should She Rebel?

It looks like Aussie export Rebel Wilson is getting the full-court press by the diet industry, as companies bid to have her crowned their newest weight-loss spokesperson.

Wilson, praised for her comedic talent and now the star of her own show, is apparently set to encounter tons of money if she signs on to endorse one of these plans.

Should she do it for the money (who's the biggest loser, then?) or say no, I'm happy and successful the way I am?

Friday, September 20, 2013

Is Strong the New Skinny?

I remember the first "Fitspiration" ad I clipped many years ago.  It was a print ad from Nike, and the rookie fitness professional in me liked the message.  It said something to the effect of how we never go out for a run and later regret that we did.  Couldn't really argue that. . .

Flash forward almost 20 years and these ads have morphed into something entirely different.

Nike still plays it relatively safe, but commands hard work and harder bodies.

fitspiration 1

Others have a more radical tone.  Following in the footsteps of thinspiration, fitspiration (nicknamed "fitspo"), offers internet images and slogans designed to motivate us toward our fitness goals. Popping up on social media sites are images of women with toned, muscular bodies and especially chiseled abs accompanied by inspirational messages evoking themes of discipline, failure, and pain.

hahaha, love this
Charlotte Anderson of the blog (and book), The Great Fitness Experiment, writes about fitspo:  
Looking at rock-hard body after rock-hard body it occurred to met hat fitspo may be in thinspo in a sports bra.  After all ,the problem with thinspo is that the images represent a mostly unattainable ideal that requires great sacrifices (both physical and mental) to achieve and I daresay that most of those "perfect" female bodies, albeit muscular instead of bony, are equally as problematic.
What do you think?  Do fitspo images and slogans motivate fitness behavior in the masses or promote an unhealthy relationship with exercise, food, and weight?  Are these ads just more socially acceptable forms of thinspo?

Photo 17-8-13 10 45 25 PM

Strong is certainly a healthier goal than skinny, and I'd love to see images of strong women of various shapes and sizes.  But if strong really is the new sexy, then why are these women all so skinny?  

Friday, September 13, 2013

Monday, August 26, 2013

Calling All Commenters!

I'm excited to announce that my blog has generated interest from a publisher to create a book on the important subject of eating/body image concerns. Through the years the comments from readers have been an important part of this blog. If you have commented at any time, I would appreciate your contacting me at drstaceyla at gmail dot com. Thank you. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Like a Lady?

The Skinny Girls Cocktails website commands:
Ladies, it’s time. Time to bring the old rules of cocktailing into the modern age. Time to re-write the books on the way we socialize. Time to redefine just what it means to be a lady. Sure, a lady always says, “please” and “thank you,” but a lady also knows what she wants, and isn’t afraid to go out and get it. And Skinnygirl® Cocktails is here to show you how. It’s a woman’s world out there, and it’s time to Drink Like a Lady™.
What exactly does it mean to "drink like a lady"?  Does it mean that you sit cross-legged on a chaise, sipping your chardonnay? That your pinkie dangles delicately as you drink your daiquiri?

Does it mean you wisely moderate your alcohol use? (Now that's a cause I can get behind!)

Or, does it mean, as implied by the brand name, that you imbibe liberally but still look like Bethenny?

It's a tiring (and tiresome) dilemma for women.  Enjoy your food, but watch your weight.  Glisten, but don't you sweat.  Be sexual, but not promiscuous.

If it really were a "woman's world," would you have to "drink like a lady" or could you simply drink?

Monday, August 12, 2013

Attention Long-time Readers!

Remember when I posted years ago asking for story submissions?  For those of you who so kindly sent me your stories, would you please send me your updated contact info? (to drstaceyny AT gmail DOT com).  I'd like to get formal permission to use them for the book.

Others:  want to share your story with the world?  Feel free to send to me!

Also, check out my new list of links (Sites I Like) to the right for helpful content on eating disorders, food, and weight.

And, for those who want a good laugh, check out this video, courtesy of Amy Schumer, which addresses in hyperbolic fashion how many women just can't seem to take a compliment (apologies for the profanity).

Monday, July 08, 2013

You Are Beautiful. . . Or Does it Even Really Matter?

The sign beckons me from a parking lot in Santa Monica.  You are beautiful, it says.  And for a moment, I agree.  I am beautiful.  And so are you.  And you.  And yes, even you.

It's such a, well, beautiful sentiment.  We should all acknowledge how uniquely beautiful we are.

For years, I've worked within this framework, encouraging women to focus on what aspects of their appearance they like.  For some, even finding one or two features was a difficult task, but I was patient and resolute.  For me, it was important to recognize that appearance isn't a black-and-white issue, and that while you might not like your stomach, your eyes, well, they're kinda pretty, no?

And, zooming out a bit, aren't you really just a beautifully complete creature, a perfect constellation of limbs, organs, fluid, and cells, parts that fit and function in a miraculous way?

More recently, though, I've found myself shifting frames.  If you feel beautiful, that's quite an accomplishment given our current cultural context.  Good for you.  You've outwitted them.

But if you don't, that might okay, too.  Because, I'm interested in taking that current cultural context and slamming it into an empty parking lot wall.  Why must we put such a premium on beauty? You're not so attractive?  Okay.  What do you have going for you that likely, in the scheme of things, matters significantly more?  Beauty may get us through this world more quickly.  I'm not going to argue that.  It's like a theme park fast pass for life. But, if beauty is what you want out of life, and that's how you'll evaluate your time on earth as it nears it's end, then it's possible you have some larger challenges than the shape of your nose or the size of your thighs.

The ladies behind Beauty Redefined offer up some words of wisdom that reflect this change of course.  You may argue, "No, that's not true," but isn't that just another sign that you've been brainwashed like the rest of us?

So, what do you think?  Should we continue to stress "You are beautiful," or instead radicalize the discourse a la Beauty Redefined?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Can You Love Your Body Without Really Loving Your Body?

Lose the Diet.
Love Your Body.
Eat in Peace.

Those are three of the major tenets of my work with eating and body image.  The order in which women accomplish these goals is fairly standard.  First, they give up dieting.  While this may be a radical notion for some, usually it's not too difficult to accomplish.  Next, and as a part of a new non-dieting approach, they learn to find peace with food.  This step may require a bit more finagling, but many women are still able to find success.  So far, so good. . .  But, what comes next is, in my opinion, significantly more challenging to approach.

Love Your Body.

What does that mean?  Do you really need to love your body to move beyond eating and body issues?  Is love a requirement to heal?

I don't believe that you must really love your body in order to recover.  The truth is that most women (and an increasing number of men these days) don't love their bodies.  But, what is important is acting as if you love your body.  What does that mean exactly?
  • You refrain from attacking your body with verbal and visual assaults.
  • You take care of your body, providing it with adequate nutrition, sleep, and other self-care behaviors.
  • You exercise for health and enjoyment, not for punishment or compensation.
  • You wear clothing that fits, is comfortable, and flatters your physique.
  • You participate in activities that you enjoy, without letting your size keep you sidelined or from enjoying these activities.  
  • You have a healthy sexual/romantic life, and your body image isn't an obstacle to your sexuality.
  • You treat your body well, and if finances allow, you go for massages, manicures, etc.  
  • You accept that while you might prefer to be thinner, taller, tanner, or more toned, this is your body now. 
Can you try to act as if?  

Monday, April 15, 2013

Developing a Healthy Relationship with Exercise

Exercise is a wonderful thing.  Unfortunately, that's not the case for most people I know.  It seems I'm usually either working with people to begin an exercise program or, on the other extreme, to back off of an exercise regime they don't enjoy but feel compelled to do.  As a psychologist who specializes in eating/body issues, who also has a master's degree in sport/exercise psychology and has been certified as a personal trainer for over 15 years, I am uniquely positioned to comment on both sides of the exercise spectrum, from under-exercise to exercise addiction.

We know that a large percentage of people who begin an exercise program will drop out within the first six months.  Why?  Because they don't like what they're doing.  Because they burn out. Because life gets in the way. If you follow these tips, though, you'll be more likely to commit to healthy activity over the long-haul because you'll actually enjoy what you're doing. Remember, the goal is to choose an "exercise lifestyle" that will work for the rest of your years.

1)  Cross-train:  Trainers have been talking for eons about the physiological benefits of cross-training, but cross-training has significant mental pros, too.  Participating in different activities throughout the week (month or year) reduces emotional burnout.

2)  Get outside:  There's something about fresh air and the sights, smells and sounds of city/country living that can contribute to the psychological benefits of fitness.  Nature, too, is a natural mood-booster.  True, some may also enjoy the sights (maybe not the smells) of their local gym, but still, I recommend that, weather-permitting, you mix it up a bit.

3)  Ban the gym:  Speaking of the gym, consider your relationship with your local Gold's or Equinox. If you hate going there, it's going to be an uphill battle all the way, and chances are, you'll drop out. If the gym connotes discomfort, punishment, etc., choose another venue you actually look forward to visiting.  Play tennis.  Go hiking.  Take salsa lessons. There is absolutely no need to go to the gym if that's not your thing.  Adrenaline junkie?  Try rock climbing, ocean swimming, mountain biking.  You'd be impressed at how infinitely more thrilling chasing the speed limit cycling westbound on San Vincente in L.A. or on the downhill stretch of Harlem Hill in Central Park can be than parking yourself on the stationary bike at the gym.

4)  Get your soundtrack on:  Studies show that we'll work out longer and harder when accompanied by good music.  I love my music collection so much that I look forward to the movement it commands.  You, too, can create a personal dance party on your MP3 player. For more of a challenge, choose faster-paced music, as we unconsciously move our bodies to the beat.

5)  Set goals:  It's incredibly motivating to have a project or goal to work toward.  Sign up for your first 5k (or muddy buddy race, if that's your thing).  Join a summer basketball league, knowing that you'd like to be in fighting shape before the league begins.  Having some sort of goal or deadline can enhance your fitness commitment and keep you on track.

6)  Forget the weight:  Exercise because it feels good and contributes to physical and psychological health, not because it burns calories or helps you lose or maintain weight. Those who begin exercise programs to lose weight often drop out when they don't see the immediate desired results. On the other extreme, exercise can become disordered as individuals seek to burn off each additional calorie they've consumed.  Exercise is a privilege, not a punishment for consumption.  I wish that all group fitness instructors would, in their prompts during class, focus on strength, health, and fun, rather than calories and weight. 15 years ago, I wrote my master's thesis on the mood-enhancing properties of exercise, and I still stand behind that research.   Exercise results in reduced depression and anxiety and increased self-esteem.  Work out with these significant benefits in mind.

7)  Be consistent:  Hemming and hawing about should I or shouldn't I work out today creates too much room for bailing.  Have a set schedule that you commit to, unless you're sick or something urgent arises.  Consider fitness to be a part of your everyday routine.

8)  Take it easy:  Yes, it is possible both to be consistent and to take it easy.  Schedule days off.  This one is particularly challenging for those who have a compulsive relationship with exercise, but for that reason alone, it's important to achieve.  The body (and the mind) need some time to recover.  Taking a couple of days off per week allows you to come back clearer, stronger, and more determined.  Schedule weeks off here or there throughout the year to recover more fully and further increase your drive.  Prove that you have a  healthy relationship with exercise by taking time off for work/family obligations, travel, illness, surgeries, etc. without suffering guilt, anxiety, or depression.

9)  Embrace the grays:  Taking it easy also involves embracing the grays:  Despite what almost everyone I work with believes, I still espouse that 15 minutes of exercise is better than nothing. If you don't have the time or energy to put it a full workout, do what you can. Trust me, it still counts. On a related note, your workout should not feel like 45 minutes of physical torture. Many people dislike exercise because they equate it with pain. Back off to a degree where you feel challenged, but not distressed. Especially if you're having an off day, give yourself permission to dial back the effort. Your run can turn into a walk, your kickboxing class into a yoga class class across the gym. And yes, it still counts.

10)  Practice gratitude: Take a moment to remember how lucky you are to choose to move your body.  Be thankful for functioning limbs, a healthy heart and lungs, and the lifestyle wherewithal that allows you to have  the time, space, and energy to move.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Bumpy Roads

What do Kim Kardashian, Jessica Simpson, and Kate Middleton have in common?  Yes, they're all famous, and yes, they're all pregnant, but all three have also been criticized for their pregnancy shape.

As if the physical and emotional aspects of pregnancy aren't enough stress to bear, women's pregnant bodies are constantly scrutinized and judged by others.  Are you gaining enough weight?  Are you gaining too much weight?  Or are you the Goldilocks of motherhood?

For those who struggled with food prior to pregnancy, these 10 months can be exceptionally challenging.  Morning sickness, weekly weight checks, a growing belly (and body. . .  even despite a real and delicious purpose), sometimes well-intentioned comments about the "right" things to eat--all can rile up an already shaky relationship with food and weight.  And, as more and more women are turning to fertility treatments these days, tack on additional pre-pregnancy gain.

A lot of this cannot be stopped.  But the comments, they need to cease.  Internet magazine Jezebel recently ran an article lambasting the media hoopla around Kim K's gain.  I say, we need to apply these words to every expecting mother.  Not one woman should be critically commenting on another woman's growing belly.  It's the quickest, surest way to devalue the miracle of life.  

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

I Recommend This Book to No One

Remember those book reports from grade school, which inevitably concluded with your recommendation for a target audience ("I'd recommend this book to other boys and girls my age. . . .")?

Well, I found a book that I would like to recommend to no one.

I was browsing in my local novelty shop and came across this title:

Never have I been so disappointed by a subtitle. And to think, the title had such promise!

So, I found myself mentally rewriting the subtitle (and, of course, by extension, the book).   Six Weeks to OMG:  Never Pick Up a Diet Book Again. . .  Six Weeks to OMG:  Learn How to Challenge Current Media Representations of Women. . .  Six Weeks to OMG:  Finally Organize Your Sock Drawer. . .  really anything than the one they chose.

How would you rename this book?  What can you accomplish in six weeks that is healthier and more productive than the promise laid out here?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

NEDAwareness Week

You do know that it's National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, right? 

Check out NEDA's new graphics on eating disorders in men and women.  Did you learn something new?

Here are my NEDAW plans:

1) This past weekend, I attended FBT training at Stanford University.  What an informative weekend!

2)  Yesterday, I attended this great talk on evidenced-based treatment.

3)  On Friday, I kick off Sierra Tucson's Symposium for Eating Disorder Treatment (Remember those questions I asked you a while back about therapist preferences?  I'll be drawing from your responses.)  I'll be followed by a number of impressive names in the field.  

4)  On Saturday, I'm joining colleagues for the first-ever Los Angeles NEDA Walk!  

What are you doing to move yourself and others along in recovery this week?  

Are you talking the talk and walking the walk?  

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

OA (Oh No?)

12-step programs have guided countless individuals to sobriety and recovery.  I've worked with patients who fully attribute their substance abuse recovery to participation in "the rooms."  While some patients never take to the fellowship, citing a variety of objections (e.g., don't like the idea of a higher power, feel the organization is cultish, etc.), many find these self-help groups to be helpful and supportive.

Do these same benefits translate to the world of overeating? Is Overeaters Anonymous helpful or hurtful?

We know that that there is something inherently addictive about alcohol and other drugs.  With food, I'm not so sure.  Despite plentiful claims in the popular media, we don't have any good research that suggests that "food addiction" exists.  For an interesting summary on this debate, check out this dietitian's blog.  We know that people can demonstrate an addictive relationship around food, but this doesn't mean that the food itself is addictive.  Rather, behaviors like restriction and bingeing can be incredibly habit-forming.

Moreover, most of the foods that people label as addictive (e.g., sugar, carbohydrates, fats, etc.) are foods that they've tried to restrict in some ways. Deprivation can, as we know, lead to overeating.  For instance, almost every patient I see who tells me she's addicted to sugar happens to be restricting her carbs.  Once she  supplements her carbohydrate intake, much of the sugar cravings subside.

The problem with OA is that many groups (not all, but many) conceptualize food or certain foods as addictive.  As a solution, they preach abstinence (similar to other 12-step programs).  OA members will speak of their abstinence from sugar, wheat, etc.  Some OA sponsors will prescribe their sponsees specific meal plans.  Any departure from the meal plan is considered a relapse (i.e., back to Day 1).

The problem with this approach, if you're not guessing this already, is that abstinence equals deprivation!  As a result, many who try out OA, find themselves developing even greater problems with bingeing or overeating, as a result of the diet-binge cycle.  We're able to carve out an existence without alcohol or drug. but abstinence from food is impossible and abstinence from certain foods increases the experience of deprivation.  By defaulting to abstinence, OA does not teach members how to eat in moderation (which, in my opinion, is necessary to be functional around food in this world), contend with emotions that lead to overeating, or heal one's relationship with food.  It only makes it worse.  OA members may practice abstinence from various foods until a time in which they're presented with that food/can't take it any longer/give up. . . leading to one colossal binge.  I've worked with a number of patients who come into treatment, precipitated by an increase in disordered eating, which they attribute to OA.

Now, it may be possible to find OA groups and/or sponsors that are less restrictive and offer the typical benefits associated with 12-step groups.  But unless that's possible, those who struggle with compulsive eating may be better served through Anorexics and Bulimics Anonymous or emotional eating groups run by private practitioners who espouse a more intuitive approach to eating and food.


*thanks to Meliss, who begged the question : )

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

News and Such (Is That a Bird?)

1)  Here's the press release for ED Hope's 25 Best Blogs of the Year.  As the release suggests, the blogs represent a diverse pool on perspectives and writing on ed's yet are unified in their drive toward health and recovery.  While you're at it, take a peak at ED Hope, a great resource for ed's.
2)  I've succumbed.  I'm now on Twitter:   

3)  And finally, don't you just love Kate Winslet?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Another Award!

DEWHAED has been selected as one of Eating Disorder Hope's "Top 25 Eating Disorder Blogs of 2012."  Check out the other 24 blogs here.  I'm excited to be in such good company!

Top Eating Disorders Treatment Information

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


For another take on women and our bodies, check out All this beauty.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


I'm giving a talk on eating disorder treatment in March, and I'd like to ask for your help.  Two questions I want to address are:

1)  What are the perceived benefits of seeing a therapist who specializes in eating disorders?

2)  Do you have any feelings (or preferences) regarding the shape/size of your eating disorder therapist?

If you have any responses, please feel free to post as comments or email me privately.  If I choose to use your response, I will, of course, remove any identifying information for the talk.


Wednesday, January 09, 2013

The Times They Are a Changin'?

Happy New Year, DEWHAED readers!

And a happy new year it is. . .  Several news pieces this year have already made me squeal with delight!

Have you heard that the percentage of Americans (women, in particular) who are on a diet has drastically declined in the last 20 years?  The NPD Group, who conducted the study, report:
Our data suggests that dieters are giving up on diets more quickly than in the past. In 2004, 66 percent of all dieters said they were on a diet for at least 6 months. In 2012, that number dropped to 62 percent. Perhaps people are not seeing results quickly enough. . . Americans still want to lose weight, but we are seeing a change in attitudes about being overweight.
According to the NPD, from 1992-2012, the percentage of female dieters has dropped from 34% to 23%.

Then, of course, there was the recent JAMA publication, a meta-analytic research review (that means the results are powerful!) that found that overweight people have a lower risk of mortality than people of "normal" weight.  The study even found that those who are low grade obese (BMI = 30-34.9) had equal rates of mortality as their "normal"-weight peers.

And, just last week, UCLA Sociologist, Dr. Abigail Saguy wrote a fabulous OP-ED for the LA Times.  Saguy recently published the book, What's Wrong With Fat?, which I can't wait to get my hands on when it (hopefully) arrives in my mailbox this week.  Take a peak here:

I was able to book Dr. Saguy to speak in March to a group of local eating-disorder professionals I chair, and I can't wait to hear her talk.

Hope your new year is off to a healthy and happy start. . . .