Archive of ‘Body Image’ category

What Recovery Looks Like

In my first ever post on this blog I shared that God told me that 2013 would be the year I recovered from my long-term eating disorder. And it was. This is an update on my recovery journey, ask two years after I received that promise. 2014 ushered in a year of solid, glorious recovery. I’m living a life I never thought was possible and it just keeps getting better year by year!

I’ve learned that recovery truly is a process. In 2013, I had a lot of bad days, days where I felt like my eating disorder was controlling my life. But I was able to stop all my eating disorder behaviors and then slowly my depression started fading away and my self esteem improved and I entered 2014 with so much more confidence and actually loving my body for the first time!

In 2014 I found a continual increase of good days. Days filled with glorious freedom, days where my mind was able to fully focus on the present, on my day to day life and my relationship with my friends, family, and God. I would find myself during rare, quiet moments realizing that I hadn’t even struggled remotely with my eating disorder in a long time. My eating disorder is becoming more and more removed from me, fading into my past, becoming more like the memory of a nightmare that almost doesn’t feel real to me anymore.

If you had told me that this sort of recovery were possible for me while I was in treatment or even during my first semester of college, I wouldn’t have believed you. And yet here I am.

I’ve learned a lot about recovery and have been so surprised by the faithfulness of God. And when I say the faithfulness of God, I really mean it. I think back on the life I was living, completely miserable and distanced from my friends and family, hating myself and convinced that God didn’t love me, and I’m left feeling astounded and thankful because I know none of it would have been possible without God’s never-ending pursuit of me.

My recovery means that I’m living a joyful life. It’s not all happy rainbows, it’s not perfect, but it is marked by joy, a hope and excitement for each new day.

My recovery means that I understand that food is necessary for my health and survival, but also that it can be eaten simply to be enjoyed.

My recovery means that I can go clothes shopping and not be bothered that I can’t fit into the sizes I used to wear. It means I can wear a bathing suit and feel pretty darn good about myself.

I love my tattoo for so many reasons – it reminds me of God’s promise and faithfulness to me and it also embodies all the things I’ve learned about recovery – it’s continuous, it doesn’t move on a straight line. He is making everything new. He’s doing a new thing. And if it’s possible for my life, it’s possible for yours.

What Recovery Looks Like | He is Making Everything New

Recovery is a process and I’m learning what its twists and turns looks like. I am looking forward to the day that I realize that I haven’t thought of my eating disorder for years. I know that day is ahead of me and I am ready for it!

The Danger of Dress Codes

The Danger of Dress Codes--He is Making Everything New

Wearing my sandals and leggings

In my last post viagra 40mg too (unless you have a penis. In that case, shop God made your penis).” href=”http://www.heismakingeverythingnew.com/god-made-my-vagina-and-he-made-yours-too-unless-you-have-a-penis-in-that-case-god-made-your-penis/” target=”_blank”>God Made My Vagina and He Made Yours, anemia Too (Unless You Have a Penis. In that Case, God Made Your Penis), I talked about how Christian modesty culture can really have a damaging effect on how we think about our bodies. This post continues along the same lines but is more specifically focused on the clothing we wear and the existence of dress codes.

About six years ago I was in the middle of a piano lesson with my (very old) piano teacher when she looked down at my flip flops and said, “We had a woman come to our church wearing shoes like that. I pointed it out to my pastor so he could speak to her because that’s just not appropriate to wear at church.”

I sat there dumbfounded. She was upset because a woman wore flip flops to church? So upset to talk to her pastor about telling the woman to wear different shoes? I tried to say that I didn’t think there was anything wrong with wearing flip flops to church (let’s be honest, it’s all I wear during the summer, including what I wear to church) but she remained confident that flip flops should absolutely not be worn at church.

I felt so sad imagining this flip-flop wearing woman visiting this church. Instead of being covered by the love of Christ and accepted by the body, she had people looking at her with disapproving stares because of her choice of shoes. The message she received that Sunday morning was not of the captivating beauty of Jesus and the Gospel of grace and truth, but rather the message, “You are not welcome here with those shoes.”

How ridiculous is that? 

One of the dangers of having a dress code, whether explicitly stated or just implied, is that it can cultivate a self-righteous attitude in those keep the dress code and an attitude of judgment towards those who don’t.

If modesty culture teaches that people who love Jesus don’t wear clothes like short shorts, spaghetti strapped tank tops, leggings, or bikinis, what happens when we see Christians wearing these clothes? We start being able to categorize people into the groups “actually love Jesus” and “clearly don’t follow Jesus” simply by what clothing they choose to wear.

But here’s the thing–there are so many things wrong with this kind of thinking. First of all, there are no clear-cut standards of modesty, Biblical or otherwise. I never would have thought that flip-flops would have been considered immodest or inappropriate. There are Christians today who don’t believe women should wear pants. In many Muslim countries, modesty is covering your head or your entire face. In some tribal cultures, women spend most of their time topless–does that mean that they’re immodest?

And an even deeper reality is that it’s not our job as lovers of Christ to pass judgment on anybody. It’s our job to love people intensely and whole-heartedly. We can’t tell what someone’s relationship with Jesus is like based on their clothing. Jesus said, “The tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you” (Mt 21:31). I’m sure the Pharisees thought that they could tell what sort of relationship these prostitutes had with God just by looking at them and guess what? They were horribly wrong.

A core part of Christianity is that it’s inclusive–everyone is welcome at the table. One of the problems with a dress code is that it can make things exclusive. If your youth group has a dress code, what happens when a new person comes and isn’t following the dress code? Or what about when you want to invite your friend to come to youth group but don’t know how to tell them that they need to change their clothes and so you end up not inviting them? This can lead to the same situation the flip-flop woman was in–instead of the Gospel we promote a shallow religion of rule following and dos and don’ts.

Anyone who has spent any time at all in youth group has heard that guys are “visual beings” and that we need to be careful to not less our “brothers stumble.” I’m not here to attack that thinking, but I do think that we are communicating a message to Christian guys that’s not necessarily helpful. What is often communicated is that guys cannot possibly help themselves when it comes to looking at girls who are dressed in certain types of clothing. Why is this what we’re telling our young Christian men? Instead of telling them that God is the God of the impossible and that we are empowered to live out lives of holiness by the Holy Spirit, we’re telling them that if girls wear bikinis they physically can’t stop lusting? And of course it never seems like guys have any sort of dress code (coming from someone who has seen youth group guys end up in just their boxers out in public on church trips).

If dress codes seem to promote self-righteous attitudes, a culture of judgment and exclusivity, and fails to teach guys to walk out in purity, where does this leave us?

I think that there are a lot of things in the Christian faith that fall along the lines of what Paul was talking about in 1 Corinthians 10:23-24. He writes:

“I have the right to do anything,” you say–but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”–but not everything is constructive. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.

Paul is talking about whether or not Christians should eat food that has been sacrificed to idols. Paul says that this is ok, because Christians know that there is no god but the Lord. However, even if something is permissible, it might not be beneficial. I believe it’s permissible to wear bikinis and tank tops and all that, but it might not be beneficial. But here’s the thing–I believe we should be empowering young men and women to hear from the Lord and be empowered by the Holy Spirit to make their own life decisions, including the clothing they wear. And I think we have to be ok with the reality that people might come to different conclusions. In Paul’s day, some Christians decided not to eat food sacrificed to idols and some did. Some Christians today believe it’s ok to drink alcohol and some choose not to. I believe that the Lord has given me permission to wear leggings, and yet some people might not feel like they can wear leggings.

I think men and women both need to ask God how they should dress and allow the Holy Spirit to decide for them. Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit and should be treated as such, but what that looks like may differ from person to person. And I think that’s ok. The important thing is that we’re growing in love for each other, sharing the Gospel in word and action, and seeking the good of our brothers and sisters in Christ.

God made my vagina and he made yours, too (unless you have a penis. In that case, God made your penis).

God made my vagina and he made yours, <a href=information pills too (unless you have a penis. In that case, apoplexy God made your penis).” width=”620″ height=”620″ />

Why is it that I felt really uncomfortable writing vagina and penis in the title of my blog post?

Why do I feel like I just swore?

Why am I worried about someone seeing what I just titled this blog post?

If the very name of a body part is enough to make many of us feel dirty, recipe how does that body part itself make us feel? I submit to you that our American culture, and largely our American Christian culture, has distorted our views on our bodies and made us uncomfortable with one of God’s greatest gift to us.

I’m guessing a lot of Christians live life with the feeling (either subconscious or recognized) that their bodies are sinful, especially those body parts that are used for, you know, sex. I think this is probably especially prevalent for women in the church who are constantly told to be modest so as not to “be a stumbling block to their brothers.” I think one of the unintended results of modesty culture is that women have lost ownership of their own bodies because the very existence of our bodies is enough to cause any man we encounter to fall away from Christ. And this leads to a lot of shame.

The reality is that my entire body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit that raised Christ from the dead lives and reigns in me, and so my body is to be celebrated and honored. And yet I’ve never been taught that my breasts are part of this beautiful Holy-Spirit filled temple. What I learned in youth group are that my breasts lead guys to sin. If I am taught to view my breasts as objects of sin and lust, how am I supposed to celebrate them and thank God for them? Whether or not it was the intention, I spent several years viewing my breasts as a source of shame.

I don’t think I have ever heard anyone say vagina in a church or youth group setting. In a church setting I’m allowed to say “thank you, God, for creating my nose like you did. I’m thankful for my nose,” but somehow it would be inappropriate to thank God for creating my vagina? Or to even allude to the fact that I own a vagina? Is it a stumbling block to make people think I have a vagina???

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says this:

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your bodies.

How am I supposed to honor God with my body if I think my body is inherently bad? How am I supposed to glorify God with something sinful? How can I thank Him for a body that is a source of shame?

The reality is that Jesus “became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14). He became flesh. Jesus has a body. Jesus’ body is a part of his identity. And you know what? I’m guessing that Jesus has a penis. Does that freak you out?

I’ve been taking refuge in Psalm 139 for the past few months and I love the reality that is shared in this beautiful song:

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth your eyes saw my unformed body.

God made your body. He made my body. He knit me together. His eyes were the first to ever see me, His hand was the first to ever caress me, His presence was the first I ever felt. If the morning stars sang together and the angels shouted for joy when God created the earth (Job 38:7), I don’t think it’s far-fetched to imagine that the Lord sang over me when He created me. And just as the Lord was a part of the formation of my lungs, heart, arms, and legs, I have to believe that He took part in creating my breasts and my vagina.

Why do I care what you think about your body parts?

I care because I truly believe that our bodies are to be celebrated. I believe that a core teaching of Christianity is that our bodies are important and that our entire being is created by a loving God for the glory of a loving God. If we feel shame surrounding our bodies, we’re going to feel shame about who we are, because we can’t separate body and spirit–they’re intertwined in a really beautiful way. By living in bodies, we are imitating the beauty of Christ as He lived and moved and had his being here on earth in a tangible, touchable, body.

If you want to learn how to better honor and love your body, a really great exercise you can do is thank God for every part of your body, and name them one by one, without skipping any parts. And if this makes you uncomfortable, it’s probably a good indication that it’s something you should really do.

So God, I thank you for creating me, every part of me. I thank you for creating my breasts and choosing the size they would be. I thank you for creating my stomach and the curve of my hips. I thank you for creating my vagina and all the amazing things it can do–from peeing, to orgasm, to birthing babies. It’s pretty incredible. In Jesus holy and precious name, Amen.

How to Love Your Body–Some Practicals

Eating Disorder Awareness- How to love your body- Some Practicals

Disclaimer: I am not a psychologist and am not trained in eating disorder treatment or prevention. I struggled with disordered eating/eating disorders for 12 years and I am now in recovery. My purpose behind writing these posts is to start the conversation about eating disorders, advice which continue to be misunderstood and stigmatized, buy  share my experience with those who have eating disorders or know others who do, and to hopefully give some clarity and understanding about these complicated and dangerous diseases. I also want to give hope that recovery is possible!
Trigger warnings: In all of my posts about eating disorders, I try to be very sensitive and avoid triggering language. However, the reality is that I am talking about eating disorder thoughts and behaviors and recognize that these posts could trigger people struggling with EDs. If you think that these posts could be the least bit triggering for you, please do not read them. The last thing I want to do is to set anyone back in their recovery process.

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This blog post is continuing along the theme of the post I wrote several weeks ago–A Resolution that Could Actually Change Your Life, which was a post encouraging people to not weight themselves. This blog post will offer some concrete, practical changes you can make in your life. Who do I think may benefit from making these life changes?

  • People in recovery from eating disorders
  • People who want to be in recovery from eating disorders
  • People who struggle with disordered behaviors and thoughts
  • People who have low self esteem and want to learn to love themselves more
  • People who want to support those in their lives who have eating disorders
  • People who want to support those in their lives who are in recovery
  • People who want to fight eating disorder culture

Ok! So what are these practicals?

  • Write a Thank You note to your body--Writing a thank you note to your body, thanking it for all that it does for you, is one great way to start loving and appreciating your body. You can also write an apology note for all the ways you have mistreated or failed to appreciate your body. Another thing you can do is keep a list of everything you like about your body, adding one thing to the list every day. You can also take 10 minutes every morning to thank God for each of your body parts–no skipping parts allowed :)
How to Love Your Body--Some Practicals From http://eatingdisorderrecovery.tumblr.com/%5B/caption%5D
  • Stop Weighing Yourself–If you haven’t read A Resolution that Could Actually Change Your Life, I recommend it! I think we would all be much healthier and start on the journey of loving our bodies more if we all stopped weighing ourselves. I explain more why in that post.
  • Stop Counting Calories–Americans seem to have an obsession with counting calories. I personally don’t think anything good comes out of it. It gets all of us obsessed and focused on a number, which really doesn’t tell us much about how healthy we are. For people with eating disorders, they generally have a number of calories in their mind that feels acceptable to eat, and it’s generally a number that is way to low for their bodies to actually function at any sort of baseline level. Our society tells us that the fewer calories we eat, the better. But any good nutritionist would tell you that that’s just not true. Instead of focusing on the calorie content (or fat content, or whatever else) in food, focus on eating a wide variety of foods from all categories (starches, meat proteins, dairy proteins, fruits, veggies, and fats) plus some treats now and then (or everyday if you have a sweet tooth like mine). :) If you are in recovery or supporting someone in recovery, I would recommend blocking out all the nutrition facts on the food labels on the food you buy. I am very frustrated by the new proposed Nutrition Label design (click here to see it). I have no issue with the changes they’re proposing as to what is shown, but the MASSIVE calorie number at the top makes it seem as though the most important thing on the label is the calorie content and it also makes it incredibly difficult for people, like me, who try not to look at the label, to avoid the huge bold number at the top.
  • Evaluate Your Workout Habits–Society tells us that you can never work out too much. This is absolutely not true. Working out excessively can actually work to break down your body, especially if you aren’t eating enough food to balance your workout, and excessively working out can harm you psychologically. If the thought of missing a workout gives you anxiety, your workout habit is probably not healthy. If you associate working out with being a “good” person and not working out with being a “bad” person, your workout habit is most likely not healthy. If your eating habits are such that you are not be able to eat enough to support the amount of exercise you are getting, your workout habits are probably not healthy. My suggestion for healthy workout habits is to not focus on calories burned while working out (I have a rule that I don’t workout on a machine that shows me calories burned because I know it would be unhealthy for me). Also, don’t do workouts that aren’t fun for you. Find a way of staying active that gives you joy–that might be hiking, going on walks around the neighborhood, yoga, zumba, dancing around your room, roller blading, biking, soccer, softball, ice skating, swimming, running, etc. I would say that being honest with your workout habits and how it may be negatively affecting your mind and body is probably one of the hardest things to do, but I really recommend taking the time to really think about it and consider some of the things I talked about here.
  • Don’t Look at Clothing Size Tags– I realize that this is a hard one to do because you choose the clothing you’re going to try on by the marked size. Here are some ideas of things you can do to help avoid clothing size: Shop with a friend or family member and have them bring you a wide variety of clothing sizes and don’t look at the tags when you try them on. A healthy thing for everyone to do is cut the tags out of your clothing once you buy them–eventually you’ll forget what exact size you’re wearing, or at least won’t be reminded every time you put them on. Another thing you could do is choose clothing that is stretchy and so it will fit you at a range of weights. This helps you take your mind off of any changes happening in your body–this is one of the reasons I wear leggings pretty much 24/7. It helped me take my mind off of my body as I was trying to recover and it still makes me feel more comfortable now.
  • Do Things that Make You Happy–I cannot stress enough how important it is to take time for yourself. I don’t have class until 3pm on Tuesdays so I get up early, go to yoga, and then go to a cafe and get something yummy for breakfast, have time with Jesus, and then do homework. Tuesdays are so fun because I get some time to myself and treat myself :)
  • Avoid mirrors–I would suggest not having a mirror in your room. I live in a dorm so I can’t remove the mirror that is in there, but last year as I was trying to recover, I was able to strategically move one of our dressers in front of the mirror. The less time you spend in front of the mirror, the less self-conscious you’ll feel about yourself. Also writing encouraging notes to yourself or whoever else shares your mirror is always nice :)
  • Surround yourself with healthy people–If you mostly hang out with a group of people who constantly talk about their eating and workout habits, discussing their bodies, dieting, etc., it’s going to be very difficult for you to keep healthy and positive thoughts going in your mind. Really think about who you spend your time with and what effect they’re having on you and your self esteem. Also, don’t be afraid to tell the people you’re hanging out with that you would prefer for them to change the subject if they’re talking about something that is triggering or just unhealthy. I have to do this sometimes with my friends and they’re always super respectful and move on to a new topic.
  • Mediate on Psalm 139–Psalm 139 is quoted so much to the point where it seems kind of trite and cheesy. I went for a long time without reading Psalm 139 because of this reason, but lately I’ve been reading it a lot and have been struck by how powerful it is. It’s quoted all the time because it’s amazing. I’ve been so moved by the idea of God being with me even before I was born–that He saw my unformed body and that His presence kept me company even in the womb. God is so awesome!
From http://hellobrielle.wordpress.com[/caption%5D
  • Be careful of the language you use with yourself–This is a really hard one–it is really challenging to change your thought processes. One thing I would have you think about is this: Would you ever speak to someone the way you speak to yourself? Would you ever critique someone’s body and actions the way you do yours? I would guess that for most of you, the answer is no. When you catch yourself saying something really mean to yourself, make the effort to stop that thought and speak a truth against it. Just try your best to remember that there is so much grace, always.
  • Keep a list of how you want to impact your world and the people around you–I’m guessing when you think about how you want to be remembered in this world, how you want to better the lives of your friends, family members, and strangers, the number one thing that comes to mind is not that you want to be remembered for the shape of your body. You have the ability to change lives, to bring hope, to give love to those who do not feel loved, to be the hands and feet of Christ. What is your life’s work? What is the call of your soul?

Be gentle with yourself. Learning to love yourself is a long process, but it’s so worth it <3

Interested in learning more about eating disorders? Click here to read more posts I’ve written on the topic.

How to Eat a Meal with Someone Struggling with an Eating Disorder

Eating Disorder Awareness- How to eat a meal with someone struggling with an eating disorder

Disclaimer: I am not a psychologist and am not trained in eating disorder treatment or prevention. I struggled with disordered eating/eating disorders for 12 years and I am now in recovery. My purpose behind writing these posts is to start the conversation about eating disorders, sildenafil which continue to be misunderstood and stigmatized, share my experience with those who have eating disorders or know others who do, and to hopefully give some clarity and understanding about these complicated and dangerous diseases. I also want to give hope that recovery is possible!
Trigger warnings: In all of my posts about eating disorders, I try to be very sensitive and avoid triggering language. However, the reality is that I am talking about eating disorder thoughts and behaviors and recognize that these posts could trigger people struggling with EDs. If you think that these posts could be the least bit triggering for you, please do not read them. The last thing I want to do is to set anyone back in their recovery process.

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So your daughter, son, friend, roommate, wife, husband, sister, brother is struggling with an eating disorder. You feel helpless and don’t know how to talk to them or help them. And then comes the tension of meal times. Are they eating? How are they eating? Do they look distressed? What do I say? I can’t stop staring at them…

Let’s just get this out in the open—eating meals with a loved ones who is struggling with an ED can be very tense, stressful, and painful for everyone. Here are some tips to make these meal times better for everyone. Many of these things I learned while eating meals together with other girls in treatment—we had to seriously support each other through those meal times, but we all managed to get through each and every one of them. This advice is based on my own personal experience- I am not a psychologist and this advice may not right for everyone. I think most of my tips are probably applicable and helpful for most people with an ED, but EDs are so unique and different so don’t use this list as an excuse for not having a conversation with your loved one about what they would specifically find helpful.

Helpful Tips:

  • DO NOT talk about eating disorders at the dinner table. EVER. Don’t talk to your loved one about their eating disorder, about someone else’s eating disorder, or EDs in general. Don’t mention any ED behaviors, don’t talk about body image, low self esteem, or weight. Your loved one is being SCREAMED AT by their ED throughout their entire meal and they need you to help them get their mind off of their ED, not on it.
  • DO NOT talk about the food you’re eating. Typically when people are eating food, they’ll comment on what they’re eating, they’ll talk about other food they’ve eaten in the past, etc. Don’t do it. I would suggest not even saying whether you like the meal or not. Just don’t talk about it at all. Do not talk about calories, fat, nutrition value, portion size, your new diet, or anything related to food! Your loved one is analyzing everything about the food they’re eating and they don’t need you to add to the conversation happening in their head.
  • DO NOT talk about exercising or working out, going to the gym, participating in sports, burning calories, your new exercise regiment, your muscles, or anything having to do with your body.
  • DO NOT talk about any controversial or stressful topics. Don’t get into arguments with other family members. Don’t talk about politics or religion. Anything that might make the conversation get at all heated has to be off limits. Trying to get through a meal is hard enough for your loved one—don’t add additional stress and tension to the situation with your topics of conversation.
  • DO NOT stare at your loved one. They already feel self-conscious and know that you’re keeping your eye on them. Try not to stare—it will just make them feel more self-conscious.
  • DO have continuous conversation throughout the meal. Think of light but interesting conversation topics and keep conversation going throughout the meal, trying to bring your loved on into the conversation. During our meals in treatment, we talked throughout the entire meal and if we could see that one person was having an especially hard time, we would intentionally try to bring them into the conversation, asking them specific questions to help involve them. This helps keep your loved one’s mind off of the food they’re eating.
  • DO model good eating behavior. One thing that we talk about in treatment is the idea of matching the meals eaten by the healthy people around us. If you are not eating a healthy-sized, balanced meal, how can you expect your loved one to do so? I remember one girl in treatment sharing that she had a really hard time eating carbs, especially bread. Her mom would never eat bread during meals and this made it that much harder for the daughter to convince herself to eat bread. Then at one meal, her mom ate a piece of bread along with dinner. What didn’t mean much to the mom was incredibly significant for the daughter and helped her make good food choices for herself and eat bread with more ease. I know that sometimes dinner rolls around and you’re not that hungry, or you don’t like the food, or you’re on a new diet. However, you have the responsibility to model good eating behavior, meaning that you need to eat a full, healthy sized meal when you’re eating with your loved one. Yeah, I know it’s not fair, but eating disorders aren’t fair to anyone. Your loved one is watching you and noticing all the food you eat constantly, so make sure that you are modeling good eating habits and behavior.
  • DO NOT get frustrated if/when your loved one is having a hard time. I can’t tell you how many times I cried during meals in treatment. Meals are harder than you could ever imagine—they are intense, anxiety-producing experiences. Most likely, you cannot understand why these times are so emotionally charged, and that can be frustrating. However, if you do things like roll your eyes or say things like, “just eat, it’s not a big deal!” or “you’re being silly/stupid,” you are being incredibly unhelpful. You need to be loving, supportive, and try to understand what it happening with your loved one. Sometimes it’s best to just sit quietly with your loved one, not saying anything but showing your support with your presence. Sometimes it might be helpful for you to ask your loved one what they’re feeling, and then listen without judgment or input as they share.
  • DO have important conversations about meal times BEFORE meal times occur. For example, ask your loved one what would make meals easier for them. Make a game plan with them and their psychologist about how you’re going to handle meal times. If you’re having dinner with people who maybe aren’t as informed about good meal behavior, have a conversation with them before the meal and if things start getting into rocky territory during the meal, steer things in the right direction. If you have set expectations for the meal time–what will be eaten, what sorts of conversations you’re going to have, how you are going to support your loved one, you can at least ensure that everyone is one the same page and in the moment disagreements or misunderstandings are less likely to occur.

I hope these tips are helpful. Feel free to ask any questions/clarification points you may have in the comments below :)

If you want to learn more about eating disorders, click here to read more of the posts I’ve written on the topic.

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