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December 8, 2022

🌿 Intentional Living: Give Yourself a Holiday Gift 🎁: Ditch the Diet

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In This Issue:

Featured Wellness Message: Give Yourself a Holiday Gift: Ditch the Diet

Recommended Resource #1: Share the Facts About Eating Disorders

My Recent Blog Post: Is Your Eating Disorder Linked to Trauma?

Recommended Resource #2: Thank You & Help for Binge Eating

Give Yourself a Holiday Gift: Ditch the Diet

woman in blue cap and red sleeveless dress

Sure, dieting can be a thrill. But usually the reward is short lived. What can last instead—for weeks, years, and even decades—is the negative physiological impact.

To put it bluntly, dieting is dangerous. In addition to the physical health conditions it leaves in its wake, which you'll learn about later in this newsletter, it also leaves emotional scars.

That's because when a diet stops working for us, we tend to think we "failed" at it (rather than the diet failing us). This sense of failure can lead to a shame spiral accompanied by social withdrawal, guilt, and self-criticism. The aftermath of a "failed diet" is often a silent, lonely nightmare.

You are not to blame. You're only reacting naturally to an unfulfilled promise. So before the start of 2023, before the diet craze blazes, join me in ditching the diet. Let go of food rules. Let go of shame and judgments. Instead, gift yourself freedom from dieting.

In health and with love,
Dr. Gia

“Guilt has no place when it comes to eating.”​
—Evelyn Tribole

Share the Facts About Eating Disorders

This medical guide describes eating disorder risks, signs, interventions, and treatments

Eating disorders are serious mental disorders with high rates of mortality. They affect people of all ages, genders, races, body shapes, abilities, and socioeconomic statuses. Scarily, their life-threatening status may occur without obvious physical signs or symptoms, including weight.

It is up to all of us to be on the lookfor for warning signs and symptoms. The Academy for Eating Disorders recommends that all providers work to mitigate the risk of missing an eating disorder when a patient presents who does not conform to an imagined stereotype of someone with an eating disorder. Share this set of medical guidelines with therapists, school counselors, dietitians, pediatricians, primary care physicians, cardiologists, endocrinologists, dentists, and sports medicine providers.

Collaborative care, including support from family members, along with timely intervention, is the ideal standard of care. Full recovery is possible.

Is Your Eating Disorder Linked to Trauma?

Your eating disorder treatment plan may warrant extra care if you have experienced trauma

If you’ve experienced trauma and have an eating disorder, you’re far from alone. It’s not uncommon for people with eating disorders, especially binge eating disorder, to have a history of trauma. Because lingering effects of trauma can affect your recovery from an eating disorder, understanding and addressing any trauma in your life and getting the support you need can be a critical part of your treatment.

We don’t know all of the factors involved, but for some, binge eating disorder is a way to exert control over negative emotions, which can be intense for someone who has experienced trauma. After binge eating, there is shame about eating a large amount of food. This intense shame serves as a distraction from dealing with underlying negative emotions, looking at what led to them, and assessing how to cope in a healthy way. This shame can also lead to avoiding people, which can prevent those who have an eating disorder from reaching out for help as well as from developing trusting relationships.

While this may sound complicated, effective treatment is available and full recovery is possible. If you have a history of trauma, your therapist should develop a treatment plan that addresses both the trauma and the eating disorder.

To learn about two evidenced-based therapies shown to work well for healing from trauma and eating disorders, read my full blog post.

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Thank You

I am grateful for you

It is a privilege to share the psychology of healthy eating in this monthly newsletter.

Thank you for being part of this community.

If you are struggling with food, don't give up. It is possible to find food freedom. Check out the Binge Eating Prevention Workbook (2020, Marson and Keenan-Miller). Our eight-week program can guide you through healing from binge eating, compulsive eating, or emotional eating.

You were born knowing exactly how to nourish your body. Yet many millions of people get stuck in unhelpful habits and negative thoughts around food. Don’t look outside of yourself to diet fads and popular myths for direction. True healing comes from within, from realigning and connecting with what your body already knows. Eating is one of the most natural things we humans do. I want it to be natural again for you.

"Better than therapy! … Highly recommend.” —Cheryl from Singapore, Amazon review

“Very helpful.” —Nikki from the UK, Amazon review

“Based on their years of clinical experience, Keenan-Miller and Marson truly understand the daily struggles of patients with BED and how to help, and this is evident throughout the book.” —Hope W. Levin, MD, director of psychiatry, UCLA CAPS, expert review

Wishing you a kind, loving, and healthy holiday season.

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