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Tips from 2017 Eating Disorder Conference: Three part series of certified eating disorders registered dietitians adventures

By Rebecca Bitzer, MS, RD, LD, CEDRD

Part 2: Aha Moments

One of the challenges of going to a conference is remembering to look at my notes and actually sift through all the golden nuggets of information and figure out which are my favorite gems and how can I use them to make a difference in the lives of my Empowered Eating team.

Here are my favorites that I am sharing with my team and with you in hopes that these tips may help in your own recovery, your loved-one’s recovery or if you are an eating disorder professional, to help with counseling your clients.

Many thanks in advance to all the fabulous speakers, please forgive me if I do not cite you. If I waited until this blog was perfect, it would never get posted.  For a complete agenda of all the rockstars, please see this link of eating disorder professionals.

Favorite take-away messages (with my own comments) about eating disorder recovery:

  1. Mindful eating does not have an agenda for weight loss, it is for connection instead and tuning into hunger and fullness.  When was the last time you let yourself ENJOY food without guilt like this.

    Enjoy your food without guilt!

  2. Dieting has tons of rules.  It is human nature to want something that is not allowed. Think about this, if you tell a kid “Don’t touch the red truck”; most kids will touch the red truck.  It is not a failure. It is human nature.  Restrictive diets that cut out the foods you enjoy don’t work.
    eating disorder conference

    When you’re told not to touch the red truck, do you want to touch the truck?

  3. Meal planning (not a diet plan) can help if eating is chaotic.  A Registered Dietitian specializing in eating disorders is the best fit for the non-dieting approach.

    eating disorder conference

    A registered dietitian is a great resource for meal planning


  4. Make sure all health professionals know about the 9 truths about eating disorders.

    eating disorder registered dietitian

    9 Truths of Eating Disorders

  5. An important message to remember to balance fun and work even when on business travel. If you are traveling to a conference, it is important to mix in a bit of fun.  Here we are taking a quick side trip to Red Rock Canyon where I discovered my new favorite hobby-visiting all the national state parks and tracking them with a passport book! Work hard, play hard is my motto!
  6. I thought this slide was powerful. Choosing diet over family, friends and job.  Eating disorder wanting to BE better (I am not good enough). Eating disorders are disconnection from relationships, full experience of existence, self, mind, body and soul. Eating disorders are disorders of:
    1. Disconnection
    2. Shame
    3. Anxiety

      eating disorder conference

      Eating disorders can cause disconnect, shame, and anxiety


  7. Statistics:
    1. Relatives of someone with an eating disorder are 10-20 times more likely to have an eating disorder.
    2. Relatives of those with anorexia nervosa have 3 times greater risk of having OCD, GAD and OCPD (also panic attacks and phobias).  There is a genetic loading for anxiety.
    3. 55-62 percent of patients with eating disorders have at least one anxiety diagnosis, mostly OCD and social phobia.
  8. Dietitian April Winslow, MS, RD, CEDRD uses a metaphor of a metro station map to illustrate digestion and the trauma of malnutrition.  Remember, slower is not always better in terms of digestion.

    eating disorder conference

    Slow digestion is not always better

Thank you for reading and stay tuned for our next blog in this International Eating Disorder Conference series entitled:  Part 3: action items.

If you need help with your self-care and/or eating disorder recovery, please reach out to us at rebecca@empoweredeatingblog.com

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