Tuesday, February 24, 2009

OMB! (Oh My Bod!) Will It Ever Please Me?


With all the publicity and events centered around national eating disorder awareness week it brings us back to that sad realization that there are millions of women, men and children on this planet that have extreme shame and even hatred of their bodies. Individuals who simply cannot find a way to be happy in the wrapper they came packaged in.

Conditioning certainly has a lot to do with it. From the time we are young children we receive messages from our parents, teachers, youth leaders, the media, ads in magazines and on the streets of what we're supposed to look like to be 'glam and gorgeous'. The images haven't changed much in the past 50 years. It's still tall, long legged women sans hips, with a gorgeous face and big boobs. The real live Barbie. From a very young age I had an awareness that this is what men were attracted to. And unfortunatley it gets implanted deeply into some of our brains.

But there is a double standard when it comes to men. It's okay if they have a "beer belly" or put on a few pounds, even fifty. Why? Why is it woman are held to the standard of perfection and men can be overweight, unhealthy and still be acceptable?

This is of course only part of the issue. But it's a big one. Everywhere we look, everywhere we go we are bombarded by images. Recently I was in a high-end department store and they were dressing the three manikins in the picture at the top of this post. I stopped and stared for a few moments and had to take the picture. Seeing the actual size these manikins without clothes really hit home, I mean OMB! If this is the mark I was striving for in my 34 years of bulimia given my petite muscular build I would have never achieved it without becoming emaciated or anorexic. It's pitiful. Very few women that I know have a build like these manikins!

And the statistics on eating disorders continue to escalate. Sadly there are many individuals who have yet to tell someone or come out of their dark comfortable haven of numbness to look for help. My mission and goal is to help teens and college age kids avoid the trap of addictions and eating disorders. But as a result of my recent publicity tour I've been contacted by several women much closer to my age in their 40's and 50's who have struggled with an eating disorder since their teens, like I did. After so many years of the chronic cycle of abuse it's hard to know where to turn and even more difficult to think you might actually be able to get help. There is so much talk of anorexia, but there are equally devastating numbers of individuals struggling to gain control over their bingeing bulimic behavior.

But you certainly don't have to be diagnosed with a clinical eating disorder to hate your body, obsess about food and be miserable with the way you look. People that eat fast food and sugar on a regular basis have an unhealthy relationship to food aka disordered eating. Many individuals have an addiction to food. It's such an easy way to self-medicate. And it's a socially acceptable addiction. No one will ridicule you for enjoying a large plate of pasta or steak and potatoes followed by a delectible desert or quick sugary snack.

Our bodies do so much in an effort to care for us. They trudge on through all kinds of ups and downs. Deal with our stress and lack of exercise. Put up with the low-grade fuel and sludge we ingest and call our diet. Continue to try and perform at the optimum level with or without sleep and proper nutrition for as long as they can.... till one day there you are with a host of medical issues and ask why me? Our bodies and brains need downtime! We cannot expect our body to function with high energy when we don't provide the proper rest, nutrition and exercise required to stay healthy.

So what is the best body? What is perfect? How can we be satisfied? A starting point is to eliminate as much processed food and stimulants as we can from our diets. When we eat sensible portions of fresh produce and fruits in combination with healthy proteins that aren't pumped full of antibiotics and add natural supplements that may be lacking in our system our bodies will land at that "perfect" place. Perfect for your body.

For more information on how to find a balance that's right for you visit www.Learn2Balance.com.

To win a free copy of It Started With Pop-Tarts...An Alternative Approach to Winning the Battle of Bulimia. Sign up for our newsletter, www.Lori-Hanson.com you might just be the next lucky winner!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

National Eating Disorder Awareness Week - Taking the First Step to Recovery

February 22-28 is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. We need a stimulus package to get a grip on this epidemic! The numbers are staggering yet so many individuals who suffer have never told a soul and aren't counted in the millions of women, men and children in the statistics. It's difficult for them to admit that they might actually have an eating disorder and even harder to reach out for help.

Another group hasn't yet realized that they have an eating disorder because "they don't throw up". Newsflash! Many bulimics don't purge by throwing up! Non-purging bulimics control the weight gain by using strict diets, diet pills, enemas or excessive exercise. If they are obsessive about food, their body image and size, eat massive amounts of food and do something to control the weight gain, followed by periods of shame and embarrassment...they could be bulimic. Anorexics are much easier to spot, bulimics are masters at hiding their behavior.

Many individuals go in and out of treatment repeatedly and don't reach full recovery. There are many forms of treatment depending on the severity of the eating disorder. Some require inpatient treatment at an eating disorder clinic, others seek intensive outpatient treatment. Still others are able to function in their daily lives while hiding the deep dark secret. Many of these individuals seek counseling to overcome their obsessive habits with mixed results.

A breakthrough new approach is leading the way to recovery. The alternative approach was developed by Lori Hanson, award winning author of It Started With Pop-Tarts...An Alternative Approach to Winning the Battle of Bulimia. Hanson's Hot Pastry Principles include five strategies to fully integrate mind and body.

Hanson believes full recovery from an eating disorder requires a holistic approach that includes getting the body chemistry back in balance to support the recovery efforts. After long periods of abuse the body is starved for proper nutrition and the brain seeks amino acids to support proper brain function. Individuals often suffer from a sensitivity to sugar which contributes to the compulsion to binge.

Treatment includes improving self-esteem, understanding the causes of the addictive behavior and reprogramming negative thoughts and beliefs which is accomplished using the power of the subconscious mind. Lastly, full recovery requires a reconnection of mind and body. Individuals with eating disorders tend to live in their heads and have no concept of accepting or owning their body. This is accomplished using a combination of alternative healing modalities.

Take some time this week to learn a little more about eating disorders. 85% start between the age of 14-20, but many individuals suffer for years and are now in their 30's, 40's and even 50's. It could be your neighbor, relative or best friend. Get educated and save a life! Follow the posts this week here.

For more information on the Hot Pastry Principles visit http://www.itstartedwithpop-tarts.com/.

Monday, February 16, 2009

5 Ways to Deal With Dramatic Teens and Tweens

This guest post is by Vanessa Van Petten who runs OnTeensToday.com a parenting blog written from the kid's perspective with 17 teen writers.

5 Ways to Deal With Dramatic Teens and Tweens

I might have been a drama queen. Not for all of teendom, but definitely for a few years…maybe the boys part of my teenage years. I do not know how my parents put up with me! Here are a few tips for you, if you have a Drama Queen or King:

1) Superlatives Rule

It can be a little easier dealing with a Teen Drama Queen or King if you listen and interact with them knowing that superlatives are it. Drama Queens always say (get it always)

“This is he worst day of my life.”

“She is the hottest girl I have ever seen”

“I am the ugliest girl in my school.”

In a drama teen’s mind, there is no grey. Trying to convince them of this is futile. Instead understand that this is how they feel at the moment. It really does feel like the worst hair day on earth.

2) It feels permanent

When your king or queen is in the heat of a dramatic moment, not only is there no happy medium (see above), but also it feels like it will last forever. For teens and tweens the part of their brain that rationalizes is not fully developed, they really feel that upset, and they cannot always see the light at the end of the tunnel.

3) Repeat and empathize

When talking to a teen drama king or queen when they are in the height of a meltdown or blow up, I always repeat whatever they are saying to me in an empathetic tone. Many times, teens just want to be heard, if you repeat what they are saying, you are validating that you hear them.

4) Wait until they calm down to un-reinforce the behavior

Repeating and empathizing that their math teacher is the cruelest person in the world can be seen by the teen as reinforcing that behavior. Once they calm down it is good to go back with them and ask them if they realize she is not the cruelest person in the world and perhaps they did not have to yell and scream to get you to hear them.

5) Ask them what do next time

In this post-drama debrief ask them how you should handle it next time. Say something like, “When you get upset about school I want to calm you down, but I also want to let you vent and think rationally, what can I do next time, what do you need to hear?” This can make them feel supported and listened to which can cut down on dramatic outbreaks.

Be patient, all teens go through dramatic phases whether it is because of hormones or boyfriends, be patient and we will come back to normal!

Related Articles:

Why Teens Have to Be the Best or Worst (http://www.onteenstoday.com/2007/11/05/phantom-stress-why-teens-have-to-be-the-best%E2%80%A6at-being-the-worst/)

3 Ways Parents Can Get Teens to Talk (http://www.onteenstoday.com/2007/12/05/3-ways-parents-can-get-teens-to-talk/)

What Do Teens Today Really Worry About? The Top 5 Issues Revealed (http://www.onteenstoday.com/2007/12/05/what-do-teens-today-really-worry-about-the-top-5-issues-revealed/)

By Vanessa Van Petten who is the teen author of the parenting book “You’re Grounded!” She writes a parenting blog along with 12 other teen writers from the kid's perspective to help parents. Her work as a young family peacemaker have been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Teen Vogue, Fox 5, CBS 4 and much more!


Saturday, February 7, 2009

Author of Bulimia Book Scores with Kids - Wins Mom's Choice Award

February 2009, VALENCIA, CA—Lori Hanson suffered from bulimia for 34 years until she took treatment decisions into her own hands and turned her life around. Now her book and workshops are getting the attention of a tough crowd: young people. She recently won the prestigious Mom’s Choice Award® (www.MomsChoiceAwards.com) for her efforts and is busier than ever talking to high school and college students, parents and community groups.

Her book, It Started with Pop-Tarts: An Alternative Approach to Winning the Battle of Bulimia, is part memoir, part detailed how-to. It can help turn around the most troubling eating disorders, says Hanson, who bases her holistic “Pop-Tart Principles” on finding balance, peace and freedom.

In her talks, Hanson candidly describes the path she took over the years (this is where the Pop-Tarts come in). She admits she went through years of trial and error with traditional treatments. Her alternative recipe for healing also costs less than conventional medical therapies, she points out.

Hanson is founder and president of Learn2Balance, a company focused on improving the lives of others, and Shewolf Press. A media favorite, she has appeared on many radio and TV shows to create awareness about the epidemic of eating disorders. Her goal is to help young people find help and healing at a much earlier stage in life than she did.

A dynamic and humorous speaker who also write song lyrics, Hanson covers self-esteem, body image, reducing stress, improving diet and quality of life, and other coping skills that position teens and young adults for success in life. She also consults with individuals on eating disorders, weight and stress issues. Clients learn the five strategies for self-healing through a series of structured sessions, support and referrals to holistic practitioners.

To learn more about Lori Hanson’s services or to order a copy of It Started with Pop-Tarts (Shewolf Press, 2008) go to http://www.lori-hanson.com/.