Body Image and Self Esteem Matters

Shopping for new clothes can be a fun trip to the mall, every girl loves sporting a new look at school, work or around friends, but sometimes once we start trying on clothes things can take a turn for the worst.

Clothes may look great on the hanger and we begin to imagine how it would look on ourselves, but once in the change-room our desired outfit may not fit the way we wanted it to.  Women of all ages get down on themselves when they become fixated on their “problem areas” and the sizes of the clothes they are wearing.  It feels embarrassing to ask the change-room attendant for a larger size and we stress over if it is even in stock.

While in a change-room, not too long ago, I was struggling with finding the right size and was beginning to get down on myself about the fact that maybe this store didn’t carry the one size bigger that I needed.  While waiting to be brought a different outfit I overheard a girl in the next room going through the same problem except she was having trouble finding an outfit small enough to fit her.  No matter what our size we are all experiencing the same struggles while shopping, we wish we were just a size smaller or just a size bigger because that’s when we could fit into the outfit of our dreams.

The only way to rock a new outfit is to forget what “size” the brand decided to classify it as, and love how you actually look in it.  If you can’t get the right size in one outfit there will be another one just as good and we have to fight the urge to let “stinkin thinkin” take over our shopping trip. Don’t let sizes bring you down, or be consumed by thoughts of becoming something you aren’t. Embrace your body for what it is !

Managing Type 1 Diabetes is Complex!

People who have type 1 diabetes spend significant energy and time considering food, eating and energy expenditure (note: type 1  is totally different than type 2 diabetes). Paying close attention to carbohydrate intake helps more effectively determine how much insulin to take.

In addition, people with insulin-dependent diabetes check blood sugar levels regularly (between 4 and 8 times per day minimum = 1400 to 1600 X per year), and account for many other variables in order to accurately calculate the amount of insulin to be injected.

Insulin works to pick up glucose (sugar) from the blood and carry this throughout the body, providing energy to the cells. Higher blood sugar levels can lead to urinating frequently, flushing important nutrients, contributing to weight loss.  This means a person with Type 1, who does not get enough insulin will drop weight, be able to eat extra food without gaining weight or a combination of the two; eat more and even lose weight. 

Diabulimia – a rare eating disorder

The term refers to people with type 1 diabetes managing weight and body image issues through missed or reduced dosing of insulin. Research indicates prevalence rates close to 30% of people with type 1 diabetes. This disorder impacts both genders and all ages, however, there are increased prevalence rates among adolescents and females as is true with most eating disorders.

Informally named diabulimia, this disordered eating behaviour (DEB) can be quite harmful and disruptive to the daily functioning for people managing type 1 diabetes.  While this behaviour may involve intentional insulin omission, this may not always be the case. Science has more recently helped us think of the stomach is like a second brain. We also know the body and mind can develop habits that are not necessarily driven by conscious thought.

Given this knowledge, it is very important to refrain from blame in efforts to help those with this highly addictive behavioural pattern. Imagine if you could eat all kinds of food, much more than your friends, and through missing insulin not gain any weight? No purging, excessive exercise, laxative use or other behaviours required.

It is very important to watch for the following symptoms of diabulimia

  • Frequent urination
  • Excessive thirst
  • Increased appetite, even binging behaviours
  • High blood glucose levels (HBA1c often higher than 10)
  • Lower energy levels
  • Lower sodium levels
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty concentrating (increased work or school challenges)
  • Severely imbalanced ketones
  • Increased mood swings (agitation, grumpy)

 

  • images-1If these sound familiar for you, or someone you know, it is important to seek professional help from specialized, multi-disciplinary diabetes teams which include, nurses, dietitians, doctors, social workers and others. A team approach works best for any eating disordered recovery.

Working together, the person with type 1 diabetes can develop healthier management techniques, eating patterns and mental health strategies to improve health. Including other family members can also increase the healthcare team and speed up recovery from this difficult and rare disordered eating behaviour.

For more information contact us today !

 

Gettin Rid of “Stinkin Thinkin”

Imagine your brain like a massive hard drive, super storage space, maybe a gazillion terabytes (that’s a lot of stuff on our minds). What do you think is on it at birth?  How much information is on the brain of a newly born baby? The philosopher and teacher David Hume called the mind at birth a “blank slate”. I’ve simply upgraded this to be the “virtually blank harddrive”, virtually because of some in vetro experiential loading in the womb.

Every input from the second we’re born… through our eyes, ears, nose, mouth and every nerve loads onto our brain. This super fast processor receives data from parents, family, extended family, media like TV, books and the internet, pets, nature, on and on. Brain or neuroscience experts suggest we don’t really forget as much as we have storage and retrieval challenges. Tough to keep all that data in the front of our hard drive.

Amazing to think about. Everything we see, taste, smell, touch, feel and hear stored in the “background” with very little on the desktop so to speak.

Wow! So much data. How we organize it from early on in our lives, whether consciously or not, begins to shape our thought patterns, schemata, constructs which then shape our emotions and moods. Together thoughts and feelings then drive our behaviour, this is simply going on in the background of our mind.

Computer Head

To think almost all the information loaded on our hard drive comes from elsewhere. Why do we quite often believe all the thoughts in our head are our own? Why do we quite often believe all the thoughts in our head are our own? This is perhaps my favourite question! That’s why I asked you twice.

If this analogy holds true then consider that we may also call the negative thoughts a virus, thoughts that spread, overshadow positive thinking, disrupt and infect healthier thoughts and files. Suppose it is possible to have a cognitive virus made up of all those negative, defeating words and phrases? I call this “Stinkin Thinkin”.

Through counselling that combines cognitive-behavioural therapy, we can effectively catch and “quarantine” out negativity.  At the same time, drawing upon narrative theory and re-writing of your story, our professional counsellors help people bring out their more positive thoughts and self which improves mood, emotional expressions and behaviour.

This counselling is a very effective therapy and can best be considered the first line of defence for those struggling with depression, anxiety, eating disorders, chronic health issues, addictions and most relationship issues. 

To find out how get rid of “stinkin thinkin” easier…  Contact us today

 

 

 

One courageous young lady reports her insights below on the negative thoughts underlying her bulimia behaviours. We sometimes call these negative thoughts collectively It or may simply refer to these automatic negative thoughts as ANTS.  In counselling others, I find it helps to take a more light-hearted approach and refer to that negative inner voice as, “Stinkin Thinkin“.

The blog post below was submitted anonymously from a person struggling with bulimia.

She wanted to share her story so others who struggle can feel validated and supported.          (Caution not for those with a weak stomach)

“The way ‘It’ sees eating”

“Every time you bring a mouthful of food to your mouth imagine hearing the following echoing with every chomp, swish and swallow. Even after it goes down the constant ringing of the voice always saying…”

 

  • “you pig, why would you do that”
  • “oh look who messed up again, shock”
  • “have another, it won’t do any more damage than you’ve already done, you’re going to throw it up anyways”
  • “Oh really another candy bar, well you’re already fat… go ahead eat it fatty”
  • “wait where are you going to throw up so no one knows/will hear”
  • “do you have perfume/gum nearby so no one can smell the vomit on you after”
  • “I’m so proud of you for figuring out which finger works best”
  • “don’t you dare get it on your clothing, people would be disgusted with you and your gross throwing up”
  • “ahh see there you go, now you don’t have to feel guilty for eating now that it’s all out of your system… but aren’t you a little hungry again, maybe go have some more to eat, just do it again… it was easy the first time”
  • “okay so you’ve already done it twice today… just do it once more, then that’ll be the last one”
  • “if they keep asking why you go to the washroom after every meal just blame it on PMS”
  • “okay so if I go do it on my lunch break that’ll leave me 5 minutes after eating, and I’ll go to the far washroom that no one ever goes to that way no one will hear me”
  • “you better hurry and do it quick, you know the longer it stays in you the more you’ll absorb, god forbid you need any more layers of fat on you”
  • “my favorite thing to throw up after anything I eat is ice cream, it comes up nice and smooth”
  • “think, if you do this for just a few more weeks you’ll be able to fit in and actually look normal”
  • “who cares if people want you to stop, it’s your body not theirs, you’re doing no harm to them, why are they being so selfish, let me make my own decisions”
  • “never give up on doing this, or you’ll never be worth anything”

pretty serious things to be hearing It constantly tell you. Most people eat three meals a day and barely think about what they consume. To someone with bulimia, it comes down to the moment the food touches your lips you start calculating how fast, where and how can you go unnoticed when getting it out. Crazy how It makes it seem like without the bulimia you’d be nothing.”

You can hear the contradictory and insulting messages.  These contribute to poorer emotional states and, of course poorer behaviour.

If you or someone you know struggles with disordered eating contact us today for information, support and counselling solutions.