Help For Eating Disorders Saves Lives – Durham Region

In a “sweeping” analysis of 77 studies, involving more than 15,000 subjects, University of Wisconsin researchers post-doctoral student Shelley Grabe and psychology professor Janet Hyde found that “exposure to media depicting ultra thin actresses and models significantly increased women’s concerns about their bodies, including how dissatisfied they felt and their likelihood of engaging in unhealthy eating behaviours such as excessive dieting.” (

My earliest memories about my appearance were of my mom and me (although I think I had insecurities about my appearance prior to these recollections). She would say that I would look prettier if I didn’t have my father’s nose. Absurd, I know now; however, that was a comment that stuck by me for the rest of my childhood and well into being a young adult.

So here’s how stinkin’ thinkin’ worked. It took that one silly comment from my mom and planted it into my head (like a seed being planted into the ground). Then, it would look at all my experiences to come and water the seed so that that one comment would grow and other related thoughts would sprout. Thoughts such as, “I’m ugly” “I’m not good enough” “I’m fat” “I don’t want to eat” “If only I was skinny like her.

Much of my experiences revolved around the media. Going to school and developing friendships, most of our conversations included the latest fashion trends, the hottest celebrity gossips or the fittest athletes. Body images were ingrained in me and consumed much of my eating, clothing, and activity choices.

I eventually became so tired of thinking about my body appearance. My body’s health and well-being now overshadow the superficial ideations exposed by the media. I’ve been blessed with education on disordered eating, self-esteem building, healthy body-image thought processes and family conflict and dynamics.  This has allowed me to discover that with healthy mind management, my external environment can have little to no control over who I am, what I look lik, and how I feel about myself. I learned that the cultural ideal of beauty is unrealistic and prejudice.

The authors of the study cited above emphatically conclude;

“We’ve demonstrated that it doesn’t matter what the exposure is, whether it’s general TV watching in the evening, or magazines or ads showing on a computer. If the image is appearance-focused and sends a clear message about a woman’s body as an object, then it’s going to affect women.” (Postdoctoral researcher Shelly Grabe)

For some of us, more help and assistance is required. And that’s perfectly OK! Some of us suffer from feeling powerless against our thoughts, images from the media, and difficult relationships in our lives. There are few safe outlets in our community that provide us with the strength to cope and heal. Disordered eating behaviours can develop unknowingly and unconsciously, often masquerading as our best and only way of coping within an unsafe and chaotic environment.

Disordered eating involves a wide range of abnormal eating behaviours, such as chronic restrained eating, compulsive eating and habitual eating. Eating patterns are chaotic and the physiological aspects of eating (like feeling hungry or full) are ignored (

Some people, even the ones who love us the most, have a difficult time understanding disordered eating or what is required to provide support during recovery. This is normal, however, the lack of understanding may create increased conflict and stress for the entire family. The process of overcoming disordered eating patterns takes a lot of work and a supportive and informed environment is essential for success.

Jeff Packer MSW & Associates, a registered, professional counselling service in Oshawa, Ontario, works with the individual engaging in abnormal eating and their family members. Treatment is catered to their individual needs and goals. It is important to include family doctors and registered dietitians in the recovery process. We also strongly encourage family members and loved ones to participate in family sessions.  This can help families improve and strengthen their relationships as well as learn to create loving and supportive environments for those in recovery.  To start your road to recovery, call us today.


…three words to show our remembrance of those who have fought and died fighting for our freedom. It means we will NEVER forget.

On November 11th, we Canadians are brought together to remember the battle in 1813 that is sometimes referred to as the war that saved Canada. We are also brought to reflect on the wars and modern-day conflicts that have existed since and still exist today.

The sacrifices that our Canadian troops have made all these years are nothing but outstanding. We are triggered on this date to take time to reflect and show the utmost gratitude. Share with us how you celebrate this day.

While we celebrate and honour this day, we are currently aware of the devastation in the Philippines. Just as we have seen the battle grounds during World War I, we now view the destruction and eradicated lands of the Philippines.

How do we Canadians pay it forward? Not just to the veterans who sacrificed their lives for us but also for those who are less fortunate than we. Displaying an attitude of gratitude often involves helping those around us.

Gandhi said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

It is proven that there are many health benefits associated with helping others:

  • It increases our social and relationship skills.
  • Volunteering helps us make new connections and friendships.
  • Helping others combats against depression, stress, and illness.
  • It brings fun and fulfillment into our lives and increases our life expectancy.

It is the divine within us that motivates us to show gratitude for those who have fought for us many years ago and those who choose to do so today.

On this Remembrance Day, we also extend our thoughts, prayers, and efforts to those in the Philippines who have lost so much in this recent tragedy. We hope that each and every one of us can show gratitude for what we have by helping others in need the best way we can.

“Safe Sex” What does it really mean?

A lot of people get nervous when they are faced with answering the question: What is safe sex?Quick standard answers involve: 1) “condoms and contraceptives”, or  2) “abstinence or no sex”. On the contrary, these are actually simplistic and misinformed responses that can contribute to risky business.

Healthy and informed messages, to adequately guide our teenagers in the complex area of sexuality, require more detailed conversations throughout the adolescent stage.  Although people often say this talk makes them “feel awkward”, it is important to push past this normal apprehension in order to prevent future problems and increase healthier decision-making down the road.

We can help you have quality conversations about:

  1. what sexuality is and what truly safe sexual expression is,
  2. what is involved in having a healthy and satisfying intimate relationship, and
  3. what to do if problems arise or possibly have already occurred.

There are lots of things that you can do! Explore how you can enhance your communication skills to open up conversations with your teenagers. Contact us today !

Have you ever realized the difference between walking on grass barefoot and walking on grass with shoes? I strongly suggest you give it a try. The experience is soothing, and calming. I’m reminded of when I was child and did not care about getting my feet dirty. Now, as an adult, we assume that getting our feet dirty is a child-like behaviour we can’t do anymore.

Well that could not be farthest from the truth. I recently came across of this grounding article from Dr. Mercola, which provided great insight to the health benefits of grounding, also known as earthing.

“It is well established, though not widely known, that the surface of the earth possesses a limitless and continuously renewed supply of free or mobile electrons as a consequence of a global atmospheric electron circuit. Wearing shoes with insulating soles and/or sleeping in beds that are isolated from the electrical ground plane of the earth have disconnected most people from the earth’s electrical rhythms and free electrons.

… A previous study demonstrated that connecting the human body to the earth during sleep (earthing) normalizes the daily cortisol rhythm and improves sleep. A variety of other benefits were reported, including reductions in pain and inflammation. Subsequent studies have confirmed these earlier findings and documented virtually immediate physiologic and clinical effects of grounding or earthing the body.” (Dr. Mercola, June 14, 2013).

Recently, I had a headache and a Rekki healer told me to try grounding—plant my bare feet on the grass. Within 15 minutes, my headache disappeared. For your next headache episode consider grounding!