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Old 05-25-2013, 10:26 PM   #1
Alex Jacobsen
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Eating Disorders

My girlfriend has been dealing with bulimia for a couple years and just got released from a treatment center about a week ago. She is only familiar with Crossfit and Paleo because of me, but I try not to discuss it to much because she is on a strict diet and workout schedule due to serious heart and digestion issues.

Has anyone gone through an eating disorder or knows someone who was having trouble? What steps were taken to recover from the eating disorder?

We read the "Saved by the Barbell" YOU MUST ANNOTATE ALL LINKS AS TO WHETHER WORK AND FAMILY SAFEjournal article, but I am just curious to know if anyone has experienced someone overtraining, under-eating, or binge purging. Any advice to help her would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 06-25-2013, 07:05 AM   #2
Andrea Kirk
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Re: Eating Disorders

That's a tough one. I would imagine her ability to manage her disorder would depend on how secure she feels. Having you on her side must be wonderful. CrossFit people can definitely be hyper-image conscious and there is a lot of discipline (for lack of a better word) over food and diet. On the other hand, the CrossFit women I know are pretty good eaters, comfortable with themselves and supportive of others.

This might be interesting to read. For both of you.
http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate...s/?ref=opinionYOU MUST ANNOTATE ALL LINKS AS TO WHETHER WORK AND FAMILY SAFE

Andrea
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Old 07-01-2013, 08:49 PM   #3
Larry Bruce
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Re: Eating Disorders

It's a matter of having an internal orientation rather than external goals and measurements to live up to. When you are getting good physical feelings from training, it's pretty hard to overtrain or undereat - because you don't get those feelings.

If I were her, I would focus on just getting a good positive feeling about my body and what it's capable of doing. Building a base of training for a few years. After it might be possible to add in a competitive and group element such as what Crossfit provides, without being overwhelmed by the external aspects ....
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Old 08-26-2013, 05:39 PM   #4
Kiel Stuart
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Re: Eating Disorders

I'm a "Personal Fitness Trainer" by title, but the truth is most of the time I'm a "weight-loss coach" which is entirely psychology.

An eating disorder is a lifestyle disorder. I agree with the above about feeling good internally, but it's also not possible to isolate yourself from the outside world in any constructive way. If she's just sitting around thinking about how she looks, trying to feel good about herself, it won't happen.

She's the same as the rest of us, we have to strike a balance between ourselves internally, and the world externally, we have to find our harmony.

The cure for a neurological dis-order, is to find order. Her disorder is her eating habits. The fix for it is to balance her health, work, home, and leisure time in an orderly manner. CrossFit is all about functional fitness, leading an orderly life is all about leading a functional life. Destructive eating habits are dysfunctional, or disorderly, hence the term "disorder". Life is confusing and sometimes we get a bit turned around, but luckily we're never alone.

It's natural to approach it in a cuddly way, but the truth is, you have to be harsh, but know when that person has had all the harsh they can take, and then back it up with a reassuring cuddle. She has the disorder, and you don't, there's nothing more to add to that, it's just how it is. You have to be the rock, accept that you're going to cause them pain, and believe in what you are doing enough to keep going no matter what. All that matters is her health.

You can cuddle someone while they slowly kill themselves, or you can hurt their feelings to save their life. But remember, ultimately, the choice is theirs.
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Old 08-26-2013, 09:13 PM   #5
Andrew G Parker
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Re: Eating Disorders

Kiel hit some good points. The behavior associated with eating disorders are secondary (symptoms) to underlying causes. If she went to a treatment center, they would have focused both on her physical health, as well as the underlying psychological factors. She should be in therapy with a very competent mental health professional. There tends to be a propensity to emotionally dysregulate and usually significant perceptual (cognitive) skews relative to self and the environment. If you want some ideas relative to specific treatments, let me know and I will pm you some info. There are some good evidenced practices with solid results. I've been practicing as a licensed professional counselor for about 20 years.
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Old 08-26-2013, 09:28 PM   #6
Robert Fabsik
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Re: Eating Disorders

Usually good health tips are good health tips for everyone.
Such as exercise, eat better, get regular sleep.

With eating disorders, you need to be cautious with how you cue the person. Whatever the cause/history, a lot of people with eating disorders struggle with self-image and validation. Often times because of their internal bias, they will take what they want out of a recommendation. "Exercise is good for you," can be transformed into "It's OK for me to exercise 4 hours a day."

"Don't eat processed food," in some cases can be skewed as "Eat only rice since everything else is processed."

My examples may seem extreme, but are not atypical.

People with eating disorders need healthy support while being kept accountable for their behavior. You can't let simple yes/no answers go by.

"Have you been eating well?"
"Yes."
This may mean "Well now I"m eating 600 calories a day, that's better than 500".

A better tip would be,
"How've you been eating?"
"Fine."
"What was your last meal and calorie count?"
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