Dec 30, 2011
Holiday season 2011 is almost over with New Year’s Eve on the horizon the Victorian Recovery blog has some tips to keep you abstinent when bringing in the New Year!
The mixture of Holiday food, family members and nostalgia can brew a strong cocktail that is hard to swallow for anyone, but especially those struggling with an eating disorder. New Year’s Eve is just a couple days away and most of us have big expectations on how to bring in the New Year. For the majority of women it includes a sparkly new dress, a champagne toast, being surrounded by our closest friends and a hot New Year’s kiss! However this pictures is easier staged with a stylist and paid models than with demanding real life friends and places elicit the joy that we expect.
It’s kind of like the perfect Christmas picture where the family sits around the fire, laughing at each others jokes and drinking hot cocoas. This Christmas picture is one we are all familiar with, but very few have actually been in it. Therefore in eating disorder recovery we learn to adjust our picture. We change what we deem, “Picture Perfect” in life and on Christmas and that takes away a lot of the stress off the Holiday and our loved ones.
I suggest we do the same for New Year’s. Forget the New Year’s picture some stylist from Macy’s created years ago in order to sell more dresses and crystal and create your own traditions! Some of the following alternatives are some of my favorite, that I have done the past couple of years.
Game Night + Fire Works – Gather a bunch of friends together and hold a kick-back game night at someone’s house. Watch the countdown to New Year’s on TV in New York and when New Year’s hits go outside and light some sparklers or fire works to celebrate the New Year!
Sober Party’s - Many of our women are also struggling with alcoholism. Thus a New Year’s surrounded by alcohol isn’t ideal. However, Alcoholics Anonymous holds great sober party’s for young people and older groups that I have been told are a ton of fun.
New Year’s Day Hiking – My personal favorite is to gather a bunch of friends and go on a New Year’s Day hike! Southern California has the most amazing frontier and we never lack in amazing new trails to enjoy!
New Year’s Open House – Some of my friend’s host this every year and I love it! They open up their house to all of their friends from 11 am to 11pm. They have movies going on their TV’s, old records to listen to, puzzles, games and even some concoctions for those with hangovers to nurse themselves. Everyone enjoys just staying in their PJ’s all day and hanging with the friends they love. Good times!
I hope that this post helped you to think outside the box on the way you celebrate New Year’s this year. Whatever you do, I hope that just like eating disorder recovery that you practice listening to your inner compass and that it leads you into a beautiful and healthy 2012!
Dec 20, 2011
Our very own Program Director, Michlle Smith LVN will be speaking about eating disorders on the Trinity Broadcasting Network!
Our beloved Program Director, Michelle Smith LVN recently taped a show for Public Affairs – Joy in Our Town on the Trinity Broadcasting Network. The topic was eating disorder treatment and prevention. Michelle was joined by the non-profit Rewrite Beautiful and Robyn Baker, an eating disorder survivor. The women spoke about what causes eating disorders, treatment, prevention and the responsibility of the media. It was an amazing, informative and dynamic show that we’re all very proud of it! The show runs for a half hour. Be sure to check it out!
Public Affairs – Joy in Our Town
January 13th at 10 am
January 16th at 8:30 am
January 19th at 3 am
Dec 13, 2011
Whether it’s a public relations campaign or taking recovery and paying it forward there are some things we can learn from celebrity eating disorders.
· Ashley Simpson
· Calista Flockhart
· Candace Cameron Bure
· Demi Lovatto
· Diane Keaton
· Elton John
· Jamie-Lynn Sigler
· Jane Fonda
· Jessica Alba
· Mary Kate Olsen
· Nicole Richie
· Paula Abdul
· Portia De Rossi
· Tracey Gold
· Victoria Beckham
Some might assume that the most fatal mental disease has become the latest Hollywood publicist marketing strategy. Whether or not celebrities are exposing their struggle for profit or recovery there are some very positive things we can learn from their courage to come forward and share.
Awareness - One thing I’m really impressed with is how so many of these starlet’s have stated that they wanted others to know that they are not alone and to get help themselves. Today, over 1/3 of American women struggle with disordered eating in the forms of anorexia, bulimia and compulsive overeating. Talking about this still taboo topic brings awareness to those currently in an eating disorder, just simply saying the disease “eating disorder” can vastly help the public have more awareness and recognize the disease before it progresses or turns into death.
Boldness – Personally, I share my recovery story on a very public format. Through speaking engagements, workshops, press and blogging. I can confirm that it isn’t always easy to admit on a public forum that I have struggled with body image, confidence and concerns about my looks. There are times that it provokes anxiety in me. But, then I am confronted with the fact that “if I don’t come forward who else will? Who else will help others find recovery?” It’s this question that helps me be bold and share my story. I believe celebrity’s are using their platform of fans and media attention to be bold with their story to help others in recovery. For that, I am completely grateful to them.
Owning It – There is a point in recovery we all come to that either progresses us ahead or keeps us stagnant and that is the dilemma of owning it. I have yet to meet a person who struggles with an eating disorder who is excited to vocalize the pressure they feel to keep in perfect physical appearance and that this disease took over their lives. However, there is something powerful in simply admitting on a daily basis that this is our struggle and for better or for worse we are working on our recovery. It’s in this act of owning it that our own recovery escalates and we are able to not only grow ourselves, but help others grown in their recovery as well.
I’m incredibly impressed and thankful for the many celebrity’s who have come forward to share their recovery story. I hope to see many more in 2012 and in turn see recovery happen for so many others.
Dec 06, 2011
This may sound like a funny post, but some of us have had eating disorders for so long we just don’t know what to do with ourselves besides starve, binge, purge and repeat. The idea of asking yourself “what do I want to do?” is daunting. Which is why the Victorian Recovery Blog is here to help!
When I share about eating disorders with people who haven’t experienced them I wish that I could build empathy for the fact that this addiction takes over your entire life. A person with an eating disorder is so enthralled in it that they lose touch with reality, forgetting the things they love and enjoy. When I was working at the Victorian it was especially difficult to help the women remember the things they loved, due to depression playing a part in the disease. I often encouraged the women to make a list of 20 things they could do instead of starving, binging and purging. Their lists were always beautiful variations, showing each women’s gifts and talents.
Today, the Victorian blog brings you some creative, fun and healthy ideas for your own recovery. Feel free to tweak some of these ideas to better suit your gifting.
1.) Beach walks - If you’re blessed enough to be in Newport Beach like us, the beach is a great place to go for a mellow walk. Take in some vitamin D and enjoying the beautiful ocean
2.) Bike Rides – We love our boardwalk in Newport Beach! Bike rides down the peninsula are the best! Whether with friends or not a bike ride always gets endorphins flowing!
3.) Blogging –Whether it’s commenting on someone else’s creative blog or starting your own, eating disordered women are known to very creative and quick witted writers!
4.) Bubble Bath’s – Fill up the tub, light some candles and soak up some self care surrounded by bubbles!
5.) Calling friends – Sometimes just checking in to ask a friend“How are you?” Can completely change their day. Many of us have friends who are also struggling with an eating disorder. Giving a random call just to say hello can help someone tremendously.
6.) Coffee Dates – The Newport locals love Alta Coffee which is just a block down from the Victorian. Bring a book or a friend to a coffee shop and soak in the joyful energy of others caffeine affecianados! Pick the right coffee shop and enjoy some art too!
7.) Crocheting + Knitting – Such a thearapeutic, rhythmic skill! Make scarves and blankets for the ones you love while you watch your favorite chick flicks!
8.) Dog Walking – Who doesn’t love pups? Ask your friends that work if you can help them out by walking their pup during the day while their at work!
9.) Gardening – What woman doesn’t love flowers?! Enjoy flowers every day by staring your own little flower garden! Seeds, dirt, water and a little internet research and you’re green thumb will start to ripen!
10.) Hiking – I am always in gratitude whenever I am on a hike. Realizing that I am blessed to be healthy enough to use my body to enjoy the beauty of nature is an incredible feeling. Take some friends with you and make it a day trip!
11.) Kayaking – Take a friend with you to enjoy the fun! Locally we have the Newport Aquatic Center for all nautical needs!
12.) Jewelry Making – Whether it’s beads or jewels, you can build such an appreciation for jewelry once you try to make it!
13.) Journaling – So therapeutic.
14.) Recovery Meetings - I have never left a 12 Step meeting without feeling better than when I entered the room. Meetings are a place of growth and reflection for us all.
15.) Movie Days – Get some movies and don’t forget your Snuggie and head on over to the couch!
16.) Painting – Whether it’s your bedroom walls, a canvas or your nails, painting is a very cathartic action that gives the painter a calming feeling.
17.) Photography – Cannon, Nikon, Toy camera or disposable, capture the world through your new eyes in recovery.
18.) Reading - Save some buckaroo’s and check out your local library!
19.) Volunteering – Find a local non-profit that interests you and volunteer with them
20.) Writing - Share your sassy, classy and poignant observations in print