Happy New Year's Eve!























Happy New Year's Eve!

Another fresh new year is here... another year to live! To banish worry, doubt, and fear, to love and laugh and give! This bright new year is given me to live each day with zest ... to daily grow and try to be my highest and my best! I have the opportunity once more to right some wrongs, to pray for peace, to plant a tree, and sing more joyful songs. 
William Arthur Ward

Recovery Quote Of The Week: December 31, 2011

If you don't like the road you're walking, start paving another one.
Dolly Parton

See sidebar menu for more Recovery Quotes of the Week, and Inspirational Recovery Quotes


picsource:http://www.flickr.com/photos/dcmetroblogger/3531573740/in/photostream/

10 Self-Nurturing New Year's Resolutions
















I'm not a fan of New Year's resolutions. More often than not, we set up lofty goals that are near impossible to stick to or are just unhealthy for us. When we don't manage to accomplish them we then feel guilty, frustrated, and defeated. If you're considering making resolutions for the new year why not make them something that nurtures your being and changes how you feel about yourself? 


10 Self-Nurturing New Year's Resolutions
 
I resolve to:
  1. love myself more (flaws and all)
  2. be more grateful for my body and what it allows me to do every day
  3. make more healthy choices for both my mind and my body
  4. respect myself and others more
  5. surround myself with more positive and supportive people
  6. stop comparing myself to others and instead celebrate my unique individuality more
  7. replace negative self-talk with more positive, loving statements
  8. let go of past shame, regrets, and fear and live in the present more
  9. speak up, reach out, and ask for more help when I need it
  10. laugh more, love more, and enjoy the life I have been blessed with

Notice the word, "more," slipped in there? "More" is important for two reasons.
  1.  you may already be doing these things and so now are resolving to build on them. 
  2. "more" allows forward movement without the preconceived notion of failure when you don't accomplish something fully.

Remember, it's not about perfecting anything. It's about learning to nurture yourself. It takes time and practice.

Make this year the year that you choose to take care of you. Make yourself a priority.


Happy New Year! 
MrsM

©Weighing The Facts



picsource: http://www.flickr.com/photos/aschultz/3700307982/

This Week's R.I.S.E. : Don't Hang Around Waiting For Perfection























This week's R.I.S.E. (Recovery Inspiration Strength Exercise) is Don't Hang Around Waiting For Perfection.

Are you waiting for perfection before you participate? Have there been events, gatherings, classes you'd like to take, a career move you'd like to make, or anything else that you've put on hold because you're waiting for the perfect time, perfect weight, perfect outfit, perfect conditions?

The problem with perfection is that it's practically unattainable and, in my opinion, boring (said with a long, drawn out, sing songy type inflection). When I think back on some of my favorite memories, it's the imperfections that made them so extraordinary, so memorable. The imperfect friends and family, and the imperfect situations led to unexpected turns of events that left me belly laughing with glee, or happily surprised by an outcome I couldn't have even imagined. Even when I wasn't thrilled by the end results, I came away from it with a life lesson that I wouldn't have learned otherwise and that I was (if not immediately, at least down the road) grateful to learn.

Putting your life on hold because you don't feel thin enough, good enough, pretty enough, worthy enough (and the list goes on and on) is one of the biggest life cheats there is.

The hard, cold fact is that we only have right now, this very moment, for certain. Everything else is a gamble and a gift. Keep hanging around waiting for perfection and you could find you've missed a huge hunk of life.

We hold ourselves back by worrying what others will think of us when, in reality, they're really not giving us much thought. Not in the sense that we worry they are. Have you ever noticed that the people who go out and meet life head on don't seem the least bit concerned with how you feel about it? They're not worried that you don't approve, or don't think they look the right way,  or think they're good enough to do whatever it is they're choosing to do. They're too busy living their lives. 

This is no dress rehearsal (paraphrasing Rose Tremain) so stop waiting and start participating.

For this week do something you've been wanting to do. Attend or host a gathering of friends you've been eager to see, go somewhere new, do something... just don't hang around waiting for perfection.

Jump in without weight, appearance, or any other self-limiting thoughts holding you back. Let go of the self-negativity and worry. Take your-self with you. The real you. The one that matters.  Enjoy! Laugh! Live it fully! And if it doesn't turn out the way you had hoped, go with the flow and make the best of it.

There's a whole lot of living to be done out there and it's waiting for your wonderfully imperfect self!

* See sidebar menu for more Weekly R.I.S.E.
©Weighing The Facts
picsource:http://www.flickr.com/photos/tangaroo/1280739738/

Today I Smile: Eating Disorders Poetry

Today I Smile

wind blowing
peacefully
music playing
beautifully
this content feeling …
make it last, eternally

slow breaths in and out
any feeling of uneasiness
has flown away with the breeze
going far away
and I’ll do anything to make it stay that way

there have been times when I didn’t care to stay
but with THIS day …
I can’t see it any other way

Finally
It’s been a while
Finally
I can feel the smile

No worries, no anxiety
The sun beating down on me
Mirrors the light
That has just been turned on inside myself
Positively affecting my emotional health

Happy people passing by
Smiles on their faces, helping to erase all the “whys”

Its.time.
To let go
Its.time.
To finally say .. no

No
To the emotions that force themselves upon me
Because today, I am happy … as happy as can be.


by: Life Is Sweet



picsource:http://www.flickr.com/photos/lanuiop/4499445972/in/photostream/

Links to Help See You Through This Holiday Season























I hope you find yourself surrounded by people who love and support you this holiday season and that you all have a wonderful Holiday!

Below are some links to help if you find yourself struggling:

Surviving the Holidays: Links

Eating Disorders Help Hotlines, Organizations, Websites

Eating Disorders Christmas Survival Guide from Cambridge University (PDF download)

Coping with Christmas SWEDA Somerset &  Wessex Eating Disorders Association

Holiday Survival Kit Eating Disorder Hope

FEAST Holiday Survival Tips 

Eating Disorder Recovery: I Refuse To Be























I refuse to be defined by my past, the size of my jeans, the number on a scale, or the opinion of others. I am an amazing, unique, and worthwhile person just as I am, here, now, as I stand before you today. I am a work in progress; ever growing, ever changing, ever moving forward. I am an amazing individual worthy of respect, love, and joy. My journey is no less important than your own. I do not seek your approval or permission to be who I choose to be. I am walking my own path at my own pace. 

©Weighing The Facts


picsource:weighinthefacts.blogspot.com

Eating Disorders Poetry: My Declaration of Independence























This is my declaration of independence...

from the voice that never lets me rest or says what I do or who I am is never good enough.

from the sickness that takes doing anything productive as an "opportunity" NOT to eat.

from the disease that tricks, not just my mind, but my body into pushing beyond the line of healthy, sane excersize.

from the disorder that brings my turmoil unto my family unnecessarily and forces it's rules onto those I live with; to waste money on food I will inevitably abuse or deprive them of foods they enjoy because they trigger binges for me.

from the idea that I can't deal with the downfalls, relationships, rejections, or losses in my life.

from the voice that distorts the real image of my body, my thoughts, and my soul,

or says I need to eat more then physically refuse it,

eat less and then abuse it,

or eat nothing until hunger and fullness are one in the same.

No more will I feel bad, guilty, or trapped for nourishing my body.

No more will I let it distort who I am or what I see with my eyes.

No more will I let it suck the life from me, the freedom to live how I want to.

No more will I let it take my confidence, what makes me truly beautiful, MY beliefs.

No more will I be afraid to simply go grocery shopping for my family or myself.

No more will I let it destroy me, mentally and physically.

No more will I believe that no one could ever love me or that I could never LOVE MYSELF.

No more will I listen to the negative spin on a compliment.

No more will I surround myself with people who fuel this abusive boyfriend in my head.

No more will I feel bad for eating "too much".

No more will I be afraid to eat.
No more.

by: Alex Buchwald




Share your eating disorders and body image poetry/writings on Weighing The Facts


picsource:http://www.flickr.com/photos/paulin-a/3941549009/in/photostream/

This Week's R.I.S.E. : Tidy Up Your Inner House
























This week's R.I.S.E. (Recovery Inspiration Strength Exercise): Tidy Up Your Inner House.

We all carry around with us emotions, thoughts, and memories from our past. Some are positive, encouraging, and emotionally comforting. Some, on the other hand, only serve to feed our negativity, fears, and anxiety. 

Not all that we feel and think is rooted in reality. We may see ourselves through our past and allow thoughts that spring from that to influence our present. Things that happened to us as children are remembered from a child's point of view and so may carry a heavier weight. Maybe the scarring words of someone we looked up to whispers in our ear, making us feel less than, unsure, scared, or helpless. Maybe a past event has altered how we see ourselves and carries with it feelings of shame that, in turn, make us feel unworthy of the good we deserve. 


How do you know if your thoughts or feelings need tidying up? 
  • How do they make you feel?
  • Are your feelings about it outdated?
  • Do they derail your positive progress? 
  • Are they attached to an event that you had no control over? 
  • Do they serve to help you on your new path? 
Tidying up and cleaning out isn't a simple task. Not all the negative things we feel and think are so easily gotten rid of and require a professional to guide us to understanding the whys and the why nots so we can move past them. There are, though, things we can do on our own to make a big difference in how our thoughts, and even memories, affect us. 

Start small. Stay positive. Be patient. Be repetitive.

Forgive your past self of past mistakes. You, today, are not that person. You are allowed to change. You are capable of change. You are deserving of change. 

Let go of negative narratives. Those old tapes that play in your head, telling you you're not worthy, that you can't accomplish something, that you don't deserve anything good ... toss them! Replace them with positive, encouraging ones. Start a new inner dialogue that's supportive, and forgiving.

Be patient with yourself. Be kind to yourself. Be loving to yourself. 

Tidying up is a bit more involved than past R.I.S.E. but the idea isn't to tackle it all. The idea is to pick one emotional negative that's dragging you down and chip away at it until you can rid yourself of it, then move on to another and do the same.

So this week, tidy up just one small corner of your inner house. Let the old stuff go and start anew. Your inner talk is a powerful cleaning tool. Make good use of it. 

Throw out that old set of emotional baggage and make room for a more positive set. Fill the new set up with only good things. Visualize the process. 


*See sidebar menu for more Weekly R.I.S.E.  
©Weighing The Facts
 
picsource:http://www.flickr.com/photos/mildlydiverting/9033447/in/photostream/

Inspirational Recovery Quotes: Moving Forward























Don't dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next. Spend your energies on moving forward toward finding the answer.
Denis Waitley

Press forward. Do not stop, do not linger in your journey, but strive for the mark set before you.
George Whitefield

You have to decide if you're going to wilt like a daisy or if you're just going to go forward and live the life that you've been granted.
Kevin Costner

Time doesn't stop and wait for anyone. Move on.
Unknown

Growth is an erratic forward movement: two steps forward, one step back. Remember that and be very gentle with yourself.
Julia Cameron

Life is an operation which is done in a forward direction. One lives toward the future, because to live consists inexorably in doing, in each individual life making itself.
Jose Ortega y Gasset

Stride forward with a firm, steady step knowing with a deep, certain inner knowing that you will reach every goal you set yourselves, that you will achieve every aim .
Eileen Caddy

Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.
Soren Kierkegaard

It is for us to pray not for tasks equal to our powers, but for powers equal to our tasks, to go forward with a great desire forever beating at the door of our hearts as we travel toward our distant goal.
Helen Keller

Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.
Brian Tracy

I am prepared to go anywhere, provided it be forward.
David Livingstone

He who cannot rest, cannot work; he who cannot let go, cannot hold on; he who cannot find footing, cannot go forward.
Harry Emerson Fosdick

As long as you as an individual... can convince yourself that in order to move forward as best you can you have to be optimistic, you can be described as 'one of the faithful,' one of those people who can say, 'Well, look, something's going to happen! Let's just keep trying. Let's not give up.
Tom Hanks

Man maintains his balance, poise, and sense of security only as he is moving forward.
Maxwell Maltz

Sometimes looking back on what you had motivates you to keep moving forward...there's a reason why you left, keep going.
Unknown

There is no finer sensation in life that which comes with victory over one's self. Go forward to a goal of inward achievement, brushing aside all your old internal enemies as you advance.
Vash Young

I think that the power is the principle. The principle of moving forward, as though you have the confidence to move forward, eventually gives you confidence when you look back and see what you've done.
Robert Downey, Jr.

There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still.
Franklin D. Roosevelt

Life is a series of adjustments; You can make changes along the way, but if you didn’t start moving forward you'll never get anywhere!
Kimora Lee Simmons

All change is not growth, as all movement is not forward.
Ellen Glasgow

We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.
Walt Disney

Even if you fall on your face, you're still moving forward.
Victor Kiam

Daring ideas are like chessmen moved forward; they may be beaten, but they may start a winning game.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Forward, as occasion offers. Never look round to see whether any shall note it... Be satisfied with success in even the smallest matter, and think that even such a result is no trifle.
Marcus Aurelius

We face neither East nor West: we face forward.
Kwame Nkrumah

My trust in a higher power that wants me to survive and have love in my life, is what keeps me moving forward.
Kenny Loggins

By striving to do the impossible, man has always achieved what is possible. Those who have cautiously done no more than they believed possible have never taken a single step forward.
Mikhail Bakunin

When a thing is done, it's done. Don't look back. Look forward to your next objective.
George C. Marshall

There is no standing still because time is moving forward.
Greg Lake

You are always a student, never a master. You have to keep moving forward.
Conrad Hall

One fails forward toward success.
Charles Kettering

I demolish my bridges behind me - then there is no choice but forward.
Fridtjof Nansen

We all have a social mask, right? We put it on, we go out, put our best foot forward, our best image. But behind that social mask is a personal truth, what we really, really believe about who we are and what we're capable of.
Phil McGraw

The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you can see.
Winston Churchill

Let us learn to appreciate there will be times when the trees will be bare, and look forward to the time when we may pick the fruit.
Anton Chekhov

I definitely feel we're moving forward. There's a lot more understanding... there's less fear and we're working on there being less hatred.
Melissa Etheridge

I find that the best way to do things is to constantly move forward and to never doubt anything and keep moving forward, if you make a mistake say you made a mistake.
John Frusciante

If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.
Henry Ford

You've got to bumble forward into the unknown.
Frank Gehry

What helps me go forward is that I stay receptive; I feel that anything can happen.
Anouk Aimee

Sometimes you have to take a half step back to take two forward.
Vince McMahon

There is trust in there being a Spirit who loves me and wants me to have love in my life. I trust in this higher power, it is what keeps me moving forward no matter what happens.
Kenny Loggins

Things can fall apart, or threaten to, for many reasons, and then there's got to be a leap of faith. Ultimately, when you're at the edge, you have to go forward or backward; if you go forward, you have to jump together.
Yo-Yo Ma

If you cry 'forward', you must without fail make plain in what direction to go.
Anton Chekhov

Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around in awareness.
James Thurber

We all have our time machines. Some take us back, they're called memories. Some take us forward, they're called dreams.
Jeremy Irons

We are all afraid for our confidence, for the future, for the world. That is the nature of the human imagination. Yet every man, every civilization, has gone forward because of its engagement with what it has set itself to do.
Jacob Bronowski

It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge.
Enrico Fermi

I haven't found anywhere in the world where I want to be all the time. The best of my life is the moving. I look forward to going.
Sean Connery

I'm really looking forward to, not more of the same, but a continual growth.
Ben Harper

Everyone who's serious about what they're doing must be in constant motion forward.
Ed O'Brien

I'm always interested in looking forward toward the future. Carving out new ways of looking at things.
Herbie Hanc

So it's like starting over again, but I look forward to the challenge.
Lee Majors

A man of courage flees forward, in the midst of new things.
Jacques Maritain


*See sidebar menu for more Inspirational Recovery Quotes and Recovery Quotes of the Week 


picsource: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lincolnian/152396707/in/photostream/

Recovery Quote Of The Week: December 16, 2011

One of these mornings you're going to rise up singing and you'll spread your wings and take to the sky...
Summertime lyrics


See sidebar menu for more Recovery Quotes of the Week and Inspirational Recovery Quotes

This Week's R.I.S.E. : Be Silly, Laugh, Have Fun!

This week's R.I.S.E. (Recovery Inspiration Strength Exercise): Be Silly, Laugh, Have Fun.

Laughter isn't just fun, it's good for your health and improves your quality of life!
It's free, fun, can happen just about anywhere, and it doesn't require any special equipment or membership fees. 

When we're acting silly, enjoying ourselves, and laughing we actually change physiologically. Though studies are less than abundant and results are debated by many, there's no arguing that a bit of silliness and a good dose of laughter sure can make a person feel good.

Some of the physiological benefits include:
  • releases endorphins (make us feel good and help decrease pain)
  • facial muscles stretch
  • blood flow is increased
  • breath is increased and oxygenates our tissues
  • immune cells increased 
  • blood sugar lowers
  • better sleep
  • increased energy

Some of the emotional benefits include:
  • decreased stress
  • reduced anxiety
  • increased feelings of hope
  • increased creativity
ps. faking a laugh is beneficial to our health, just like faking a smile is.  


Try these to add a little silliness, fun, and laughter to your life:
  • Watch a favorite (or new to you) funny movie
  • Watch a funny sitcom with a friend or loved one
  • Hang out with your funny friends
  • Fake it. Really. Try out different laughs, be goofy, make funny faces.
  • Sign up for a joke a day email. There are several online you can sign up for
  • Go to a comedy show
  • Play comedy charades with friends. All categories must relate to something humorous 
  • Don't forget to laugh at yourself. Find the humor in mishaps, etc. 

Here's a little something to help get you started. :)





See sidebar menu for more weekly R.I.S.E.

©Weighing The Facts


sources:http://women.webmd.com/guide/give-your-body-boost-with-laughter?page=2 
http://www.pbs.org/thisemotionallife/topic/humor/benefits-humor
picsource: http://www.flickr.com/photos/alinieri/3687736037/in/photostream/

Girl Standing In Front Of The Mirror: Eating Disorder Poetry


*warning: poem may be triggering

Girl Standing in Front of the Mirror

Collarbones jutted out,
Every rib defined against the starving flesh
Eyes hollow, bloodshot
Wrists cocked, trying to defy the laws of nature,
To put her fingers around her waist
Hipbones sharp as a raven’s beak
Legs thin as twigs, ready to snap
Her arms never small enough
Her cheekbones never prominent enough
Girl standing in front of the mirror,
Inching her hollow eyes over ever flaw, every imperfection
No matter the countless gags, the starvation, the exercise,
She is never perfect
Girl standing in front of the mirror,
Her hollow eyes tell it all:
Insecurity, Distortion, Desperation
Girl standing in front of the mirror,
Slowly dying in her perception of beauty and perfection

Written by: SC

See sidebar menu for more poetry and writing submissions

click here to be featured on Weighing The Facts


picsource: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cloudninex/4140647605/sizes/l/in/photostream/

This Week's R.I.S.E. :Self-Love Jar

This week's R.I.S.E. (Recovery Inspiration Strength Exercise) is to start a Self-Love Jar. 

Materials Needed:
*empty jar
*slips of paper (be creative or simply grab a piece of scrap paper)
*pen, pencil, or colored markers


Each day, grab a slip of paper and take a moment to:
*write one positive thing about yourself
*or words of encouragement 
*place it in the jar
Keep it positive. No negativity allowed.

Consider the jar your personal bank of self-love and encouragement. You make deposits into it that you later can withdraw as needed.

Feeling down, struggling, or using negative self-talk? Take a slip of paper out of the jar and read it. Take another. Dump it upside down on your bed, get comfy and read them all. Whatever you need, whenever you need it. 

 See sidebar menu for more R.I.S.E. from previous weeks.

©Weighing The Facts

 picsource:http://www.flickr.com/photos/emiliehoffpauirphotography/5516279404/in/photostream/

Recovery Quote Of The Week: November 29, 2011
















click image to enlarge
The greatest masterpieces were once only pigments on a palette.
Henry S. Hoskins


*see sidebar for more Recovery Quotes of the Week and Inspirational Recovery Quotes 


picsource:http://www.flickr.com/photos/marlon-bunday-mmx/4753351428/in/photostream/

Happy Thanksgiving! 2011

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.

Ralph Waldo Emerson


I hope your day is filled with love, support, family, and friends.
 Happy Thanksgiving! 



If you find yourself struggling today, these links may help:






picsource:http://www.flickr.com/photos/teo/1314249/

This Week's R.I.S.E. :Plant Seeds Of Recovery

This week's R.I.S.E. (recovery inspiration strength exercise) is to Plant Seeds Of Recovery.

Imagine yourself standing in a garden. It's bare. The soil has been turned, amended, and fertilized, waiting to be seeded. This is your recovery garden. What grows here will depend on the seeds you choose to plant in it, and the care you give it.

Each thought is like a seed and so it's important that we are careful about the seeds we allow to take root. Simply put, we reap what we sow.

Visualize yourself:
  • with a handful of big, healthy, seeds. Each one labeled with a word of your choosing
  • on your knees, the sun shining down, birds singing, a warm breeze
  • taking your time to plant each seed carefully
  • watering it lovingly
  • watching it grow
Tend to your garden every day so it will thrive. Don't view it as a chore. Have fun with it. See it as relaxing, self-healing, and fruitful. Keep it positive.

 Even when we're good at staying positive, negative thoughts are bound to creep in now and again, but we don't have to water them, fertilize them, and help them grow.  Consider them a weed and start weeding!

See sidebar menu for more R.I.S.E.

©Weighing The Facts


picsource:http://www.flickr.com/photos/tgerus/4662650273/in/photostream/

Recovery Quote Of The Week: November 18, 2011

Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.
Oprah Winfrey


*see sidebar for recovery quotes of the week and inspirational recovery quotes


picsource: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ipoxstudios/6186268524/in/photostream/

Anti-Bullying Resources




Anti-Bullying Resources:
 
Anti-Bullying Alliance.org 

National Bullying Prevention Center

Stomp Out Bullying.org

Stop Bullying. gov

Anti-Bullying Network

Kids Against Bullying

Teens Against Bullying

No Bully.com

GLSEN (gay lesbian and straight education network)

Bully Police. org (ant-bullying laws by state)

The Anti-Bully Blog

Bullying Information and Facts 

Suicide Prevention Resources


*If you know of any anti-bullying resources that should be added to the list please include them in a comment to this post and I will add them. 
Thank you.

This Week's R.I.S.E. : Breathe and Visualize

This week's R.I.S.E. (Recovery Inspiration Strength Exercise) is practicing two techniques to soothe yourself to help see you through stressful times. Breathe and Visualize. These two exercises are excellent to add to your collection of recovery tools. They are simple and easy to do. You don't need any special equipment or setting, just a few minutes and a willingness to forge ahead even if you find it awkward to do at first. The more you practice, the less awkward it will feel.

Breathe
Not your usual breath in, breath out. This is deeper, more controlled. It oxygenates the body. It is very calming and beneficial both physically and emotionally.

Did you know that ...
  • Our bodies are designed to release approximate 70% of it's toxins through breathing.
  • Carbon dioxide that has passed through the body makes it's way to the lungs. Exhaling deeply gets rid of it.
  • Stress/tension causes our bodies to constrict and our breathing to become shallow. Deep breathing relaxes our muscles and calms us.
  • Deep breathing oxygenates the brain which reduces anxiety.
  • Deep breathing ups the immune system.
  • The lungs are strengthened by deep breathing. So is the heart.
  • Neurochemicals (which cause feelings of pleasure)increase in the brain. This elevates mood and helps lessen pain.
Breathing Technique

Sit comfortably, spine straight, feet on the floor, shoulders and arms relaxed.
Keep your throat open and your lips slightly parted.
Close your eyes.
Breath in slowly, through you're nose, to a slow count of 5. Let your stomach expand with each breath, followed by your chest expanding. Once you get the feel of how long a 5 count breath is, stop counting them.
Let the breath linger for a moment before exhaling slowly through your mouth for 5 counts. Think of your breath like a wave that washes up onto the shore and lingers before receding back into the ocean.

Visualize
Visualization, simply put, is imagining. You can visualize a scenario, place, goal, and even self-healing. There are no limitations as to what you can visualize. The more you practice, the better at it you will become. We all already visualize throughout the day and may not even realize it.

Benefits of visualization include ...
  • Stress relief
  • Calmness
  • Better mood
  • Inspiration
  • Improved focus
  • Improved attitude
Visualization Technique
  • Start with the above breathing technique.
  • Choose a word that you can relate to how you want to feel, such as "relax, calm, or safe." Say this word to yourself as you exhale.
  • As you begin to relax, picture yourself walking along a beautiful beach (or any other place that suits you). Take in the sounds and sights... the waves, the gulls, the wind.
  • Feel the warmth of the sun and the cool breeze on your skin.
  • Feel the sand under your feet.
  • Notice how blue the water and the sky are.
  • The tall grasses move gently with the breeze.
Make it as vivid as you can. It should be filled with the imagery of the things you find beautiful, enjoyable, and relaxing.

Do this at least once a day.

Pressed for time or at your desk at work? You can still benefit. Do some deep breathing and release your chosen word as you exhale.


You may find this post helpful: Self-Soothing Techniques

©Weighing The Facts


picsource: http://www.flickr.com/photos/paulshughes/4475998276/in/photostream/
some info compiled from the following sites:
http://www.onepowerfulword.com/2010/10/18-benefits-of-deep-breathing-and-how.html
http://www.positivethinking-toolbox.com/benefits-of-visualization.html

Eating Disorders News and Views: November 15, 2011



















Warning: Some articles may be triggering


Anorexia and Cheerleading: A Dangerous Combination
By Samantha Van Vleet

Anorexia, a very serious and life-threatening eating disorder, appears to occur more commonly among the aesthetic sports, such as figure skating, gymnastics and cheerleading.

A growing concern regarding anorexia has become evident in the cheerleading realm. In fact, Gymnastics Australia has banned cheerleaders from wearing uniforms that expose their stomach. This decision may have been led to by research conducted that suggested cheerleaders who bared their stomachs in uniform were at a greater risk for developing eating disorders.

What is anorexia?

Anorexia is commonly used to describe the eating disorder anorexia nervosa, characterized by excessive dieting and calorie restriction to the point of emaciation. Anorexia, although it prevents physical symptoms, is thought of as a psychological disorder as the underlying cause is usually emotional.

What are the symptoms of anorexia?

Cheerleaders suffering from anorexia are likely to exhibit incredibly odd eating habits and behaviors. A cheerleader may have lost substantial amounts of weight in a relatively short period of time and may over-exercise. Cheerleaders suffering from anorexia are also likely to suffer from hair, skin and nail issues, such as dry, flaky skin, discolored skin, hair loss and brittle purple fingernail beds. Additionally, a cheerleader may exhibit the signs and symptoms of depression and may seem preoccupied with her weight and size.
Read Cheerleading ED in full here.


Images of airbrushed fashion models should come with 'cigarette-packet' warning, says Norwegian minister
By Ian Sparks
Mail Online

Images of airbrushed fashion models should come with a ‘cigarette-packet’ style health warning in a bid to tackle eating disorders in teenage girls, a government minister in Norway has declared.

Advertisements of super-skinny models are causing young women to starve themselves to obtain ‘unobtainable ideal bodies’, equalities minister Audun Lysbakken said.

He has called for stark warnings on all posters and press adverts when a photo has been digitally altered.

One suggested text for the warning reads: 'This advertisement has been altered and presents an inaccurate image of how this model really looks.'

We have to reduce the pressure the beauty ideal generates.' The call comes after countries including Spain, Italy and Brazil have all clamped down on skinny models at catwalk shows.
Read Warning Label in full here.


My five-year bulimia nightmare, by Diane Keaton
Mail Online

Diane Keaton has spoken for the first time about her 'awful' five-year battle with bulimia.

The actress revealed that she used to gorge herself on huge tubs of ice cream before making herself sick.

She said she was a struggling actress when she was ordered to lose 10lb for a part in the original Broadway production of Hair in 1968. It was the beginning of her bulimia nightmare.

Miss Keaton, now 65, said that she did not think her condition was called bulimia at the time, but it was real for her. 'It was just this trick you could do,' she added. 'It's a horrible problem. Ugly and awful.'

After undergoing psychotherapy – what she called the 'talking cure' – she one day realized that she did not want to binge any more.

Miss Keaton – who dated a string of Hollywood stars including Woody Allen, Warren Beatty and Al Pacino but never married – claimed that she was not beautiful, even when she was younger.

'I was friendly looking, no Candy Bergen,' she said. 'The smile, maybe, was all I had.'

Her disclosures may surprise many as she is known for shunning the spotlight – Vanity Fair magazine once described her as 'the most reclusive star since Garbo'. But now she has written a memoir, Then Again, due out next week.
Read Keaton in full here.


Vail health: Bulimia and the brain
Adolescent anorexia stems from both nurture and nature
Randy Wyrick

VAIL — Don't put your kid on a diet, because diets don't work, says Dr. Kenneth Weiner, an expert in eating disorders and brain development.

Within three years, 90 percent of people weigh more than they did before the diet. The other 10 percent have built lifestyle changes into their lives, Weiner said.

Weiner is co-founder, CEO and chief medical officer of the Eating Recovery Center in Denver and has been treating eating disorders for more than 25 years. He talked to Colorado School Counselors Association's annual conference at the Vail Cascade Resort & Spa on Friday.

To help adolescents avoid eating disorders, concentrate on who they are and not what they are, what's on the inside rather than what's on the outside, he said.

“We live in an obese society and childhood obesity is going to break the healthcare bank. My patients are the collateral damage,” Weiner said.

Nurture vs. nature
Eating disorders stem from nurture more than nature, he said, and so many things can feed that beast: Trauma, certain interests and hobbies, modeling, dancing, swimming, violence, culture, media.

“For many people with an eating disorder, it's preceded by some sort of trauma,” Weiner said.

Still, genetics play a role.

Between 40 to 50 percent of the risk is genetic. Fifty to 60 percent is psychosocial. If her mother has it, a girl is 12 times more likely.

It's as inheritable as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, Weiner said, and it's treatable.
Read Vail in full here.


10% OF GIRLS ARE FANS OF PRO-ANOREXIA WEBSITES
By Lucy Johnston and Chloe Randall
Express UK


ALARMING numbers of teenagers are using a network of underground “pro-anorexia” websites that glamorise and promote the life-threatening eating disorder.

New research reveals that more than 10 per cent of schoolgirls aged 13 to 17 have used a pro-anorexia site, and almost six per cent of boys, despite high-profile search engines blocking them after media outrage.

A Sunday Express investigation has discovered that many sites have gone underground, allowing access only to those who know a password.

Tips and tricks to reach a “goal weight” include eating cotton wool, inflicting pain to inhibit cravings and viewing pictures of skinny models, celebrities and other site users to boost motivation.

There are also suggestions on how to dupe family and friends that a meal has been eaten.

Websites may have trademark emblems with which followers ­demonstrate their dedication to an anorexic lifestyle, such as a red bracelet, worn by celebrity Nicole Richie and actress Lindsay Lohan in the past. Mary George, of eating disorder charity Beat, said: “These sites should act responsibly. Anorexia and bulimia are dangerous activities and people can be encouraged to copy them.”
Read 10% in full here.


Former child star to host eating disorders TV series


Former child star Tracey Gold is to share her experiences with anorexia as the host of a new U.S. reality show about eating disorders.

The actress, who battled the illness while starring in hit sitcom Growing Pains, will be seen working with patients undergoing intensive treatment for anorexia or bulimia as part of U.S. series Starving Secrets.

Gold admits shooting the show was an emotional rollercoaster, but she hopes it will give audiences an insight into the participants’ fear of gaining weight.

She tells The Daily Beast, “It’s not an easy show to watch, but it’s riveting and it really lets you know what it’s like. When we first started, every story tore me apart. I had such a close relationship to the subjects. As we got further along, I was able to get some distance.”
Read ED TV series in full here.


Anorexic Mum Fits into Seven-year-old Daughter’s Clothes

by Savitha.C.Muppala

A 26-year-old mum and her seven year old daughter look pretty much the same as the mother can easily fit into the daughter’s clothes.

Rebecca is extremely proud of the fact that she weighs just five stone and easily fits into the clothes meant for seven or eight year olds.
Rebecca has been a victim of anorexia for most part of her life. She recalls that it all began after she started putting on weight at the age of 13 following her parents’ divorce.
Read Anorexic Mum in full here.


How do lesbians' and gay women experience anorexia and bulimia?

Health Canal

A psychology PhD student at UWE Bristol (University of the West of England) is researching lesbians' experiences of anorexia and bulimia and how these experiences may be similar to and different from those of heterosexual women.

The research involves in-depth interviews with self-identified lesbian women who are experiencing anorexia and/or bulimia.

Researcher Rebecca Jones said, “This new research will build on the pilot study I did at UWE Bristol as an undergraduate, which has just been published by the online journal Psychology and Sexuality.

“My motivations stem from having past experience of an eating disorder and self-identifying as a lesbian. When I started University I became interested in lesbians' eating disordered experiences from a research perspective which prompted me to explore the literature further in my undergraduate research project.”

According to Rebecca, there is now a considerable body of research exploring how our culture's norms and ideas about gender impact upon girls' and women's experiences of anorexia and bulimia and heterosexual girls' and women's experiences of anorexia and bulimia.

“However,” she says, “much less is known about lesbian experiences of anorexia and bulimia. The article I have just published explores some of the similarities and differences between lesbian and heterosexual women's experiences of anorexia and/or bulimia. Analysing interviews with a small number of self-identified lesbian women with a history of anorexia and/or bulimia indicates that many of the ways in which these women described their eating disorders were similar to those identified in research with girls and women assumed to be heterosexual – such as a search for identity, an exertion of self-control, and a pursuit of feminine beauty.
Read Experience Anorexia and Bulimia in full here.


Teens who eat with parents less likely to be depressed
By Simon Collins


Kiwi teenagers who eat meals with Mum and Dad are less likely to be depressed and much less likely to be suicidal, a new study has found.

Teenagers who eat with their families frequently are also less likely to binge drink, smoke cigarettes or cannabis or use inconsistent contraception.

They are more likely to eat fruit and vegetables and less likely to eat fast food. But, apparently because of other lifestyle factors, they are just as likely to be overweight.

The study, published today by the Families Commission, is based on Auckland University's Youth 2007 survey of 9100 New Zealand high school students. Previous reports have shown that the teens were happier, less likely to be depressed, had better nutrition and were more physically active than in a similar survey in 2001.

The first survey did not ask about family meals, but the latest one found that 24 per cent of teens ate meals with all or most of their family less than three times in the previous week.

The other three-quarters ate meals with the family three to six times a week (41 per cent) or at least seven times a week (35 per cent).
Read Eat With Parents in full here.

Eating Disorders Poetry: Done























Done

I don't want you in my life
I don't want you in my head
You play sick mind tricks on me
While I lay awake in bed

You convince me that I'm ugly
That I'm too fat to go outside
You want me to be skinny
Even if it causes me to die

I can see through your lies now
I won't entertain your attacks
I'm not saying that it's easy
But I'm never looking back

I won't let you control me
Not like you did before
I'll decide what's right for me
And your insults will go ignored

Written by: Jessica of Periwinkle Paradise

*Check out Jessica's recovery / awareness jewelery,  Periwinkle Paradise, on Etsy.
Jessica says: 10% of the purchase price of ALL Periwinkle AND Dragonfly items AND Art pieces will be donated to NEDA - the National Eating Disorders Association - the largest National non-profit for eating disorder awareness. I look forward to raising awareness about eating disorders and helping those in need through this line of Periwinkle/Dragonfly Pieces and Recovery Art and to sharing these and all of my other pieces of jewelry with you!

Please see sidebar menu for more eating disorders and body image poetry and writings. 
Be featured on Weighing The Facts


picsource:http://www.flickr.com/photos/charamelody/4844302605/in/photostream/

This Week's R.I.S.E. : Daily "Me Time"






















This week's R.I.S.E. (Recovery Inspiration Strength Exercise) is to give yourself some "Me Time" every day.

Life is hectic. It keeps us running. As we tend to our many obligations, we often put ourselves on the back burner ... quickly slipping lower and lower on our own priority list. It doesn't take long to find ourselves overwhelmed, tired, and even disheartened.

Everyone needs to recharge. Add recovery efforts to the mix and recharging takes on yet another layer of importance. We cannot be any good to anyone (including ourselves) if we're worn out and discouraged. Taking "me time" is healthy for our spirits, minds, bodies, and our recovery. It's even beneficial for those who share our daily lives.

Where can you find the time to devote to yourself when your days are already filled to the brim?

Taking time for yourself doesn't have to be an hour long obligation (but if you've got an hour, take it!).

Me time can be as simple as taking 15 (more is better) minutes to:
  • sip a cup of your favorite tea, undisturbed, feet up, relaxing. 
  • read a few pages of a delicious book while waiting for your child to get out of (drama, band, sports) practice. 
  • grab some headphones and listen to your favorite music or relaxation cd while walking the dog (as long as you enjoy walking the dog).
 .... you get the idea.

Do not feel guilty for giving this to yourself. It's not selfish to take care of yourself. It's necessary. Like the saying goes, it's time to put yourself at the top of your own priority list. 

So, just some simple ground rules:
  • during me time you must let go of all the things your mind is juggling or worrying about.
  • you cannot devote this time to a chore, task, or phone call that's waiting for your attention. 
  • let it be known to those who share your home that this time is sacred and you're not to be disturbed. They'll catch on after a few times (if you have little ones, let another adult be in charge while you are taking care of you).
  • Be alone during this time. It's too easy to be distracted if you're not. 
  • Do this EVERY day (more than once if you can).
  • Enjoy your time! 
Don't worry if it doesn't go well at first. Don't give up. You'll feel more comfortable as you go along.

You are going to be amazed at what a difference letting go of your obligations, and giving yourself a little much need attention for a few minutes, can make in how you feel and function.


Have fun with it!


See sidebar menu for more R.I.S.E.

©Weighing The Facts



picsource:http://www.flickr.com/photos/meddygarnet/3392686660/in/photostream/

Recovery Quote Of The Week: November 8, 2011


















Change is the essence of life. Be willing to surrender what you are for what you could become.
Unknown



*See sidebar menu for more Recovery Quotes Of The Week and Inspirational Recovery Quotes


picsourcehttp://www.flickr.com/photos/rachel_joy94/5819332643/in/photostream/

This Week's R.I.S.E. : Start A Gratitude Journal























This week's R.I.S.E. (Recovery Inspiration Strength Exercise) is to start a Gratitude Journal.

Let's focus on the good in our lives by recognizing and giving thanks for the many things we're grateful for.

1). At the end of each day, reflect on what you are grateful for.
     No matter what is going on in our lives, there is always something 
      to be grateful for. What our bodies do for us, the support we 
      receive, getting through a difficult day, recovery, being 
      alive... big or small, it all matters.

2). Choose at least one thing you are grateful for. Write it down.
       It can be one word or a more in depth entry. Whatever 
       works for you.
         If you do not have a journal, don't wait to get one. 
        Use any paper you have and keep your entries together in one place. 
    
3). Read your entry aloud. Do this a few times. Let it sink in.

4). Lastly, give thanks for what you are grateful for.


 Keeping a Gratitude Journal is an exercise in positivity. It reminds us that no matter how difficult our lives may be, there is also good in our lives, too. Your journal will be there to reread when you need a reminder or to lift your spirits.


*See sidebar for more R.I.S.E.

©Weighing The Facts

picsourcehttp://www.flickr.com/photos/hanssolo/1810380734/sizes/o/in/photostream/

The Emotional & Physical Benefits Of Smiling


Did you know that smiling has both emotional and physical health benefits? It does! 


We are blessed from from the moment we are born. We come equipped with the ability to smile at birth. It's true, we are all born already knowing how to smile.


When the zygomaticus major muscles in our cheeks contract, the corners of the mouth are drawn up into a smile. But what else is happening when we smile?


Better Than Chocolate

Researchers at The British Dental Health Foundation revealed that after participants were shown pictures of smiling people, their brain and heart activity was equivalent to being given the stimulation of 2,000 Chocolate bars.


Ups Your Serotonin


Serotonin is a vital component of the regulation of mood, sleep, appetite, and sexuality. The biological connection to elements of happiness in the production of Serotonin is evident. It's a two way street... good sleep, good mood, good food, and good sex will up your Serotonin production.


Smiling is a Natural Drug

Studies show that endorphins, natural painkillers, and serotonin are released when we smile. Together these make us feel good. Just like how exercise releases endorphins, smiling does, too. Try smiling 50 times right in row for a good boost.


Lowers Blood Pressure

Studies confirm that when you smile, your blood pressure is reduced. Smiling and laughing regularly can make a measurable difference.


Helps To Relieve Stress


Stress causes many physical reactions including an increase in blood sugar levels, disturbs the natural function of the digestive system, pulse rate increases substantially, breathing becomes faster and our breaths are more shallow.

Smiling and slowing your breathing can keep the stress from increasing and help reduce it. It's those glorious endorphins again... the feel good neurotransmitters.


Changes Our Mood & Increases Our Happiness

 
The British Dental Health Foundation conducted a study that showed the act of smiling dramatically improved mood. It increases happiness not only in ourselves but in those around us. Endorphins come into play here, too. Smiling tricks your mood into being more positive (faking does this, too) because the muscles we use to smile ties into how the how the brain assesses mood.

There's a theory called Facial Feedback Hypothesis that suggests that our expressions can actually intensify our feelings.


Increases Longevity

While happiness comes at every age, the smiles of our golden years can actually improve longevity. A study, published in General Psychiatry, consisting of participants over the age of 65,  concluded that those optimists were 71% less likely to die from certain causes, in contrast to pessimists.


Smiles Are Contagious


Really! Scientific studies have shown that people have a difficult time maintaining a frown when those around them were smiling. Their bodies react, their facial muscles twitching into smiles of their own. It actually takes more effort and muscles to frown.


We Are Drawn To Those That Smile

 

There's an attraction that happens when we see a smiling, happy, face. The smile draws us in. We want to get to know the smiler. We want share in the good feelings they possess.


A Smile Is The Best Makeup

A research study by Orbit Complete discovered that a whopping 69% of people find a makeup-free, smiling face more attractive than a makeup-wearing, non-smiling one. Another benefit of smiling is that it exercises the face, using between 5 and 53 facial muscles, helping to prevent sagging, droopy skin.


Smiling Changes Our Tone Of Voice

When we smile we project a more welcoming, warmer tone to those that are listening. Our voices convey that feeling, even if the person we're talking to cannot see us. Smiling while talking on the phone ensures a more positive and happier conversation.


We Even Benefit From A Stranger's Smile

That warm and contagious smile someone bestowed upon us actually carries over into our daily interactions with others. How's that for powerful, positive interaction?


Smiling Can Help You In Court


Smiling certainly isn't always appropriate in a courtroom setting, but when it is you may end up with lighter penalties. It's a phenomenon known as The Smile-Leniency Effect and it has shown that judges have given lighter punishments to smilers. Several court studies have revealed that it truly happens... even if you're guilty.


Universally Recognized

Anthropologists, biologists and psychologists agree that smiles are globally recognized. It's the real, teeth baring, lifted cheek inducing, squinting eye reaction that's globally recognized as a reaction to happiness.


Size Matters 
 
The size of your smile increases the pleasure you feel. Smiling wider than a grin reaps the most physical and emotional health benefits.


Smiling is infectious,
You can catch it like the flu.
Someone smiled at me today,
And I started smiling too.
~Unknown


So.. what are you waiting for? SMILE!!! It's good for you. It's good for your physical and emotional health... and so, in turn, it's good for your recovery.

Share the cheer and good health with friends, family, coworkers, and even strangers.
Everyone benefits when we smile. 



©Weighing The Facts




picsource:http://www.flickr.com/photos/eflon/4246570737/in/photostream/
compiled from: http://www.organicnutrition.co.uk/articles/immune.htm

http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/15-fascinating-facts-about-smiling/
http://www.livestrong.com/article/18859-health-benefits-smiling/
http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/healthy-living/benefits-of-smiling.htm
http://web.psych.ualberta.ca/~varn/bc/Kleinke.htm
http://odyb.net/discoveries/little-known-reasons-and-benefits-of-smiling/





This Week's R.I.S.E.: Make A Feel Good Image File

This Week's R.I.S.E. (Recovery Inspiration Strength Exercise) is to create a file of Feel Good Images.

1.) Collect images that:
*lift your spirits
*give you a warm, comforting feeling
*make you smile
*make you laugh
*inspire you
*relax you

2.) Place them in a file on your computer or a file folder at home.

3.) View them several times a day.

4.) Choose a favorite or two to carry with you.

5.) Hang one on your computer at your desk at work or at home (or make a collage).

6.) Enjoy them, absorb the good feelings your images give you.

 Choose images that do not relate to personal appearance, weight or body size.

You can find images online, magazines, your own personal photos, or doodle/draw your own

*There are many images that are available for download that are free for personal, noncommercial use. Please comply with copyright laws when collecting your images.

 Click the sidebar icon for more R.I.S.E.

©Weighing The Facts



picsourcehttp://www.flickr.com/photos/kratz/3903400295/in/photostream/

Recovery Quote Of The Week: October 25, 2011

















The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. .... Beautiful people don't just happen.
Elisabeth K├╝bler-Ross


picsourcehttp://www.flickr.com/photos/uajith_set1/4264930783/

Dove Self-Esteem Weekend 2011


Self-Esteem:  
noun
a realistic respect for or favorable impression of oneself; self-respect.
dictionary.com


Positive Self-Esteem is essential to a happy, healthy life. It gives us the ability to adapt, grow, cope, and survive. It allows us to successfully navigate the frustrations, difficulties, and problems that we will inevitably be faced with along the way.

Parents are crucial to a child’s positive sense of self. A parent’s role is to provide stability, security, and love so children will flourish and grow to be self-confident, responsible, and capable. It is of great importance that parents are role models who display a positive view of self so the child will learn by example.

Self-esteem isn’t arrogant, self absorbed, or narcissistic. It’s a healthy understanding of who you are. It is liking yourself for who you are.

When a child (or adult) has a positive self-concept they are empowered, and protected. Understanding yourself, your beliefs, strengths, and even weaknesses, strengthens a child’s ability to understand, withstand, cope, and handle difficult situations and decisions...
Fostering Positive Self-Esteem In Children




Dove:

Share who inspired you and why.

Check out Dove's Toolkits and Resources:

1 on 1 Activities for Girls Aged 8-12 and 13-18

A Girl’s Guide to the Digital World—How to Log Off of Digital Drama!

Self-Esteem Guide for Moms of Girls, Ages 8–11

Self-Esteem Guide for Moms of Girls, Ages 11–16

True You! Workbook for Girls 8–12

Find a meet-up group in your area

Dove® Movement for Self-Esteem | I PLEDGE TO BUILD SELF-ESTEEM IN GIRLS




















Weighing The Facts:

Tests: How is your self-esteem?

Related Posts:
Building Self-Esteem
Self Empowerment: Inspirational Recovery Quotes
Body Image and Self-Esteem

picsource:http://www.flickr.com/photos/adwriter/153347901/in/photostream/