rehab

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Postcards from rehab, Part II

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For my October installment at my Toastmasters club, I decided to contrast my "other" rehab experience with what I shared in September. In the first one, treatment came on a 92-acre wooded campus with staff our the wazoo. About 10 years later, the venue was a rented chalet in southern Indiana and the staff was Phil and Mary. Very different, but both were vital to my recovery.

 


From the podium, different ways to look at food addiction

I've begun building a section of speeches I've given to my Toastmasters club on this blog, because ... well, I should be honest, it's at least partly because I'm a showoff. (Too much of one? You decide.)

But also, I am a professional speaker, and I want to highlight both my ideas and my speaking style for buyers and event planners who can't help but benefit from hiring me.


ACORN, Shades of Hope to collaborate

If you've read "Fat Boy Thin Man," you know about Acorn Food Dependency Recovery Services. Chapter 6, titled "Itinerant rehab," is based on my spending five days in Acorn's treatment program, based that week at a rented vacation chalet somewhere in southern Indiana. Acorn has also conducted its programs in Illinois, Florida, Massachusetts, Maine, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, as well as in Iceland and Canada, and I'm probably missing a few, too.


Further word from BED pioneer

I recently came aware of therapist Amy Pershing via a blog post on psychcentral.com in which she was interviewed. I found a lot to agree with in what she said — that binge eating isn’t diet failure but is an eating disorder deserving of treatment, not societal scorn, for example.

But one passage bothered me enough to track her down for a few more questions. Here’s the passage, which came in response to interviewer Margarita Tartakovsky’s question: “What are common challenges that make it tougher to overcome BED or problems with overeating?”

”From a cultural perspective, we begin to teach people to distrust and dishonor their bodies from childhood. We do not, as a society, value size or shape diversity; in fact weigh bias and stigma fundamentally underlies any eating disorder. “Thin” has to be presumed more valued for the symptoms to coalesce. We are taught to distrust our food preferences and our appetites, especially as girls, from early in life. We are taught to “exercise,” but not to play. Children learn their bodies are to be controlled, not honored. So the ability to hear cues, to really feel the positive impact of playing and eating well, typically must be relearned.”

Additionally, weight and being “fat” is so completely vilified now that the idea of body wisdom is more remote than it has even been. We have a “war on obesity.” Literally now people are encouraged to be at odds with their bodies. Then, we are sold a profound “bill of goods” by the diet industry (with a 95% failure rate over 6 months), further removing us from simply listening to our needs. The current system makes recovery a veritable act of defiance. You have to be a renegade just to be in your body.


Suicide, by any path

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I'm vacationing for a few days in Glendo, Wyoming, with family, and had a very interesting conversation with my sister-in-law. (How's that for a compelling lead? Just chomping to read more, aren'cha? But to my strong surprise, it was right on topic for this blog.)

Serena is a fascinating woman with more than a few demons who has tried suicide too many times. Worse, she's gotten better at it over the years, progressing from what some people might call "cries for help" to well-thought-out attempts that failed through flukes. It is serious frickin' business, and she comes to mind whenever the phone rings in the night. (Serena's not her real name, I have her permission to tell this story, and I asked her to review it before publishing.)


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