3 ways to get your questions answered:

Call Joanna at 604-988-5281 ext. 349
E-mail us jessieslegacy@familyservices.bc.ca

Joanna answers your questions...

Question: My child seems to eat healthy food but s/he is losing weight. Should I be worried?

"It depends. Sometimes a change in diet, even to what seem to be healthy foods, can be an indicator of disordered eating, but it isn’t always. For instance, a child who suddenly declares s/he is Vegan could just be using that as an excuse to explain away what is really happening, which may be that she is engaging in unhealthy calorie restriction. With a closer look, you may notice that your child is restricting the healthy foods she eats and really not getting the well-rounded nutrients s/he needs for healthy body growth and maintenance." Read More



Question: What’s the difference between an eating disorder and disordered eating?

"Eating disorders and disordered eating share very common symptoms but are not the same. Some common symptoms include: A preoccupation with weight and/or body shape Yo-yo dieting Overexercising Fasting and/or restricting Compulsive overeating Purging and/or laxative use While there may be some commonalities, disordered eating is made up of a range of thoughts, feelings, and … Read More" Read More



Question: What causes someone to have an eating disorder?

"Great question! That’s a very common question when it comes to understanding eating disorders. Many wonder about the root cause and what drives people to resort to eating disorder behaviors and thinking in the first place. Eating disorders are complex and the reasons behind their development are often unique to the individual. There can be many … Read More" Read More



Question: Why won’t s/he just eat?

"Eating disorders are not just about food; they are far more complicated. This can be a difficult concept to grasp because it contradicts what appears to be the only problem: “If only you’d just eat something!” An eating disorder is really about gaining some kind of control in a world that, sometimes for reasons that won’t seem apparent, feels very out of control. The eating disorder becomes a coping mechanism to take some control back. Controlling the food you eat and what you will and will not take into your body can feel very powerful." Read More



Question: With summer approaching, I find myself comparing my body to others. I seem to really struggle when I see skimpy clothing advertisements and conversations about body image begin to surface. How can I get myself to stop this comparing habit?

"Comparing is a difficult habit to break because it’s natural to observe others when in our environment.  What is most important is tackling the automatic negative thoughts you have about yourself when you go out.  First, know that you are part of a beautiful, vast, and diverse world that is yours to appreciate.  Notice how … Read More" Read More



Question: Do eating disorders impact men and boys?

"Yes!  Eating disorders do not discriminate! They can impact females and males of any background, class, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. People anywhere from youth to seniors can have eating disorders. Like females, there is a distorted sense of body image. Some men and boys with an eating disorder want to lose weight, while others want to … Read More" Read More



Question: When should I be worried?

"If your child’s eating habits change in a way that seems significant to you. For instance, s/he may begin to restrict food intake or change her diet entirely, may start skipping meals, or may begin to take meal replacement ‘shakes’ and skip meals. Or you may notice s/he now takes only half the portion s/he used to, for no good reason that you can see. Or you notice your child now cuts food up in small pieces and eats very slowly. These are just some examples." Read More



Question: Can you recover from an eating disorder?

"Yes. What works? There is no one answer to this because as we always say, if there was something that worked, we’d all be doing it and everyone would recover quickly. There can be many reasons for, and many individual parts to, an eating disorder. Because of this, recovery is an intricate process, and will have as much to do with your child’s specific needs as it will with the therapeutic processes that we have had success with. " Read More



Question: What role does the media play in causing eating disorders?

"We are constantly bombarded with images from the media that show us a narrow picture of what it looks like to be cool, successful, and attractive. We are exposed to these messages more than ever before — through the Internet, TV advertisements, magazines, and social media. Models, actors, and celebrities are used to portray an … Read More" Read More



Question: Do you have any suggestions to deal with the guilt my eating disorder makes me feel for having tried a ‘higher calorie’ meal that I’m not used to?

"First of all, congratulations on trying new foods!  In early recovery, it’s normal to feel guilty when challenging the “eating disorder rules”.  I once had a client describe this feeling as positive guilt — a sign that they were making progress, facing their fears, and exploring uncharted territory. Try writing down those guilty feelings.  Talk to someone … Read More" Read More