Thursday, April 30, 2009

10 Things Parents Can Do to Help Prevent Eating Disorders

I found this list I would like to post in hopes of empowering parents in the effort to provide an emotionally healthy home environment for their children. (List found on The Fitness JumpSite)

The list breaks down things we can do as parents and does mention leading by example. I would like to add the fact that girls with mother's who diet are 12% more likely to have an eating disorder.

3 powerful factors that are connected with teens with eating disorders are: if their mom diets, if their sister diets, and/or if their friends diet.

10 Things Parents Can Do to Help Prevent Eating Disorders
by Michael Levine, Ph.D.

1. Examine the ways in which your beliefs and attitudes and behaviors about your own body and the bodies of others have been shaped by the forces of weightism and sexism. Then educate your children about (a) the genetic basic differences in body types; and (b) the nature and ugliness of prejudice.
2. Examine closely your dreams and goals for your children and other loved ones. Are you overemphasizing beauty and body shape, particularly for girls? Avoid conveying an attitude which says in effect "I will like you more if you lose weight, don't eat so much, look more like the slender models in the ads, fit into more slimmer clothes, etc. Decide what you can do and stop doing to reduce teasing, criticism, blaming, staring, etc. that reinforce the vilification of overweight and the glorification of slenderness.
3. Learn about and discuss with your sons and daughters, (a) the dangers of trying to alter one's body shape through dieting; (b) the value of moderate exercising toward stamina and cardiovascular fitness; and (c) the importance of eating a variety of foods in well-balanced meals consumed at least three times a day. Avoid dichotomizing foods into "good/safe/no-fat or low-fat vs. bad/dangerous/fattening". Be a good role model in regard to sensible eating, sensible exercise, and self-acceptance.
4. Make a commitment to exercise for the joy of feeling your body move and function effectively, not to purge fat from your body or compensate for calories eaten.
5. Make a commitment not to avoid activities (such as swimming, sunbathing, dancing) simply because they call attention to your weight and shape. Similarly, refuse to wear clothes that are uncomfortable or that you dislike, simply because they divert attention from weight or shape.
6. Practice taking people in general and women in particular, seriously for what they say, feel, and do, not for how slender or "well put together" they appear.
7. Make a commitment to help children (both male and female) appreciate and resist the ways in which television, magazines, and other media distort the true diversity of human body types and imply that a slender body means power, excitement, and sexuality.
8. Make a commitment to educating boys about the various forms of violence against women, including weightism, and their responsibilities for preventing it.
9. Encourage your children to be active and to enjoy what their bodies can do and feel like. Do not limit their caloric intake unless a physician requests that you do this because of a medical problem.
10. Do whatever you can to promote the self-esteem and self-respect of your daughters and nieces, and sisters in intellectual, athletic, and social endeavors. Give boys and girls the same opportunities and encouragement. Be careful not to suggest that females are less important than males, e.g., by exempting males from housework and childcare. A well-rounded self and solid self-esteem are perhaps the best antidotes to mindless dieting and disordered eating.

A huge one I would like to add was touched somewhat with number one but here's my take on it: NEVER put yourself down in front of your children! In their eyes you are perfect, and the symbol of everything wonderful and grand. If they see you put your self down or calling yourself fat not only will they emulate this behavior, but they will think "If she (being magnificent in the child's eyes) isn't good enough and hates her body, then I (someone who is LESS marvelous) should even more so dislike my body.
We will all make mistakes as parents, but I feel if you can keep these things in you mind you are more likely to raise a self confident, mentally sound child.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

LDS Story Makers

This weekend I went to the LDS Story Makers Writers Conference at the Provo Marriot Hotel. I was only able to attend Friday's conference this year, but hopefully in years to come I will be able to attend both Friday and Saturday.
Not only did I get to make new friends but I was able to meet several people who had read my book or who have even reviewed my book during my virtual book tour. I was touched by some of the stories people told me concerning my book. It was surreal, during introducing myself to fellow conference attendees I was surprised how many of them said "YES! I know you! I read your book!"

On the flip side I was excited to be able to learn from some of the great LDS writers who spoke or held a workshop. I was honored to meet them and visit with them. To name a few: J. Scott Savage, Annette Lyon, Liz Adir, Josi Kilpack, Tristi Pinkston, Rachel Ann Nunes, Janette Rallison, Julie Wright, BJ Rowly, Rebecca Talley, Stacy Gooch Anderson, Candace E. Salima and more.

Here is Candace E. Salima giving her presentation. She did a great job! It was titled "So Your Book's Out--Now What?" Candace is quite a remarkable lady.

Rachel Anne Nunes with four publishers for the publisher panel section of the day. This was an eye opening experience of the publisher's prospective. Some of the information I knew from my experience with "A Future for Tomorrow" but some of it was new and great information.
One of the highlights for me was meeting people who had read or reviewed my book. This next picture is one of them, her name is Danyelle Ferguson. She told me an awesome story about events that occurred after she read my book. Thanks for sharing it with me, Danyelle, I appreciated it so much!!!

Me and Rebecca Talley author of Heaven Scent and Grasshopper Pie.

Another cool thing was the book store. The LDS Story Makers created their own book store with amazingly low prices and after purchasing them we had the opportunity to get them signed.
We were also given this new novel "The Hourglass Door" FREE. It isn't even going to be released until May 13th. The author is Lisa Mangum and she was there to sign our books personally. Very cool!

My night ended with a fabulous dinner, visiting new and old friends, enjoying a mini concert by a talented LDS singer named Amy Van Wagenen, and hearing screen writer Dean Lorey speak.

I hope this made any of you who couldn't go this year or who hadn't heard of this conference before want to come next year. It is a priceless experience for aspiring authors or published authors alike.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Neat Story

This occurrence means the world to me and may seem small to you but it brings me great joy.

I got a phone call from my dad the other day. He will occasionally pop in on a conversation I am having with my mom to say hi but for him to call you know there must be some exceptionally fun or important news.

My dad said that he was gathering information from a lender to do an appraisal for a family in Fillmore (a town not too far from Scipio and where I went to school).
The lender mentioned that this family was needing money to pay for their daughter to go into The Center for Change (the same eating disorder facility I received treatment.)
My dad asked her if she knew about my story and how I had written a book about overcoming the disorder. The lender said "Yes, I know and this girl read it and it is the reason she went to her parents to get help and is willing to go into the center."

My dad has been in contact with the mother and grandmother of this girl via the appraisal work on their home and has visited them. The girl is now living in the center receiving in-care treatment. The mother told Dad that she read my book and cried the whole way through. The grandma also read it and was overcome knowing her grand daughter suffered such and infliction.
I'm overwhelmed with happiness knowing that my book not only helped this young women to get treatment and possibly have saved her life, but has allowed her family to entire the anorexic mind so they can truly understand the power of the disease their loved one is going through.

It gives me great satisfaction know I could be this girl's voice in sharing her story to her family.

I feel the spirit so strongly testifying to me that this is one daughter of God I was suppose to write my book for. I pray there are hundreds of other stories out there like this one.
I have been blessed to hear several other stories but this one stands out the most to me.

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Non Physical Compliments

It is natural to tell our children they are cute, pretty, or handsome. It is ok to, but the point of this post is to help us parents to consciously focus our comments on more than outward beauty.

If we are constantly complimenting our child's appearance they will receive the message that their physical traits are important. Like I said it is fine to complement your children by saying "You look pretty this Sunday morning," or what have you. I do it often. But I'm wanting us as parents to focus more of our compliments and praise toward other attributes as well. Such as:

"You are so thoughtful."

"I'm proud how well you did on this test, you are so bright."

"You are such a good friend to your friends and you treat them so kind."

"Thank you for being so helpfully to me today with cleaning. You are a good worker."


I like the saying that says you need to "catch" your children being good and praise them. Attention on their positive behavior only encourages them to continue to do it.

That links back to what I said about limiting the accolades on physical appearance. Whether it was a compliment from family or a friend I felt pressure to uphold that praise, even when it was them saying I was skinny. This was a seed that planted itself in my mind contributing to my sever eating disorder. I felt I had to keep either losing weight or at least maintain this physique or I would disappoint them.


Try to "catch" your children doing and being good and compliment them for it. Steer away from comments associated with their physical appearance.

Friday, April 10, 2009

American Fork Jr. High

I was honored to be asked to speak at the Jr. High in American Fork today. There were two other writers there as well. We each took an hour. I was able to speak on both eating disorders and the process of writing and publishing a book.

The parts I enjoyed most were all the questions during and after the presentation and then meeting the students afterwords when they all came up to me to sign the book mark I passed out.

There is always a handful of students that come up to me that say they needed to hear it or it was "inspirational." That is why I keep doing these presentations.

I was also extremely touched when their school councilor came up to me with tears. She had read my book and said she wants to recommend it to all her students. Again, moments like that is what gives me the incentive to want to keep reaching more schools.

Karen Hoover also came and presented about how she gets her ideas for the fiction she writes. I enjoyed listening to her and the kids were LOVING the creative approach to her presentation. I couldn't believe how involved and excited she got the kids. (See! I knew you would do great Karen!)

Karen and I went out to lunch after and had a fun chat. Gotta luv that lady!

Here are a few pics that Karen took for me, I'm just sad I didn't grab one of us together!

No More Comparing

“Comparing yourself to others can … result in either feelings of inferiority or superiority. … Accept yourself as the unique person that you are without comparing yourself to others. Doing this will help you love yourself properly without conceit” (Clark Swain, “Q & A,” New Era, Mar. 1979, p. 38).

I feel that one of the fastest ways to feel bad about yourself is by comparing. You can never win when you play the comparison game. Usually because we compare one of our worst traits to others.

If you compare yourself and feel like you are not as beautiful, or talented then your own sense of worth will diminish.

If you compare yourself and feel better than that person then you lose because that is being prideful and judgmental. So why do we keep doing it??? I've decided long ago to STOP. It's not worth it.

This week try to catch yourself if you are comparing yourself to others. Notice it and stop it.
This next excerpt from a talk only partial ties into the theme for this week's challenge but I think these are wonderful points by Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Seven Thoughts That Are Helping Me in the Journey to Peace

1. Pray for guidance. Many of our choices as Latter-day Saints are between good things. Prayer can help us discern our best possible options.

2. Don’t compare yourself to others. Chances are you compare your weaknesses to other people’s strengths.

3. Be gentle with yourself. Christ is a gentle teacher. He is gentle with us, and we also need to be gentle with ourselves. Acknowledge you are doing the best you can. Be accepting of your efforts and those of others.

4. Forgive yourself. If you fall backward—brush yourself off and start where you left off. All is not lost.

5. Don’t worry what others are thinking of you. It is really only important that you know how the Lord feels about you.

6. Acknowledge the fruits of your labors. Write them down in a journal. Even during the Creation of the earth, the Lord acknowledged the beauty and effectiveness of his tasks each day: “God saw that it was good” (Gen. 1:12).

7. Be thankful. We know that Heavenly Father wants us to be happy. “Men are, that they might have joy” (2 Ne. 2:25). Rejoicing in Christ and in our many blessings is the best way to show gratitude. A daily closing prayer is a great opportunity to thank the Lord for all your abundance.
One Step After Another

“We don’t have to be fast; we simply have to be steady and move in the right direction. We have to do the best we can, one step after another. …

“The only thing you need to worry about is striving to be the best you can be. And how do you do that? You keep your eye on the goals that matter most in life, and you move towards them step by step. …

That is easy enough. We don’t have to be perfect today. We don’t have to be better than someone else. All we have to do is to be the very best we can.”, “One Step after Another,” Ensign, Nov. 2001, 26.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

I think in order to improve yourself and your live you need to evaluate yourself often here is a free, short test you can take

Take it here: Self-esteem test

Think about the questions and your answers try to pick one area you can concentrate on to consciously improve.

For example here is one of the questions:

5) If I don't do as well as others, it means that I am an inferior person.

Strongly disagree


Somewhat agree


Strongly agree

If you scored low on this, focus on it this week. Learn about your value and how your value is not based on how well you perform or how well you do on a certain assignment.