Looking for ways to boost your daughter’s confidence?
Dr. Margo D. Maine’s book Father Hunger: Fathers, Daughters, and the Pursuit of Thinness, has simple ideas on how dads and stepdads can help in the realm of body image.
Here’s the second round of tips (I shared the first the first round here; look for more tomorrow):Read more
Too many girls continue to worry about their body shape and appearance; no surprise, given how continually they are assaulted by cultural and marketing messages insisting that how they look is more important than who they are.
In her book Father Hunger: Fathers, Daughters, and the Pursuit of Thinness, Dr. Margo D. Maine PhD offers some concrete, constructive steps fathers can take to build healthy self-image (especially body image) in their daughters and stepdaughters.
Here are Margo's first few tips—I’ll share others tomorrow.Read more
Do you have a loved with an eating disorder and/or addictions? Then you can be an ally and resource for healing--if you know how.
Whether you’re a spouse, parent, partner, stepparent, sibling, or friend, Joe Kelly's web-based coaching (1-on-1 or in groups) helps you to:
- Understand basics of eating disorders and how they operate
- Effectively support your loved one’s treatment & recovery
- Break free of your frustration with the disease
“Just wanted to thank you for an inspiring, informative session online last night. At times I feel overwhelmed with the situation, but after having spoken with you I feel a little stronger, better informed, somewhat hopeful, and raring to move on.”
“This group helped a lot. I feel like I know smarter and better things to do for my daughter and myself.” - father
“Joe helped me understand what’s happening and I discovered I wasn't alone.” – boyfriend
Joe Kelly is a best-selling author, speaker, and media source on men and how addictions and eating disorders hijack families. A nationally certified life coach, he works with families and professionals who work with families.Submit
1. Eating disorders and body image obsessions have tremendous power over your loved one. She isn’t trying to hurt you, and she isn’t being resistant or stubborn out of spite. These are her own survival techniques and at times will overpower her logic and will. Recognize the disease’s power and don’t take her obsessions personally.
2. Be compassionate. She feels deep pain that she can only articulate through her body. Hopefully, in time she will have words for her emotions.
3. Your loved one and her illness are not the same thing. Remember the person who is covered up by these obsessions--she is still the person you love. Help her to recognize herself as well.
4. Help her to see that there is more to her, you, and life than food, weight, and appearance. Talk about other issues. Don’t let the eating and body obsessions dominate your interactions and conversations.
5. Admit your own anger, frustration, and helplessness. Talk to others in similar circumstances. Join a support group for family members or spouses of people suffering from body image and eating problems. Read supportive books and visit support groups online for help and encouragement.
6. Consider getting help for yourself. You will feel overwhelmed, discouraged, tired and angry at times. Working with a professional can help you to manage these feelings and deal with them constructively.
7. You are her loved one, not her treatment team. No matter how much you love her, you cannot turn her problems around alone. Resist the impulse to battle over weight, food, and exercise. Help her to find a therapist, dietitian, physician, and/or treatment program so she has professional help guiding her.
8. Ask how you can help, and listen for the answer. At times, you can only be in the background, conveying love and support. Other times, she may need more direct help from you. This may be confusing, but she needs to be in charge of how you help her.
9. These problems don’t disappear overnight, no matter how hard someone works in therapy or how good a treatment program is. Recovery is a long, winding road with lots of bumps and potholes. Don’t expect her to be perfect in her recovery. Help her to take one day at a time--you do the same!
10. Logic doesn’t work; love does. Endless debates about food, health, exercise, or weight do more harm than good. Helping her to feel that she is loved and that life is worth living will do more than a thousand reasoned arguments. Some women who have recovered believe that the love of their significant other is what made them hope and believe that they could survive without the life preserver of their eating disorders and body obsessions.
From The Body Myth: Adult Women and the Pressure to Be Perfect, © Margo Maine, PhD, FAED & Joe Kelly