The Anorexic Brain and a way to challenge it.

by Elizabeth on August 1, 2013

One more little tidbit on eating disorders and I’ll give it a rest for a few days. I came across this article regarding “The Anorexic Brain” and found it really interesting. It’s lengthy but Joe and I both found it well worth the read. 

I think when people begin to understand that people affected by mental disorders such as anorexia have structures and pathways in their brains that are different than those not affected, it lessens the guilt and shame that are often present. Struggling with something like this is not an issue of morality or a character flaw, it’s simply brain chemistry. One thing I wish this article included was a section on how much hope there is. I have found ACT (Acceptance Commitment Therapy) to be extremely helpful. It was first introduced to me at ERC and I was fortunate enough to come home to a facility that worked the same program. 

I hope you find both of those resources helpful if you or a loved one is struggling or if you just want to know more!

Today we are headed to Austin for a zoo trip with my best friend and her daughter! Backing up to yesterday, we got up and went for a walk to a nearby park. I haven’t talked about running much lately because I haven’t been doing anything spectacular (read: slow, easy runs? usually 5-7 miles). I plan on starting my marathon training at the end of September but I’m taking it easy until then. 

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We went to Panera for lunch with a friend I met through a moms group. I had the Strawberry Poppyseed Chicken Salad and it was SO good. Tons of fresh fruit? I had to swat Noah’s hand away from stealing all of my pineapple ;-)

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After nap time we took a second trip to the park. What can I say, watching him play and have fun brings me joy!

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Dinner was leftovers but I added a new fun and easy side item!

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I simply sliced up zucchini, tomato, avocado, and sprinkled the mini pizzas with cheese, red pepper, Italian seasoning, and garlic salt. Then I baked them for 5 minutes at 400 and they turned out perfect. It was a great way to get my family to eat some extra vegetables!

We watched the Bachelorette and I was super excited to find out they were in Antigua!!! I got to relive a few minutes of our honeymoon :-)

I hope you have a great Thursday!

Extremely Random Questions. Just go with it:

1. What season do you most look forward to and why?

2. What’s been your favorite age so far?

3. If you’re a parent, what’s been your favorite age of your kids (awkward sentence but I can’t figure out how to word it?)

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Cori @ olivetorun August 1, 2013 at 6:09 am

Season… I use to ALWAYS say Summer was my favorite- and it was. Until I moved to North Carolina. Now summer = heat AND humidity unlike back in Wisconsin. Now I look forward to Fall the most. Some reasons- leaves changing, pumpkin, apple spice, hoodies, football, need I go on?? :)
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2 Amanda @ .running with spoons. August 1, 2013 at 6:21 am

I always look forward to fall, which is kind of why I’m having an easier time dealing with the fact that August seems to have creeped up on me this year. The colors, the foods, the fashion, the smells, the sense of calm in the air… Love it all. Sadly, it’s one of our shortest seasons up here in Canada and it turns to winter in the blink of an eye. Then when it’s cold and dark, I crave summer :lol:
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3 Ashley @ OurPersonalRecords August 1, 2013 at 6:39 am

I love Fall. I love the tastes and smells, and the crisp air. Oh, and the clothes. I think 22 was my favorite year. I graduated from undergrad and started grad school that year. I think I had the most personal growth during that time.


4 Kim @ healthy nest August 1, 2013 at 6:42 am

I recognize that little Gymboree outfit! We have the same one. :) He’s such a cutie pie!!

I can’t really speak to kids’ ages because we’ve only been through 16 months, but for some reason I feel like I’m going to like the early school years, like 4-5? Maybe I’m just desperate for a little more independence. :)

Thanks for that link, too–I love reading about eating disorders because it’s something I haven’t experienced personally and am therefore constantly trying to understand a little better. Anyone in the health/wellness world needs to be cognizant of and sensitive to these issues, now more than ever!
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5 Debbie @ DebRuns August 1, 2013 at 6:50 am

BTW, I’m loving your creative photos of Noah! I loved every age of my children, but I have to say I’m loving the young adult age where they are becoming friends, not just my children. :-)

I can’t pick a favorite season; I love them all! I love snow, I love spring and the new warm-up of the weather, I love summer and longer days, and I love fall for the changing leaf beauty and college football!

I’m so trying that pizza! It looks delicious…
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6 Amy @ Long Drive Journey August 1, 2013 at 7:11 am

I’d have to say that fall is my favorite season. My whole life, I lived somewhere that fall was nonexistent. Then I moved to St. Louis, and I saw the leaves change for the first time. It was SO beautiful.

Favorite age so far…hmmm. I think 21 was pretty great, to be honest. It was my senior year of college and I had a lot of fun.
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7 Jojo August 1, 2013 at 7:15 am

I am looking forward to fall, mainly for the food! Apple picking, apple pie, pumpkin pie, warm, hearty dishes, butternut squash…
And this is the first year that I’m not in school this fall since I was about.. 3 years old!
I’d say my current age (22) is my favorite. I am transitioning between undergraduate and graduate school by taking a gap year, so I have a lot of free time to fill with things that I want to do, like training for my first marathon and century ride. And also find a job!
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8 Liz @ The Girl on Fire Now August 1, 2013 at 7:47 am

I look forward to fall because it is still light in the morning and evening, it is cool and less humid, and I get to go back to school :)
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9 Carly @ Snack Therapy August 1, 2013 at 7:58 am

I always look forward to every seasons because I kind of fall into the “grass is always greener trap.” Right now though, I’m enjoying every second of summer, even if I am still taking classes and working (humph).
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10 Amy @ Run Mom Run August 1, 2013 at 8:12 am

Every time I’m convinced my kids can’t get better, they do! I always love whatever stanfe they are in!!

I’ve made that zucinni pizza before and it’s amazing!

It’s incredible how much anorexia is like an addiction. I guess it is an addiction in its own way.
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11 Alyssa @ See This Girl Run August 1, 2013 at 8:46 am

Fall has always been my favorite! Coloful leaves, sweaters, football, basketball, hot chocolate, pumpkin flavored everything, boots! Oh fall is wonderful. I’m so glad it’s the next season coming up!
You know, I have no clue what my favorite age has been so far. I can think of certain years that I enjoyed but then those years also had some of my biggest struggles. Currently I’m 24 and that seems to be going ok overall, so we’ll just go with that.
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12 Kristen @ Medium Roast August 1, 2013 at 9:10 am

That zucchini and avocado pizza looks incredible. I love summer – perfect for fresh produce to make recipes just like that! But I think I most look forward to fall. Something about the flavors of fall, the perfect running weather, and getting to wear boots and scarves just makes me so happy. That Panera salad looks pretty good too….hmm…I think I might be hungry.
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13 Laura @losingrace August 1, 2013 at 9:33 am

Everything about Fall is my favorite. Can’t explain it just definitely my time of year! So many things to look forward to!

I don’t know what my favorite age has been-with a birthday coming up, I’d like to think 26 has fabulous things in store for me
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14 Hali August 1, 2013 at 9:40 am

I love fall. Here in SF we get an Indian Summer so I always look forward to a little bit of warmth before it gets cold again for the next 11 months ;-) I think 18 was my favorite year so far because I got to move away and go to school, it was very liberating! Thanks for the article and for sharing your personal experience, it is truly helpful!
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15 char eats greens August 1, 2013 at 11:33 am

Yum to the pizza!! Can’t wait to pick up some more zucchinis at the farmers’ market this weekend again!!
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16 Sarah @ A Refining Adventure August 1, 2013 at 3:04 pm

As someone who still considers myself in recovery from anorexia, I am very much looking forward to reading those articles. You are 100% right in the fact that our brains are configured differently when ‘sick’ with anorexia. My nutritionist talks all the time about the neurotransmitters and building new pathways for them in recovery.

On a lighter note…I love the warmth and slow pace of summertime, but I also love the crisp air, pretty colors, and football Saturdays of fall. :-)
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17 Sara August 1, 2013 at 4:53 pm

Without a doubt age 23. Was in grad school and had my own apartment and was single. Truly loved being on my own that year and was a big growing experience for me. Sometimes I wish I could go back for a weekend to relive life without responsibilities or a full time job


18 Megan August 1, 2013 at 5:49 pm

Thank you for posting that article. I found it very interesting and could relate to many points (especially pain feeling differently…my therapist and I talk about how I am disconnected from my body and pain). I told her about the article!


19 Jen Floyd @ milesandblessings August 1, 2013 at 7:17 pm

I LOVE summer!!! I look forward to reading that article.
I love different things about my kids at all stages, but I would say I really liked it when they were 2 and 4 (they are 2 years apart almost to the day). I am sure I was stressed out but it was such a fun age. I also love the baby stage!!!!
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20 [email protected] August 1, 2013 at 10:44 pm

I love the summer and the lovely weather here in Seattle. It has been a great summer so far.
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21 Selena Brinegar September 2, 2013 at 2:50 pm

I am also huge fan of the fall. I am so excited to actually see leaves change color.


22 Elizabeth September 2, 2013 at 4:48 pm

I need to come visit so I can see too :-)


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