February 20, 2013

Spotting an eating disorder in someone you love

Between 8 and 10 million Americans have an eating disorder. It is estimated that 50% of Americans personally know someone with an eating disorder. Check out this video for ways to spot an eating disorder within someone you love.


February 16, 2013

Land a job by networking through professional organizations

Networking with professional organizations is a great way to find out about job opportunities, meet professionals in your field, and get support as you find work or try to launch into a new career.  For a handy list of Houston professional organizations in your field, check out this free resource on VocationVillage.com. 

February 6, 2013

Living in the moment to stop stress fast

It felt like the theme of the day for my clients yesterday was stress. The teen with so much school work she was up until midnight, the twenty-something worried about what her boss thought of her work performance, the middle aged man stressed out about the self-destructive choices his adult son was making.

These clients were in different stages of life, but they all experienced their stress in a similar way. They felt anxious, had interrupted sleep, preoccupied thoughts, and just generally had trouble enjoying all of the individual moments of their lives. Sound familiar to anyone? 

It is so easy to get caught up in the stresses of daily life. From the moment I get up my mind starts thinking about everything I have to do for the day, and the week, and even what needs to happen by the end of the month. I need to take the car to the shop, pick up snacks for my daughter's girl scout meeting, work on a new blog post, do my taxes, and get dinner ready. I feel myself tensing up just writing about it. 

The Christian scriptures provides some wisdom on this idea of stress. "Don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." (Matthew 6:34) In that scripture, there is the one of the best keys to stress reduction I have found. 

Focus on what you have to do today - and only today. If you can handle what you have to do today, tomorrow will take care of itself. Breaking that down even further, ask yourself, can I handle what I have to do in the next hour? When I look at my life that way, my day feels pretty manageable. I can finally learn to live more in the moment and start to enjoy each part of my day. 

The trick here is to stop yourself when you have racing thoughts about your long list of to-do's, and remind yourself, I only have to think about what needs to be done in the next hour. It sounds simplistic, but learning to live and work in the moment will help you stop stress fast.

February 1, 2013

Do I have an eating disorder?

Image: tofu-2011 project

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to speak at a local high school with a panel of specialists on eating disorders. I was impressed with the large crowd of students who voluntarily showed up on their lunch break to hear about eating disorders. This was clearly a topic that these high school students cared about. I guess it is not surprising considering that some estimates show nearly 11% of high school students have been diagnosed with an eating disorder (www.anad.org).

During the question and answer portion of the presentation, several students asked how they can know if they have an eating disorder. I think it is pretty safe to assume that nearly everyone in the room struggles with their weight and body image, and may have tried dieting to control those factors, but how can they know if they have a full-blown, this-feels-out-of-control, I-need-to-get-help type of eating disorder?

There is a great assessment you can take online to quickly help you determine if you might be at risk of an eating disorder. It is kind of like one of those Cosmo quizzes, "Is He the One???," only it will help you figure out if you have a diagnosable eating disorder.

If you think there is any chance you might have an eating disorder, take the assessment, and then contact an eating disorder specialist. You can find a list of specialists on the Houston Eating Disorder Specialist website. The sooner you get help, the more likely it is that you can beat the disorder.