Pop singer Ke$ha entered eating disorder treatment at Timberline Knolls on January 3 and asked her fans to give her 30 days to rehab, but eating disorders don’t begin or end suddenly. They develop over time and take more than 30 days to overcome. Hopefully, this inpatient time is just a beginning of Ke$ha developing a new relationship with food and dealing with the psychological issues involved.
People in the entertainment business live in a fishbowl and are constantly being evaluated for their performances and appearances. This is a classic set up for insecurity and self-loathing, roots of an eating disorder.
When I read the little bit of information on Ke$ha, four things stood out in terms of eating disorders:
1) Her music producer, Dr. Luke, reportedly made nasty comments about her weight, even referred to her as a refrigerator! She was bothered by this–most people would be! But if you have other issues in your life, nasty comments about your body can send you over the edge.
2) Ke$ha says she has had a hard time loving herself. People with eating disorders suffer from a lack of self-love. They can love others and be very giving, but when it comes to their own lives, it’s hard to apply that loving, generous spirit to the self. They tend to be perfectionist, obsessive and all or nothing thinkers.
3) Ke$ha is a vegetarian which is usually code for struggling with food. Not all vegetarians are on the brink of an eating disorder, but this can be a sign that food has become an enemy. A person with an eating disorder tends to narrow the field when it comes to food choices. Food restriction is a sign of an eating disorder. Some people become vegans or vegetarian as a way to reduce food choices, limit high fat foods and restrict eating.
4) Ke$ha admits to having times when she drinks too much. Binge drinking is also a common symptom of someone with an eating disorder. Many of my clients went back and forth bingeing for awhile on food, then alcohol, then food.
Keep in mind that while food and weight are the areas of focus, much more is involved that has little to do with either. People with eating disorders have problems with mood regulation, conflict, tolerating distress and more. These are psychiatric disorders, meaning they involve the way we think, feel, behave and relate to other people.
Ke$ha took the first step in getting better–she admitted to the problem and sought treatment. Both are necessary for healing to begin.
Let’s hope she continues to stay in treatment until she is fully recovered. Because like so many problems, recovery is a long and difficult road! But change is possible!
Less than half of you did! And according to a study in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, by the end of the year, only 8% of you will be successful .
These are not good odds. So should we forget the whole idea?
No, because another study in the Journal of Clinical Psychology found that you are 10 times more likely to change your behavior than people who do not make resolutions.
So how can we up our odds of beating the 54% who will drop out by six months, and the rest who will drop out by the year’s end?
1) Don’t shoot for the moon. When you decide to change too many areas of your life at one time, it’s a set up for failure. Whittle down your choices and pick one thing. Even if you feel your life needs an overhaul in many areas, you will be more successful if you focus on ONE thing.
2) Be specific with what you want to change and how change will happen. The classic, “I’m going to drop 10 pounds” has to be followed with a plan on you will accomplish this goal. Be very specific–“I’m cutting out sweets, watching portions and weighing myself daily” is more specific than, “I’m cutting back.”
3) Keep a daily log. If you track what you do differently every day, it will help you practice and be intentional about change. Think about a chart, or a checklist, something visual to show progress.
4) Reward yourself for even small changes. Celebrate and talk about your success.
5) Don’t give up just because you blow it one day. Hey we all have bad days, so give yourself some grace if you fall off the resolution wagon. Simply get back on track the next day. Lose the all or nothing thinking. One problematic day is not a reason to completely give up. In fact, this is normal.
Soon, we will all be shouting, “Happy New Year!” It’s a warm and hopeful sentiment because we know that happy people live longer, healthier and more prosperous lives. Scripture confirms that true happiness is found in our relationship with God.
But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful. Psalm 68:3
A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit. Proverbs 15:13
But do we play a part in feeling happy?
A study reported in the March 2008 issue ofPsychological Science concludes that certain personality traits predispose us to happiness. Even if you are fortunate to have happy genetics, about 50 percent of happiness is up to us and influenced by external factors in our lives. Thus, we do influence how happy we are. How?
Make God your most important relationship.
When you know God wants your best, is ordering your steps and can be trusted to be who He says He is and does what He promises, happiness is an outcome of that relationship.
Work on your intimate relationships.
Strong and healthy marriages are associated with increased happiness. People who pursue intimacy with others and don’t judge themselves against others are happy.
Be grateful and express it.
Happiness increases in those who feel and express gratitude.
University of Michigan psychologist Christopher Peterson found that forgiveness is a trait linked to happiness.
Don’t look to materialism.
What doesn’t make people happy is stuff! One of the reasons we find depression increasing after the holidays is that possessions don’t bring the proclaimed happiness advertisers purport they do. When happiness is dependent on materialism, people feel empty and realize that stuff cannot fill the void.
So on December 31, when we ring in the New Year, remember to keep God at the center of your life, work on your relationships and keep them strong, don’t buy in to the idea that things bring happiness and maintain an attitude of gratefulness and forgiveness all year long.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!