Posts Tagged eating disorders

Although there's no one surefire way to prevent eating disorders, these tips on can help.

Share on Twitter
click to comment

The following review is written by the wonderful Erika Breitfeller who interned for me in late June, 2011.

The Slender Trap: A Food and Body Workbook is an interactive manual that addresses both eating disorders and body-image issues. Written by author Lauren Lazar Stern, MA, ATR-BC, LPC, a board-certified art therapist and a licensed professional counselor, the book is interactive and extremely well written. The format of the book and its layout are easy to follow and convey a strong sense of support for readers throughout each section.

The book is broken down into an introduction followed by chapters on different topics with titles such as “Why I think I’m Fat,” and “The Diet and Exercise Traps.” The introduction is informative and factual and gives the reader an idea of the purpose of the workbook, and the workings and defining elements of expressive arts used to help readers who suffer from an eating disorder. I appreciate the sequence of chapters and how they’re broken down; they start with some basics and slowly upgrade to more difficult topics readers can reflect on. Each chapter includes clever exercises that appropriately pertain to the topic being discussed. The author also includes a section after each exercise titled ‘Process with Me,’ which enables readers to reflect on how she feels while doing the exercise. The only criticism I have about this processing section was categorizing feelings using a thermometer analogy.  The author utilized a temperature scale to process readers’ moods after doing the exercise that to me could be misleading or confusing to some. I really enjoyed the personal testimonials from real women who were willing to share their experiences with eating disorders and body image issues. These testimonials make it that much more apparent that readers are not alone.

The author suggests The Slender Trap to those who are overwhelmed by what to eat or not to eat, or by how they look. I whole-heartedly agree with Ms. Stern that this book is a great read for any woman at any age who suffers from an eating disorder or some form of disordered eating or who has a distorted self-image. Reading this workbook can surely be an eye-opening experience, especially for those who may not have seen their eating habits and obsessions as a concern. The book reassures readers that many women feel the same way they do, and guides them towards confronting issues appropriately. At the very least, reading The Slender Trap can open doors for women and hopefully help them begin to tackle their issues and start the healing process.

Are you stuck in the slender trap? Or what has helped you get out of one?

About the author: Erika Breitfeller earned a Bachelors in Health Science –Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of Delaware. She's also a recent  graduate of the North Shore Long Island Jewish Dietetic Internship Program. Her email is

Share on Twitter
click to comment

Teen girls and young women everywhere have something to celebrate. Two new books are just what this dietitian has ordered to help you (or someone you know) feel better about the skin you're in, get sane about food, and nourish your body.

This week’s blog highlights one of the book-- a great one called Food: The Good Girl’s Drug: How to Stop Using Food to Control Your Feelings by Sunny Sea Gold, deputy editor at Redbook magazine and founder of, a support site for girls and women who emotionally overeat, binge eat, or yo-yo diet.  Sunny and I first met about 6 years ago when I was a contributing editor for Seventeen magazine. Having overcome a 15-year battle with binge-eating disorder, Sunny has bared all in her book, revealing her personal struggles, and rounding up advice from top experts to help young women everywhere know they’re not alone, and that, they too, can overcome their food demons.

Through sharing her own story and those of others who have suffered with binge eating disorder, Sunny helps teen girls and young women identify the causes of their disorder, recognize and understand their eating problems, and relearn how to use food as fuel instead of using it to soothe their feelings.

The book is divided into three parts:

Part 1: Understanding What’s Going on Between You and Food

Part 2: Let the Healing Begin: How to Start Getting Sane About Food

Part 3: Living Your Life Without Relying on the Good Girl’s Drug

Helpful exercises that encourage readers to ponder their irrational thoughts, start a food and hunger journal, and track negative body thoughts are sprinkled throughout the book to help readers identify what the real problem is and how to work towards making healthful changes in their attitudes and behaviors that relate to food and their bodies.

Food: The Good Girl’s Drug ends with a helpful resource list that includes information about support groups, books, reputable online resources, and eating disorder treatment centers.

As a registered dietitian who works with women and children, I find Sunny’s book to be an invaluable resource and think it can be an extremely useful tool to help young women realize they’re not alone when it comes to food, body, and self-esteem struggles. Readers will likely feel they don’t need to surrender to their struggles and that, like Sunny and so many others, they too can get more sane about food, feel better about themselves and the bodies they live in, and have a more healthful, balanced, and fulfilled life.

In next week’s blog (Part Two), you’ll learn about another book designed to help younger girls overcome their diet dramas, so stay tuned!

Have you overcome an eating disorder or food struggle? Please share your story here.

Share on Twitter
click to comment