Wednesday, April 27th
Brain changes during adolescence are nearly as massive as they are during infancy. Many of the traits that drive us crazy – impulsivity, risky behavior – all reflect normal development in teens’ brains.
Join us to learn more about executive functioning, frontal lobe development, social processing and the effect of hormonal changes in both females and males. You will find out what to expect and how to deal with it.
Get into the gray with our keynote speaker, Craig Knippenberg, LCSW
Please join Co-Chairs Belina Fruitman & Elizabeth Yanish Shwayder
Wednesday, April 27th 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Infinity Park International Ballroom
4400 East Kentucky Avenue
Glendale, CO 80246
Individual tickets are $75, tables of eight are $600.
Purchase tickets online or by calling 303-815-1921
A heartfelt thank you to our generous sponsors:
Kim and Jim Bolt
By Roberta Trattner Sherman, PhD, FAED
Sport participation can be a very positive experience for an individual in that it can aid in developing self-esteem, a sense of competence, and physical conditioning, in addition to providing opportunities for healthy competition. At the same time, there are aspects of the sport environment that can increase a person’s risk for developing disordered eating. This concern, however, should not be misconstrued to mean that sport participation should be avoided. It is not sport or sport participation that needs to be avoided, but rather the risks often found in the environment.
Eating Disorders: What They Are and What They Are Not
Eating disorders are not simply “disorders of eating.” Also, they are not simply a misguided attempt to be thin; nor are they simply a sport participant’s means to reduce body weight or body fat in an effort to enhance sport performance. They are mental disorders that manifest themselves in a variety of eating and weight-related signs and symptoms. They are not caused by sports or coaches, although sports and coaches can increase the risk of developing such a disorder or exacerbate an existing disorder. Rather, they are potentially life-threatening disorders with multiple determinants and risk factors, including socio-cultural, familial, and personality factors, as well as genetics.
Athletes are probably more at risk for developing eating disorders than non-athletes because they experience the same eating disorder risks as non-athletes but also face additional risk factors within the sport environment. Because treatment cannot occur until the athlete has been identified as symptomatic, a risk to athletes is that identification is more complicated in the sport environment. Several issues can make identification more difficult. One of these is the (mis)perception of eating disorder symptoms as “normal” or even desirable. For example, dieting, weight loss, and excessive exercise are eating disorder symptoms. However, in the sport world, where leanness and hard training are desirable traits rewarded by many coaches, such
symptomatic behaviors, along with perfectionism, are apt to be viewed as traits of a good athlete. Even physiological symptoms such as amenorrhea may be viewed as “normal.” The aforementioned symptoms are even less likely to be viewed as symptoms when the athlete is performing well, because there is often a “presumption of health” with good sport performance.
Recommendations for Coaches
Coaches are in the ideal position to identify symptomatic athletes because they spend so much time with them. It is therefore important for coaches to be aware of the physical/medical and psychological/behavioral signs and symptoms of disordered eating. (See Table) Additionally, coaches have considerable influence with their athletes. Thus, their comments about weight are very powerful. As tempting as it may be to focus on loss of body weight or body fat to enhance sport performance, athletes and coaches need to be aware of issues regarding not only sport performance but also health. Sport performance is like most human behaviors in that it is determined by multiple factors. Leanness for some athletes is probably one of them, but it is one
that is likely to increase the risk of disordered eating. Focusing on the other factors such as mental preparation, confidence, and physical factors such as endurance, strength, etc. is less likely to increase the risk. Other than genetics, the factor that probably plays the greatest role in sport performance is (good) health, and other than genetics probably the greatest contributor to good health is good nutrition. Additional information is available to coaches on managing disordered eating from the NCAA Coaches Handbook : Managing the Female Athlete Triad (NCAA, 2005). To download the manual, go to http://www.ncaa.org/wps/ncaa?ContentID=1446, then follow the link to Female Athlete Triad Prevention. Eating Disorders in Sport (Thompson & Sherman, 2010) provides a thorough discussion of the above topics.
National Collegiate Athletic Association. (2005). NCAA coaches handbook: Managing the female athlete triad. Indianapolis: The National Collegiate Athletic Association.
Thompson, R.A., & Sherman, R. T. (2010). Eating disorders in sport. New York: Routledge.
Table. Disordered Eating: Signs and Symptoms
Caution: The fact that an athlete displays some of the characteristics below does not confirm that the athlete is engaging in disordered eating. However, the likelihood increases as more signs and symptoms are evident. Also note that this is not a complete list of symptoms, but rather includes the most common ones.
Physical/Medical Signs and Symptoms
3. Gastrointestinal Problems
4. Hypothermia (cold intolerance)
5. Stress Fractures (and overuse injuries)
6. Significant Weight Loss
7. Muscle Cramps, Weakness or Fatigue
8. Dental and gum Problems
Psychological/Behavioral Signs and Symptoms
1. Anxiety and/or Depression
2. Claims of “Feeling Fat” Despite Being thin
3. Excessive Exercise
4. Excessive use of Restroom
5. Unfocused, Difficulty Concentrating
6. Preoccupation with Weight and Eating
7. Avoidance of Eating and Eating Situations
8. Use of Laxatives, Diet Pills, etc.
Facts & Tips About Adolescent Girls & Body Image
Findings from the “Real Girls, Real Pressure: A National Report on the State of Self-Esteem”. (2008, Dove Self-Esteem Fund )
Show curiosity and support for the unique person your daughter is — focus on who she is — not who you think she should be.
Ask your daughter to share the things she likes about herself. Ask her about her goals and what’s important to her.
Take every opportunity to tell your daughter the specific skills, traits and attributes she possesses that you admire and enjoy — be specific (“You have a great sense of humor!” “You are a kind friend.” “I am proud of how you stuck with that difficult project.”) Focus on things are not related to body and looks.
Avoid making a lot of comments about your daughter’s looks and shape. Definitely avoid all criticism or teasing about her body, weight and looks.
Avoid making negative comments about your own looks and shape.
Make it safe for your daugther to talk with you — make the time, be focused, ask questions, seek understanding rather than judgment.
Make sure your daughter knows that you seek to understand and support all aspects of her — not just the “perfect” or “nice” parts.
Talk with your daughter about media images and messages — what’s real, what’s not and how it may affect you both.
Help to make healthy food, physical activity and adequate sleep a part of your family’s daily routine.
Talk about women you admire — focus on their strengths and unique abilities and personality rather than looks.
Everyone Can Do…
Just One Thing
Everyone Can Do…
Just One Thing
By Jenni Schaefer
Goodbye Ed, Hello Me and Life Without Ed
Ambassador, National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA)
Now that I am fully recovered from my eating disorder, I finally know the truth. I realize that
eating disorders are serious, life-threatening mental illnesses. I also know that eating
disorders are not “just a phase” but instead require professional help. I finally understand that
no one chooses to have the illness, but people do make decisions along recovery road to get
better. I know this now. Years ago, I just knew silent suffering.
Today, the good news is that not as many people are suffering in silence. More than ever,
individuals are recognizing that they struggle with an eating disorder and are reaching out for
help. The bad news is that sometimes these pleas for help fall on deaf ears. A doctor might
not think someone has an eating disorder because lab reports come out okay. Or maybe
parents do not believe their son has a problem, because he makes good grades in school and
seems happy. Or a friend thinks that her best buddy can’t be that sick because she looks fine.
It’s time we all know the truth. And it’s time to talk about it.
Eating disorders come in all shapes and sizes. They don’t discriminate by size, weight,
ethnicity, gender, culture, age, or anything else. Sadly, eating disorders can impact anyone at
all—even those who hide behind a smile. Do you know the real signs of an eating disorder?
Do you know how to support a loved one and where to go for help? Do you know how to
effectively spread the message of hope to those who suffer?
National Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2011 answers all of these questions. To help us
get the answers out to people across the country, we need you. Consider doing just one
thing—something that best suites your interests, time, and resources. Tweet NEDA’s
Helpline, or post a status update about eating disorder recovery, warning signs or resource
links on Facebook. Host a NEDAwareness event in your area, or mail a check to NEDA to
support future programs. Just one thing could literally save a life.
When I was struggling, I can only imagine what a simple message about recovery from a
stranger—online or in person—could have done for me. I might have gained the courage to
break through the denial and get help sooner than I did. Of course, I can’t go back and change
my past, but I can be grateful for ultimately achieving a full recovery. And I can also do one
thing now to help others. Won’t you join me?
Visit http://www.myneda.org/and learn about NEDAwareness Week 2011, February 20-26.
We’re gearing up for our 2011 summer camp program. Entering 6th -9th graders enjoy an action packed week of Smart-Girl activities. On-line registration will go live in early February.
Author and mother Amy Chua has been a hot topic in the news and blogosphere lately for her extremely stringent parenting philosophy, presented in her book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. One of the best commentaries I have seen is by David Brooks, in the New York Times (Jan. 19, 2011). He argues that she is actually “coddling” her children by protecting them from the world of peer-group social interaction.
“Practicing a piece of music for four hours requires focused attention, but it is nowhere near as cognitively demanding as a sleepover with 14-year-old girls. Managing status rivalries, negotiating group dynamics, understanding social norms, navigating the distinction between self and group — these and other social tests impose cognitive demands that blow away any intense tutoring session or a class at Yale. “ He highlights the essential social and emotional skills adolescents must learn in order to achieve success in life. And Smart-Girl is one of the few programs that is grounded in theories of social and emotional intelligence!
Read Brook’s whole commentary here.