Weight Expectations: One Man’s Recovery from Anorexia – Extract

anorexiaAhead of its publication next month, here is an exclusive extract from Dave Chawner’s upcoming title Weight Expectations: One Man’s Recovery from Anorexia. This extract has been pulled from the first chapter.

Hi, I’m Dave. Welcome to the book, it’s lovely to meet you. Grab a seat, have a cuppa and make yourself at home. (Nice top, it suits you… No, really, it does.) Are you comfy? You sure? OK, I’ll stop fussing.

You might be wondering who I am (don’t worry, you’re not the only one; my agent does too). I’m a stand-up comic. This is the book of my show Normally Abnormal.  It’s all about how I slipped into anorexia, and how I got out. Basically, it’s an explanation of eating disorders from the inside looking out.

Please don’t leave!!! Don’t worry, this IS NOT some proper drab pity party.  Eating disorders are serious, but that doesn’t mean we have to be. This isn’t ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ (I’m vegetarian, so that’d be wrong on so many levels). My mum always used to say, ‘Life’s all about the journey, not the destination.’ She told me to focus on the journey and forget about the destination (which is how she lost her job as an ambulance driver).

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Why can’t people talk about their mental health?

health

Dave Chawner, author of Weight Expectations, is a mental health campaigner, an award winning stand-up comedian and anorexia survivor. In this blog, he addresses the stigma around mental health and the damage it causes. 

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week, so we’ve got to talk about stigma. It’s kind of the rule – you can’t talk about anything to do with mental health without talking about stigma. Personally, I don’t like talking about stigma because the more you talk about something (even by negation) the more you entrench it. I’ll give you an example, if I said to you “don’t think of a blue pig” I know you’d instantly think of Boris Johnson. A lot of people reckon it’s stigma that stops people talking about their mental illness, and maybe it is, however I also think it’s to do with guilt.

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Be Free From Anorexia and Happy With Your Body

anorexia

Kim Marshall, author of How to Kiss Goodbye to Ana, has personal experience of anorexia and bulimia and used EFT in her own recovery. She is an AAMET-Certified EFT practitioner and founder of Kiss Goodbye to Ana, helping people in their recovery from anorexia. Here, she writes about her own experiences and how you can be happy with yourself. 

When I was struggling with anorexia it felt like I was trapped in the deepest darkest well, with no chink of light shining through. I felt alone and scared. A part of me wanted to escape, but another part wanted to stay, because it felt safe.

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Inside food anxiety: Leah’s story

Inside food anxiety: Leah’s story

This article on food anxiety is by Jo Cormack, author of Helping Children Develop a Positive Relationship with Food.

Have you ever looked into a child’s eyes as they contemplate the plate of food you have served, and thought to yourself “what is going on in there?” Have you ever wondered what it’s really like to be a very picky eater, anxious about what challenges the next meal may bring?

Empathy is at the heart of my approach to working with picky eaters, because if we can’t put on a child’s shoes and walk around in them (as Scout puts it, in To Kill a Mockingbird…) we can’t hope to help that child. Seeing food from their perspective is essential.

This article is all about what it’s like to be a very picky eater, struggling with food anxiety. I wanted to share a child’s point of view, but with an adult’s insight and ability to articulate complex and emotionally difficult ideas. So I asked Leah (not her real name) – a parent in my facebook group for parents of picky eaters where I am co-admin – if she would mind recounting her experience of being a very picky eater as a child.

Leah told me how, until she was two or three years old, she ate pretty much everything. But then when her baby brother arrived, she explains that “in protest, I just stopped eating”. I have seen this before; sometimes big life changes can be incredibly hard for young children to process. They feel profoundly out of control and so they search frantically for something that they can control. Sometimes, this can be their eating. It’s one of the few things that a toddler can choose to do, or not do. Continue reading

How can we help children with body image issues to see themselves more positively?

Chris Calland and Nicky Hutchinson, authors of Minnie and Max are OK!, discuss the rising issue of body confidence in children and ways we can help them to see themselves more positively and celebrate their identities.

If you would like to watch more videos like Chris and Nicky’s and hear the latest news and offers on our Education books, why not join our mailing list? We can send information by email or post as you prefer. You can unsubscribe at any time. You may also be interested in liking our Special Educational, PSHE and Early Years Resources Facebook page.

Anorexia and Obesity: Two of a Kind?

anorexia Dr Nicola Davies is a health psychologist, counsellor, and writer specialising in raising awareness about health, wellbeing and weight loss. She is a member of the British Psychological Society and the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. Nicola also keeps a health psychology blog and runs an online forum for counsellors. She is the author of I Can Beat Obesity! and I Can Beat Anorexia! and the co-author of the Eating Disorder Recovery Handbook.

While generally regarded as two separate, very different issues, anorexia and obesity actually share many similarities – not only in terms of risk factors, but also psychological, behavioural, cognitive, genetic, and neuropsychological similarities.

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Emma Bacon discusses eating disorders, her books and building a healthy relationship with food

RelationshipEmma Bacon, author of Rebalance Your Relationship with Food and co-author of Eating Disorder Recovery Handbook, is the founder of BalancED MK, an eating disorder support service, which she set up after her own recovery from anorexia nervosa. She also offers mentoring and facilitates a self-support group for sufferers and carers, with the aim of spreading awareness and understanding about eating disorders. We caught up with her and asked her a few questions about her book, her inspiration and what keeps her motivated. 

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Top 4 Steps to Permanent Weight Loss

Dr Nicola Davies is a health psychologist, counsellor, and writer specialising in raising awareness about health, wellbeing and weight loss. She is a member of the British Psychological Society and the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. Nicola also keeps a health psychology blog and runs an online forum for counsellors. She is the author of I Can Beat Obesity! and I Can Beat Anorexia! and the co-author of the Eating Disorder Recovery Handbook.

There are many people who struggle to lose weight, but more people who struggle to keep it off. There are countless fads designed to draw in people seeking honest help with their weight struggles, only to palm them off with expensive quick fixes that offer short-term rather than long-term results. These results are short-term because you are being sold a product or regime that doesn’t take into consideration your individual needs and motivations. Weight loss is a personal and individual journey – a journey toward self-care. Here are four steps to help you along the way.

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Creative coping strategies to help young people manage stress, anxiety and other big feelings

Age range:

Ages 8 – 14

Description:

A colouring book and journal filled with uplifting quotes and poems that encourages children experiencing stress, anxiety and other big feelings to manage their emotions. With a range of activities that introduce mindfulness and encourage relaxation, the workbook is designed to prepare young people for future difficult situations.

Click here to download the resource

This extract is taken from Pooky Knightsmith’s The Health Coping Colouring Book and Journal, which is designed to help young people manage difficult thoughts, feelings and emotions such as anger and anxiety.

The extraordinary projects making mental health a key player in the school day

mental health schoolsJenny Hulme, author of The School of Wellbeing, discusses her new book and the projects she’s explored that support students’ emotional wellbeing. At a time when the state of young people’s mental health is being recognised as central to their learning and attainment, her book gives unique insight into these projects and features the education leaders and charities behind them, including Place2Be, Kidscape, Beat and more.

When I started writing this book a year ago, the media were talking, ever more urgently, about the epidemic of young people at odds with the world around them. Research was suggesting rates of depression were rising in primary schools and anxiety among teenagers had increased by 70 per cent in the past 25 years. Meanwhile, reports noted the rapid rise in hospital admissions for young people with eating disorders. Every story posed more questions than answers about the role of everything from poverty to education policy, exam stress to social media. Other more recent headlines included news of a 14 per cent rise in teenagers being admitted to hospital after self-harming, with the NSPCC saying they delivered thousands of counselling sessions on self-harm last year (as many as 50 a day) via Childline. It was heartening to read at the same time talk of the Government making relationships and sexual health a statutory subject to tackle the problem of sexual harassment and sexting in schools. But developments like this come not a moment too soon. Continue reading