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January, 2011: New Beginnings!

            January connotes a time of grey and icy weather.  But it also is a month of hope.  We celebrate certain things in this month such as the commencement of a whole new year.  But we also take time in the third week of the month as Americans to recognize the Reverend Martin Luther King for his contributions to community service.  Visit http://www.mlkday.gov for more information about this great man of peace and how you can incorporate some of his hopes and beliefs into your lives.

            January is also very much a month of re-booting.  Because of shortages many communities experience, please consider being a blood donor.  January is National Blood Donor Month (http://www.aabb.org ).  Imagine if you are injured or in surgery and the blood you require is not available.

            After multiple months of holiday meals (!) from November through January, we may wish to contemplate our health again!  January 16-22, 2011, is Healthy Weight Week this year. 

            http://www.healthyweightnetwork.com/

Dysfunctional (disordered) eating is chaotic (dieting, fasting, bingeing, skipping meals), or it can mean overeating or undereating much more or less than the body wants or needs.

  • The disordered eater eats less for nourishment, and more for purposes of reshaping the body, for thinness, or to relieve anxiety and stress.
  • Often eating causes distress. Afterward, instead of feeling better, the disordered eater
    may feel guilty, ashamed, uncomfortably full, or unsatisfied and fearful of bingeing.
  • When food is restricted, thoughts of food, eating, hunger and weight often dominate waking hours.
  • Because food is unsatisfying and may be limited, the dysfunctional eater often feels tired, irritable, unable to concentrate, and increasingly self-absorbed.

Normal eating means having a healthy relationship with food. It is flexible and trusting. With normal eating patterns, we eat as do small children and babies, consuming food naturally when hungry and stopping when full, attuned to inner signals. Normal eating refers to eating behavior – how a person eats, not what. Typical emphasis today focuses only on what foods people eat. How we eat gets ignored, yet it is at the root of many eating and weight problems. Normalizing eating can improve life immeasurably for the chronic dieter or disordered eater and help them move on with their lives.

Be kind to yourself and your loved ones, and be well and healthy in 2011!