By Mary Jo Frank
Dieting makes compulsive eating disorders worse, says Catherine Powers, co-director of the Institute for Psychology and Medicines Eating Disorders Program.
Talking to more than 90 Workplace of the 90s participants who attended the May 25 workshop How to Free Yourself from Compulsive Eating and Start to Live, Powers said diets fail for a number of reasons. They:
For every diet, there is a binge to follow, Powers said.
Powers defined compulsive eating disorder as:
Linked to compulsive eating disorders are messages the media present about beauty and ideal shapes and sizes, according to Barbara Glik, psychotherapist with the Eating Disorders Program.
The average woman in the United States is 5 foot 3.8 inches tall and weighs 144 pounds, much shorter and heavier than the average model who is 5 foot 8 inches tall and weighs 117 pounds.
Are models real? Glik asked. Pointing to a Cosmopolitan cover, Glik noted that artists had removed lines and used computer imaging and photographic techniques to improve even the models appearance.
Every day were bombarded with messages from advertisements and the media equating perfumes, scented panty shields and breast augmentation with sexuality, Glik said.
How would it be to be okay today just as you are? Glik asked members of the audience who came in all shapes and sizes, colors, ages and from a number of University units. A repeat workshop May 26 also was attended by about 90 staff members.
Sheri Szuch, co-director of the Eating Disorders Program, said one of the keys to overcoming compulsive eating is to accept your body as it is now and live for today while working toward change.
Szuch also shared tactics used in individual and group therapy treatment: