Category Archives: Eating Disorders and Obesity

#TestimonialTuesday

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Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, bulimarexia, and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity. She is also the author of The Sun Plus Diet, due out in 2016.

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. http://www.eatingdisorderpro.com/

 

#MotivationMonday

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Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, bulimarexia, and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity. She is also the author of The Sun Plus Diet, due out in summer 2016. 

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. http://www.eatingdisorderpro.com/

 

#MotivationMonday

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Happy #MotivationMonday!

-Dr. Norton

#GetSunEatCleanBeWell

 

Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, bulimarexia, and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity. She is also the author of The Sun Plus Diet, due out in summer 2016. 

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. http://www.eatingdisorderpro.com/

 

#MotivationMonday

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It’s Pi Day (3.14)! Clean Pizza Tutorial!

O N E D R O P

It’s Pi Day (3.14) and right now the internet is blowing up with photos of pies and pie recipes.

Most people who know me, know that I am not a baker. I make pies once a year.  Therefore, I will not be discussing sweet pies today.

However, I am all about discussing PIZZA PIE! (You’re shocked, aren’t you?)

Here’s the question I am asked every week by new patients:

“Dr. Norton, does eating clean mean giving up pizza?”

(Wait for it..)

No! You can still have your pizza!  (We are going to have to modify it slightly, and I promise you it will taste a thousand times better than any pizza you’ve had before!)

One thing that I work really hard to help my clients understand is that eating clean does not mean deprivation. It means finding the highest quality foods and adapting old recipes to work with new ingredients.

Let’s start with the dough. This is really the biggest modification of pizza.  We can go one of two ways. You can use either Einkorn Pizza Dough or Cauliflower Pizza Crust.

Why Einkorn? Einkorn is a very ancient grain (still used in Italy today) that still has much of the original protein and is not nearly as starchy as the hyper hybridized wheat found in the United States.  If you are non celiac gluten sensitive, you might want to try the Einkorn dough.  (I get my einkorn flour at Jovial Foods). You may be pleasantly surprised that it is easier to digest with no tummy trauma.

“But Dr. Norton, I can’t eat wheat.” Then I suggest you try making cauliflower pizza crust. You haven’t heard of this? Here’s the most amazing, easy recipe! This is also a great recipe if you are trying to get more vegetables into your child’s diet.

Then we need some organic tomatoes. I only buy glass jar tomatoes and it is incredibly easy to just use them straight from the jar, or take a moment and make a super quick tomato sauce (basil, garlic, oregano). I top my pizza with raw organic shredded cheese and grass-fed unprocessed pepperoni. And because I love tomatoes so much, I add a little fresh sliced tomato on top as well. You can top yours with whatever organic ingredients you like. Keep your meats grass fed/pastured and your cheese raw and organic. That’s really the key to adapting this for clean eating.

Here’s what my pizza looks like:

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Although it may not look like it, the Einkorn crust was very crispy and the organic ingredients were wonderful together. (Also, I’m drooling looking at this picture while I type. Seriously, this beats any takeout or restaurant pizza any day.)

Consider topping yours with some fresh organic basil after pulling it out of the oven. The aroma of the tomatoes with the fresh basil will send you to pizza heaven.

Happy Pi Day!

-Dr. Norton

#GetSunEatCleanBeWell

 

 

 

 

A Lack of Information is Fattening

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“I am lazy, stupid and fat!”  A cruel statement, right? But this is what my patient who is recovering from Bulimarexia hears in her head every day, all day long. The reality is that she is a hard worker, very smart and a normal weight after years of struggling with an eating disorder.

But her fear of suddenly or somehow becoming “fat” is so intense that it may take another couple of years for this voice in her head to go away, and it may never go away completely.

Sound crazy? It isn’t unusual for people to think this way.  We are afraid of being obese as a culture. The sight of an obese person strikes fear in the hearts of many. Unfortunately we often hate the things we fear, which leads to stigma. And stigma, especially in the case of obesity, gets in the way of recovery, as it tends to be internalized by the individual being stigmatized. It also impacts members of our society that are not obese in ways that are detrimental to their health.

What I see when I look an obese patient is a person with a medical condition, a person that is often very ill. As a health care provider that has had great success working with the morbidly obese, I know that the problem can be reversed and that with the right information the person can lead a perfectly normal life.

But most people will not see or relate to the illness. They will react with fear, and/or they will stereotype the individual that is obese. Research on the stigma attached to obesity shows that overweight individuals in the U.S. are assumed to be lazy and lacking in intelligence. They are often viewed with disgust. They regularly experience bias in the workplace as well as in many other areas of their lives. Even their own doctors may be biased when it comes to treating them.

For example, according to an article in Psychology Today “A survey involving a nationally representative sample of primary care physicians revealed that, not only did more than half of respondents think that patients who are obese were awkward and unattractive, but more than 50 percent believed that they would be noncompliant with treatment. One-third thought of them as “weak-willed” and “lazy.” 

I recently published an article in Western Pennsylvania Healthcare News on the failure of medicine to treat obesity effectively. While doing the research for that article, I discovered that the rates of obesity are high among physicians, many of whom are overworked and most of whom do not understand the role of nutrition in obesity. For example, the standard advice today from most physicians is still to recommend eating more grains and less fat, which is exactly the opposite of what you should be doing if you are overweight. (Link to why grains are bad for you and why saturated fats are good for you) So much for “Physician heal thyself”.

But the other thing that really stood out while I was researching the article was how overwhelmed physicians felt while trying to treat obese individuals. I also get this from my doctor friends. In another study the researchers found that as the patients’ weight increased, “physicians reported having less patience, less faith in the patients’ ability to comply with treatment, and less desire to help them.” 

When it comes to my own patients, I am always amazed to discover that the issue of their weight does not come up with their primary care doctor even when they have serious complications of obesity and/or need to lose anywhere from 100 to 200+ pounds. One patient said “Talk about the elephant in the room! If I were oozing blood or had a terrible rash, I am sure my doctor would mention it. But because it is my weight, and he makes the assumption that I can’t or won’t do anything about it, we gloss over it.”

The problem with this is that the stigma of being obese can lead to more obesity as well as to other serious problems. Being stigmatized for being obese sets up many vicious cycles or self-fulfilling prophesies. For example, if going to the doctor doesn’t help, then going to the doctor becomes less likely. This in turn means that the complications of being obese, which include diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure, may not be diagnosed until they are advanced.

Likewise, many obese individuals are uncomfortable going to a gym or putting on work out clothes because of their fear of being judged. Obviously this makes it less likely that they will workout or get fit, and more likely that they will continue to gain weight.

The obesity epidemic may also be one of the reasons that younger children, older women and more men are developing Anorexia; I believe that these conditions are over-reactions or maladaptive responses to the fear of being obese. Of course, fear of being obese also leads to bingeing and purging, or bulimia.

The point is that obesity is a serious medical condition. However I do not believe that it has anything to do with will-power or motivation, and it certainly is not related to one’s intelligence. It is the direct result of the polluted nature of U.S. foods.

In other words, OBESITY IS NOT THE RESULT OF EATING TOO MUCH. It is the result of EATING POLLUTED FOOD.

The sooner we face that as a nation, the sooner we can stop blaming the victims of food pollution and start fixing the problem. Some people would have us believe that the obesity epidemic is getting better. It isn’t. The reason I say this is that nearly 30% of today’s children are obese. Nearly 72% of men and 67% of women in my generation are currently overweight or obese. When we were children, only 10% of us were overweight. This does not bode well for the future or for our children.

U.S. foods are polluted with addictants, obesogens, carcinogens, GMOs, MSG and trans fats to name a few of the pollutants. All of these “ingredients” drive overeating and/or bingeing. They also cause us to store more fat than we need and feel less like being active. Finally they damage the mechanisms for regulating eating and fat storage.

Yes, that is correct. Even if you eat a little of them, you can gain unneeded weight. (You can also develop many other problems, like vascular disease, autoimmune disorders, cancer and type 2 diabetes.)

Sound like an over statement? Consider that the U.S. is the wealthiest unhealthiest country in the world. We are also the most obese and we are nearly dead last when it comes to general health, with one of the lowest infant survival rates, despite having the best medical technology.

Are you surprised? I find that most people are surprised to hear these things despite the fact that this information is definitely out there. We just don’t think of ourselves this way. We have all drunk the coolaide. But ignorance, in this case, is not bliss. It is sheer agony and it makes those who are the victims feel ashamed and weak, which makes them more vulnerable to remedies that do not work, such as dieting, or bypass surgery, or cryochambers. (link to article on woman dying)

What disturbs me the most is that if we keep believing that we can eat anything, as long as we eat it in moderation, we are not going to fix the problem. The foods that are the most dangerous are “designed” to make us keep us eating them.

We cannot fix the problem with this kind of thinking even though it is very fixable! Find out more about what your food is really doing inside your body. You may be surprised. What I can promise you is that lack of information is fattening.

-Dr. Norton

#GetSunEatCleanBeWell

 

#MotivationMonday Stage 3- Preparation

Preparation

Here we are in the third week of my #MotivationMonday series on Change. If you looked for me last week, but didn’t find me, it’s because I was honoring Labor Day. Everyone deserves a day of rest!

Last time we met, we were talking about the contemplation stage of change. You know where you want to be with the change you are seeking, but you aren’t quite ready to go.

Preparation is the third stage of change. Most people at this stage are planning to take action within the month, and they are making adjustments before they begin.

What does this look like?

Let’s go back to my example of a patient who binges at 4 p.m. everyday on candy.

In the contemplation stage, the patient was considering doing some lunges or phoning a friend instead of eating candy. Well, if they were in the preparation stage, they might be considering that they need to be wearing comfortable shoes, and making sure that everyday those shoes were in their car. They might be thinking about their schedule every day at 4 p.m. They need to have the ability to stop and do some lunges. So maybe they are avoiding meetings at 4 p.m. If they were still considering phoning a friend, they would want to reach out to those people and just let them know that they should expect a phone call everyday and making detailed notes about who is available at 4 p.m. and who is not.

This brings me to my next point about Preparation. It is important to make public your intended change.

Why?

Well for one thing, in the preparation stage, a patient might still have some ambivalence about the change. Talking about it publicly can help air some of those feelings. For another reason, a patient needs support. This way, loved ones can be as supportive as possible in this endeavor to change. A patient may also discover that some people are not as supportive as they would like, and that’s an important discovery as well. It helps to prepare the patient.

Patients who prepare are more likely to succeed. Patients who cut short the preparation stage lower their chances of success.

So, theoretically, could you wake up one day and just stop binging on candy at 4p.m.? Yes.

But I would challenge you to consider this: how would you feel if you failed? Would it keep you from trying to tackle the problem again?

Afterall, if you have a plan, you can always examine the plan. You can analyze what part of the plan was successful and what part was not. Without a plan, it can feel like it is just a failure.

Next week, we’ll discuss the fourth stage of change and its complexities for both the patient and the professional.

Get Sun. Eat Clean. Be Well.

-Dr. Norton

 

 

Change- A Seven Week #MotivationMonday series

This week I’m starting a seven week #MotivationMonday series on Change.

If you’ve ever tried to change a behavior, then you will understand just how difficult change can be. But I’d also guess that you would say that change was the best thing you ever did for yourself. Change can be the ultimate act of self love.

There are six stages in the process of change.

If it doesn't challenge youDoes that surprise you?

My patients find it reassuring to discover that change does not happen overnight. I don’t expect them to wake up the following day and be onboard with everything I ask of them.

Often, my first contact with a patient is when they have really hit rock bottom. But that’s when the seeds of change are planted. So if you are reading this, and feeling you are at your bottom, I challenge you to spend the next seven Mondays with me.

For this week, I want to you to answer this question:

What are you looking to change in your life?

Eating Disorders Among Female Baby Boomers May be a Function of Food Pollution

Growing old is not easy in any culture, but it is particularly difficult for middle-aged women in the United States. Americans obsess about thinness and worship youthfulness. Joan Rivers’ tragic death  last month was was a good example of the extremes to which women in American society will go in order to maintain these unrealistic ideals. Ms. Rivers is not alone. Remaining young and fit is getting harder all the time because of the food we eat. U.S. food is polluted with ingredients that attack the immune system, accelerate the aging process and drive obesity.

Aging is scary enough without a rapid decline in one’s health and an ever-expanding waistline. And that is exactly what Baby Boomers are experiencing today. As a result, they may be more at risk for specific eating disorders (EDs) such as Anorexia or Bulimia than in the past.  This is consistent with the latest research showing a proliferation of eating disorders in the U.S. that includes older women.

In a survey conducted on the eatingdisorderpro.com website, with nearly 1000 participants, 1.2% reported that their symptoms began after the age of 50.

symptons of my eating disorder

Unlike European countries where women are viewed as sexy into middle age and beyond, U.S. women become invisible as they age.  This puts them at even greater risk when it comes to EDs as they are less likely to be diagnosed or get treatment. Anorexia nervosa has the highest morbidity rate of any psychiatric illness with 10% mortality rate at 10 years of symptom duration and 20% at 20 years.  Many Baby Boomers have had their disorders for more than 20 years. The longer the duration of the illness, the higher the risk of death.

In general, the population is aging. But living longer with chronic illnesses, especially the complications of obesity and EDs that are driven by food pollution, can and should be prevented. These problems not only rob us of our health, they rob us of our dignity. Ms. Rivers died in an ill-fated attempt to preserve the youthfulness of her voice. Too many women, especially those in midlife, are feeling the same desperation.

Awareness is key. Here are some Do’s and Don’ts:

Do Not Eat                                Do Eat/Cook With                                

  • GMO’s                                      Organic whole foods
  • MSG                                         Grass-fed beef, poultry and pork
  • Food additives                          Coconut oil, ghee and raw grass-fed butter
  • Sweeteners                               Wild Caught Fish
  • Grains
  • Pesticides

Eating clean nourishes the body, but it also nourishes the soul, and empowers us to take charge of our health and regain the vitality that we were meant to enjoy well into old age.

 

About Dr. Renae Norton
A family practice psychologist for more than 20 years, Dr. Norton specializes in the treatment of Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge Eating Disorder, Obesity, and the consequences of disordered eating. She’s been featured by NPR, CNN and was a five-time guest on Oprah. She coaches individuals and organizations via Skype worldwide. Visit: http://edpro.wpengine.com

Dr. J. Renae Norton

Listen to the Podcast on Eating Disorders Among Female Baby Boomers HERE.

 

Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of obesity and eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, bulimarexia, and binge eating disorder (BED) and the Director of The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity in Cincinnati, Ohio. She is the Director of The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Let’s Connect!
Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Sign Up For The Eating Disorder Pro Newsletter

Inquire about booking Dr Norton for a speaking engagement

Read About Dr Norton

View video about Dr Norton

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2014, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2014, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’.

Body Dysmorphia and Anorexia

Body Dysmorphic Disorder treatment

Systems theory tells us that in order to solve a problem we have to use the right set of assumptions. Further, it tells us that if we use the wrong assumptions, the problem will continue to get worse. Suffice it to say, the underlying assumptions of those suffering with eating disorders are incorrect. One good example is the role that body dysmorphia plays in driving disordered eating – Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is not the same thing. I should point out that not all individuals that suffer from Anorexia suffer from body dysmorphia, but many do.

The underlying assumptions of those Anorexics suffering from body dysmorphia include:

  • Imagined defects in appearance. “My thighs are fat.” Or  “My belly sticks out too much.” (In an individual weighing 70 pounds)
  • Preoccupation with weight – I weigh too much. I would be more attractive if I lost weight. No one can respect me if my weight goes over 100 pounds.
  • Obsessive compulsive behavioral patterns – “I must try on every pair of jeans to make sure that they still fit.”
  • Social Isolation – “I know when they look at me, they think I’m fat. It’s better if I just avoid them.”

Obviously these are all incorrect underlying assumptions that will drive more disordered eating. If you have had a patient or a family member with anorexia, then you probably know how useless it is to try and convince the sufferer that the assumptions are wrong. They will assume that you are trying to fool them or trick them into changing so that they will be “fat” like you.  I find that it works better to focus upon behavior and the medical necessity of eating.  It also helps if they have people depending upon them to be well. Family support, instead of judgment is critical.

On my blogtalk radio show The Eating Disorder Pro, which airs every Wednesday at 7:30 pm EST and comes to you from Cincinnati, Ohio, my guest Brian Cuban, talked about his book  Shattered Image.  On December 11, Mr. Cuban will describe what it is like to suffer from BDD from the male perspective. His experiences, especially his recovery is inspirational, so be sure to tune in if you are traveling that road yourself. What was so interesting is the fact that his false underlying assumptions were not very different from what we think of as a female perspective when it comes to body image. Like many people with eating disorders, he had some pretty painful experiences as a child, not the least of which was a weight problem along with a mom that fat-shamed him. Ouch! He was also the victim of bullying.  Obviously, this was a recipe for disaster.

Check out Brian Cuban’s book to get a good sense of the incorrect underlying assumptions and how he eventually dismantled them for his own recovery. Be sure to tune in on WEDNESDAY December 11 at 7:30 pm.

Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of obesity and eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, bulimarexia, and binge eating disorder (BED) and the Director of The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity in Cincinnati, Ohio. She is the Director of The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity in Cincinnati, Ohio.


Let’s Connect!
Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Inquire about booking Dr Norton for a speaking engagement

Read About Dr Norton

View video about Dr Norton

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2013, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2013, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’.