36 LONGISLANDPRESS.COM • FEBRUARY 2020
FEBRUARY IS EATING DISORDER AWARENESS MONTH
According to the National Eating
Disorders Association (NEDA), these
potentially life-threatening conditions
could negatively and indefinitely
impact an individual’s emotional,
mental, and physical health. The most
common eating disorders are anorexia
nervosa (starvation), bulimia nervosa
(self-induced vomiting following binge
eating), and binge eating disorder
(eating large quantities of food). Most
individuals who suffer from an eating
disorder also feel some sort of guilt or
shame about themselves and their
“An eating disorder is the degree to
which thoughts, actions and behaviors
about food, weight, body image
and exercise begin to interfere with
your quality of life and your ability
to be present,” says Dr. Sondra Kronberg,
licensed clinical nutritionist,
certified eating disorder specialist,
founder, and executive director of
Eating Disorder Treatment Collaborative,
which has offices in Jericho,
Hauppauge, and New York City.
There are several potential triggers in
eating disorders and Long Island is no
stranger to them, says Kronberg.
“We live in a pretty image-driven
culture on Long Island — the amount
of pressure to succeed, be the best and
the thinnest, stress, and affluence,”
could all create an “epidemic of eating
disorders,” she says.
Other triggers may include a history
of a mental health condition, a relative
with an eating disorder, poor body
image, and weight issues, poor self-esteem,
anxiety or trauma, and peer
pressure, according to NEDA.
“The most obvious sign of an eating
disorder is being grossly too thin or
being grossly overweight,” says Barbara
Crosby, M.S., certified health coach,
weight management expert and eating
disorder therapist. Other symptoms include
thinning hair, hair loss, decreased
socialization, increased isolation, and
not being able to eat around people.
Recovery from eating disorders is
“a work in progress and a lifetime
responsibility,” says Crosby.
“The sooner the patient is diagnosed
the easier it will be to heal,” Crosby
says. Working with a mental health
professional, nutritionist, physician,
etc., who specializes in eating
disorders is critical. “The goal is for
the patient to have the courage and
strength to look into and learn about
Support of family and friends may also
contribute to healing and help foster
positive self-attitudes and gratitude.
Crosby advises: Don’t discuss food,
weight or appearance.
“Instead, chat about the weather, kids,
jobs, vacations, movies … If asked how
they look, “stay neutral,” she suggests,
with a reply like, “You look beautiful.”
Those who succeed in recovering from
an eating disorder have this in common:
“They learn how to eat and care
for themselves emotionally, physically
and spiritually in a way that supports
their aliveness, well-being, spontaneity,
growth and development,” says
Wamboldt says her life was saved by a
team of professionals including a nutritionist,
medical doctor, and support group, as
well as her faith.
“I no longer view my body as a battlefield,
and food isn’t the enemy,”
she says. “I learned that my worth
and my value doesn’t come from a
number on the scale, but what’s in
my heart. I learned that self-esteem
comes from doing esteemable acts
and living my life according to my
values and morals. I learned that I am
loved because of who I am inside, not
"Food isn't the enemy," says Meaghan Wamboldt.
continued from page 35
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