What are disordered eating and eating disorders? Today I am joined by Dr. Theresa Bussert and she gently shares with us the difference between disordered eating and eating disorders, and the best ways to support a person who is struggling with eating disorders. Dr. Bussert is a therapist, coach, educator, and advocate for people looking to live beyond their eating disorders. She shares with us just how the spectrum of disordered eating and eating disorders can start and how the most important tool to healing is separating the person from the disorder. Join Heather and Dr. Theresa Bussert as they discuss how to spot signs of eating disorders, how to best support a loved one suffering from eating disorders, and that there is life beyond your disorder.
Do not miss these highlights:
00:40 – Introduction to November 29th’s episode topic. You won’t want to miss out!
00:55 – Trigger alert for today’s topic
03:00 – LGBTQIA+ E-book
03:55 – Introduction to Dr. Theresa Bussert
06:04– Dr. Theresa Bussert tells us a little bit about herself
06:36 – The difference between disordered eating and eating disorders (ED)
08:26 – How thoughts and behaviors are connected to disordered eating and eating disorders and tips for helping a person going through it.
12:10 – Healing from ED is about defusing who you are from your ED
13:54 – ED as a coping mechanism at its starting point
17:11 – Helping someone with an ED to understand why they are doing that versus just telling them to eat
19:18 – Dr. Theresa Bussert introduces us to the book Life without ED by Jenny Schaefer
29:00 – The connection between ED and the LGBTQIA+ community
41:36 – If you have any ED concerns feel free to reach out to Dr. Theresa Bussert
44:25 – LGBTQ & A segment
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About our guest:
Dr. Theresa Bussert has been a therapist, coach, educator, and advocate for people who struggle with who they are beyond a lifetime of disordered eating. For the past 20 years, she has helped her clients find a new path moving forward leaving disordered eating and self-critical thoughts in the past. She is trained in Clinical Social Work, Psychology, and Mindfulness and uses this wisdom to help support her client’s journey through recovery.
Grab my Stop Binge Eating Guide and learn how to take your control back!
Also, I am doing a Holiday Survival Strategic Plan webinar/workshop on November 16th. You can register in advance:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
Other resources mentioned in the episode:
Life without ED by Jenny Schaefer https://www.amazon.com/Life-Without-Ed-Declared-Independence/dp/0071422986/ref=asc_df_0071422986/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=312178271755&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=844448308055067620&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9021486&hvtargid=pla-459177997085&psc=1&tag=&ref=&adgrpid=60258871377&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvadid=312178271755&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=844448308055067620&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9021486&hvtargid=pla-459177997085
Ways to connect with Dr. Theresa Bussert:
Welcome back, my friends. I am so happy you are here. My hope for you is that you can take a breath and feel a sense of calm while you are here. The upcoming holiday season can add a few stressors to your plate for sure it is one of my very favorite times of the year but also one that has me begging for three days of downtime by December 26. Does that sound familiar to anyone? One of the biggest concerns this time of year is coming out to relatives and handling those who are non affirming November 29 Episode will walk you through tips and how to so make sure you are subscribed so that you get the episode as soon as it drops. My guest today is going to talk about a topic that we have not discussed yet. And it is well past time that we do. I want to give a trigger alert right now though, for all who struggle with eating. I know this is a sensitive topic. One of the reasons I wanted Dr. Theresa busser on just breathe is because she has such a calming, non judgmental approach to disordered eating and eating disorders. But I also want you to have the opportunity to skip this episode if you aren't quite ready. I'm sending you a big hug right through this microphone and a gentle reminder that you are loved.Heather Hester:
Welcome to Just breathe parenting your LGBTQ team, the podcast transforming the conversation around loving and raising an LGBTQ child. My name is Heather Hester and I am so grateful you are here. I want you to take a deep breath. And know that for the time we are together, you are in the safety of the just breathe nests. Whether today's show is an amazing guest or me sharing stories, resources, strategies or lessons I've learned along our journey. I want you to feel like we're just hanging out at a coffee shop having a cozy chat. Most of all, I want you to remember that wherever you are on this journey right now, in this moment in time, you are not aloneHeather Hester:
raise your hand if you've ever been in conversation with your LGBTQ i A plus child or friend and felt confused or embarrassed or even frustrated because you didn't understand the meaning of the words or phrases that they used. Come on. It's nothing to be ashamed of my hand is raised. We've all been there. Which is why I created a guide for us called the language of LGBTQIA. Plus, it's a 50 page book of comprehensive yet easy to digest explanations. Text breathe 255444 To access this amazing book, that's b r e a t h e 25544 for Dr. Teresa as her clients and patients know her has been a therapist, coach, educator and advocate for people who struggle with who they are beyond disordered eating. For the past 20 years she has helped her clients find a new path moving forward leaving disordered eating and self critical thoughts in the past. She is trained in clinical social work psychology and mindfulness and uses this wisdom to help support her clients journey through recovery. Teresa is offering a stop binge eating guide to all of my listeners. So check out the show notes for the link for this. She is also holding a holiday survival Strategic Plan webinar workshop this Wednesday, November 16. That's tomorrow, Wednesday, November the 16th. The link to register for this is also in the show notes I learned so much from Theresa and I can't wait for you to hear our conversation. Okay, Chris. Ah, well, Teresa, I am so so glad to have you here on the show on just breathe to share just your vast knowledge, I'm so intrigued when you reached out to me, it was really perfect timing because I think I had shared with you that I had a client who had just been asking about disordered eating and eating disorders. And so I would love to kind of start right there with you. Because I think that is something that's a little bit confusing for those of us who are just kind of learning about it. And just having that definition, or those differences is a great place to start. And then we can go from there.Dr. Theresa Bussert:
Absolutely. Thank you so much for having me. I'm very excited actually to be here and talk about some of some of the things that that I see in the eating disorder community and in really all communities, but specifically with adolescents. So I'll tell you a little bit about myself. So I'm a therapist, I've been working for over 20 years in the eating disorder community, I'm an body positive advocate. And, and I like to do educational opportunities in the world so that people can learn about the differences of exactly an eating disorder, versus disordered eating. And if you think of it on a continuum, it's like a, like a spectrum and more of a continuum, I think, because it's all kind of interrelated, disordered eating is about eating unhealthily. So maybe that would be binging while watching a TV show or restricting, because the holidays are coming up. And we don't want you know, we want to be able to eat those holiday meals. So we're restricting just to be able to do that, or we're over exercising to accommodate for that. So that can be unhealthy, and not necessarily serve our best self and growth. When it evolves to a place where it affects your functionality, your ability to be you in the world, whether it's work, school, family, friends, it becomes more of a disorder. And oftentimes, we fuse our sense of self with the eating disorder behaviors. And that's when you're talking about an actual eating disorder. So I'm a big fan, that anywhere along that continuum, you can get resources and support therapy, you know, or programs if it gets to that place. But that's really what you're talking about. So when I refer to eating disorders, or disordered eating, to me, they're kind of somewhere along that continuum. And you can, you know, go back and forth on the continuum throughout life, if that's part of the challenges for you.Heather Hester:
Okay, that's really helpful. So for someone who, let's say, struggles to eat, or struggles to eat in front of other people, or struggles with food choices, and not necessarily based on calories, or any any kind of nutrient, but just where does where does that fall? And what would be kind of advice for that, that person.Dr. Theresa Bussert:
So when you're thinking in terms of disordered eating on any level, I want you to think about thoughts, the way we see ourselves, the way we think about the food, the way we think about the event, those kinds of things, and then behaviors, restricting binging, limiting our variety of what we'll eat. And then the action, like I feel the impulse to exercise because I'm gonna go out to dinner with, you know, to a big meal. So I'm gonna, I'm gonna run five extra miles or something like that. Those three elements are what create an eating disorder, and it also creates recovery. So when you're talking when you're seeing someone doing behaviors, you know, calling them out on that isn't necessarily very helpful. It's I think, we were talking a little earlier, and the term food shaming came up, you know, and it's really like, the person is feeling the shame and the guilt because you're saying, You're not eating and everyone else is eating, and why aren't you doing that? And not necessarily, I'm worried about you, but it could be I'm worried about you, but it's focused on the food and not the person. And so the healing comes from focusing on the person. And the reason I say that is, you know, one of the things that we see in the eating disorder community is a lot of times it happens in adolescence where at least the client identifies that they've been having the struggle, they may have had thoughts previously, but it starts to become part of their sense of self and what they're doing. And the reason is So the developmental task in adolescence really is, you know, who am I like, I'm gonna go hang out with these people and figure out if I fit there. And if I don't fit there, I'm gonna go hang out with these people and figure that out, or both of those groups freak me out. So I'm just gonna stay home and that like, associate with anybody and get online and just live on the online world. So adolescence has so many complicated layers of figuring out who you are. And if you bring the element of external sense of identity, you know, like, like, for example, like you're hanging out in gym class in the locker room, and, and everybody's talking about, you know, how they're not going to eat lunch, because they're going to the dance, and they want to look really good and things like that, and you want to be part of that group, you start to take on those behaviors, because you want to be included. And so if you and I both were hanging out in the locker room, and we both decided, as you know, as a collaborative, we're both going to restrict so that we can go the dance and look really great. You know, and you may do that and not eat, you know, lunch for three days and think you look great in your dress, I may do that. But then feel like, I can't eat now when I go to the dance, because if I eat now, my stomach's gonna blow, and then I'm gonna look fat. And so I'm not going to I'm not going to have the, the meal there. And then over the weekend, like, oh, well, you know, I got a lot of compliments. So I'm not going to eat this weekend. And then the eating disorder takes on a life of its own. So it's really about your sense of self, your sense of identity.Heather Hester:
Does that make sense? It does, oh, my goodness, yes. And how quickly that's such a great visual for how quickly that can happen.Dr. Theresa Bussert:
And people often are predisposed to eating, which is why you and I could have the same conversation and the same feelings, but I developed the eating disorder and you don't. So if you and I are friends, you'd be like, Well, what is your problem? Why do you keep doing that? Because obviously, you just have to eat and you're fine. But that's not my experience, because now I'm fusing my worth, with how I look in that dress, or who's coming to hang out with me, or if I get invited to this party. And so healing from an eating disorder is often about diffusing that separating, separating the elements of who I am versus the eating disorder, we often personify it as Edie, you know, is that an add thought? Or is that a, you know, Theresia thought, and, and then you start to create that sense of, Well, maybe this isn't who I am, I wonder who I really am. And then you can put the behaviors aside, and then you can start figuring out who you are. So that's a long answer to your question. I'm not sure if I actually answered.Heather Hester:
You absolutely did. And I think that's so kind of just honing in on that last part. I mean, that is complicated for anyone to do, let alone an adolescent. Because just thinking about, I mean, if you have that just in a vacuum, let's figure out who you are. Like, that's, that's what adolescents are doing. Right? Like, that's a base layer of like, the 100 layers, right of things that are going on in adolescence. And, and that is, I mean, that's tough. That's tough without any external without any, you know, predispose to predisposition to anything else. Right. So, it is easy to see how that can so quickly become intertwined. Mm hmm. Yeah. And how that could easily be like, Well, I'm just gonna kind of grab on to this, because this feels easier. This feels better than trying to figure out who I am in an, you know, very organic sense, or just in a, you know, without all these other because it's kind of a maladaptive one. But it's a coping technique, right?Dr. Theresa Bussert:
Well, it's definitely a strategy of figuring out, you know, who you are, because now you have a community and people are concerned about you, but you get compliments initially, let's say if you're restricting and your body's changing. But when it takes on a life of its own, you lose those relationships, because you have to live your life and service of your eating disorder. And, and it affects your health, obviously, because you're still physically developing and adolescence. So that could be lifelong problems. So that's why when we look at like the behaviors and the thoughts, there are interventions when we get to the eating disorder, part of it of the continuum, where interventions sometimes have to take place without and without the full commitment of the individual because they don't see that challenge. They just see that this is working for me. And if you asked me to stop doing these things, I don't know who I am without that. So and that's a very scary concept like Who are we? And that's independent of the world we live in and all the images that that the young people are getting exposed to and societal norms or expectations, filters on online and things like that. So they live in that world and get images all the time, that are creating their sense of reality. And in normal adolescence, you're trying to figure that out anyway, like you see somebody that you think is cool, and you're mimicking them. And that's just part of figuring out where you are. But when your algorithms are focused entirely on losing weight, body image, things like that, that's the world that you live in, it's really hard to break, break free from that until you start to get a sense of I am not my eating disorder. And so that's a big part of in my opinion, recovery is like, wherever you are in life dealing with this stuff, you got to figure out that this has served me very well. At some stage in my life, it no longer serves my authentic self, my higher person. And and that's a challenge. I think for a lot of us in a lot of ways. It absolutelyHeather Hester:
is, it absolutely is. And that whole piece of if you're able to stay connected to yourself, but you're able to kind of create that separation. But if you don't really know who you are, and certainly adolescents have, I mean, like we keep saying they're figuring out who they are. So that makes it that much harder to stay connected. And to not like grab on to something else to be like, well, I'm going to connect to that, because that makes me feel good right now, in this moment. And that's fascinating. I love how you broke that down. And I like the, the you know, the kind of the thoughts, feelings, actions, that you know what you're thinking about the behaviors, the feelings, right, and then the action, which is something that, you know, formula that you can use in so many different ways.Dr. Theresa Bussert:
Well, and it's so much more helpful, then you need to eat, you need to eat, you need to just say, I'm gonna sit here until you're done with what you're supposed to eat on your plate. Like, that's not helpful. That's not telling me or helping me understand why I feel so compelled to utilize these behaviors. Right? Right. Parents and loved ones, you know, we often think we know better than the person versus trying to encourage the person for self discovery. And that can be really a complicated, complicated task.Heather Hester:
It can be it can be and I think so many of us were, you know, our generation really was not brought up to check in with our feelings, right to check in with who we are and how that connects to everything. Right? So eating is very separate from who you are in the world. And in the way that we were kind of grown up grow. I mean, that's very simplified, but just thinking you as So now, as we're parents, and we have our children, we're thinking, well, you need to eat, because that's how you grow, instead of kind of taking that step back and being like, Okay, well, let's look at this from a different angle. Let's look at this, you know, from a this is, what don't you like? Why are maybe these are not good questions. But you know, what about eating? And you can tell me actually, as I'm asking these questions, and these are good questions to ask, because they're just coming to me, but you know, why? Why doesn't that seem appealing to you? Or what? Is there something that sounds better? Or is there? Because I'm thinking, as I'm asking these questions, thinking? Like you said earlier, we want to take that focus off of the food, correct? And put it on the person. So I'm thinking, what are the questions that we could really ask that can, you know, help our child really connect to, like, think about it in a way that's a healthy way to think about it not? I'm just not gonna eat it.Dr. Theresa Bussert:
So there is. There's a great book that we often encourage people that are starting recovery to read, it's called life without Edie. And it's written by Jenny Schaefer. She's an artist, musician and eating disorder recovery guru, and she wrote it when she was I think she was in her 20s. And she wrote it with her therapist, which was very controversial at the time, but now it's a little bit more. Okay, I guess. And what she did was she basically shared moments in her recovery where she struggled with her sense of self and what she should or shouldn't do or how she wants to react to her parents or how people can to support her and and then she would explain how she, she went through the process, she worked through that. And then her therapist would throw a little bit of his his, like how he experienced it. And so it's a great book, if you're trying to understand how I'm defining that persona, like my sense of self separate from the eating disorder, right? Well, when she started the book, she starts it, I think it's the intro, it could be the first chapter, I'm not sure. But she basically writes a letter to her eating disorder. And she is she talks to him directly, and she says, I'm going to divorce you. And she personified him as an abuser, that he bullies her, he manipulates her, he lies to her, he takes her away from her friends, he takes her away from relationships, he, he says he's more important than her parents, her loved ones and that kind of thing. And she believed him. So she followed what he was saying. And her her sense of, of, I think it's my declaration to divorce at or something like that. But it's the declaration of, I'm no longer going to, to listen to you, you are no longer in control of me. And that is the first step in getting a sense of, I know, I'm doing these behaviors, and I'm thinking these thoughts, and maybe they're not actually really helpful, and they're probably bad for me, and maybe they're not serving me the way they did when I started this, but I'm gonna start separated from I'm gonna start to break free from that. So I encourage both clients and family members to read that book, because I think it's just really simply written. And it's written very much in a young person's, you know, young meaning like, you know, teens 20s person's voice that can kind of help you get a sense of what your loved one is going through. So there are specific things you can do at mealtimes, and things like that. But without the foundation of you are not your eating disorder, it's really hard to support that person, because they're not all they're going to do is hear you telling them to do the opposite of what the voice in their head is telling them, and then voice in their head, solve a problem somewhere along the way for them. So So that's, that's kind of like the foundation to build from, if that makes sense. And then, then you can say, what do you need from me? You know, how can I help you? How can I support you, you know, I'm doing a webinar next week for people in recovery from eating disorders for holiday stress, and we're going to talk about some of those challenges and how we're going to kind of navigate you know, the holidays, food family, how do you take care of yourself, there's a lot of perfectionism and the ability to restrict, if that's what you do, it's your eating disorder. And perfectionism always makes our calendar very, very busy. So it's about learning how to how to how to be in the moment and not in your disorder. And so I think, I think maybe that's a way to approach it is get a little bit more understanding of what the eating disorder or disordered eating is, and how it's serving that person to be able to have those dialogues. And once once, both of you kind of get that you can be more honest about, you know, what do you need from me, you know, is this helpful, because sometimes it is helpful for mom to lay out the food on the plate, if you're working, let's say with a therapist, and a dietitian, so So the therapist, let's say, will work with the thoughts and kind of help you process through that. And then a dietitian helps you understand why a variety foods is important, why a certain amount of calories is important, where you are physiologically developing, and why restricting or binging or just manipulating, you know how you're eating can affect that development. So you're giving that person information, they didn't have to have a better sense of understanding that this coping strategy is going to be more disruptive than it was initially. And, and I think, you know, if you look at that, it really helps both the family and the person got a better senseHeather Hester:
of it. Absolutely. It's a lot of awareness.Dr. Theresa Bussert:
It's a lot of awareness. And it's a lot of you know, I don't know, I don't know if this is right was the way I see it, but it's like narrowing your focus, to see where you are before you expand your lens. You know, we can sit here and talk about how culture is is perpetuating this and you know, the diet mentality and the binge purge popular actions in high schools and colleges, you know, they all jump on board and do certain behaviors of binge drinking and all kinds of things going on. But that's not going to help Susie, who's trying to figure out how to survive feeling very alone, but being very popular, let's say or just not feeling like they fit In the world that they're in, and how do I get a sense of who I am when everybody around me is telling them somebody else. And, and I think eating disorders as they get stronger, can leave a sense of emptiness inside. So we don't want it when I say to someone, you know, well, who are you without your eating disorder? There is literally like this detachment of like, I don't know what you're talking about. Who would I be without it? Like, it's, it's how I totally engage with the world. So engaged with my friends, is how I control my body. It's all of those things. I'm like, yes. But if you weren't doing that, think of how much time you might have in your life? And what would you do with that time? And those ideas are really hard to conceptualize when you're in the throes of it? Absolutely. TheyHeather Hester:
are. I mean, again, kind of circling back to that. That's a tough question. For any adolescent.Dr. Theresa Bussert:
Some of us grownups,Heather Hester:
I was just gonna say, it's really it is a tough question for many, many people. I mean, that is a if you have to stop and think about it, like you could give like, I'm a, you know, I'm a therapist, I'm a podcaster. I'm an author, I'm a, that's like a description of what we do, right? Like, who are we? And so that is, which is a much scarier question to answer. And,Dr. Theresa Bussert:
because what if you're wrong? Right? What if your thought of who you are is wrong? There's vulnerability in that,Heather Hester:
a ton of vulnerability in that. And so, I mean, again, that's scary for a grown adult. So, you know, just thinking about, you know, as we all think about our kids, right, as we're thinking about this question, holy cow. That is, but I think, to like the gift of this conversation, and, and of this awareness is that, we can then pass this on to our kids creating a very safe space for them to be vulnerable. And to, to really explore that in a way that, you know, they maybe wouldn't have been able to before, or we weren't able to before, or, you know, whatever the case is. And that can open up conversations for, you know, so many different things. So many, I mean, I'm sitting here thinking, as we're talking, I mean, the parallels of, you know, supporting a child who has an eating disorder or disordered eating, and supporting a child who is in the process of coming out. It's very similar. I mean, there's, on the part of the parent, there are so much the need for awareness and understanding. And it's nothing that you're like, well, you're doing this wrong, it's, those are things that we just don't inherently know, right, that's not built into our knowledge base. So this is information that we have to actively seek and understand so that we can be aware so that we can create this safe space. Right. And so I'm really, I think these these parallels are just this is kind of fascinating for me. And it also, I think this is a good little a little segue into, you know, you and I were talking about, this is a very common struggle with LGBTQ youth and young adults. And so, you know, I'd love to talk about that a little bit and why, you know, it's almost disproportionately so and and why that might be. And if there are, you know, kind of specific things that either lead to that or that can be done toDr. Theresa Bussert:
support. So, the National Eating Disorder, association, NIDA, and the Trevor Trevor foundation, I think it's our project project, thank you. Both did studies on eating disorders, been in the community and found out that 54% 54% of youths within the community from I think 13 to 23, is what I'm thinking somewhere in there identify as having disordered eating or an eating disorder. And that is astronomically high. And that is vastly different than when we're talking about the diet culture. So you know, you can say, well, in America, everybody has an eating disorder, because we're all hyper focused on body image and what we're eating and not eating and things like that. But a lot of that is diet culture, and not necessarily my sense of self is related to how I eat and how I see my body, or how I see my job. gender or any of those kinds of things, that's all intertwined with some of the challenges that that the youth are going through so and another statistic I wrote down because I thought this was fascinating so I don't remember where this came from because I didn't really Dawn shame on shame on the researcher in me. 5% of males in in the United States identify think is gay was the statistic I saw. And of that five percents 42% Identify 42 Point hotlines, whatever, of the eating disorder, males that come into treatment, I apologize, of the eating disorder, males that come into treatment, 42 of them, 42% of them identify as gay. So 5% of the United States, males identify as gay. But within the eating disorder community, the people that seek treatment, which is not always a very high percentage, right? 2% of them identify as gay. So they are struggling at such a high level and utilizing this coping strategy, which again, if we think of it in terms of my sense of self, isn't that a big part of coming out? Like, how do I do that? Is this okay? Will you still love me? Will I have a place? Will I get more bullied? Do I want anyone to know this is happening? Is this just a face? Am I wrong? So all the questions that you go through, can be put on the back burner, let's say if your health is compromised, because you have a full blown eating disorder. So now we have an identity that we have to address, that's the priority. We don't necessarily have to deal with the other crises or stressors in our life, because this takes priority, then we stabilize the eating disorder, and we're back to that sense of who we are. So those parallels I think, are exasperated because of the challenges of, of who we are, and, and how, whether it's okay to be who we are, who we see ourselves. And if I see myself this way, what does that mean? Because I'm, I'm grown up in a family that doesn't believe any of this is real, or it's a phase, or we're not going to talk about it till you get over it. And so, you know, they channel the energy and other coping strategies. So, you know, eating disorders, drugs, withdraw, internet, all kinds of different things, instead of being resourced into a community that will allow them to explore who they are, that will allow them to try on different hats, which is really healthy with going through adolescence, right, we're like, I'm going to burn out this week, and I'm going to do they said, I'm going to be a popular person, I want to be musically, you know, but you try those and just figure out who you are. And if you're not allowed to do that, then you're gonna figure out another way of moving through that developmental task. I'm a little lost, because I'm chatty here today. But um, but I think if you think in terms of how can I help my loved ones, figure out who they are? And where are they they are, they're going to fit in the world? How do I help create that for them, then you're really addressing the core issue. In addition to stabilizing, I'm going to tell you a really quick, completely unrelated story that of my own life. So what kind of kind of overlaps with this. So I adopted my son from Ethiopia, when he was 10 months old. And he was very, very sick, very, very malnourished, and very sick. So he came here and got all kinds of treatments, but really, it was nutrition and antibiotics, but it was a year's worth of them. And then he stabilized and became this, you know, amazing child. And as he grew up, I had a sense that he would have some challenges because of his early his early days, you know, there were several times when he almost didn't make it in Ethiopia. He grew up in like a tribal community. So it was very different from where I am and and then as he grew up and went into school, we found out that he falls under the autism spectrum. And he's got you know, a little bit Attention Deficit sprinkled in for for fun. Right. So and, and I got such interesting reactions from my community. How are you going to do this? I'm a, I'm a single parent, I adopted him as a single parent. So how are you going to handle this? How are you going to be able to do these things and I and I just, I found that so curious, because my initial thought was, well, okay, I'm going to create a world that makes sense to him, so he can be the best version of him. I don't know what that world looks like. I have no idea because I've never been in the special needs community outside of like a therapeutic help a family get resources. And so I figure it out as I go, we kind of wing it. And sometimes we're awkward about it. And sometimes we're great. And sometimes we have to set boundaries and do things in different places, because it's better for him and us. But I figured that out as I go. So I think it's the same. It's the same dynamic, you don't get to choose what your your children are faced with in life, but you can teach them that there are communities, there's resources, you know, my son is never going to play a sport, but he can do Special Olympics and be a rock star in his community, and happy and get all of those things that he needs, in the right environment, the right community, but if I don't let him do that, and I just try and make him fit, and get through school and use the resources in school gives me he won't evolve to his best self, he'll evolve to the best he can be within what society tells him he should be. Right. So tangents, okay,Heather Hester:
Matt at all, I think that is such a perfect story. Because I mean, for so many reasons, first of all, Bravo, and oh, my gosh, and your son is so lucky to have you.Dr. Theresa Bussert:
He's amazing. AndHeather Hester:
just having that I think you you know, a bunch of things that you touched on that are so important, but having that sense of, and I think this is a little bit of like, tapping into our intuition, instead of like paying attention to what those around us are saying, or society is saying, but tapping into our, our knowledge, right, like our internal strength and being like, Okay, I've got this, we can figure this out, it's going to be messy, right? Because life is, we can figure this out, right, there's, there's always a solution, there are always choices. And I think one of the most important things for these kids and for us is to know, you know, you brought up the community several times that there is community, and that we are not alone in this. So And conversely, if we kind of forced into the box that, you know, society likes to have the boxes, so if we force our kids into those boxes, then they are going to feel alone. And we are going to feel alone, because they are going to struggle because of that. And so it's a whole like I just like the kind of the circle there, just tap into your, you know, once again, it goes back to that tapping into yourself listening to that, yourself your intuition and following that and being like, I've got this, I can do this,Dr. Theresa Bussert:
the therapist and coming up with like little terms, I want to say as you're talking, I want to say drop the woulda, coulda shoulda, us, I guess I should do this I could have done because they don't serve anyone, they just your box, right? And drop the phrase I can't and replace it with, I'm resourceful. Because I don't know what this challenge is, as a parent, let's say with with an eating disorder. loved one because it could be anybody in your in your family. I don't really know what that means. But I'm resourceful. So I'm going to help you figure it out, or I'm going to sit with you and go through it. So if let's say your challenge is eating a meal, I can sit with you and I can distract you while you get the food in you. So you can get past that hump. And then you know, we can talk about the food later. But at the table, never talk about the food at the buffet never talked about the food. If they go to a holiday or a party or family event, be their ally be the person that they can go to give you a look, have some code that they can do, like, get out helped me. And we'll just be that person to help them move past the anxiety so that they can continue with whatever the task is. So like, like, let's say the holiday would be the task of going and having fun. Right? If I'm so hyper focused on what they're serving, I'm not present, I'm not having fun. I don't know what the heck everybody's been doing since COVID whether it ended in their world or not kind of thing I'm just focused on when the food's coming out and how I'm gonna fill my plate to look like I'm eating and those kinds of things. So be the person's ally. You know, let them go and eat the food that feels safe because their anxiety of going to this event that's food focused is the bigger picture than whether they had turkey and mashed potatoes and whatever else there sir, things are right. So be there ally create that world and be resourceful.Heather Hester:
I love that. I love that. That is I mean that's just So I have to giggle because I, the two of the phrases I used are literally directly from my therapist, which I mean, you, you are welcome to this one because it's one of my favorite is Don't Don't shut on yourself. Don't shut up. Right, right. Love. I use it all the time. And then the idea that we have choices, which for me was like, Oh, I do like, I don't have to do that there are yes, we have. There are always choices. So, I love that you said all of that. So I'm like, yeah.Dr. Theresa Bussert:
You know, if you don't acknowledge choices, your world gets really small.Heather Hester:
Yes, it does. And scary.Dr. Theresa Bussert:
And scary, because anything outside of what you're controlling, is dangerous and overwhelming. Exactly. There's also joy and love connection community, and all those things outside of that, that safety, that cocoon that you that we create around us sometimes. So very true. For everybody, there. Yes, there is.Heather Hester:
That's that's why we do what we do, right? Oh, my goodness, well, I have loved having this conversation is there is anything else that you'd like to add, before we wrap up? I just know this is going to be incredibly helpful and kind of, you know, mind expanding, mind blowing for people. SoDr. Theresa Bussert:
you know, I've loved having this conversation. I feel like I went off on tangents. So I'm hoping it all comes together for the listener. But if you have any questions, concerns, feel free to reach out to me I can be contacted at Teresa at Teresa buster.com. That's my website. And and if you're interested, I'm going to do a holiday webinar how to survive the holidays, food, family and festivities. And that'll be next week. And and maybe we'll do another one further down as we get closer to December. But But yeah, I mean, I think those things, I also have a guide, if anyone's interested, I think you you'll share with them as well. And binge eating that was my, my doctoral project was binge eating and mindfulness. So we created a little, a little guide to help people with that. But but I've loved this conversation. And I just want anyone who anything that we talked about that resonates with them. Please know you're not alone. There are resources, there are communities out there, I'm going to say really quickly, because I should have intertwine this but NIDA National Eating Disorder Association is a phenomenal resource. And it is a resource for if you want to look for a local support group, they run support groups. And then there's just several other things that are out there if you're specific to struggling with anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, or any other level of disorder, disordered eating. So those things are out there as well. And And just remember, it's about thoughts. It's about behaviors. And it's about actions. And what we do when we're in it, is serving us or has served us. So we don't villainize it, we just try to recognize that it's no longer serving us. And we want to come back to our sense of self,Heather Hester:
that is awesome. There's literally nothing I can add to that other than I am going to link all of this in the show notes. So if any of these things resonated, please know that this is in the show notes. And you will be able to click through right from there. And I'm going to link some of these things on my website as well. So this will be a standing resource, and you're standing resources there. And I know you said next week, but I want to give the actual date because this is going to post next week. So it will be November 16. CorrectDr. Theresa Bussert:
is at 10am Central time. Okay. And yeah, we can just reach out we'll send the Zoom link and go from there.Heather Hester:
Okay, yes, I will have that connected. But I just wanted to clarify that because I didn't want just as people are listening to know exactly the date and the time so much. You are very welcome.Dr. Theresa Bussert:
What you're doing other keep doing what you're doing.Heather Hester:
Thank you. Thank you. ThankDr. Theresa Bussert:
you. All right. Take care.Heather Hester:
And now it's time for your parenting LGBTQ and a So today is day 14 of my magic mind challenge and again, I'm honestly really pleasantly surprised. It has been a lovely addition to my morning routine and it has allowed me to increase my water intake because I'm not craving that caffeine pickup like I was before. So I think it's a total win win. I also have to say that even though the lingering fatigue from my run in with COVID has been super annoying. I also feel Feel like this magic little shot has helped with the focus factor, even while my body has been recovering. So here is my verdict of magic mind at the end of my 14 days, each day, my energy levels and my ability to stay in my productive zone have gotten a little bit longer. And when I'm craving the taste and the warmth of coffee, I can go full decaf because I don't need that added boost in the afternoon. The really great news is that you can still take advantage of 20% off your entire purchase using the code breathe, 14. That's B r e a t H, E, one, four. This is good until the end of November, November 30th. So please jump on there. Take advantage and try this out. All of these details are in the show notes, and on social media. And remember to tag 14 days of magic to help save the Amazon, this episode's LGBTQ and a touches on the very popular question, who gets to tell who and when, as I mentioned at the beginning of the episode, November 29, this episode will go in depth on this. But with American Thanksgiving falling next week, I thought I'd give a few quick one. This is a fabulous opportunity to connect with your child and work to get on the same page. If you have one deriving thought, let it be this. This is their story, your child's story. You are a supporting actor, so to speak, when it comes to who to tell and when to ask them these three questions. Who do they want to tell? And when to who do they want you to tell? And when and three? Who do they want to tell? And have you present while they are telling them? Number three, if there are points of disagreement, take a breath and ask calm clarifying questions. And four. If your child is adamant about telling someone and you are struggling with that, for whatever reason, I'm going to circle back to this. This is your child's story. Your job is to support and protect your child, not shield others feelings. Your child needs to know that you have their back no matter what workout your stuff on your own time and let others work out theirs. And that's it. No need to make it difficult. You have enough on your plate right now. Remember to subscribe, subscribe to the podcast and sign up for my emails to get notifications of new episodes until next time.