Posted on Mar 06, 2017
National Eating Disorder Awareness Week has come and gone, but raising awareness about Eating Disorders is something we can do any day of the year. While working at Avalon Hills, I have become more aware of what this week truly means to me. In the past, I would see and sometimes read interesting and insightful articles or videos about Eating Disorders (ED) on social media. The past few years during NEDA week have been different. This week in particular has been a special time of reflection and encouragement, and I seek to know how to further support individuals in all different stages of an ED.
Posted on Mar 01, 2017
Most people know that exercising can help you improve your health, reduce stress, and stabilize mood. However, as with all good things, when used improperly or excessively you can actually cause more harm to your body and mind through misusing exercise. When patients first arrive at Avalon their relationship with exercise is often very clouded. I hear the patients talk about how they used to enjoy movement but their eating disorder twisted exercise as a way to burn more calories, isolate, and avoid being in their bodies and feelings. Learning to shift away from these thoughts and establishing a balanced mind-body connection allows the patients to enjoy the benefits of exercise in a healthy way.
Posted on Feb 08, 2017
I first learned about Avalon Hills while taking a physiology course at Utah State University and was immediately excited to apply. Unfortunately, I am no stranger when it comes to the topic of eating disorders. While growing up, my oldest sister had an eating disorder and it was very difficult to witness this. I have worked at Avalon Hills for over five years now and initially, I quickly learned that the position of being a direct care can be exhausting, yet very rewarding. As direct care we are hired to interrupt symptoms of eating disorders and model appropriate interactions between food and exercise.
Posted on Jan 31, 2017
Yoga is the act of union, where we create connection and let go of separation. Yoga provides a safe and grounding space to explore the connection of the embodied brain-mind and body together. Yoga also offers a place to unwind and release through growth and understanding.
Posted on Jan 17, 2017
With the beginning of this new year it seemed appropriate to talk briefly about new years’ resolutions. You know, that thing that you’ve already broken now that we are a few days into the new year (something tells me many reading this know exactly what I’m talking about!) I was speaking with my wife about our new year’s resolutions a few days before the new year. When asked what she was going to do she said, “you know, the normal ones…”. What she meant of course was the resolutions she makes every year, but for one reason or another is unable to follow through on.
Posted on Jan 10, 2017
Tragically, 17 years ago Anna Westin committed suicide. She was only 21 at the time. I have heard her mom Kitty tell the story that Anna felt so hopeless in her eating disorder that it lead to her death. Anna needed residential treatment desperately but was unable to access care due to limitations of her insurance policy.
Posted on Dec 06, 2016
This month our clients had the opportunity to serve at the Loaves and Fishes Community Meal, which is a non-denominational event held at the First Presbyterian Church. Volunteers and donors from several churches and organizations worked together to make this outreach a great success. Meals were served and delivered to elderly people in need of companionship, families struggling financially, group home residents seeking social safety, and people hoping to build stronger relationships throughout the community. Meals were also delivered to CAPSA to help those sheltering from domestic violence. We felt fortunate to be part of such a great community effort!
Posted on Dec 02, 2016
As anyone who’s been affected by an eating disorder knows, recovery doesn’t come easily. Eating disorders are widely considered some of the most challenging mental illnesses to treat due to the complex set of circumstances and underlying conditions around each individual’s diagnosis. For many people, residential treatment is the only realistic option when it comes to reclaiming control of their lives—but treatment can be costly.
Posted on Nov 29, 2016
At Avalon Hills, we have several programs that allow clients look deeper inside themselves. One of these programs is martial arts where self-defense techniques, eastern philosophy, meditation are studied to increase mindfulness and a greater understanding of oneself. For many centuries, the study of martial arts has been intertwined with gaining greater control over the mind as well as the body.
Posted on Nov 16, 2016
When I was first offered the position as the new Yoga Specialist for Avalon Hills, I started crying and honestly asked “are you serious? You’re not playing a trick on me?” I could not believe that a dream of mine was coming true! I started practicing Yoga about two years ago when my sister invited me to go to a class with her. I needed something to fill the emptiness I felt in my life. From that point forward I have always aspired to teach others what Yoga has taught me about self-love, acceptance, and so much more.