Australia and eating disorders research
Hope Network Founder, Becky Henry is back to blogging and shares her experiences from eating disorders conference in Australia.
What do Australia and eating disorders research have to do with an anniversary trip. Plenty it turns out. Read below and find out…for in the name of sanity, time and that ever elusive “life-balance” I’m always coaching clients on, I am sharing my most recent newsletter with you. My wonderful intern Kylie MacLeod has been writing blog posts for me – now I need to sit myself down and edit so you can see them. Until then, please share your thoughts about my experiences in New Zealand and Australia. It was so much fun and the people were beyond kind, I cannot wait to go back. Next time I’ll pre-post blogs for a month out since I know I’m going to be doing lots of resting afterward. 🙂 BH.
June 2013 Hope Network News!
Thank you to all the new newsletter subscribers here! Thank you everyone for your patience in between newsletters here…getting back on track after being gone for 3 weeks has been a major undertaking. And 6 days after returning we found a house to buy and signed a purchase agreement…phew! So excited to be back in my old stomping grounds where we raised our kids.
It was a very emotional and exciting experience traveling to Australia and New Zealand. For those who don’t know, seeing these lands has been a long time dream and it came true! It was our 30th wedding anniversary trip that we combined with the At Home with Eating Disorders Conference in Brisbane, Australia. And, we were hoping to see our daughter who is recovering from an eating disorder in LA on the way…
F.E.A.S.T. – Families Empowered and Supporting Treatment of eating disorders was one of four groups putting on this multi-national eating disorders conference for families. Given that I’m on the board and always wanted to see this land down under, I had to go! Luckily my awesome honey had racked up many, many air miles from his pre-Allstate days. So we got to fly first class for that long trip! What a treat!
We had hoped to see our daughter who is recovering from an eating disorder on our way through Los Angeles…this was not to be…rather sad but we choose to see how well she is taking care of herself. Now that may not make sense but for whatever reason she is not wanting contact with us (I understand from my interviews that this is quite common) and she is doing what she needs to do to take care of herself. And that is progress in my opinion, it shows that she values her needs and for someone who has struggled with self-worth issues that is major progress. Doesn’t mean it didn’t keep me from getting choked up and misty eyed when I spoke at the Meet the Author’s Evening the night before the conference. But I was able to share that we consciously CHOSE to have a joyful vacation anyhow. Keep an eye on my blog for a post going into detail on this.
We had the time of our lives hiking, driving, kayaking and resting throughout the south island of New Zealand. Every single person there was amazingly kind and friendly. Definitely a top vacation spot! I have so many photos to remind me of the incredible beauty and fun adventures we had.
In Australia it was a “pinch me” moment for us to be in Sydney Harbor (Harbour as they spell it) seeing the Opera House and the famous Harbour Bridge.
Snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef with two of the conference planners, Bridget Bonnin and Tim Wood was so incredible I could not stop smiling and Bridget had to tell me to not smile so much as the water would go into my mask. 🙂 Sadly no photos of that awesome adventure…next time I’ll buy a disposable underwater camera.
We biked our way around Brisbane’s wonderful river walks prior to the conference and fell in love with that city.
I am beyond honored to have been part of the Meet the Author’s Evening alongside rockstars in the eating disorder’s research world, including, June Alexander, Dr. Janet Treasure of Kings College in London, Dr. Daniel leGrange of University of Chicago and Dr. Cynthia Bulik of University of North Carolina…another pinchable moment!
Hearing so many world class researchers from Australia, UK and USA speak to mainly an audience of caregivers (or carers as they say in AUS and UK) during the conference was a major milestone in the elevating of respect for the families of those with eating disorders in my opinion. For far too long families were cast aside and blamed…these dedicated people are not only busting up those harmful outdated beliefs but they are working their tails off to find answers for us and were so respectful and supportive of the immense task that befalls parents and other caregivers.
To hear Dr. le Grange say that parents are INTEGRAL to recovery put a huge smile on my face even though I’ve heard him say it before. And hearing Dr. Bulik say that we must embrace the complexity of eating disorders and move from “Nature vs. Nurture” to “Nature and Nurture” while talking about the heritability of eating disorders also made me smile.
I’m typing up notes from each speaker and posting them on my facebook page, Hope Network, LLC. Some are there now and I’ll be adding notes as I’m able.
And lastly here I’ve had a chance to visit Rebecca’s House in California and Laureate Eating Disorders Program in Tulsa, OK recently. Very dedicated people providing services for those in recovery and their families. I’m glad that we are able to refer families to one another. They are both sharing the upcoming Caregiver Retreat information with their families so if you or someone you know is interested in attending the Oct 18-20 retreat near Mall of America, sign up now as there are only 16 spots. (NOTE- 7/11/13: Sorry this opportunity has passed, please let me know if you’re interested in participating in a future retreat.)
Much is happening with eating disorders research, it’s exciting and we’re making some progress. If you feel compelled to help support research, one easy option is to donate $1 to the AED/Hope Network 1 Family – $1 Drive for research scholarships.
Connecting with you and others who share a passion for advocacy against these illnesses lifts me up and gives me joy. Thanks for reading and doing all that you do.
If you missed the last newsletter I welcome you to participate in this celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the founding of Hope Network in the way that fits best for you! There are several options:
- Send us a note and let us know how you and your loved one are doing.
- Share a book review or testimonial about the service that helped you!
- Sign up for one of the upcoming Caregiver Conference Call Classes (CCCC) or the Retreat
- Share the CCCC and Retreat info with your favorite treatment center
- Share info about Just Tell Her To Stop: Family Stories of Eating Disorders with your favorite college (to train upcoming health care providers).
- Buy a copy of Just Tell Her To Stop: Family Stories of Eating Disorders for your local library or local treatment center – or ask them to carry it!
Thank you again for your support of the Hope Network, LLC mission: to empower caregivers to guide loved ones with an eating disorder through recovery and ultimately reclaim joy.
Founder, Hope Network, LLC