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Nurturing Healthy Teen Body Image: Meet Llyndsey Reese, LCSW

As a parent, have you ever worried your child may be developing unhealthy habits or behaviors around food and their body? If so, you’re not alone.

The Nobody’s Perfect Podcast recently invited eating disorder specialist Llyndsey Reese to the show. With over 15 years of clinical experience treating patients across the spectrum – from outpatient counseling to residential treatment programs for severe cases – her invaluable insights can support families everywhere with much needed support for their loved ones battling eating disorders.

The conversation began by clearly explaining the difference between disordered eating and an officially diagnosed eating disorder like anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating. While disordered eating includes abnormal eating patterns and attitudes, a diagnosis requires meeting specific criteria.

Regardless of whether behaviors have progressed to a clinical disorder, Llyndsey stressed the importance of watching for any changes that could signal your child is struggling. She revealed the subtle signs parents should look out for, like fluctuations in weight, altered eating habits, food obsessions or restrictions, skipping meals, decreased interest in activities, irritability, isolation, and drops in academic performance.

Llyndsey emphasized that the moment you notice any of these red flags, don’t wait – seek help right away, because early intervention leads to better recovery outcomes. The younger a person is when treatment starts, the higher success rates tend to be. She recommends providers take a Health at Every Size approach to counter the unrealistic societal pressures underlying many eating disorders.

Of course, as parents, we play a big role in shaping our kids’ body image and relationship with food. Lindsay suggests openly discussing topics like media literacy, photo manipulation, unrealistic beauty standards, and emphasizing self-care over appearance. She also stressed modeling healthy attitudes and communication around food and weight.

With compassion, care and early treatment, we can support our children in building resilience against the pressures that trigger disordered eating. If you see warning signs – reach out right away and know you are not alone. There are resources available and professionals like Llyndsey who can help your family overcome these challenges.

Llyndsey’s conversation with Nobody’s Perfect Podcast host Jason Hopcus can be found here, and be sure to follow Nobody’s Perfect on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and TikTok.

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