Lifestyle Management Blog

Lifestyle Management Blog
Making space for a healthy lifestyle

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


At the 11th hour, I just MUST to tell you about GIVINGTUESDAY!

“We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals. This year help us create #GivingTuesday. A new day for giving back.  On Tuesday December 3, 2013, global charities, families, businesses, community centers, students and more will come together to create #GivingTuesday.

It’s a simple idea. Just find a way for your family, your community, your company or your organization to come together to give something more. Then tell everyone you can about how you are giving. Be a part of a national celebration of our great tradition of generosity.”

IT IS NOT TOO LATE!  This holiday season, please choose one or even a few charities and donate your time, your money or both.  The way out of our own heads and our own problems is in giving back, giving of ourselves, serving others. 

If you happen to be in Cleveland, OH and find yourself in my office, please bring a canned good or 2 or some toiletries for the Cleveland Food Bank.  Our food drive is being held through December 20.  It’s a good cause, especially for those with an eating disorderJ

Thank you and may you capture the joy and spirit of this holiday season.

Ann Hull

President, The Hull Institute

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Happy Thanksgivukkah

Retailers coined the term "Thanksgivukkah" as a new holiday combining Thanksgiving and Hanukkah, and this year, we have shopping on this day, not just the following day.  This Thursday is indeed a rare occurrence: the last time Thanksgiving and Hanukkah fell on the same day was nearly 100 years ago, next time is thousands of years from now. 
What matters is that this Thursday is a day of celebration, a day to give thanks. 
In the 10 years of my practice, I think Thanksgiving is the most difficult holiday for folks with eating disorders.  Whether you eat too much, or not enough, the massive quantities of food can be overwhelming.
I am not going to write to you about helpful hints for making it through the day, you can find them on your own.  What I ask of each of you is that you set an intention to be present for the day, delay shopping until Friday,  and give thanks, even when you think you cannot find a single thing to be thankful for.  Thanks for this day, thanks for this life, thanks for your family (even if you don't like them today), friends, school or job, the birds, the sun (even when it is hidden); and the list goes on.  Because really, don't we all feel better when we show thanks?  Be kind to yourself and others this holiday season.
I would appreciate your comments.
A big thank you to all of you for your reading my comments. 
Happy Hanukkah and Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


While this is not Oprah's book club, I am going to recommend a wonderful read:  WILD by Cheryl Strayed.  It was a NY Times bestseller this year and well worth reading.  I heard Cheryl speak about her book tonight at Playhouse Square, and she is all I expected.
WILD is about Cheryl's 1100 mile, 2 month journey across the Pacific Crest Trail.  Her memoir is about  her journey to heal from the death of her mother when Cheryl was 24.  On the PCT, she learns that healing involves "solitude, physical pain and suffering."  She write about these with pure honesty and wit, and you cannot help but relate to her struggles. 
Oprah recommends it too!
I hope you read it and I'd appreciate your comments about it.
Ann Hull
The Hull Institute

Monday, November 11, 2013

Welcome Winter

Winter is upon us!  Welcome snowmen, icicles, snow covered trees, and slippery roads.  Winter can be tough for those folks with low body weight.  It can get darn cold out there.  And here in Cleveland, it can get rather dreary.   Here are a few suggestions to help you stay warm this season:

Thermal reflective lining jacket

A new pair of fun mittens

Electric blanket

Personal heater

Warm baths

A mug of hot cocoa or decaf tea

A bowl of hot soup

Cuddle with a person or furry friend

Stop commenting on the weather (What’s the point?)

Notice the beauty of the season

If you find yourself suffering from SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder, consider a light box.  There is now even a light box that is mounted to the underside of a baseball cap.  You will need at least 30 minutes/day, preferable in the morning.  Then go change all your yellow light bulbs to white.  It helps, really!

Try one or all of these suggestions.  They won’t change the temperature outside or make the sun come out, and they will make your day a little brighter and warmer.  Much of your present condition is dictated by our state of mind.  And you can change your state of mind.

Stay present and enjoy!


Sunday, November 3, 2013

time change

Don't forget to change your clocks.  Change is good:  let the light shine in!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

PLEASE HELP ME with Social Media, Eating Disorders and Body Image

Social Media, Eating Disorders and Body Image   

 I got a call from a Communications Professor at Cleveland State University yesterday, asking if he can interview me for a professional article he is writing about social media.  This is most interesting to me because I am the most illiterate social media user I know! I guess he thinks I know something, since I am an eating disorders therapist.

Anyway, this Professor is an expert in the field of persuasion, and he was contacted by a professional journal to write an article about social media and its impact on eating disorders and body image.  In the article, he wants to include a clinician's perspective.  So it makes sense for me to go to my audience asking you to comment on social media's impact on your disease.

I would very much appreciate it if you would ponder the following questions and send me a reply:


1. What sorts of social media sites have you been to?  Sites that teach and encourage eating disorders?  Sites that promote recovery?  What did/do you like about these sorts of forums?

2. How do social media sites make you feel?  What sort of emotions do various sites evoke?

3. What kept/keeps you going back?

4. Have you posted on these sites and communicated with other users?  How has that been helpful/not helpful?

6. Have you posted on your own and others, social media sites, about your own eating and body image struggles?  In a healthy or unhealthy way?

7. Please read my previous blog about shame and comment on how social media contributes to it.

5. Please estimate how much time each day or week you spend/have spent on social media sites that trigger eating disorder behaviors and BBT’s (Bad Body Thoughts).  How” addicted” to  social media are you? 

I am not sure if these are the best questions, I write them to get you thinking.  Your reply can be anything you think would be helpful to the article.

I thank you in advance. 

And BTW, I am meeting with this Prof. next Thursday, so please don’t delay. 

Thank you 

Ann Hull, LISW
President, The Hull Institute, LLC

Friday, September 20, 2013

Thinking About Shame

I do a lot of thinking about SHAME.  I no longer live in my own shame (I did for a very long time), yet I think about how so many of my clients live in theirs.  Whether the shame comes from abuse, hating your body, shameful events of long ago or yesterday, SHAME is often debilitating.  

Currently, my favorite author, Brene Brown, researches and writes about shame.  Most of her work is with women, though she has a CD and book about men, women and shame.  No one is immune from shame. We all have it, and no one likes to talk about it.  Shame begets shame because shame is about secrets; secrets we are afraid to tell because we might feel more shame for telling. 

It is common to confuse the terms GUILT and SHAME.  

GUILT is “I did something bad.”  
SHAME is “ I AM BAD.”  

It is the shame that leads to addiction and eating disorders, along with depression and anxiety and you-name-it conditions.  And the way OUT of these conditions is NOT the way we get into them.  The way out is by following directions.  (If you continue reading blogs, you will read a lot about following directions!)  The way out is to stop following the directions of our addict or ED voice and start listening to people who have what you want.  

Especially in the early stages of recovery, following the directions of any voice that contradicts the negative self-talk and craving is critical.  This is obviously very scary, because “What if I can’t do it?”  And I say, “What if you can?”

In the medical world, eating disorder and addictions recovery is about stopping behaviors.  Once you do that, you can work on shame recovery.  Shame recovery is about: recognizing your shame, being aware of when you are in it, asking for help, talking about it, having faith that you can move through it and stop living in it.  It requires courage and compassion, and in the beginning, faking it ‘til you make it.  I hope you’ll check out Brene Brown online or in the bookstore, then talk with your therapist or another trusted person in your life about it. As always, we welcome your comments.