Monthly Archives: February 2008

carnival of eating disorders #14 – part 1

it’s that time of the month again. yes, people, it’s time for the carnival of eating disorders.behind the mask of eating disorders

this blog carnival showcases blogs that discuss anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder and other issues that people have with food and body image. mostly, i point you to blogs here written by people who have personal and/or professional experience with it. i want this to be the real thing. for real people. because – well, to a large degree that’s what recovering from eating disorders is all about: to step out from behind the mask of binging, purging, starving, over exercising and self hate and move into the light of real life.

this time i’ll separate the carnival into two posts. the first part will deal with eating disorders in general, anorexia, bulimia and body image, the second one with obesity.

so here we go! thanks to all you authors of these great posts, for sharing your experience, inspiration and knowledge with us!

eating disorders – general
a while ago, “the sopranos” actress jamie-lynn sigler, 26, was honoured by the national eating disorder association for both “her fundraising and consciousness raising work for research into eating disorders.”

she has drawn a lot of attention in the media to have eating disorders seen as real medical and mental illnesses and not just a “superficial disease.”

sigler suffered from anorexia and exercise bulimia while working on “the sopranos.” in 2002, usa today wrote:

sigler cut her calories to less than 500 a day and dropped a quarter of her weight ” sliding from 120 pounds to 90. “i had an eating disorder,” says sigler, who has detailed her potentially deadly experiences with anorexia nervosa (an) and her simultaneous rise to fame in the new book wise girl. “i hated the way i looked when i saw myself in the mirror, but i just couldn’t stop what i was doing.”

“going out with my girlfriends to go to the mall was out,” says sigler. “they might decide to go to the food court and order pizza.” excessive exercise is a common strategy in both anorexia and bulimia. “i’d begin the day with an hour or so on the treadmill,” recalls sigler, “and then i’d put on an exercise video. i’d even figure out how to make doing laundry or talking on the phone use more calories.”

read more abut it here.

kristie mcnealy discusses eating in families:

a study published in the january issue of the journal archives of pediatrics & adolescent medicine showed that teen girls who reported eating at least 5 meals with their family each week were less likely to develop forms of seriously disordered eating.

an announcement about my own blog: after the comments on my post about 10 activities that help with recovering from anorexia became a little long, i decided to start a “talk area” here on this blog.  if you are dealing with anorexia and would like some support from others in the same boat, please post here in anorexia talk.

oh so slight explains what bulimia is like – from the point of view of a person who is suffering from it. if you don’t have bulimia or know little about eating disorders, this is a very useful post to read.

part time bulimic talks about a light bulb moment: i use my dinner to decompress!

okay, so last night i had a good evening at work, but a few (normal) stresses as well. i was doing okay with my eating this week ” some issues, some of them scary, but overall well. i had no reason to believe last night would be anything but a success in terms of my sticking to the meal plan.

so i got home, cooked my dinner, which was delicious. healthy, warm, nourishing. i emerged very happy and content.

but then…. i kept going.

body image
this is a video clip of the film shredded submitted by daniel lafleche. it provides an unusual glimpse into the problem of body image for teenage males, and warns about steroid use. unfortunately, my sound is not working right now but just looking at the images, it appears to be very interesting.

that’s it for part 1. part 2, about obesity, will show up in the next few days.  in the meantime, if you have or know of an interesting article on eating disorders, please submit it here. the next edition will be out on march 31, 2008.

(image by XŤЯΣΛМ i)

some thoughts on the robert latimer affair

today, the appeal division of the national parole board overturned a board panel’s decision to deny robert latimer day parole. latimer, who has served seven years of a life sentence for killing his severely disabled daughter, will soon be released to a half-way house.

here are a few blog reactions to this.

what are your thoughts?

at the university of alberta

in essence, the board had denied parole because latimer remains convinced that he did the right thing and thus “lacked insight” into his crime. the appeal division rightly found that the board’s decision was “unreasonable and unsupported” and that there was no evidence that latimer represented an “undue risk to society,” which is the only basis for denying parole.

whatever one thinks of the legitimacy of latimer’s conviction and sentence, he should not have been denied release solely because he believed his actions were moral and justified. the state has no right to compel us to think “correctly,” only to take reasonable measures to ensure that our beliefs do not manifest themselves as harmful behaviour.

john murney from the saskatchewan liberty train

so, latimer is finally going to be released from prison after serving 7 years. i know the robert latimer controversy is very emotional and i expect to get a lot of different opinions on this matter. personally, i wouldn’t have done what latimer did, but i haven’t walked in his shoes either. latimer should not have served any prison time for what he did. if anything, i feel tremendous pity for him and his family.

and some comments on that blog

important things to consider: why did he attempt to hide his “crime?” what were the rights of his daughter? i’ve worked with people who suffered from similar disabilities, like the one afflicting latimer’s daughter, so i cannot comprehend euthanasia as the only option.

as well as

the cerebral palsy had strangled her muscles … she had a dislocated hip, believed to have been caused by the two steel rods in her back. her left chest was twisting in towards her spine. her lungs were constricted. she regularly suffered from bronchitis. her stomach was constricted. at times, she could barely swallow. her rigid back left her with pressure sores at the base of her spine.

it hurt to move, even a bath was painful.

and because swallowing was hard, she often had vomiting episodes that went on for months at a time. and another long surgery to come, with only liquid tylenol as a pain treatment latimer lied about it at first because he was trying to buy time for his family to have a proper funeral.

i remember when mrs. latimer was on the stand she said, “whatever hell they put him through will not begin to match the hell that our little girl went through.” that was her mother.

brigitte pellerin at pro woman pro life writes

so robert latimer is to be released from jail. that makes me angry. i understand that he’s no danger to society, and that he’s unlikely to re-offend. but that’s not the point, and never was. it is illegal – and wrong – to take the life of disabled people no matter what the reason.

finally, at alas, a blog, a blog written by a person with a disability

while there’s always been a frightening and enraging degree of support for latimer’s actions (which, interestingly, played out while susan smith was simultaneously being castigated for the murder of her non-disabled children in the u.s.), much of the fervor has been about the mandatory sentencing that required him to serve at least ten years in prison. the canadian supreme court overturned a lighter sentence that failed to follow sentencing guidelines. he’s currently spent seven years in jail.

in an appeal to his conviction, latimer contended that he “had the legal right to decide to commit suicide for his daughter by virtue of her complete lack of physical and intellectual abilities.”

grant mitchell, a lawyer representing disability groups in relation to the case, said yesterday:

“i think it’s really sad that he’s still maintaining that he committed no crime … that killing a member of his family was a private matter that the public had no business getting involved in. and i think it’s particularly concerning that when he was asked by the parole board whether he would do the same thing if another member of his family were in distress, he said he wasn’t sure what he would do.”

i agree with mitchell. more importantly, i agree with the guilty verdict that holds latimer accountable for murdering his daughter.

bullying stops here!

today is international stand up to bullying day.  students and lots of other people all across canada and the world wear pink to mark the day.

jordan behan thinks pink

last year, two students in nova scotia (canada’s east coast) donned and distributed pink shirts after a classmate fell victim to homophobic bullying for wearing pink to school.

this became the driving force for teachers across the country to renew a call to end bullying.

“the kids that come forward are not very good victims any more because they’re standing up for themselves, trying to get things changed, they tend not to be victimized anymore”

the term “bullying” is most often used at school but let’s not forget that it can apply in other situations as well – at work, in the boardroom, at sports activities, in volunteer situations, here on the internet, in hospitals, etc.

have you ever been bullied? have have you ever stood up to a bully?

(image by and of vancouver blogger jordan behan – jordan, it just
so happened that yours was the best pink pic on creative commons!)

more northern voice: ADD among techies

one of the presenters at northern voice was vancouver ADD coach pete quily. he spoke on attention deficit disorder – ADD – for techies. let me share some of the information.

“the internet,” he said, “is the crack cocaine of people with ADD.”

one of the things that happens for people with ADD is that they don’t filter information as much or as effectively as others.

everything is interesting! everything is worthy of attention! and the more attention is given to something, the more there is a desire to squander it. dinner? an important phone call? later, later, let’s just look at one more page, load one more video, check the email one more time … and all of a sudden it’s 2 hours later and the brain, instead of getting much needed food or fresh air, is filled with even more factlets.

pete pointed out that ADD consists of three aspects: hyperactivity, impulsivity, and attention problems. not all three need to be present, and not in the same intensity. that is, a person may have only mild problems with intentional mental focus but may have great difficulties with hyperactivity and impulsivity. that’s important to note because different challenges tend to have different results.

for example, the person just described may have really good grades at school. when that person, years later, goes to see a doctor wondering whether her long-standing difficulties and general unease may be traced back to ADD, if the doctor is ill-informed, he or she may conclude that because the person had good grades in school they can’t possible have ADD.

paradoxically, one of the gifts of ADD can be the ability to be hyperfocused under certain circumstances. this is why ADD – attention deficit disorder – is a great misnomer. first, it’s not necessarily only about attention. second, often it’s not a deficit – in many ways, it’s actually a surplus of energy and creativity (pete quily likes to call it “attention surplus condition”). and third, if recognized and channeled the right way, it can be a treasure, not a disorder or disability.

for more on this valuable presentation, go to pete’s wiki, here, and also visit his blog, adult ADD strengths.

dave olson: blogging and creativity

dave olson and kris krug at northern voice 2008, a blogging conference in vancouver northern voice was a wonderful experience. as nancy white said

northern voice is a living community indicator and lives in the culture of love. where else can you find the intersection of geekdom and love?

i’ll be blogging about nancy’s and other people’s sessions in the days to come.

today i want to tell you about the session that touched me the deepest. it was dave olson’s “f**k stats, make art”. miss 604 has a great synopsis of it, and you can find my notes at the end of this post.

one of the things that became very obvious for me after dave’s presentation was sadness/frustration/disappointment that i had abandoned my practice of doing at least one piece of “artful writing” a day, no matter how short, kitschy or silly. dave may just have just stirred me enough to go back to that.

so i ended up writing two poems and would like to dedicate them both to dave.

thanks to dave olson, no. 1

a concussion of the most
mindful sort
comes over me as i indulge in these
northern voices.
poems must be written,
suns must be risen,
earths must be quaked
in this pyramid of
gentle thoughts
— not just yours,
not just mine —
that shake up this world.


thanks to dave olson, no. 2

we all know it
and we reach for it
deep in our hearts,
deep in our mothers’ wombs.

where is the mirror, we ask,
where is the mirror of that,
this knowing “with”, not just “about”,
this connection “between”, not just “with”,
where is it, where is it, where is it?! we scream



this feels …
this must be …

“yes, for sure, this must be it”: as we come down from it,
the scratchiness, the hard, uneven road, the
clawy longing,
and settle down a
bit and feel the
or finally take off
and race past
ninety thousand clouds.

and then the fall.
out of the sky,
or off that comfortable, sturdy stool that gave
us so much hold
just half an hour ago.

slowly, then, it grows again,
the question, craving, begging:
where is the mirror?
and the knowing?
the connection?

a circle, circle, circle.

may that circle, lord and lady, please, be broken.
by and by, yes, by and by.


here are my notes from dave’s presentation:

  • art makes the future
  • the only reason why we have history is because we have artists who write, draw, paint – they are our historians
  • technology and art have never been better friends than today
  • we can go directly from idea to execution to sending it out to the world
  • code is poetry
  • redefine your sensibilities
  • the original creation of art is what is important, not the replication of it
  • art’s a weird word, it’s nebulous, like social media
  • (image of oily smiley shriner guy in front of pyramid of gizeh)
  • art is like pyramid, the lower, thick part is the schlock area
  • the next layer is the craft layer
  • when craft and intent are married, that’s the top of the pyramid

examples of blogs before blogs were invented:

  • japanese petroglyphs
  • stonehenge
  • hammurabi’s code
  • scribes and monks
  • van gogh as a blogger – he took his easel out into nature, that wasn’t done
  • picasso came in and confused things
  • typewriters as blogging tools

what is art now?

dave’s suggestions:

  • upgrade your heroes: thoreau, gandhi, MLK – “suffering” heroes; how about d.h. lawrence, ed abbey, vaclav havel, gary snyder, bev davies, a street artist by the name of jerry kroll (sp?)
  • embark on personal archeology: major matthews; look at your old work / art work
  • embrace (transparency) translucency; how much of yourself are you willing to put out there: rousseau’s confessions – too much transparency?
  • express yourself with vigor – step it up; read the classics; go to an art gallery; find your craft and do it seriously; do what you do better (there’s a big difference between typing and writing)
  • cross training skills (painting, pottery, mash mash mash)
  • declare your story to the world: do something and the stories will come, help journalists (they need stories); put the LOG back in the blog; don’t work for the rubber stamp
  • redefine success
  • don’t get precious; share your stuff; don’t steal; be willing to ask for and participate in collaboration – it cross-pollinates – spread the art around
  • ignore the gatekeepers – the hunter s. thompson rule of creation – if you have strong skills, you can mock them at their peril; stick to your artistic integrity
  • don’t take it all too seriously
  • “know much fu” (don’t know exactly what that means? know your skills?) – for validation, don’t look to stats; what are you getting out of these stats?

(image by sonson)

a meme for my tired brain

a daisy fractali’m here at the northern voice 2008 blogging conference. an amazing amount of inspiration! so i need an intellectual break and who comes along …

c.b. whittemore! she tagged me to participate in an interesting “getting to know you” meme. it’s based on a list of attributes that supposedly go with the month you’re born in. this is the kind of lighthearted thing that’ll give me a break from all this wonderful brainiac stuff here at the conference.

so. my birth month is june. the image you see above is of daisies – june flowers, who always feel me with a feeling of lightness and softness.

these are the june traits:

  • thinks far with vision — yes. at least that’s what i like to think. i’m definitely more a big picture gal than a detail monkey.
  • easily influenced by kindness — kindness speaks to me, no question. i loved my bus ride this morning because the bus driver was so wonderfully friendly to a blind person and a person with a cane. “influenced”? wouldn’t have used that word.
  • polite and soft-spoken — yup.
  • having ideas — too many. nah. i’m an idea person and that’s me. i have just the right amount of ideas.
  • sensitive — yes. very sensitive sometimes; still learning how to best live with that. example: i can have about 3 cups of caffeinated beverages per month. more than that and … no “and”, because it’s out of the question. example: sensitive to whether i’m on the same wavelength with people. result: most of the people in my life today are absolutely wonderful companions.
  • active mind — yessaroonie! more about that in my post on add.
  • hesitating, tends to delay — a little timid sometimes, and like to do lots of research before i embark on something. although once in a while i jump into something big without much thought.
  • choosy and always wants the best — what i just said about being sensitive J
  • temperamental. nah, not really — i’m enthusiastic and talk with my hands but temperamental – no.
  • funny and humorous. loves to joke — you be the judge.
  • good debating skills — theoretically but rarely practically. thinking on my feet is not one of my greater assets.
  • talkative — nah, not really. the older i get, the less i talk.
  • daydreamer — hmmm …. that’s an interesting one. when i was younger, i spent tons of time daydreaming. mostly about romance. i’m so glad i don’t do that anymore. i have an incredibly active imagination but i use it more and more for real life. i like to live my dream rather than daydream.
  • friendly — most people who know me would probably say that’s one of my top ten qualities.
  • knows how to make friends — yes. a gift that i am deeply grateful for.
  • able to show character — what does that mean? i work on acting and thinking ethically – maybe that’s what it is?
  • easily hurt — not really. i assume that most people either have good will towards me or are at least indifferent to me. when i do feel hurt i like to look at what that says about me.
  • prone to getting colds — no.
  • loves to dress up — yes and no. i go through phases. what i wear is very important to me, though – it needs to match my mood. see above for sensitive.
  • easily bored — no. and you know why? i find boredom extremely uncomfortable so i go out of my way to avoid it.
  • fussy — about some things, yes, but mostly i’m pretty easy going. i get fussy when confronted with people who seem pretentious to me. a fancy restaurant is prone to receive a stern critique from me but i can easily rave about a greasy spoon.
  • seldom shows emotions — that’s not me at all. i’m not a drama queen, not by any stretch of the imagination but when i’m happy, angry or sad, you’ll know.
  • takes time to recover when hurt — no – neither physically nor emotionally.
  • brand conscious — yes. and reputation conscious.
  • executive — huh? what does that mean? the only thing i can think of is that cancer is one of the june signs, and cancer is a cardinal (main) sign. and yes, i like to take initiative and show leadership. however, as a leader i have a fierce belief in teamwork so sometimes i look a little blander than i am.
  • stubborn — no. when i’m convinced of my opinion, you can’t sway me but i’ll gladly listen to and engage with other people’s opinions. if what they have to say adds to my point of view, i’ll happily include it.

since this is a meme, let me explain the rules:

1. mention the person who tagged you and create a link back to them.
2. pick your month of birth.
3. copy and paste the traits for all the twelve months, or link to phil’s post that shows the traits for all 12 months
4. look at your traits and simply copy the ones that apply to you or otherwise write about the list of traits and how they apply to you.
5. tag 12 people and let them know by visiting their blogs and leaving a comment for them. (i’m pretty busy right now so that might take some time; i hope that the people i’m mentioning will notice it by looking at their trackbacks or other wonderful techie doodahs)
6. let the person who tagged you know when you’ve done it!

… and here are the 12 people i’m tagging:

one for your success
your dose of lunacy
nancy zimmermann, the canadian money coach
myopic broadcast
kilroy’s the gonzo papers
riehl lifevillage wisdom for the 21st century
the lives and times
urban monk
ali gator
tales of ladies, goddesses and bitches

(image by gadl)

meditation in an indian prison

meditation in a prisonyesterday at the meditation meetup, we watched a film, doing time, doing vipassana – a moving documentary of how meditation can change life in prison.

this is the story of an ancient meditation technique named vipassana, which shows people how to take control of their lives and channel them toward their own good. it is the story of a strong woman named kiran bedi, the former inspector general of prisons in new delhi, who strove to transform the notorious tihar prison and turn it into an oasis of peace. but most of all it is the story of prison inmates who underwent profound change, and who realized that incarceration is not the end but possibly a fresh start toward an improved and more positive life.

these people have shown that reform can work if it is self-reform. their success has been so dramatic that recently the indian government decided to apply vipassana in all the country’s prisons. other countries are becoming interested as well. the filmmakers spent about two weeks inside tihar central prison in new delhi and baroda jail in the indian state of gujarat. they interviewed inmates and jail officials, and filmed in places rarely accessible to film crews, whether indian or foreign.

“we are all in prisons,” said one of the people shown in the movie. we are imprisoned in our frames of mind, in feelings of anger and resentment, we are imprisoned by our cravings. meditation is one of the keys that lets us open the prison and go free.