carnival of eating disorders #11

welcome to the november 30, 2007 edition of carnival of eating disorders.

i see this carnival as serving two purposes: one, as a concert of the voices who live with eating disorders – as people personally affected by them, as friends and loved ones, as professionals. the other purpose is to educate people who do not deal with eating disorders on a frequent basis. there are a lot of misconceptions out there, and it’s important to set them right.

one misconception is that bulimia and anorexia “are for young women only.” for one thing, these eating disorders are also experienced by children, by men, and by people over 25. the other is that the aftereffects of anorexia and bulimia can last a lifetime – not that these aftereffects can’t be managed, they can even be a good source of learning – but these eating disorders are not like the flu. you don’t just have them for a while and then it’s over and forgotten.

with this in mind, let’s hand it over to faith from that is so queer, who talks about her experience of being a 36-year-old woman living with bulimia, in body ambivalence:

i am 36 years old. i will be 37 in six months and 1 day.

for all of the progress i’ve made in the past two years, especially since i didn’t even start recovery until after 17 years of on and off bulimia, i’ve gotta tell you, there is a huge part of me that feels so damn stupid.

despite knowing a community of intelligent, thoughtful and strong women with eating disorders, i still have a voice in my head saying eds are for nicole richie and your sorority sister. not smart, funny women like us.

so often when i disclose, people say things like, “i had a period of bulimia in high school.” or “i had anorexia in my freshman year of college.”

how juvenile do i feel as a 36 year old married woman, with a house and a job and all the responsibility that goes with it, sticking my finger down my throat.

next, carrie‘s corn at ED bites is about recovery from anorexia, about “plateau” feelings she’s having. she points out something that is very “loud” in the lives of people with eating disorders (and addictions, as well): the thoughts around the addictive substance or behaviour.

i’m still neurotic about food, but i can and do eat enough to maintain my weight.

at the same time, it’s still a tremendous battle. there are many days when i don’t want to eat, when i would rather go back to restricting because it’s easier and i know what it is. i have these constant thoughts telling me, “you can do this. really, you can. do you need that granola bar? that piece of cheese? that extra helping?”

and all i can think to reply is, “duh- i know i can do this. i’ve been doing it the past 8 years. it’s not rocket science. but i can’t. i won’t.”

i’m left with an enormously crappy feeling at the end of it all. okay, fine, i ate the food that i needed to. i get that this is a victory. but it feels like a hollow one. the progress is that i can respond to those eating disordered thoughts in a positive and healthy way. i just want those thoughts to go away.

following this, lucynda riley asks us, hold me accountable at a public diet. this is part of her first entry:

this is the first entry into this blog. i’ve been on a diet for a month. i haven’t made a lot of progress. i think i am a tiny bit thinner but not a lot.

a week later we find this entry:

… when I put on my favorite heavy denim skirt (that i made last year before i started dieting) it hung loosely on my hips. i had to pull out and remove 2 inches of elastic before it would stay on my waist and even now its not very tight. i did that with my green skirt two weeks ago.

so maybe this blogging is helping?

in that entry, lucynda talks about a “perfect size”. i’d be interested to hear what you, dear readers, think about that. what does it mean to be a perfect size? what’s your relationship with the “ideal weight”? how do ideal weight and size relate to, say, comfortable or healthy weight and size?

these are the three entires featured this time around. of course, there were more submissions. i have to tell you that i don’t mention all submissions – some of them really don’t have much to do with eating disorders. for example, i rarely include recipes, anything that talks about new diets, or is just a very general article about eating disorders. there’s lots of other places where you can read about that. so you can be sure that i’ve vetted every article you find here. that includes these ones:

therapydoc offers hoo-du ya love, substances, and the bake sale at one of my favourite blogs, everyone needs therapy. this post is a warning about hoodia gordonii.

chris gives us here’s one way to eat healthier snacks. the blog is the healthy snacks blog.

sagar presents top 50 vegan and vegetarian restaurants in the world. she’s a travelhacker.

james d. brausch at weight loss dude has a question: does rice make you fat?

that’s it for this edition.

so, people, if you have written an article on any of these topics, please, submit it to the next edition of carnival of eating disorders, to come out on december 31. use the carnival submission form.

oh, and here are my questions again:

what does it mean to be a perfect size? what’s your relationship with the “ideal weight”? how do ideal weight and size relate to, say, comfortable or healthy weight and size?

isabella mori
counselling in vancouver

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