Tag Archives: carnival of eating disorders

best of carnival of eating disorders

welcome to the 24th edition of the carnival of eating disorders! blog carnival has been really problematic for the last few months. so instead of struggling with the blog carnival site, i just went back and looked at some posts from the past that i really enjoyed. here they are:

a poem

for the buddhist carnival, i always start with a poem.  let’s do that here today, too, with an excerpt from a poem by clinically clueless, expressing the challenge of wanting to talk and at the same time wanting to hide the struggles with an eating disorder:

don’t touch this subject because it is mine
i have control and will be just fine

i’ve surrounded it with good defenses
no one will know the self-hatred and the rages

i’m really okay and can handle it on my own
with this i just want to be left alone

finally talking after all these years
makes me feel all my fears

yet, comfort in finally sharing
with someone loving and caring

no matter my weight the feelings and thoughts always there
i think, all i ever wanted was someone just to hear

no one really knows what goes on in my head
starting to talk is what i know i need to do instead

body image, men and women

hugo schwyzer talks about male and female body anxiety in glorious me:

it’s a classically masculine anxiety: the sense that the body is a “performance machine” threatened by sloth and by ageing, always in need of vigilant monitoring.

here’s a LOUD contribution. i won’t comment on it because, well, nancy hayssen says it all:

today at the gym, i was noticing how many women love to tear themselves apart.

too fat, too old, too big, too much cellulite, butts too big . . . and the best one of all is: “if only i could get FLAT ABS” …

WHO CARES!
women are NOT made to have flat stomachs!
it’s NOT truly feminine.
women’s bodies are made to have babies.
women are not naturally supposed to have:
* barbie doll fake breasts
* rock hard anything
* plastic injections of God knows what
* fake boobs, fake butts, fake ANYTHING

. . . . INCLUDING rock hard flat abs which serve NO purpose whatsoever!! except to feed into the media hype, sell more ab machines, make plastic surgeons money and fuel the economy some more!

get over it!

a real woman has full hips to give birth to babies, nurtures and comforts others with her soft skin (and YES! some FAT on her body), feeds her young milk from her breasts . . .

and isn’t so self-absorbed that the only thing that matters the most in life is getting her stomach to look like someone flat ironed it to death!

maybe it’s time for women to wake up and know it’s OKAY to be a real woman. fat butts and all.

read the rest here, at the flat ab gym rant!

in this powerful post, dr. susan gregg talks about the difference between domination and dominion:

society is based on domination. the way our mind thinks is most often based on domination: black and white, right and wrong, good and evil, positive emotions and negative ones. symbolically this is represented as a line. as we deepen our connection with our spirit, with our true nature we move into dominion. symbolically dominion is represented as a sphere.

after explaining this concept a little more, she then posts a video that illustrates her thoughts in a deeply moving way. everyone who has ever had any issues with body image or any other feelings of “otherness” will know what susan is talking about. please visit her post, judgment, domination and the line.

and here 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.

overeating

sacha brings us body hate at her blog that is so queer… she talks about the dieting experience, something that many of my readers will be very familiar with:

a room full of women that got fat, not because they’re stupid, not because they like chocolate and not because they have no willpower. it is a room full of women who are doing everything they can to get through each day. … and sometimes that means 15 oreos.

therapydoc, witty as always, has a very good suggestion for what to do when overcome by cravings or assaulted by the mounds of food we’re dealing with this time of year

the problem: tis the season to eat like crazy. i understand that starting october 31, eating season begins. most of humankind gains a few to a thousand pounds by january 2. in the northern climes it’s fatten up to melt the snow …

the solution: let us consider the nap. the nap is perhaps the most under-rated, yet effective way to stop a binge,napping away a binge and it need not be a cat nap (short) or a sexual nap (preferably long). it can just be a nap. and you can reach for the sack in a minute, seriously, crawl right under that afghan and close those baby blues, refresh your rhodopsin and reboot your head. and it costs nothing.

overexercising

jenna, in her post i remember running, muses

i remember listening to lectures about anorexia athletica and the “female athlete triad.” i remember seeing team-mates sneak back to the gym after practice to do extra elliptical workouts. i remember looking on their plates and seeing only peas and sprouts there. i remember diagnoses of anemia, bulimia, and stress fractures.

food addiction

jolynn braley from the fit shack talks about some interesting research conducted by dr. theron g. randolph:

his article correlates to what i have been writing about sugar (that it is a drug), and he specifically points out that corn is the leading cause of chronic food addiction in this century. high fructose corn syrup, crystalline fructose, corn syrup, corn syrup solids, these are all sugars made from corn and are main ingredients in most processed food and fast food.

i also learned that corn is the most prevalent ingredient in alcohol manufacturing, and that it is corn sugar that is used in cigarettes (i thought it was cane sugar)

fascinating stuff! read on in her article can food addiction lead to drug addiction?. i’m not sure that i would 100% subscribe to the “one addiction leads to another” theory but randolph’s research is most definitely worth pondering. he also talks about the connection between food allergies and food addiction, a topic much discussed by the 12-step recovery community.

research

let’s follow this with a post from sizenet, a fat acceptance site, which looks at BMI (body mass index) as a measure of fat distribution across the body. it does this from an engineer’s point of view. a great fan of interdisciplinary research, i’m happy to post this here.

BMI is weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters. a person five feet tall and weighing 128 pounds is 1.52 meters tall and masses 58 kilograms, yielding a BMI of 25. according to the BMI charts, this person just misses being “normal” and is at the bottom end of the “overweight” range.

if we scale that same person up to six feet tall and keep all proportions the same, then height increases by a factor of 1.2 (20% higher), and so does waist, arm length, inseam, and every other linear measure. so volume and mass increase by 1.2 cubed, or 1.728. the six-foot tall (1.83 m tall) person of the same proportions weighs 221 pounds (masses 100 kg), and so has a BMI of 30. so, this person just misses being “overweight” and is at the bottom end of the “obese” range.

something’s not right; the taller person comes out “fatter” even though he/she has the same proportions as the shorter one.

for the rest of the article, go here.

in second generation of nutrigenomics products – what to expect? at eye on DNA, rachel c. dechenne states that these products are “going to change the face of the functional food industry, providing it with the “scientific foundations” for its wider ambitions.” she adds that her concern

is that almost no research has been done on the broad societal implications of this type of nutrigenomics-developed products including their impacts on consumer’s perception of official dietary patterns. what about its impact on captive audience in lower socio-economic population in the north and in emerging countries? will they being able to buy these new superfoods? would this bring a more fatalistic attitude towards eating unhealthy food?

spirituality

bad buddhist vs. the sixth precept is the title of a blog post by marie that was submitted to the last carnival of eating disorders. i was quite intrigued by it and would like to talk a bit more about it.

buddhist precepts, says diane esshin rizzetto in waking up to what you do

can be thought of as a beacon of light, much like a lighthouse beacon that warns sailors that they are entering dangerous waters and guides them on course … pay attention! look! listen! … the precepts are offered and received as tools to help free us from domination by the ever-changing stream of thoughts, feelings and sensations.

there is a varying number of precepts (5, 10, 227 …). marie talks about the precept to abstain from taking untimely meals.

in observing the sixth precept, the lay buddhist eats one or two simple meals between dawn and noon and avoids taking food beyond that. this cuts down the time spent on meals and allows him more time to spend on meditation.

yes, what do you want to spend your time on? no matter how we look at time, we only have a limited supply of it. come to think of it, do we want to “spend” it or do we want to “use” it?

watching TV and mindlessly crunching potato chips would definitely fall under the “spending” category. it goes into the “expenses” column – and not an expense in the form of investment. actually, it’s an investment in liabilities.

anorexia

lola snow has a thoughtful post on the notion of being special, something very important for a lot of people who are in the throes of anorexia. some would say that being anorexic is about being special, about showing the control that results in standing out. in 12-step circles, this attitude is referred to as “terminal uniqueness”, a sometimes literally life-threatening attitude of being different: needing to be different, suffering from being different and the “no-one understands me” syndrome. there are a lot of interesting conversations about what it means to become less terminally unique and still remain the unique one-of-a-kind specimen that each and every one of us is. here’s lola’s contribution to that conversation: becoming unspecial.

and a very controversial issue: pro-anorexia mothers. ex-model, ex-anorexic “mamavision” refers to a group of mothers on livejournal who are practicing anorexics:

there is no way in hell a mother can be pro ana, and be a healthy positive influence on her child. it’s impossible. these women who are are choosing this selfish, dangerous, vain lifestyle shouldn’t be parents. i believe if a social worker were to see their online behavior, their parental ability would be in jeopardy.

since i see eating disorders as a mental health issue, i have a hard time thinking of these mothers as “choosing a lifestyle”. just like people who are living with obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression and even addictions don’t choose to live like that. in many situations they might tell themselves that it is a choice; it makes us feel more powerful if we think we choose something. – but i digress; that’s material for another post.

at any rate, mamavision’s opinion is worth noting. at the other end of the spectrum, we find a very well put-together video by laura collins, who interviewed a number of eating disorder specialists on the question of whether parents are the cause of eating disorders.

orthorexia
the article on orthorexia at every woman has an eating disorder is interesting because of the many comments contributed to it – from people who suffer from it, from health professionals, etc. definitely worth a read.

a book

adventures in reading reviews a book about – well, about women like me, i guess

the day i ate whatever i wanted and other small acts of liberation [is] the latest collection from elizabeth berg. this was my first time reading anything by berg and i found the collection humorous, thoughtful, and nice.

the thirteen stories scrutinize mostly middle-aged-women’s relationships with food, body image, aging and family.

anorexia and men

at the new gay, an insightful 2-part series on the experiences of a gay man falling prey to, and then recovering from, anorexia: i was a full-on feminist in every sense of the word – save one. my unrelenting best friend, who always kept me in check, fiercely and consistently pointed out how hypocritical i was being in obsessing over my body. one day she put her foot down. she demanded that i sit and not get up until i had read an essay titled the body politic in an anthology of writings by third-wave feminists called listen up: voices from the next feminist generation. i acquiesced, annoyed. i was never the same

other interesting stuff

i also enjoyed reading henry bagdasarian’s interesting observations in food and credit products are not very different from each other posted at free identity theft prevention, detection and fraud solutions.

i recently observed how food and credit products are similar to each other as i was watching a paid weight loss program on TV. it also reminded me how lucrative it must be for companies to sell us more of both food and credit products and then come to our rescue by offering us other products like diet and debt consolidation programs to resolve the problems that resulted from over consuming their products in the fist place.

tiernan o faolain from american red tory has an interesting list on the connection between obesity and poverty, another issue that is often overlooked. here are some points:

# supermarkets and grocery stores move out of poor neighborhoods; “convenience” stores and liquor stores move in.
# sometimes when you’re down on your luck, you just say, “screw it,” and indulge.
# for those of us working two or three jobs to stay afloat, whole foods and PCC aren’t open 24/7, while 7-11 is.
# and even if they were, who can afford them?! health food is more expensive than the crap.
# as the salon article points out, high fructose corn syrup and other bad things are federally subsidized, holding down their cost. (talk about gummint programs!)
# historically speaking, before the enclosure of the commons forced many of the poor to work for wages in the cities’ industries (owned or invested-in by their rural landlords!), they had family farms they worked, with all that physical exertion and relative self-sufficiency to boot. here in america we never even had a chance!

read here for tiernan’s complete article on what makes poor americans overweight.

***

so here you have it.

because of the difficulties with the blog carnival site, i’ll have to rethink hosting carnivals. maybe i’ll keep going, maybe i’ll do something else. if any of you have any ideas, let me know. perhaps a group writing project a few times a year instead?

carnival of eating disorders #23 – part 2

here’s part 2 of eating disorders carnival #23, a monthly blog carnival about eating disorders, body image and related issues. part 1 is here.

intuitive eating: challenge the food police
through thick’n’thin has a series of posts where the book “intuitive eating” by evelyn tribole and elyse resch is discussed. the book contains ‘the in-body experience’… 7 steps to reclaim the normal eater within’. here is step six – challenge the food police

scream a loud ‘no’ to thoughts in your head that declare you’re ‘good’ for eating under 1,000 calories or ‘bad’ because you ate a piece of chocolate cake. the food police monitor the unreasonable rules that dieting has created. the police station is housed deep in your psyche, and its loudspeaker shouts negative barbs, hopeless phrases, and guilt-provoking indictments. chasing the food police away is a critical step in returning to intuitive eating.

weight loss and online wellness
tami blodgett presents weight loss journey posted at online wellness: a safe haven.

it’s almost january and you’re planning a weight loss journey. a typical january first: here you are, totally hating being overweight. you wake up every morning totally uncomfortable. you dread spending another day carrying around this excess body fat! it’s the time of year to begin again and your thoughts turn to self-improvement. “that’s it!” you say. “i’ve had it!” join online wellness association member, kelly lacost, as she prepares you for your 2009 weight loss journey.

binge eating to become official
if you hate yourself because for years, you’ve done things like get up at 1am and empty a carton of ice-cream, drive from one fast-food place to another so that they won’t notice how many hamburgers you eat in a row, or have a double piece of pie after five helpings of dinner – well, it’s not clear whether you REALLY have problems. at least not according to the holy grail of psychiatrists, the DSM-IV, which includes binge eating disorder as an “eating disorder not otherweise specified”. that’s about to change.

it’s estimated that anorexia affects about one percent of the U.S. population and bulimia 4 percent. binge eating disorder eclipses both, affecting about 10 percent of the population but it has yet to be recognized as a diagnostic eating disorder unto itself. despite the vast range of eating disordered behaviors, there are exactly three disorders one can be classified with: anorexia nervosa, bulimia, and eating disorders not otherwise specified (ED-NOS). binge eating disorder falls into the latter category, a vague catch-all diagnosis for people who don’t fit one or more of the criteria for anorexia and bulimia. those classified with ED-NOS can range from a morbidly obese binge-eater to a 90-pound girl who meets every criteria for anorexia, except she still menstruates.

the rest is here, at the f-word.

seniors and body image
i found this blog the other day and thought i should include it here. this post is 2 ½ years old but still interesting.

last year a 63 year old woman i was working with at the time told me that she hated herself because she is so fat. hated herself! and, she added, that if she ever lost weight she still wouldn’t be able to like herself, because she is old! to me, both fat and old, that was a tragedy. what chance is there that a 63 year old woman is going to finally get either thin or young? which means, for her, what chance is there that she will ever be able to like herself? and, what can she accomplish in the world if all of her energy is expended on hating herself? is she going to fight for fairer wages when she is busy counting calories and calling laugh lines wrinkles?

what, do you suppose, would happen if we took all that attention that we now spend on hating ourselves and avoiding mirrors and wearing vertical stripes and counting calories and reviewing everything we’ve eaten so far this week to see if we can “afford” two cashews and breaking out in rebellion and then hating ourselves for eating all of the cashews — what would happen if we took that pathological self-involved energy and turned it outward? if we stopped weighing ourselves and started weighing the politicians and corporate CEOs and far right demagogues who profit from our unhappiness?

the rest is here. don’t forget to go to the last post on this blog; it’s quite moving.

black and beautiful
black is beautiful – or is it? weight and wrinkles are not the only things people are concerned about when it comes to body image. a girl like me is a short student documentary concerning the issues of identity and standards of beauty.

love your body
i missed love your body day back in october! really hope i’ll be present for it this year. fortunately, anastacia caught it – and wrote a beautiful letter to her body.

in honor of love your body day (which i just found out about this afternoon via jezebel), i have written a letter to my body. i’m posting it here with the hope that, if i falter or forget, i will have the strength from reading this to straighten myself out.

dear body,

i’ve been thinking about you quite a bit lately and shaking my head with wonder that i have treated you so horribly for 31 years. i have taken you for granted, thinking that i can do whatever i want without repercussions. i just assume you will cooperate and adjust and it’s untrue and unfair; it has never worked. you have tried so hard to tell me, to warn me, to force myself to open my eyes to the fact that you’re tired and you will not cooperate if neglected. you’ve bitch slapped me about the drinking, the drugs, late nights, self-starvation and an infinite number of ways i mistreat you, and i never noticed or cared. it has taken a long time, but i am finally starting to listen, to open my eyes, to treat you as an ally, to work with you and not against you. and even though i have done nothing to deserve it, you are cooperating with me. (i would, however, like to file a grievance against my intestines. we shall address this privately.)

eating disorders, a mental health issue
last but not least, laura collins points out that an eating disorder is a mental health issue and asks the provoking question maybe we need to start stigmatizing for not having a mental disorder?. she’s concerned about parents who slink away from discussing their childrens’ mental health issues and wonders what’s really so bad about it when, according to some statistics, 50% of young people are dealing with them. here’s what she says about the brain:

it’s an organ. it interacts, more than any other physical system, with the world. it learns, it changes, it responds to the society and circumstances of its time and place. its vulnerabilities are also its strengths: we humans often respond to the world in miraculous ways. we create art, we shelter babies, we invent unthought-of of things, we stare down dangers – these require a nimble mind. a risk-taking and highly responsive mind also at risk for malfunction, just as complex machinery fails more often than a simpler tool.

a commenter challenges her:

i agree that mental illness is very real but i have a hard time believing that half of young adults suffer from it. i get annoyed when people who don’t have an illness claim to have it. it trivializes those of us who actually do suffer from illnesses.

what do you think? is mental illness easily trivialized? do you see eating disorders as a mental illness?

thanks to all the wonderful, thoughtful contributors. i’m looking forward to the next eating disorders carnival on january 31.   in the meantime, do you have, or do you know, a post that would be a good addition to this carnival? if so, please submit it here or drop me a line.

2 years of carnival of eating disorders!

welcome to two years of the carnival of eating disorders!

yes, it’s been two years as of today. here’s how it all started:

if you’re not familiar with blog carnivals, you may think this is an odd name – this link here will tell you more about blog carnivals. this carnival contains articles about bulimia, anorexia, orthorexia, body image and overeating gathered from other blogs.

i’d like to tell you right off that this carnival is not about dieting – for a very simple reason. dieting is usually the last thing needed by people who struggle with food. the majority of them already know pretty much all they need to know, and more.

difficulties around food often start quite early in a person’s life. for the first few years, these difficulties are often not taken very seriously. this is frequently followed by a period of immersing oneself in a variety of efforts to lose weight, which tends to be accompanied with reading up on (and following) information about dieting and nutrition.

for some people, that does the trick, and serious problems with food never become chronic. for others, though, this is the beginning of a downward spiral, centered around an obsession with eating food and losing weight. interestingly enough, this is the same for people who overeat and those who undereat – only how they go about these activities differs.

what helps in these situations is not yet another diet but a whole different outlook and set of behaviours around eating and body image.

what do you think? is this a valid introduction to a description of eating disorders? the only thing i would change today would be to add a sentence somewhere about body image because one way or another, that’s a related issue for everyone.

after this long introduction, i’ll do the same this time around that i do with the buddhist carnival (which also appears here on change therapy) and post this carnival in two parts. don’t want to make you work too hard, seeing that you need to get going with your new year’s eve celebrations 🙂  here’s part one, then:

anorexia and gay men
at the new gay, an insightful 2-part series on the experiences of a gay man falling prey to, and then recovering from, anorexia:

i was a full-on feminist in every sense of the word – save one. my unrelenting best friend, who always kept me in check, fiercely and consistently pointed out how hypocritical i was being in obsessing over my body. one day she put her foot down. she demanded that i sit and not get up until i had read an essay titled the body politic in an anthology of writings by third-wave feminists called listen up: voices from the next feminist generation. i acquiesced, annoyed. i was never the same.

well, as you can imagine – that book went right on my books to read shelf!

yoga: a new way to fight anorexia and bulimia
eating disorders are complex; so are the ways in which people recover. reading a book helps one person; yoga is a key element of recovery for others:

after carolyn coston took her first yoga class, she burst into tears. “this is not a real workout!” she thought. coston, then in her 20s, had recovered from anorexia but was battling an exercise addiction.

“i was used to pounding the pavement and burning tons of calories,” said coston, who had dropped 45 pounds at the height of her anorexia.

that was 30 years ago. thousands of sun salutations later, the trim but healthy blonde is grateful for the way yoga taught her to respect her body and helped her keep her anorexia and exercise addiction at bay.

bulimia is a dental disease
i was really excited to see this blog post and to hear about the book. it’s so important for health professionals to work together in helping people with eating disorders recover. like all chronic or long-lasting conditions, it doesn’t take long at all for an eating disorder to affect all areas of one’s life – one could say that that’s when the difficulties really start to set in. in that sense, health professionals who deal with chronic or persistent conditions could take a page from addiction specialists: the severity of the addiction is often measured by how much it affects the rest of one’s life. it’s not just about how much gin you pour down the chute if you’re an alcoholic or how many hours you spend on the treadmill if you’re an exercise addict – it’s what happens after and around that. how much time do you get to spend with your family if you’re busy at the bar or at the gym? what does obesity do to a person’s knees and feet? in my experience, eating disorder specialists do look at these issues but it’s the other health professionals – people in sports medicine, orthopedics and yes, dentistry – who will do well in educating themselves better in this area.

so much for my rant. let’s see what tiptoe from between living and existing has to say:

we all know that eating disorders can wreck havoc on oral health. bulimia, most notably can take a heavier toll at first symptoms which continue to accumulate further as the eating disorder progresses. in this press release, dr. brian mckay, a dentist in seattle, discusses his new book, bulimia is a dental disease.mckay’s goal is not only to educate about the damage of bulimia to one’s oral health, but also to bring together the dental community in helping eating disorder clients. mckay says, “we need a change in the standard of care. dentists must form alliances with eating disorder professionals. together we can treat both the mental and oral aspects of this disease and the result should be a higher success rate. there is nothing more inviting than seeing someone smile again.”

read here for the rest.

that’s it for today. i’ll be posting the rest some time by january 7.  in the meantime, do you have, or do you know, a post that would be a good addition to this carnival? if so, please submit it here or drop me a line, and we can enjoy it next month, at the carnival of eating disorders on january 31.

carnival of eating disorders, november 2008 edition

here is the november edition of the carnival of eating disorders!

anorexia and “becoming unspecial”
lola snow has a thoughtful post on the notion of being special, something very important for a lot of people who are in the throes of anorexia. some would say that being anorexic is about being special, about showing the control that results in standing out. in 12-step circles, this attitude is referred to as “terminal uniqueness”, a sometimes literally life-threatening attitude of being different: needing to be different, suffering from being different and the “no-one understands me” syndrome. there are a lot of interesting conversations about what it means to become less terminally unique and still remain the unique one-of-a-kind specimen that each and every one of us is. here’s lola’s contribution to that conversation: becoming unspecial.

anorexia, bulimia, NaNoWriMo
since i’ve participated again in NaNoWriMo this year, of course we have to have an entry here from someone who worked on a novel in november, too. here is a novel excerpt by someone who actually made it and wrote the 50,000 words (not something i can say about myself, unfortunately):

in the eighties, i saw an article in a magazine about a man who eats and then takes 50 laxatives. he weighs 5 stone (about 70 pounds) and looks like he’s going to die any minute. these pictures repulsed me and i thought to myself, ‘how can a person be so foolish? how can he lose control like that? how can he take all those laxatives? doesn’t anyone know what he is doing?’

of course, i didn’t see myself.

read more of soulbrush’s story here.

pro-anas on facebook
there was quite a bit of fanfare last week about pro-anorexia sites on facebook. one of the more intelligent treatments of this topic comes from my friends at PsychCentral:

so what does all of this do for people? isn’t allowing people to discuss their pro-ana needs just plain harmful and potentially dangerous? not necessarily:

marcia herrin, a dartmouth professor who has written several books on eating disorders, finds the public nature of the discussions of anorexia on facebook encouraging, because it shows that teens are less afraid of confronting eating disorders.

the more “out in the open” these kinds of concerns become, the more society learns and can answer the kinds of information (or mis-information) they promote.

insurance companies pay to help with eating disorders
this november edition seems to be the “news” edition. good news, then, from new jersey, where eating disorder treatments were recognized to be treatments for a mental illness, and therefore “worthy” of being covered by insurance. we have similar successes with that here in canada. here is ED bite’s article about it.

anorexic girl expelled from school
all is not well, though. the F-word discusses the case of a girl who was expelled from school because of her anorexia.  i know nothing about the particular circumstances of this case but two things that the post mentions are worth thinking about:

unless a client is extremely disabled, kincaid said, “it’s hard to prove you’re qualified. the more i make it negative, the more i pile on about how ill you are, the more the other side argues, ‘well, you’re not otherwise qualified to be here.

and

at the pinnacle of my eating disorder, i was carrying a 15-18-credit hour course load. school was my saving grace – if i didn’t have the structure and support of my studies to rely upon and motivate me just to get up each day, i might be just another eating disorder suicide statistic. in fact, it was my education and the accompanying encouragement to self-examine both the world and myself that factored greatly into my own recovery.
would the school expel a student undergoing chemotherapy to treat cancer or lymphoma? are new hampton students suffering from depression or who are obese up for expulsion, also? eating disorders are a certifiable mental illness and in some anorexia cases, represent a disease of the brain. it’s time that they receive the same respect that any other medical condition would receive.

big people in the air
another piece of news was the court ruling here in canada that overweight people can ask for two seats on airplanes. here are two reactions, one from the big fat blog, who endorses the ruling, and another one here, symptomatic of how some people who don’t understand eating disorders think about people with weight issues:

the courts in the great white north have ruled that the human chunks eh must be allowed to have 2 seats for the price of 1 on flights within canada. as if airlines don’t have enough problems nibbling at their bottom lines they now have to have to allow the big bottoms to chomp on the airline profits.i have to say i earnestly hope this idiocy doesn’t come to the states since i don’t believe in fat rights. about the only right i think tubbies have is the right to either stuff their faces or not.

body beautiful
wilhelmina has a lovely, inspiring post about looking at our bodies:

all of a sudden, you catch sight of yourself in the full-length mirror. and you look. for once, you aren’t staring because you’re thinking of all the things you don’t like, and all the things you want to change. you’re staring because you notice curves, and tapering lines, and grace.

read here for the rest.

mindful eating – thinking about buddhism
the word “mindful” is often connected to buddhist ideas. it’s interesting, then, to read “exceptionally fat” ‘s post about mindful eating because it demonstrates how to put the “middle way” (an important buddhist concept) into practice.

intuitive eating was absolutely invaluable when it came to ‘legalizing’ those foods i had once completely banished from my house. i couldn’t bake because i wasn’t to be trusted around baked goods. i couldn’t order packages of liz lovely cookies because i would eat them all in a week and then feel terrible *and* have no cookies. i saw complete avoidance of these foods as the only option. don’t get me wrong, i could have a cookie or a brownie, but only when i could go out and buy just one. this was less problematic when i lived in atlanta and had easy access to all sorts of vegan goodies. here, it involves an hour long drive which would make it completely ridiculous to just buy one treat.

so i took the advice in this book and filled my kitchen to the brim with all kinds of formerly forbidden foods. it was honestly terrifying at first, but eventually it worked and those foods ceased haunting me with their very presence. i now keep ‘bad’ foods in the house with no problem.

disciplined eating – christian thoughts
these two attitudes – disciplined and mindful eating – came together quite by accident, and so did the fact that there are connections to buddhist and christian thoughts. healthymahma mentions a book by elyse fitzpatrick, author of love to eat, hate to eat, who uses the acronym D_I_S_C_I_P_L_I_N_E_D E_ating to “remember whether your eating is sinful or not”. as you might imagine, i find the idea of sin not overly useful. however, if we can free ourselves from the fundamentalist tone, some of fitzpatrick’s points could serve as interesting models, for example:

11. D_istract: will preparing or eating this food distract me from something better that god has for me to do? for instance, would i do better by ministering to the lord or my guests rather than spending excessive amounts of time cooking some elaborate meal and being frustrated that others aren’t as impressed about my cooking as i am? (does it really matter if the gravy is lumpy? will anyone remember that you spent hours cooking, or will they remember that you loved them and spent time ministering to them in conversation, prayer, and fellowship?)

a few months ago, i wrote a guest post on my friend alexander’s blog, transcending the murmur, where i talk about “translating” such texts. for example, “ministering to the lord” could be translated into “remembering my values”, and “ministering to them in conversation, etc.” could be “being present to them”.

emotions and recovery
the “E” in fitzpatrick’s acronym stands for emotions. jen talks about this in her post more on anger and recovery, which, the way i read it, is mostly about negativity and recovery from unhelpful eating. (anger, in my book, is not necessarily synonymous with negativity). i really appreciate this image:

there’s a difference between looking for the hidden reasons we do things and clinging to them as some sort of badge of honor and excuse. as easwaran said in the yoga journal article, “can you imagine a sculptor scurrying to pick up the slivers that fall from his chisel, hoarding them, treasuring them, ignoring the statue altogether?”

do you have, or do you know, a post that would be a good addition to this carnival? if so, please submit it here or drop me a line, and we can enjoy it next month, at the carnival of eating disorders on december 31.

carnival of eating disorders #20

this month’s carnival of eating disorders is hosted by laura collins at are you eating with your anorexic?

please visit, she has done a fantastic job – she’s turned it into an actual carnival!

next month’s will be here again, on october 31 – yes, the hallowe’en issue. if you have an article about any of these topics

– anorexia (or “manorexia”)
– bulimia and exercise bulimia
– overeating or binge eating
– orthorexia
– body image
– EDNOS (‘eating disorders not otherwise specified”)

please submit it here.

(please, no articles that are just about recipes or dieting. thanks!)

carnival of eating disorders – july 2008

welcome to the july 31, 2008 edition of carnival of eating disorders!

i’m doing something today that i’ve never done before: i’m using the “predigested” version put together by the blog carnival.  normally i put a lot of care and effort into my blog carnivals but i have to confess that i’m still a bit “blogged out” from the blogathon.  so this time i’m taking the lazy route, and the only additional work i did was a bit of rearranging and taking out the inappropriate submissions (don’t quite understand why we would need to talk about acne in an article on eating disorders and no, we’re not going to talk about how to take diet pills here).

here you go:

body image

toni graybill presents the secret to better grades is dancing? posted at maximize health and wealth, saying, “dancing can build physical, emotional, and intellectual abilities.”

liz rosenbaum presents love your body posted at liz rosenbaum fitness.

fitnchic presents dress size – just another number :: fitnchic.com – get in shape fashionably :: posted at fitnchic.com – get in shape, fashionably!, saying, “it’s a really good article for those who obsess over a dress size.”

overeating

joshua seth presents individuals fighting obesity posted at joshua seth blog, saying, “if you think it’s hard to lose those last 7 pounds, imagine if you had to lose 700! that’s what manuel urib is attempting to do and he’s well on his way to succeeding.”

joshua seth presents why europeans aren’t fat posted at joshua seth blog, saying, “what we see around us everyday we come to view asnormal. take on a new perspective and all that changes. this is why travel used to be considered an essential
part of education.”

others

the push up coach presents your pre-gym checklist posted at the 1000 push ups club, saying, “with the proper planning you should be able to eliminate most of the frustration associated with your first few days in the gym.”

murphy s presents saving money on your organic food shopping! posted at all organic blog.

larry w presents weight training safety posted at muscle bound blog, saying.

davexplorer presents what is natural cooking? posted at natural cooking blog.

kenton newby presents a great weight reducing secret | my path to fitness blog posted at my path to fitness blog.

james d. brausch presents meat only week posted at weight loss dude.

aruntheace presents what is there to know about diet pills?? posted at healthybitz.

ed pudol presents becoming a healthy eater posted at healthy life style – health is priority before anything else.

that concludes this edition. submit your blog article to the next edition of carnival of eating disorders using our carnival submission form. past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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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