Tag Archives: men

blogathon: weight loss dude’s 5 diets

this is an entry for my participation in the 2008 blogathon, a 24-hour marathon of blogging. please support the cause and donate – however much, however little – to the canadian mental health association (vancouver/burnaby branch). to donate, use this URL: www.canadahelps.org/CharityProfilePage.aspx?CharityID=d2252. you should be able to get there by clicking the link;if not, just copy and paste the link into your browser. it will take you to the appropriate location at canada helps. thank you!

and here is another entry to the carnival of eating disorders, which happens on this blog every last day of the month. a blog carnival is a sort of readers digest of blog entries on a specific topic. because of the blogathon, i’ve decided to feature three entries that i thought were interesting. this is the last one, by the weight loss dude, entitled five lifestyles that do lead to weight loss

there have been at least five times in my life where my lifestyle did lead to an ideal weight or weight loss at a rate that would lead to my ideal weight.  i’ll cover each in more detail in the future, but i thought i would list them for you to ponder:

his list includes

  1. running and eating well.
  2. the high fat experimental diet i mentioned in a prior post … it apparently leads to poor overall health based on how i felt during that diet.
  3. methamphetamine addiction. this is not recommended for obvious reasons.
  4. the carbohydrate addicts diet.
  5. atkins style low carb dieting.

he goes into a bit of detail of how these diets worked for him. read the rest here.

i usually don’t feature a lot of “how to lose weight” articles here because that’s not what eating disorders are about. they’re about behaviours around food, food addictions, and often enough about obsessing over diets (which is one of the reasons there are similarities between overeating and anorexia).  so talking a lot about diets would be a bit counterproductive.

having said that, i have to confess that i find the weight loss dude’s approach amusing and engaging. his idea is to try a new diet every week or so. by doing this, he says, he won’t get bored. he has lost weight and, what i find more interesting, he gains a lot of insights along the way. there’s also a certain down-to-earth feel to his blog that i like. i guess when you try one diet after the other, you can’t really keep up the i-have-found-the-diet-of-a-lifetime hype that comes with a lot of other diet blogs.

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)

4 questions to help men who binge

yesterday, i was talking about the issues faced by men who are dealing with binge eating disorder. this was a follow-up on the promise i had made to talk about men and obesity quite a while ago.

before i continue on this topic, let me make it clear that obesity is not always a result of binge eating disorder. as the rush university medical centre states, the causes of obesity are complex.

however, today i will limit myself to discussing a few things that can help men who suffer from binge eating disorder.

let’s assume that the old adage, “eat less, exercise more” is correct. the question then is not even how to do it – most people know that – but how to motivate oneself to start doing it, and more importantly, how to keep up the motivation.

men’s motivations tend to be different than women’s (although some studies show there is no difference when it comes to exercise; overall, though, i’m quite convinced there is a difference). however, most efforts towards helping people lose weight (from research to marketing) are geared towards women. thus, men tend not to feel “spoken to” when it comes to weight loss help. that increases the feeling of isolation that comes with binge eating disorder.

binge eating disorder is to a large degree an emotional issue. thus, some sort of emotional support (counselling or a support group) is highly important. what tends to motivate men to do that is a sense of crisis, a strong need to fix a problem. in absence of a crisis (that’s a good thing, isn’t it?!), the next best move could be to take a hard look at the consequences of continuing to battle with binge eating disorder.

here are a few questions that might help:

when i binge …

  • what does it do for me? (i.e. what’s the payoff?)
  • what does it do to me? (i.e. how does it hurt me?)
  • how does it affect others?
  • what are the long-term consequences of continuing it?

every man needs to answer this for himself. however, here is an example to illustrate it:

when i binge …

  1. what does it do for me? it calms me down, occupies my hands and mind and helps me forget the problems at work.
  2. what does it do to me? the next day i’m in a fog, i feel terribly bloated, and like a total failure. i should be able to keep this under control!
  3. how does it affect others? when i feel a binge coming on, i don’t want to have anything to do with anyone. last friday, mom asked me to help her go shopping and i didn’t because i wanted to be alone with the food.
  4. what are the long-term consequences? i only have to ask my doctor. he says i’ll need an operation on my knee if i can’t lose the weight. my father’s sister died from complications from diabetes. it was awful. i have diabetes. need i say more.

it’s best to use this series of questions for different aspects of the problem. therefore, in addition to starting of with when i binge …, one can also look into other aspects, for example

  • when i isolate with food …
  • when i watch TV instead of going for a walk …
  • when i eat so much i can’t sleep …

if you’re a guy suffering from binge eating disorder, please use these questions to help you find out whether you are in a crisis and don’t even know it.

another thing – it is difficult for most men to talk about their challenges. but many men also know a woman to whom theyman and woman talking can talk, and most women are happy to lend a guy an ear. maybe you’re not into talking to a counsellor or checking out groups like OA – but at least, talk to a trusted person, talk to that woman friend of yours or talk to a buddy, someone who will listen to you and support you.

that’s a courageous thing to do.

men and obesity

finally, here is the long-promised post on the topic of men and obesity. the U.S. national eating disorders association mentions a number of behaviours, physical problems and emotions experienced by men with binge eating disorder. let’s look at a few of them.

behavioral characteristics:

  • hoarding food
  • hiding food and eating in secret; e.g., eating alone or in the car, hiding wrappers

emotional and mental characteristics:

  • feelings of disgust, guilt, or depression during and after overeating
  • binge eating often triggered by uncomfortable feelings such as anger, anxiety, or shame
  • binge eating used as a means of relieving tension, or to “numb” feelings
  • rigid, inflexible “all or nothing” thinking
  • strong need to be in control
  • works hard to please others
  • avoids conflict, tries to “keep the peace”
  • disgust about body size, often teased about their body while growing up
  • feelings of worthlessness
  • depression

physical characteristics:

  • heart and blood pressure problems
  • joint problems
  • abnormal blood-sugar levels
  • fatigue
  • difficulty walking or engaging in physical activities

now of course none of these only apply to men; they’re universal across many people who overeat.

however, how do some of them affect men in particular?

hiding food and eating in secret; e.g., eating alone or in the car, hiding wrappers
many men, regardless of whether they have challenges regarding food, are already less emotionally connected than women. engaging in these secret behaviours can bring this “community deficit” to a dangerous low, resulting in extreme feelings of isolation and loneliness.

disgust about body size, often teased about their body while growing up
men feel more self conscious about their bodies than most people think. this is aggravated by the fact that many men are not very much in touch with their bodies. the body can be a bewildering “machine” that does not look like all those hunks a man sees in the magazines. yes, men experience the same problem as women with comparing themselves with ridiculous ideals in the media. when the comparison falls short, disgust can follow very easily.

physical problems
it’s well-known that men’s life expectancy is shorter than women’s. one of the reasons for that is said to be their smaller emotional support system. so the social isolation that typically comes with binge eating can exacerbate problems. some of it is very straightforward: one problem with social isolation is a dislike for seeing doctors, a well-known problem among men.

now that i’ve named some of the problems – what are the solutions? i’ll write about that in the next few weeks. but in the meantime, if you’d like to have a man’s take on it, head on over to the weight loss dude, patrick curl and fat man unleashed, who are taking you along to his personal journey to health.