Tag Archives: weight

carnival of eating disorders on hallowe’en

isabella mori on hallowe'en: a fashion mistakeit’s hallowe’en! i’m busy being a fashion mistake – that’s my costume for this year. this picture gives you a bit of a taste of but it doesn’t show the real nice touches – the smeared rouge, the bags under the eyes, the wool socks over the leopard pyjamas under the fancy black skirt – oh well.

oh, and it’s the last of the month and therefore carnival of eating disorders time! i guess i should get serious.

okay.

(desparately trashing around trying to find a segue)

{giving up; but if you can think of a good segue, let me know, alright?}

i’ll just start now.

body image – a video that will make you cry
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.

body image – a striking difference between men and women
kelly turner presents the difference between boys and girls at grounded fitness. an excerpt:

it would futile to try and explain that if a girl asked another girl if she was going to try and lose weight to get a guy, without said girl ever mentioning a dissatisfaction with her current weight, that it would be enough to send her into a downward spiral of self hatred, body image issues and gallons and gallons of ben and jerry’s.

body image and anorexia
lola snow has a post about a mirror in a changing room:

the revelation occurred in the middle of the river island changing rooms.
i tried on nine or ten different outfits, on the final pair of jeans (which i actually had to buy because all my other clothes hang off me in various ways liable to get me arrested for exposure) i noticed. i look like a bag of bones. i look ill. my cheeks are actually sunken in. my hipbones and ribs are more obvious than my boobs. my collarbones protrude far enough to hook a coat hanger on. i actually felt a bit sick, because i feel so breakable. like one of my bones could shatter from a knock or a jar. my skin is patchy, i have an eye infection, my veins in my arms pop out like grey earthworms, my teeth are chipped and yellowed. all in all, standing under the yellow tinted fluorescent hell lighting, shivering in my too-big underwear, wasn’t a good look for me.

i looked like i am pretty close to dying.

what i found really interesting about this is that it looks like she actually saw herself in real life, not as still-too-fat as so many anorexic women do. a small victory, perhaps?

read the whole article on women’s changing rooms here

food and the sound of silence
laura collins, who was so good and hosted the carnival of eating disorders last month muses on the question of what to talk about when not talking about food and eating. what would happen if these topics were taken out of the conversation anywhere and everywhere?

well, a marvellous silence would blanket the land, certainly. there’d be a lot more eye contact, i think. the TV and radio channels would be silent much of the day and night without talk shows and news spots and commercials selling dieting and the necessity of altering our appearance. parties would be odd for a while, but we’d adjust. class reunions… well, no one would go any more because the whole point was to compare notes on aging and diets.

here is the rest of the post.

exercise: fit and fat
carrie arnold (who, incidentally, was the person who first asked the question of what to talk about if not about food) is the owner of one of the best blogs on eating disorders. check it out. her new blog header is really cool. she points out that you can be fit and fat.

a study found that half of adults classified as “overweight” and one third of adults classified as “obese” were metabolically healthy. one in four of “normal weight” adults were not.

exercise and weight loss
pretty much a companion article to the one above is dr. martin russell’s exercise for weight loss. hold on to your seats, i won’t reveal the story. read it for yourself.

that’s it for october! i really enjoyed all these posts and encourage you to go on and read them all. 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 november 30.

carnival of eating disorders, august 2008 edition – part 2

okay, here we are with part 2 of the 19th carnival of eating disorders. part 1 was about anorexia; this one contains articles on overeating and body image.

overeating

cravings

cravings – your biggest motivator is the title of FitNChic’s article:

most people give up their efforts after a while because they feel they are depriving themselves of all the good things in life without significant results or because they have cheated once (read: ate a piece of cake!) and don’t want to start the process all over again.

but, by using cravings to motivate you, you are consciously eating (not cheating) whatever you really like once a week. there is no doubt you are going to stick to your routine the rest of the week.

well, i don’t know about “no doubt” but it’s certainly worth trying; moderation usually works much better than deprivation.

reframing

sandra ahten from reasonable diet talks about the use of reframing in dealing with weight issues:

“my doctor says i better drop 15 pounds if i want to avoid having to take a medication.”

reframed: “my doctor says i get to drop fifteen pounds in order to avoid taking a medication.” with this statement, my mind is also able to say, “whew! i caught it in time that i don’t have to treat it with medication; thank goodness it is a condition i can do something about.” i might even add: “it is only 15 pounds!”

reframing shines a light of positive attitude. reframing enables us to look for what we are willing to do instead of just rebelling against what someone or some circumstance is forcing us to do.

obesity and poverty

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.

the political psychology of fat

in a similar vein, erin and philip have a series on “political psychology”. here is an excerpt:

a 2006 washington post article conservatively estimated that producing the foods that generate so much of america’s obesity, then treating that obesity, would be a $315 billion enterprise by the end of that year. in 2004 alone, americans spent $37 billion on soft drinks, $3.9 billion on cookies, and $6.2 billion on potato chips.

… the citizen is someone who fully inhabits her or his life-starting with what and how much we eat and exercise. to put it bluntly, we-our bodies, to include our brains and the minds and souls they house-do not exist to consume garbage for the sake of corporate profits. we exist to live as strong, intelligent individuals at home in our bodies. the consumer-whose normal human emotions, insecurities and weaknesses are manipulated into eating vast quantities of processed foods and chemicals, then buying a host of gadgets in an almost inevitably futile quest to lose the weight overnight (when it was not so gained)-is antithetical to the citizen. …

and there is a simple way to start acting as citizens. we have ourselves sufficient power to bring all those who want us fat-and so lazy, stupid, hurt and sick-to their knees. all we have to do is eat less-and eat more local, unprocessed foods, especially fruits and vegetables-and exercise more. …

when george bush told us to go to the mall, he no doubt also meant the food court. we did. so the next time you’re at the food court in the mall, spend a moment as a citizen, looking around. and if you see it with new eyes…that’s a start.

body image

body dysmorphic disorder

sandra has an informative video on body dysmorphic disorder. (not only is it informative but also very well done technically, and even my cranky laptop, which often gets hiccups from video providers such as youtube, likes it)

olympics and the body

this is an interesting collection of links about how olympic athletes and the general public view and treat athletic bodies. laura’s final observations are that about the paralympics and special olympics. you may have noticed that i did not write a thing about the olympics. i did, however, have an article that related to the special olympics, and am looking forward to writing about the paralympics.

that’s it for this time. the next carnival will take place on september 30 – and it will be hosted by the very laura collins i just mentioned. laura is the mother of a someone struggling with an eating disorder and feels passionate about involving parents as much as possible.

in the meantime, if you have an article you’d like to see here, please let me know, using this submission form.

recovering from anorexia: overcoming the obstacles

today we have a guest post from aliya, who has been very active in our anorexia recovery forum. she is a young woman who has been in recovery from anorexia for 7 months. she shares her struggles in the beginning of recovery from anorexia and how to overcome them.

well, having been in recovery for a few good months, now and firmly on my way, i can look back at the earlier stages and see just how hard they were.

when you first begin recovery, there are so many little struggles and hurdles that need to be overcome, once you do them, you are well on your way to recovery.

you begin recovery: after having starved your body, beginning to eat again is strangely hard. the first thing i ate when i came into recovery was a fruit salad. seems like nothing, doesn’t it? but for me, that was huge and i felt immensely full so soon after.

that was the first problem i encountered, my tummy used to get full so easily and quickly, and bloated. the way to overcome it is to eat small meals, often, to allow your tummy to adjust. i had a routine, that at certain times i had to eat so i don’t try to avoid any meals. the ana voice is strong at this stage and this makes it so difficult. i used to sit and cry after meals, cause i hated how hard it was to eat something. the thought of gaining weight is always going to be scary.

the other part of starting to eat again was, at the start, i had to make everything i ate and i had to eat certain foods. it was obsessive; i would make odd things like a baked potato with kidney beans. i had to make it though, and in time it goes away and you begin to try foods from other sources. this takes a lot of courage, and support.

there can never be too much support when you’re recovering from this disease. when i eat something that’s maybe different or eat more of something, to me it’s a huge achievement, and i always want it to be acknowledged. it’s like i’m telling the world, i’m getting better.

i think the second big hurdle is weight regain. for about 2 months, i gained about 2 pounds a week, even though i still wasn’t eating that much. i used to hate it. when you begin to eat more regularly, weight gain creeps in, and it’s hard to control. you keep gaining and gaining, until your metabolism stabilizes and from then on, weight gain is hard.

the best way to get over this, is to not weigh yourself. if you’re going to a counseller then do blind weigh ins, where you don’t know how much you weigh or if your not, then don’t take out the scales for at least 2 months. i used to be obsessive, about weighing myself, and weighed myself about ten times a day, and i hated how my weight fluctuated so much. as much as 6 pounds! so it’s definitely normal.

during this stage i would seriously not worry about the regain. it does even out eventually and then you have to eat more and more. it’s a hard and difficult phase, but honestly if you keep eating and fight hard you pull through.

the next hurdle was exercise. i felt at the beginning, when i started eating, i had to exercise, so i used to try and go for walks all the time, and it’s the obsessiveness again. in recovery i found i obsessed about things. i think you need to get rid of any obsessiveness in order to be fully recovered. the purpose of the walks was so you don’t ‘gain lots of weight’ but a walk should be taken when you feel like one. now, i don’t exercise at all, i don’t need to, and i know i shouldn’t. of course when i’m at my normal weight, then yes i can do some light exercise now and then, but when you start recovery, you really don’t need to.

i overcame it by saying to myself, why should i exercise just for the sake of ana? no, if i wanted to get rid of ana, i had to do it the hard way, and trying to burn calories is not going to get rid of the voices. i would honestly say that anyone in recovery should not exercise, because it becomes obsessive and the last thing you want to do is relapse.

once you get over the exercise, you adjust to food, and your weight is much more stable; you enter a nicer stage. i believe that’s where i am just now. right now, i truly want to get better, and get to that ideal weight range. it’s been about 7 months, and i’m at this stage where i feel hungry all the time and i eat a lot more. i feel comfortable eating, and trying new things.

the guilt feelings and ana voice still creeps in, but now when it does the way i defeat it, is eat. i eat so ana gets angry and goes away. it’s amazing what food does; it’s making my mind so much clearer. yes, i still see ”fat’ when i look in the mirror, but i know its false.

it’s a long journey but i know there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, where i will have my old life back, and food won’t be such an issue in my life. i can’t wait for that, but i’m ready for any more obstacles that come my way.

at the end of the day, when you first begin recovery you have to truly truly, from the bottom of your heart, want to get better. when you can accept that, you will get through recovery. you have to want to get better for you.