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.
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.
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.