Monday, February 27, 2012

In honor of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, I wanted to draw your attention to just some of the articles that might be helpful to you this week in raising awareness for yourself, or for others! I always encourage people when trying to educate or raise awareness that they be mindful of potentially triggering information out there- articles that outline eating disorder behaviors in very specific detail, height and weight info, etc. can be especially triggering to people. These articles below are void of such details.

One helpful hint: Using social media to create awareness is a great (and easy!) way to spread the word about eating disorders this week- whether you use facebook, twitter, etc. Consider how you might influence people in your social networks!

You can click on the items below to be taken to the website or article...

5 Ways to Honor National Eating Disorder Association Week by Dr. Susan Albers

Eating Disorders Awareness Week (an article published 2 years ago- very good!)

NEDAwareness- Information about the Week, FAQ, etc.

National Eating Disorders Awareness Week: How Empathy Plays a Part in the Healing Process for Those with Eating Disorders by Judy Scheel

Support for your Partner During National Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2012 by Kate Thieda

Saturday, February 25, 2012

National Eating Disorder Awareness Week!!!

Tomorrow- Sunday, February 26th- marks the beginning of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. On Sunday morning, at 730am, G105, 93.9 KISS FM and 100.7 The River will all be broadcasting a segment on body image that Ellen Morrison (a dietician and eating disorder specialist) and I recorded a few weeks back. It will also be airing at 6p Sunday evening on 106.1. Once it airs, I will try to post a link to the segment. In addition, there are events going on locally if you are interested in being involved. All events will be held at Meredith College, and are free and open to the public. See below for details! If you are interested in attending an event in your neighborhood, check out this link to find events near you!

This year's theme is "Everybody Knows Somebody." I think this communicates the growing awareness that eating disorders touch the lives of everyone on some level. To learn more, consider attending an event in your area, or follow this link for more resources to learn more about eating disorders.

Tuesday, February 28th: "There is No Such Thing as Fattening Food: Debunking Dieting Myths" by Ellen Morrison, MS, RD, CEDS. 7p in Kresge Auditorium in Cate Center

Wednesday, February 29th: Body Image Discussion by Renee Avis, LPC, 6p in Ledford Hall, Room 101

Thursday, March 1st: Scale Smashing Event- bring your own scale! 3:30-5p on the back lawn of the Gaddy-Hammrick Art Center.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Rainy Day Reading

I hope everyone is having a great week!! It's a rainy Thursday, and I'm plugging away, catching up on work and preparing for the rest of my clients that I will be seeing this afternoon and evening. I thought I would pop in real quick to share some articles that I have read recently that may be of interest. Most of them (with the exception of two!) have been published on the Huffington Post in the last few weeks. Hope you enjoy them!! Have a great day!

The Eating Disorder Time Suck

Children Dieting at Age 7 to Ward Off Bullies

Karl Lagerfield Calls Adele Fat and Insults Us All

Plus Size Magazine 'Reveals' Low Weight Among Models

Health Risks Due to Performance Pressures on Athletes

Like Mother, Like Daughter: Eating Disorders Run in Families

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Geneen Roth has written many books on women and food- Feeding the Hungry HeartWhen Food is Love, Breaking Free From Emotional Eating, When You Eat at the Refrigerator Pull Up A Chair, Women, Food and God, etc. Roth writes about her personal experiences with dieting, weight loss and weight gain (both healthy and unhealthy), self-love and acceptance, gaining confidence, and feeling beautiful. No matter how you might characterize your relationship with food- restrictive, binging and/or purging, some combination of the three- there are helpful pieces of wisdom in her books for everyone. 

Roth does a great job of promoting healthy body image, especially in light of our culture's unrealistic beauty ideals. Recently, I had the opportunity to speak to parents of young girls about promoting positive body image in their daughters. One of the key points that I made was that in order to foster positive body image in girls, you must model a positive, healthy body image yourself. Whether you have daughters or not, you probably have a sister, a friend, a cousin, etc. who is female- so this applies to all of us. :) It is important that as women, we work to encourage and model healthy self-esteem and body image for ourselves, but also for the women in our lives. That is one challenging task these days. I want to share a few lines from Roth's book Breaking Free From Emotional Eating that addresses this subject-

"Living in a woman's body is not easy. Especially if you happen to look like a woman and not like an adolescent boy. We've spent years trying to slice away what makes our bodies womanly: the roundness, the lushness, and we've sliced our spirits instead. We've listened for so long to what they- our parents, our fashion moguls, our Hollywood directors- decide is attractive that we've lost our own voices. We don't know who we are anymore.

Power is born when we stop trying to unzip ourselves out of our bodies, when we stop trying to lose so much weight we look like boys or gain so much weight we can't be seen. Power is born with the willingness to be seen."

That last line is particularly powerful, and may hold a clue to body image struggles that we all experience at one time or another-- and for some, are more chronic and pervasive. Being seen and using our voices are both directly tied to our view of ourselves and our worth. Examining our worth as people, knowing where our true value comes from and claiming that can be powerful in having a healthy and appropriate view of ourselves. For more on emotional eating and body image, check out Geneen Roth's books.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Butterfly Circus

Happy Groundhog's Day! For whatever reason, I'm a big fan of Groundhog's Day. I think it's such a funny, silly tradition for a groundhog to determine how many more weeks of Winter we have. And who can forget this classic??

So, my friend Ryan sent me a video the other day that I was really moved by. It is a short film that won Clint Eastwood's Filmmaker Award in 2010 and has won many other independent film awards along the way. The video (below) called the Butterfly Circus is set in the Depression era and displays the beauty that can blossom when someone learns to believe in himself. The message of restored hope is powerful in this film. The main character, Will, has no arms and no legs; it is touching to watch the transformation that takes place in his life as a result of someone believing in him. I love watching the progression of change that occurs as he learns to value himself and see the beauty that he possesses. I think everyone should watch this!!!

In real life, Will is played by Nick Vujicic, who started an organization called Life Without Limbs after struggling as a youngster as a result of being born without arms or legs. I heard him speak a few years ago in Arizona and was completely amazed by his testimony. And I have to be honest- I was really impressed with his acting abilities in this movie. I would really encourage you to watch it- it is 20 minutes, and you might want to grab some kleenex... you just might shed some happy tears.

My favorite line in this film: "The greater the struggle, the more glorious the triumph." This is so true. No matter how tough the challenge before you, have faith- there is hope!