Coping

The Choice - Navigating ED Recovery as a Person with Cerebral Palsy

Imagine someone blindfolded you to hear my conversations with my therapist over the last four years.  You would know I have anorexia nervosa. You would know that I am stable in recovery even though comments about my weight easily trigger me. To be fair, I am twice the size I was at my sickest. 

Eventually, you would learn that I have Cerebral Palsy and use a wheelchair.

Combat Bullying through Self-Compassion!

 

Pink Shirt Day, a day to raise awareness against bullying, began in 2007, when fifty teenagers in Nova Scotia showed up to class wearing a pink shirt in order to stand alongside a schoolmate who had been bullied for his choice in clothing.  Those students all rose up in unity, armed with only the symbolic power of a pink shirt, to silence the bullies who had tried to intimidate their classmate.

 

What is Normal Eating? Demystifying Dinner for Busy Families

It’s 9:30am at a school in York Region and I’ve just finished talking to a hundred eleven year olds about developing healthy relationships with their bodies. First shy, then clamoring for attention, a gaggle of girls queues up to talk about what’s normal. Their weight – is it what it’s supposed to be? Are they too tall? Do they look their age? It was easy enough for me to tell them that they were perfect the way they are. But how do busy parents address the normalcy question at home?

Welcome to the Family ED

Six years ago my sister stopped eating. It started after she began experimenting with dieting and seeing some results. First it was just cutting out all junk food, and then the portions of her food kept getting smaller and smaller until she was barely consuming anything in a day. And where was I? In the middle of the chaos that was going on in my home, feeling a mixture of a bunch of emotions that I wasn’t very proud of, and felt unable to express. You can almost think of it as getting a new member of the family. 

Two to Tango

The weigh in has to be, like most things in my life, perfect. I walk to the scale, carefully being watched by the nurse assigned to observe. I pull in all my breath and step onto the scale, eyes glued to the numbers facing me. I needed a perfect number to get weekend pass. I needed to leave this place. I needed perfection. The number reached its stopping point, one pound short of my goal for that day. Ms. Perfect on my one shoulder leapt forward, screaming failure, while Ed on my other shoulder jumped for joy at still having control.

Body Exposure

I’ve struggled with accepting my body the way it is now, and at times I still do. It can be hard for someone with an eating disorder to see and feel their body changing. This is made worse when I feel full after eating, if I wear clothes that feel a little too tight, or if I am having a bad day and look in the mirror.

Banning Junk Food, Creating Unhealthy Mindsets

James S. Bell Junior Middle School in Toronto has banned “junk food” from lunches. Students who bring items such as candy or even granola bars will be asked to take the items back home. The reasoning behind this decision is that the school styles itself as a “sports and wellness academy”. They further reinforce these values by sending kids back to the cafeteria line if they do not have enough vegetables on their plate. Although the general population may perceive these initiatives as positive and healthy – they do not sit well with me.

Speak Up – A Call Out to the Guys

I was going to college for health and fitness in Toronto when my behaviours became extreme. As my weight and health quickly plummeted no one asked me what was going on. Even at my physically worst I was only ever asked about drug use by doctors, but never a question about food or exercise. Hidden in plain sight, I was a man with an eating disorder.

The Power of Pleasure

“Chocolate!!” exclaims my 6 year old nephew Jesse as my sister and I are discussing the preferred flavour of cake for our annual Turkey Tea party. “I want chocolate turkey cake with brown icing!” Ok. Ever since he was a baby we have been having tea parties for special occasions and holidays, keeping celebrations short to match his uh, time-challenged, attention span. Thanksgiving always includes a cake decorated as a turkey from the local grocery store.

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