My name is Jay, and I am an Athletic Personal Trainer. I am also someone who has recovered from an eating and exercise disorder. My issues, like every person who has had an eating disorder were individual to me. All too often we label or group eating disorders into specific categories, but anyone who has dealt with one themselves, or through someone else knows that the behaviours come in all forms, for all different reasons, and are reinforced from all different pressures.
HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY FROM THE NATIONAL EATING DISORDER INFORMATION CENTRE!
The staff, students, and volunteers here at the National Eating Disorder Information Centre want to wish you a very happy International Women’s Day. Today, we are highlighting the work of a Rhiannon Flatman, a blogger in Australia, whose writing focuses on her journey to recovery – a journey that many women can relate to. We hope that you’ll join us in celebrating our natural sizes not just today, but all year long.
The Road to Recovery – You Can Do It!
A few days ago Merryl Bear, the clinical director of NEDIC, shared an article with us about an open letter written by an Equalities Minister sent to magazine editors in the UK to ask for a ban on the publishing of ‘miracle diets’ after the holidays. You can read the article here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-20849476
This week, we are highlighting an inspiring example of successful media campaigning. Elaine Stevenson, long-time champion of eating disorder prevention in Canada took the members of the Manitoba Executive Council to task for recent body-shaming advertisements. We are happy to report that the ads have now been pulled.
Dear Premier Hon. Oswald, Hon. Rondeau, & Hon. Howard:
It is often too easy to take well-intentioned popular media and public health initiatives and the images they transmit for granted. In the case of anorexia nervosa (A.N.), it is without question that accessibility to information and treatment is essential for those at risk and for those currently suffering from the disease, and that both popular media and public health campaigns are crucial in increasing awareness.
Living in Vancouver, there is certainly a presence of gym goers, devoted yogis, joggers, and cyclists. Having such mild weather and beautiful scenery to gaze at makes outdoor activity much less daunting and enjoyable.
I was recently reflecting on how the current social ideals of over-consumption and indulgence can coexist and, in fact, thrive in a society that also proclaims that restraint and thinness are the keys to happiness. As part of this dichotomous reality, there appears to be a new and growing trend among young women to engage in binge drinking episodes as well as to adopt extreme dieting and weight loss routines.
Vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, organic—everyone you talk to is extolling the virtues of eating a proper diet. Taking a step toward trading junk for more balanced, nutrient-packed meals is a good thing. But when taken to an extreme, danger ensues, often in the form of anxiety, nutrient imbalances and other health issues.
Earlier this month Dr. David Herzog, Director of the Harris Center for Education and Advocacy in Eating Disorders, wrote a compelling yet heartbreaking article for the Huffington Post (Herzog, 2012 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-david-herzog/anorexia_b_1424487.html) about the public perception of anorexia nervosa. This important blog highlights the stigma commonly associated with anorexia, a disease often viewed as self-inflicted and ‘acquired’; a way of seeking attention and becoming thin.
“Are you coming out tomorrow night with us?”
“I don’t think so, I have to go to the gym tomorrow night. Tomorrow is hams and quads”.
“Really? You’re ditching us again for a workout? We went to the gym this morning. You never come out anymore”.