If I had a dollar for every time I heard the words “Just Eat More” thrown at me- well, I might not quite be a millionaire, but I’d certainly have a lump sum saved for a rainy day. Those words would come from all sorts of people around me - my parents (initially), my friends, and the people I’d come to meet routinely at the gym when I told them about my eating concerns. Time and time again, I would be ‘advised’ to simply order more, or to grab an extra piece; or worst of all, a friend at a dinner party would do it for me and give me this look of victory, as if they had accomplished some sort of dignifying act of intervention. Thanks, but it doesn’t quite work like that.
We hear the statistics: one in five people have a mental illness but what does that say about the mental well-being of the other four? Mental health is more than the absence of mental illness. It’s a state of well-being. Mental health is something we all can benefit from working towards.
Originally posted on GalaDarling
This is a subject I am very, very passionate about. If you were expecting to be coddled on the subject, you’re out of luck. This is tough love, because we need it.
In today’s society, we often feel so much pressure to look a particular way. This isn’t news. But what IS news is that the wave has broken. People are starting to push back. From Coco Rocha and Doutzen Kroes speaking out publicly about the size of models, to Jessica Simpson’s series The Price of Beauty, women in positions of power or influence — and women who are often looked up to as body or beauty ideals — are finding a voice. A voice which says, “ENOUGH!”
I see a life coach.
The funny thing is, I call her my life coach when I’m doing well. I call her my therapist when I’m doing not-so-well. Because really, she’s one in the same.
According to her — and the firm for which she works — the difference between a therapist and a life coach is just that: where you are in life. If we were looking at a scale that goes from -10 to 10, a therapist would be there for you if you were on the negative side of zero, helping you to reach a healthier, more neutral place. If you’re already there, though, a life coach helps you improve that position, moving you up the scale into more happiness and life satisfaction.
There are an endless number of healthy reasons why someone may seek out a personal trainer; however, the reasons for wanting to engage in exercise are not always healthy, and the signs and symptoms of eating disorders are not detectable by the majority of fitness professionals when compared to medical professionals (Manley, O'Brien, & Samuels, 2008).
It didn’t start out as an eating disorder. If you had asked me back then, I would have never admitted to having one. I was a collegiate athlete, studying health…there was no way I would allow something so terrible to ravage my body. I needed my body, and so did my teammates.
It is impossible to articulate just how challenging the days with my eating disorder were, and to remember all the various roadblocks to overcome. It is equally as challenging when preparing for a speaking event to know what type of information would be the most helpful, and what people need to hear. I don’t want people to feel sorry for me because of my experience; I want them to learn, and act, and change.
So often we discuss body image, weight preoccupation, and eating disorders as issues that affect girls and women. However, when you take a closer look, through research, clinical cases, or through discussion with boys and men, it’s very clear that these issues are not exclusive to one particular gender. Throughout my pregnancy, I often thought about how I would promote a positive body image and healthy eating attitudes in my son. I never thought of difficulties in these areas as “girl problems.” As a new mom, I continue to reflect on the topics of body image, self-esteem, and eating related issues, and I’m already trying to put some positive practices into place. Thus, as this EDAW has come to an end, I’d like to share a letter I wrote for my son, with the hope that others will be inspired to share similar messages with the boys and men in their lives.
Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is possibly the most common eating disorder, yet many of us hadn’t heard of it until recently. The notion of BED has been around for some time but until lately, it was not a stand-alone diagnosable eating disorder. This all changed with the release of the latest DSM-V. The latest version listed criteria for diagnosing BED, instead of lumping it into other unspecified eating disorders. The DSM-V set BED apart, similar to how Anorexia Nervosa or Bulimia Nervosa might be classified.