Perspectives

20 Things That Everyone Needs to Know About Eating Disorders

Both personally and professionally, I’ve spent much of my life dealing with eating disorders – starting with my own 5 year, near-fatal battle with Anorexia Nervosa and now, dedicating my life to helping women overcome issues with body image, working extensively with eating disorder sufferers. Throughout all of this, I’ve noticed that time and time again, there are certain themes that continually arise in the media’s portrayal of eating disorders. Unfortunately the culture of shame, stigma, and misinformation still runs rampant in stereotypical portrayals of what an eating disorder “looks like”, ultimately contributing to the delay or avoidance in seeking treatment regarding those affected.

Do No Harm: ED Prevention Strategies in Schools

From my own school experiences, I have found that there is much emphasis placed on healthy eating and weight control. I am sure you can think back to your own or your children's school experiences and pinpoint a time when 'healthy eating' and weight were discussed. In my case, the focus on weight and eliminating 'junk' food led me to become more entrenched in an eating disorder. So, how do schools 'prevent' EDs through their education programs? One article focused on just that: School-Based Interventions to Prevent Eating Problems: First Do No Harm.

I'm A Fat Anti-Assimilationist (& No I'm Not Sorry)

For so long I saw myself as a failure. 

Even though there were so many signs that I was already rebelling against the diet culture, I denied them. Each time I ate cake or decided to watch Dynasty instead of exercise, my inner badass was saying "girl, this sucks." The badass inside my head won a lot, but I couldn't see those choices as being CHOICES. I saw them only as failures.

New Year, New You?

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It can be difficult, at this time of year, to keep a balanced perspective. The holidays are chaotic, full of opportunities for criticism, self-directed or otherwise, and it is hard to resist the pull to begin January full of judgment. Whether you are the type to scoff at resolutions, or to earnestly face the New Year hoping that you can be a better self than you were in the past in some small way, for those of us who keep ourselves at a distance - the sick self and the well self - the urge to reflect and resolve is fraught.

Even If They're Fat

Occasionally, when it comes up in conversation, I’ve heard some dietitian colleagues agree that a non-diet or intuitive eating approach is the best way to help clients achieve better eating habits…unless they’re really “obese.” Then they should probably lose weight “for their health.” These dietitians are not yet wholly committed to Health at Every Size - HAES®.

Happiness: Awareness of the Body and Mind

The Objective of Life: In my opinion, it is to live a fulfilled life free of pain and suffering. Having said that, hardships are often inevitable. However, I do believe that we can sometimes manifest our own problems in our lives, specifically relating to our bodies. Through my own personal experiences, I have recognized my own body concerns as being tied to preoccupations of my mind. The culture of the mind can play a major role in the organization of one’s life, including the perception of the self. Negative thinking pathways in our minds, like negative self-talk, can lead you to feel like a prisoner in your own body, which I experienced before finding the pathway of recovery and happiness.

Sh*t People Say

“You look healthy.”

         I heard this often when I first recovered from anorexia nervosa, and it sent my head whirling with thoughts such as: “What do they mean? How bad did I look before?  Am I too healthy?” A simple, seemingly positive remark made me feel confused and irrational. I knew people were trying to make me feel good, tell me in their own ways that they were relieved I had changed my life for the better, but it was hard to accept my changing body; never mind what others thought.

One Size Does Not Fit All: Writing Beyond the Body Image Narrative

Image Source: Google Images

 

In a culture that pathologically reduces females to their physiques and profits from their self-perceived flaws, it’s not surprising that this body image narrative has become dominant. While this narrative provides a convenient framework and simple explanations, the assumption that eating disorders arise primarily from dissatisfaction with physical appearance masks the complexity and severity of the disease. This assumption ignores components such as genetic predisposition, psychological factors, and other sociocultural influences. It also eclipses the full spectrum of perspectives that cut across lines of gender, age, race, class, and sexual orientation.

Put the Hammer Down

Image Source: http://www.public-domain-image.com/free-images/objects/tools/hammer-hand-tool-725x544.jpg

Originally posted May 2, 2015: on www.curvyoga.com at: http://www.curvyyoga.com/put-the-hammer-down/

 

“People often mistakenly think that body acceptance means you never change, but that couldn’t be true even if we wanted it to be. Our bodies are always changing, so acceptance can never be a static thing.”

Dear 2005 Me

 

Dear 2005 Me,

I have been fighting anorexia for more than 10 years. It was getting to the point where I thought anorexia was going to be present for the rest of my life.  If you are where I was, fighting and falling and wanting to give up, have hope. Recovery is possible.

 

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