When I was first approached by NEDIC with the opportunity to submit a blog post several emotions overcame me. The most overbearing emotion was guilt. Although I felt minimal feelings of honour, accomplishment, and a sense of pride, just because my recovery has not been picturesque, that same voice who fed my ED for years was still screaming at endless decibels that I was not good enough. I was a false example of life in recovery. My lost count of slips since leaving residential treatment were by no means something I should have any pride in.
By now you must have heard about the controversy from NBC’s The Biggest Loser reality TV show. This season’s winner lost 60% of her body weight and her physical appearance caused outrage across the nation. How could they let that happen? GASP!
It's splashed right across her face.
The waves gently touch the shore as she stands half-hidden behind a palm tree, busying herself with sunscreen and sunglasses and one more do-I-have-everything?
She's wasting time. She's gathering courage.
She's surrounded by strangers who will never see her again but she looks at their faces and tries to imagine what they'll think of her.
An In Touch article, printed at the height of Kardashian’s pregnancy, was entitled something like: I’ll Never be Sexy again; Even my Armpits are Fat! Let me say for the record that I do not care about Kim Kardashian’s weight gain and I don’t care which celeb’s beach butt cellulite it is under the cutesy “Guess Who?” label.
It can happen to anyone. When you think of someone suffering from an eating disorder you picture a young female or a famous celebrity that you have seen in a magazine. You never think of a male. But I am here to say it does happen to men and I’m using my time now to write about it and explain what happens.
If I had a dollar for every time I have been asked what my 'background' is, I'd be rich.
Growing up as a racially ambiguous person with a white mother and a black father, I more
often than not got looks of confusion or even asked if they’re my real parents. During my
teenage years it was especially difficult figuring out my own self-identity as a mixed person
who ‘didn’t look mixed’ as well as accepting the changes happening to my body.
About a year ago I started thinking about my upcoming wedding. For months I had been thinking about the weight I felt I had to lose before I would be thin enough – and not because of my wedding, but because of my disorder. I felt disappointed in my body whenever I looked in the mirror, though I was thin and a part of me knew it.
Body image is something that we truly dread dealing with at one point or another in our lives. We call ourselves fat, we point out our flaws and sometimes look for validation from others that we are in fact “beautiful”. When I saw the Real Beauty campaign by Dove, it made me stop and truly think, if we all just focused on things that we liked about ourselves each day that could make a difference in how we view ourselves. One thing could lead to two or three or four and then maybe those flaws that we saw before won’t be so noticeable anymore.
It is my sincere hope that everyone spent the last holiday ensconced in a cozy cocoon of familial adoration and delicious, well-savored meals. If, however, you found yourself trapped in your childhood bedroom, shoving fistfuls of mashed potatoes into your mouth just to make the crying stop, then friend, come sit by me.
Growing up as a first generation immigrant is complex. Your parents are adults who are relearning things they learned in childhood while simultaneously trying to keep you alive and teach you life lessons. On TV you see these perfect, straw-haired, pale-skinned kids, speaking English and eating mashed potatoes for dinner and you look down at your plate of rice and squid, while your mom is yelling at you in your mother tongue and you wonder why your life is so different.