The Sketch of a 20-Something

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.

May 6: Celebrate International No Diet Day!

Billions of dollars are spent every year on the latest diet programs, diet pills and diet books, yet most dieters regain all of, if not more of their weight within one to five years . On May 6th, International No Diet Day, the National Eating Disorder Information Centre is encouraging Canadians to break free of dieting with four alternatives that will help lead to a healthier outlook and relationship with food and with oneself.

Belonging Nowhere: Struggles With Disordered Eating as a Visible Minority

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.

NEDIC’s 100th Blog

Spring is such a lovely time to celebrate anything. New shoots are emerging and old favourites break from winter dormancy. This entry celebrates NEDIC’s 100th  blog, and I am delighted to be writing it. 

Since inception, subscribership to the blog has risen 79%. The blog is read by thousands, with the greatest traffic of any NEDIC web page after our homepage. The range of voices on the blog is unlike any other that I’ve come across in the eating disorder community, and continues to draw new writers and new eyes to it. Definitely worth celebrating!

Eating Disorders & ASD: Reflections on World Autism Awareness Day

Almost a year has passed since I delivered my talk to NEDIC on the link between autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and eating disorders. In that time more research has come out to support this surprising overlap between these seemingly distinct disorders. In August 2013, Simon Baron-Cohen and his team at the Autism Research Centre published a study that examined the cognitive profile of 66 teenage women with anorexia. Compared to their peers, women with anorexia had elevated autistic traits, reduced empathy and high levels of systemizing thinking.

Mind the Impact: Learning to Love To Be Me!

When I was in grade four it was mandatory to be in the choir.  Although I was no "diva" I enjoyed the camaraderie of the choir and felt participation was what mattered most. However, moments before a special performance, the music teacher pulled me aside and directed me not to sing: “Sarah, why don’t you try to lip sing for this concert.” This experience greatly affected my ability to find my voice and to express myself.

Weight Based Bullying

Bullying is something that is happening all around us on a daily basis. It comes in various forms such as cyber, verbal, physical and emotional. To break things down even further, weight has become a leading cause for these forms of bullying to take place. Weight based victimization is happening more and more in today’s youth, with the picture of ‘ideal’ women and men stuck in their heads. It is important that we take a look at this pressing issue as it is not only affecting the emotional and mental health of the victims, but can also affect physical health (e.g., through binge eating).

Measures of Health

As a personal trainer I spend a minimum of 30 hours in a gym every week. People of all different fitness levels, abilities, and body types surround me. Unfortunately, my industry is one that is often driven by a certain set of stereotypes around what fitness is. Magazines, posters, and commercials of fitness models drive a message that being fit and having a very certain look go hand in hand.