Thursday, February 28, 2008

I have an eating disorder--Andrea Smeltzer, 1999

I have an eating disorder
it is not had or did or used to
it is present tense

I am Learning
it is learning to love myself
it is learning to let others love me
it is surviving when they don’t
it is that I damn well deserve that love

I am Trying
it is trying to listen to my body
it is about ups and downs and all arounds
it is trying to give myself what I need
it is letting others give me what I need
it is trying to recognize needs of others without hurting myself

I am Going Slowly
it is being patient and gentle with myself
it is going through the day hour by hour,
sometimes minute by minute
it is not being everything to everyone not even myself

I am Accepting
it is accepting drugs as a way to heal myself
it is accepting the words depression, anorexia,
bulimia as tools to describe, not label
it is accepting the help and care and fear of others
it is accepting food as a necessity not an enemy

I am Beautiful!
it is beauty irrelevant of size or number or grade

I am Alive
it is fighting to remain that way

I am Pain
it is trying not to hurt myself

I am on a Journey
it is laughing, crying, cartwheeling, eating.
It is o.k.
I am o.k.

For other poems by Andrea look here.

Andrea's Voice ... Silenced by Bulimia

Andrea Lynn Smeltzer, 19, was trained in opera, enjoyed the theater, was an avid dancer, a masterful jewelry-maker and poet. After studying in Spain for a year at the age of fourteen, she spoke Spanish fluently. At the time of her death she was studying German, with a plan to master Japanese next. Prior to college, Andrea was elected president of her high school’s Amnesty International group and was an outspoken advocate for human rights. She was the representative chosen to present the student petitions to the Guatemalan consulate in San Francisco in 1996. At Pitzer College she was awarded the prestigious Fletcher Jones Scholarship, worked as a Resident Assistant and Mentor, majored in International Business and Politics—and looked forward to saving the world. She died tragically after thirteen months of bulimic behaviors on June 16, 1999.

Andrea's mother has taken up the cause of educating others about EDs. Here is the most recent post from her blog:

I facilitate a peer-led body image support group at one of our local high schools. Every week I am stunned when I listen to the pain the students bring to group around “body.” This group averages about 17 attendees each week—they come because of their own needs so this is not a representative “sampling” of the campus or community by any means, but the thing that saddens me the most in this group is the pain and agony caused by the comments and actions of their parents around food, weight, body size, and looks.

Students in group share how their parents constantly talk despairingly about their own bodies and then about the student’s body as well. Each week I hear, “Again they told me I need to lose weight.” Students are given ultimatums such as, “Lose this weight or … You’ll need to find some other place to live … or you’ll never be successful, or have friends, or be respected, or be happy or find a man or find a woman … or …..”

I listen with an open heart and with no judgment. Until Andrea died I was one of those parents: I spoke with continual disapproval of my own body, I counted calories, dieted and obsessed about food and weight. I am fully aware of how I contributed to the development of Andrea’s eating disorder, but until working with these students, I was truly ignorant of how deeply painful my actions may have been to her.

As parents, our diets, our obsessions with looks, weight and food are not only poor modeling but may bring our children to tears when we’re not looking. I witness the anguish each week and my heart breaks anew for not only the students and their well-meaning but misguided parents, but for my own daughter and my own misguided actions.

I wish I’d had the courage to really look at how my actions affected our daughters. I think I assumed I was being helpful at best and benign at worst. As I witness my current students’ sorrow I realize how mistaken I was—our children so desperately want us to accept them unconditionally—no matter what pretense they present on the outside. Because of all that I have learned from Andrea, my students receive from me what she could not.

Blessings until next time,


For those of you caught up in the whole dieting mindset---remember your children are watching. The choice is yours. Do your children grow up feeling loved and accepted for who they are no matter their size. Or do they follow your example and end up basing their entire self worth on a number on a scale.

Andrea's Voice Foundation--Disordered Eating and Related Issues

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

In Honor of Natonal Eating Disorder Awareness Week





    Many people assume that if they lose weight, their looks will improve. Yet most "before and after" shots show such strong contrast because of many other reasons. The "after" photos include a fashionable new outfit, improved posture, stylish hairdo, professional make-up job, and a big self-confident smile. The actual weight lost is insignificant compared to the change in attitude. Improving your wardrobe, your grooming, and your self-image are all quite possible without dieting.

    In addition, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Not everyone shares the same aesthetic tastes espoused by the media and advertising. Some men and women prefer to date and marry those who are darker, older, shorter, or larger than the average fashion model model. Many others place a higher priority on inner beauty than outward appearance.


    If you're trying to get down to a certain size for a special occasion such as your wedding or class reunion, you will probably succeed if you time your diet just right. But are you willing to risk the weight gain that is likely to follow the special event? Over 90% of all dieters regain some or all of the weight originally lost and at least one-third gain more. Who are you trying to impress anyway? You were probably at your current weight when your fiancee proposed. and all brides are beautiful - no matter what the dress size. Your former classmates will be more impressed by your loving family. charitable works, or job promotion than by your weight.


    Many specific medical conditions require a change of eating habits, such as lowering salt. sugar. or fat intake. Such changes, especially combined with a moderate exercise program, can improve health. However, judge the success of your eating program by the improvement or alleviation of your specific symptoms, not by number of pounds lost. For fat people, any weight loss which accompanies such dietary changes may be slight and may only be temporary. Also ask your doctor what additional treatment they recommend to thin patients with your medical problem, and follow that advice.


    Many people say they just feel better at a lower weight. This attitude is primarily a result of internalized oppression against fatness. A healthy dose of self-esteem, an active social life, and a moderate exercise program will make a person of size feel better.


    If you're fat, you've probably experienced size discrimination of some sort: teasing, unsolicited advice, or trouble finding fashionable clothing, comfortable seats, or a new job. You probably will receive better treatment if you get thinner, but this is an individual personal solution to a general societal problem. Where would the civil rights movement be today if African Americans were still searching for the perfect skin lightening cream or hair straightener Instead of changing your l-body. why not change other people's attitudes or challenge a few laws? Join NAAFA in fighting size discrimination at all levels - from social to political.




    If you've been fat for most of your life and several other family members are also fat, the odds are that your natural body size is larger than average. Children with one large parent have a 40% chance of being large, and children of two fat parents have an 80% chance of being that size also. Current setpoint theory states that everyone has a natural weight which their body will automatically protect. Diets are nothing but voluntary starvation. The body protects itself from perceived famine by increasing energy efficiency and raising its set-point even higher. This theory explains why diets more frequently result in weight gain than in permanent weight loss.


    Not all binge eaters are fat, and not all fat people are binge eaters. On the average, fat people eat the same amounts and types of food as thin or average size people. Instead of being a cure for binge eating, dieting can actually cause binge eating. Bingeing or "overeating" is a natural reaction to food deprivation. The dieting process itself often starts a vicious "binge/purge" cycle which can lead to serious eating disorders such as bulimia or anorexia nervosa. If you suspect that you have an eating disorder, contact your doctor, counselor, or a support group.


    You have about as much chance of winning the lottery as you do of permanently losing weight by dieting. Over a five-year period, only 2-5% of dieters succeed in keeping their weight off. and over one-third of all diets result in long-term weight gain. Would you accept a treatment for any other medical condition that had those "success" rates? If you've dieted frequently in the past, what makes you think this time will be any different? You may be wasting time, money, and energy, and risking your health if you go on another diet. Are the odds worth it?


    If you're planning to go on your first diet, make sure that you also plan to make it your last. Many of the 2-5% of successful dieters are those who have never dieted before. If you have a particular medical incentive for dieting, this may be just what you personally need to beat the odds. But if you've never dieted before, also be forewarned of some of the possible side effects: tiredness, irritability, mood swings, obsessing about food, and inability to concentrate.




    Before spending a cent on any diet program, insist on seeing their five-year follow-up study and their specific claims about weight loss results. Be sure to ask how they handle drop outs. Also ask for a money back guarantee. If you find a diet program will willing to make such a guarantee. please notify NAAFA, because we don't know of any. Don't be misled by "guarantees" which only let you spend more money by allowing you to continue having their special foods. Ask for a concrete definition of "success." Be a good consumer when buying any diet plan or product. Better yet, don't spend any money at all on dieting.


    Many articles claim that diets don't work, so you should eat less and exercise more. (What exactly do they think a "diet" is?) Do not believe that "sensible" eating plans or diets work any better than "quack" or 'fad" diets. There is no evidence to support this claim. Weight is usually regained at about the same rate as it is lost. "Sensible" weight loss programs might possibly be slightly less hazardous to your health and may result in slower weight regain, but the 5-year success rate is no better than any other method.


    The common advice to "see your doctor first before starting any diet" is given primarily for the legal protection of the multi-billion dollar diet industry. By all means, see your physician, but remember that most doctors have had little or no training in nutrition and some push a particular diet for their own monetary gain. Medical supervision is no guarantee of safety, since hospitalized fasts are among the more hazardous weight loss procedures used. Nutritionists and dietitians often have more medical information on dieting than general physicians and they may be more understanding about the realities of weight loss attempts.


    If you do go on another diet and the lost weight does reappear, don't just blame yourself or your lack of willpower. The dieting process just does not work for the vast majority of dieters. Relax. Reread this brochure. and consider joining NAAFA . Accept yourself at your current size. And get on with your life !




    Don't wait until you're down to a certain size to lead a full productive life. Accept yourself the way you are and get on with enjoying your life today and every day. Surround yourself with friends and loved ones who also accept you.


    NAAFA, Inc. has other free or low-cost educational material and runs a book service that includes most of the prominent books on size acceptance. Two especially good books which provide more information on the dieting process are Bennett Gurin's Dieter's Dilemma and Atrens' Don't Diet. Both summarize the numerous medical studies upon which the information in this brochure is based. Contact NAAFA for a current book list.


    NAAFA has local chapters in most major U.S. cities, national special interest groups, an annual national convention, and regional conferences. NAAFA provides personal emotional support for many fat people and their loved ones.



Louise Wolfe
MS Rehabilitation Counseling

Info from NAAFA.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Feed Me---A little exercise for National Eeating Disorders Awareness Week

Harriet over at the Feed Me blog had a resounding post in honor of National Eating disorder Awareness Week.

As I was reading this article on the "global obesity epidemic," I couldn't help thinking that it was in fact a blueprint for creating an eating disorder.

Actually you don't even have to change a lot of the language here, because the basic idea in maintaining weight loss is the same in inspiring weight loss. You've got to make changes in your life--in other words, you've got to behave in eating-disordered ways--in order to lose weight.

Frequent weighing, rigid eating behaviors, obsessive attention to dietary details. Yup. Sounds like an eating disorder to me.

And since this is, after all, a week when we are supposed to become more aware of eating disorders, I encourage you to go out and eat something and then not write it down. Have a second helping. Don't weigh yourself. Eat what you feel like. Stop when you're done.

In other words, eat normally--if we can even remember what that means.
Head on over a read the rest of this post.....sure makes sense to normally...what a concept...

Friday, February 22, 2008

It's not just the ladies....

Medusa has once again made a poignant post concerning the ED riddled modeling field. She has also shown that ED is not just for the ladies.

The image of male models is also changing.

Here is what male models in the past have looked like.

These are the ones from the most recent fashion week in NYC.

Check out this article from the NY Times:

The Vanishing Point - New York Times

CREDIT Hedi Slimane or blame him. The type of men Mr. Slimane promoted when he first came aboard at Dior Homme some years back (he has since left) were thin to the point of resembling stick figures; the clothes he designed were correspondingly lean. The effects of his designs on the men’s wear industry were radical and surprisingly persuasive. Within a couple of seasons, the sleekness of Dior Homme suits made everyone else’s designs look boxy and passé, and so designers everywhere started reducing their silhouettes.

Then a funny thing happened. The models were also downsized. Where the masculine ideal of as recently as 2000 was a buff 6-footer with six-pack abs, the man of the moment is an urchin, a wraith or an underfed runt.

Nowhere was this more clear than at the recent men’s wear shows in Milan and Paris, where even those inured to the new look were flabbergasted at the sheer quantity of guys who looked chicken-chested, hollow-cheeked and undernourished. Not altogether surprisingly, the trend has followed the fashion pack back to New York.

Wasn’t it just a short time ago that the industry was up in arms about skinny models? Little over a year ago, in Spain, designers were commanded to choose models based on a healthy body mass index; physicians were installed at Italian casting calls; Diane von Furstenberg, the president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, and Anna Wintour, the editor of Vogue, called a conference to ventilate the issue of unhealthy body imagery and eating disorders among models.

The models in question were women, and it’s safe to say that they remain as waiflike as ever. But something occurred while no one was looking. Somebody shrunk the men.

“Skinny, skinny, skinny,” said Dave Fothergill, a director of the agency of the moment, Red Model Management. “Everybody’s shrinking themselves.”

This was abundantly clear in the castings of models for New York shows by Duckie Brown, Thom Browne, Patrik Ervell, Robert Geller and Marc by Marc Jacobs, where models like Stas Svetlichnyy of Russia typified the new norm. Mr. Svetlichnyy’s top weight, he said last week, is about 145 pounds. He is 6 feet tall with a 28-inch waist.

“Designers like the skinny guy,” he said backstage last Friday at the Duckie Brown show. “It looks good in the clothes and that’s the main thing. That’s just the way it is now.”

Even in Milan last month at shows like Dolce & Gabbana and Dsquared, where the castings traditionally ran to beefcake types, the models were leaner and less muscled, more light-bodied. Just as tellingly, Dolce & Gabbana’s look-book for spring 2008 (a catalog of the complete collection) featured not the male models the label has traditionally favored — industry stars like Chad White and Tyson Ballou, who have movie star looks and porn star physiques — but men who look as if they have never seen the inside of a gym.

“The look is different from when I started in the business eight years ago,” Mr. Ballou said last week during a photo shoot at the Milk Studios in lower Manhattan. In many of the model castings, which tend to be dominated by a handful of people, the body style that now dominates is the one Charles Atlas made a career out of trying to improve.

“The first thing I did when I moved to New York was immediately start going to the gym,” the designer John Bartlett said. That was in the long-ago 1980s. But the idea of bulking up now seems retro when musicians and taste arbiters like Devendra Banhart boast of having starved themselves in order to look good in clothes.

“The eye has changed,” Mr. Bartlett said. “Clothes now are tighter and tighter. Guys are younger and younger. Everyone is influenced by what Europe shows.”

What Europe (which is to say influential designers like Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons at Jil Sander) shows are men as tall as Tom Brady but who wear a size 38 suit.

“There are designers that lead the way,” said James Scully, a seasoned casting agent best known for the numerous modeling discoveries he made when he worked at Gucci under Tom Ford. “Everyone looks to Miuccia Prada for the standard the way they used to look at Hedi Slimane. Once the Hedi Slimanization got started, all anyone wanted to cast was the scrawny kid who looked like he got sand kicked in his face. The big, great looking models just stopped going to Europe. They knew they’d never get cast.”

For starters, they knew that they would never fit into designers’ samples. “When I started out in the magazine business in 1994, the sample size was an Italian 50,” said Long Nguyen of Flaunt magazine, referring to a size equivalent to a snug 40-regular.

“That was an appropriate size for a normal 6-foot male,” Mr. Nguyen said. Yet just six years later — coincidentally at about the time Mr. Slimane left his job as the men’s wear designer at YSL for Dior Homme — the typical sample size had dwindled to 48. Now it is 46.

“At that point you might as well save money and just go over to the boy’s department,” Mr. Nguyen said from his seat in the front row of the Benjamin Cho show, which was jammed as usual with a selection of reedy boys in Buffalo plaid jackets and stovepipe jeans, the same types that fill Brooklyn clubs like Sugarland. “I’m not really sure if designers are making clothes smaller or if people are smaller now,” Mr Nguyen said.

According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Americans are taller and much heavier today than 40 years ago. The report, released in 2002, showed that the average height of adult American men has increased to 5-9 ½ in 2002 from just over 5-8 in 1960. The average weight of the same adult man had risen dramatically, to 191 pounds from 166.3.

Nowadays a model that weighed in at 191 pounds, no matter how handsome, would be turned away from most agencies or else sent to a fat farm.

Far from inspiring a spate of industry breast-beating, as occurred after the international news media got hold of the deaths of two young female models who died from eating disorders, the trend favoring very skinny male models has been accepted as a matter or course.

“I personally think that it’s the consumer that’s doing this, and fashion is just responding,” said Kelly Cutrone, the founder of People’s Revolution, a fashion branding and production company. “No one wants a beautiful women or a beautiful man anymore.”

In terms of image, the current preference is for beauty that is not fully evolved. “People are afraid to look over 21 or make any statement of what it means to be adult,” Ms. Cutrone said.

George Brown, a booking agent at Red Model Management, said: “When I get that random phone call from a boy who says, ‘I’m 6-foot-1 and I’m calling from Kansas,’ I immediately ask, ‘What do you weigh?’ If they say 188 or 190, I know we can’t use him. Our guys are 155 pounds at that height.”

Their waists, like that of Mr. Svetlichnyy, measure 28 or 30 inches. They have, ideally, long necks, pencil thighs, narrow shoulders and chests no more than 35.5 inches in circumference, Mr. Brown said. “It’s client driven,” he added. “That’s just the size that blue-chip designers and high-end editorials want.”

For Patrik Ervell’s show on Saturday, the casting brief called for new faces and men whose bodies were suited to a scarecrow silhouette. “We had to measure their thighs,” Mr. Brown said.

For models like Demián Tkach, a 26-year-old Argentine who was recently discovered by the photographer Bruce Weber, the tightening tape measure may cut off a career.

Mr. Tkach said that when he came here from Mexico, where he had been working: “My agency asked me to lose some muscle. I lost a little bit to help them, because I understand the designers are not looking for a male image anymore. They’re looking for some kind of androgyne.”

As long as the media and the fashion industry continue this trend, there will be more and more boys like Johnny.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

One Flaw In Women

One Flaw In Women

By the time the Lord made woman,
He was into his sixth day of working overtime.
An angel appeared and said,
"Why are you spending so much time on this one?"
And the Lord answered, "Have you seen my spec sheet on her?
She has to be completely washable, but not plastic,
Have over 200 movable parts, all replaceable
And able to run on diet coke and leftovers,
Have a lap that can hold four children at one time,
Have a kiss that can cure anything from a scraped knee to a broken heart
-and she will do everything
With only two hands."
The angel was astounded at the requirements.
"Only two hands!? No way!
And that's just on the standard model?
That's too much work for one day.
Wait until tomorrow to finish."
But I won't," the Lord protested.
"I am so close to finishing this creation that is so close to my own heart.
She already heals herself when she is sick
AND can work 18 hour days."
The angel moved closer and touched the woman.
"But you have made her so soft, Lord."
"She is soft," the Lord agreed,
"but I have also made her tough.
You have no idea what she can endure or accomplish."
"Will she be able to think?", asked the angel.
The Lord replied,
"Not only will she be able to think,
She will be able to reason and negotiate.."
The angel then noticed something,
And reaching out, touched the woman's cheek.
"Oops, it looks like you have a leak in this model.
I told you that you were trying to put too much into this one."
"That's not a leak,"
The Lord corrected,
"that's a tear!"
"What's the tear for?" the angel asked.!
The Lord said, "The tear is her way of expressing her joy,
Her sorrow, her pain, her disappointment, her love,
Her loneliness, her grief and her pride."
The angel was impressed.
"You are a genius, Lord.
You thought of everything!
Woman is truly amazing."
And she is!
Women have strengths that amaze men.
They bear hardships and they carry burdens,
But they hold happiness,
Love and joy.
They smile when they want to scream.
They sing when they want to cry.
They cry when they are happy
And laugh when they are nervous.
They fight for what they believe in.
They stand up to injustice.
They don't take "no" for an answer
When they believe there is a better solution.
They go without so their family can have..
They go to the doctor with a frightened friend.
They love unconditionally.
They cry when their children excel
And cheer when their friends get awards.
They are happy when they hear about
A birth or a wedding.
Their hearts break when a friend dies.
They grieve at the loss of a family member,
Yet they are strong when they think there is no strength left.
They know that a hug and a kiss
Can heal a broken heart.
Women come in all shapes, sizes and colors.
They'll drive, fly, walk, run or e-mail you
To show how much they care about you.
The heart of a woman is what makes the world keep turning.
They bring joy, hope and love.
They have compassion and ideals.
They give moral support to their family and friends.
Women have vital things to say and everything to give.



PLEASE pass this along to all your women friends and relatives
To remind them just how amazing they are.

Found at BFD blog.
Image found here.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Is your diet ruining your relationship?

When the desire to lose weight turns into an unhealthy obsession with food, it can also eat into the core of relationships, says the psychologist Naomi Shragai.

Many women secretly believe that being thin is the solution to finding and maintaining a good relationship. But when the obsession to lose weight is taken to an extreme, real intimacy becomes impossible.

The need to stay thin takes over every aspect of their lives. In extreme cases bulimia sufferers can spend up to £500 a month on food for bingeing, and can vomit up to three times a day, sometimes more. They become so single-minded about food and their body size that they don’t have room in their minds for anything else.

Many sufferers leave the illness untreated for years, so more are now married or living with partners. These couples typically have low levels of emotional and sexual intimacy and poor communication. Research and statistical findings also suggest that married women with eating disorders experience more severe symptoms and have a less favourable prognosis than single women.

How then does the condition contribute to problems in relationships, and how might partners unknowingly contribute to the illness? Sufferers attempt to satisfy their needs and soothe their feelings through their obsessions surrounding food, which allows them to avoid the difficulties and complications of relationships.

They master one relationship only: with food. With this single-minded attitude, they begin to treat their partners in the same manner as they relate to food. Women with anorexia, for example, deny that they have any needs, physical or emotional. They will interpret all the nurturing and care other people have to offer as dangerous intrusions that must be repelled.

Through their vomiting, bulimics not only get rid of food, but also the bad feelings that they cannot digest; they are rejecting the nourishing aspects of a relationship. They often attempt to mask their needy and demanding sides by trying to convince their partners of their self-sufficiency. As they push their husbands away, they hide their need for closeness, all the time becoming more vulnerable and less approachable.

Advice for men: ‘Don’t think you can cure it on your own’

Learn what you can about eating disorders.

If you think there’s a problem, do something about it. And be patient; it won’t go away overnight.

Don’t have challenging conversations around meal times, that’s when feelings are most intense.

Look after yourself; don’t give up the things you enjoy.

Say what you think. People with eating disorders need a dose of reality.

Avoid arguments. People with eating disorders are sensitive to criticism, so be aware of your words and tone.

Don’t think that you can cure it on your own.

If your wife says no to treatment, seek professional help on your own. This can provide support and perhaps make your wife curious enough to join in.

Find someone who knows about eating disorders.

And for women: ‘Let your partner help. Don’t shut him out’

Don’t think you can recover on your own, get professional help.

Talk about the illness with your partner or other people; it will lessen the fear.

Be honest about how the eating disorder is affecting your life and those close to you.

Get the facts. Know that this illness is progressive. The longer you leave it, the more difficult it is to treat.

If you find it difficult seeking therapy, let your partner help. Don’t shut him out.

Naomi Shragai is a psychotherapist and family therapist in North London. She is registered with the UK Council for Psychotherapy and Association of Family Therapy. To contact her, email

For advice on eating disorders, contact Beat, the Eating Disorders Association;

From the Times Online

Monday, February 18, 2008

How To Read a Nutrition Label

Reading Nutrition Facts

By Laura Dolson,

Nutrition labels are an important source of information about some of the food we eat, but it should also be pointed out that many, if not most, of the best choices for our grocery carts have no labels at all. This is because most whole food (some might say "real food") doesn't come with a label. I'm talking about the vegetables, meats, fruits, and other fresh foods that have all of their nutrients intact, and are usually low in sugars and starches. Of course, there are whole foods with labels (like nuts and frozen vegetables), and those that will tend to shoot blood glucose up (like potatoes and mangoes). But for the most part, staying away from packaged foods is a good guide to healthier choices.

That said, there is a lot of information on nutrition labels to help us understand the food we eat -- and there are also parts of the label which can be confusing. So let's start to understand how to read nutrition labels, with special attention to help those of us eating reduced-carbohydrate diets.

  1. Low-Carb Guide to Food Labels
  2. Serving Size
  3. Total Calories
  4. Fats
  5. Carbohydrates
  6. Fiber
  7. Sugar Alcohols
  8. Protein
  9. Vitamins and Minerals
  10. Ingredients

I could not agree more with Laura. Whole foods are the way to go. Yet some people still rely on packaged foods. If you fall in to that category. this info is for you.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

National Eating Disorder Awareness Week

The key message for National Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2008 – “Be comfortable in your genes. Wear jeans that fit the TRUE you.” – ties into NEDA's signature event, the Great Jeans Giveaway.

National Eating Disorders Awareness Week highlights the fact that body size and shape are strongly influenced by biological factors – such as genetics, while also calling attention to some of the new discoveries surrounding the role of genetics in the development of eating disorders.

Too often individuals struggle against their natural, genetically influenced size just to fit into that pair of “skinny jeans” in the back of their closets. Fighting your natural size and shape can lead to unhealthy dieting practices, poor body image and sometimes eating disorders.

While you can adopt a healthy lifestyle and aim to be fit for your particular body type, you cannot change your genes. We want everyone to start feeling comfortable in their genes by wearing comfortable jeans. The Great Jeans Giveaway events empower individuals to donate old (or new) pairs of jeans that do not comfortably fit.

While key messaging focuses on helping individuals feel at ease with their natural size, the use of the word “genes” within the message also provides a foundation for addressing the fact that eating disorders are serious illnesses, not choices. Everyday, researchers are discovering more about the influence of genetics on eating disorders and finding that while environmental factors may pull the trigger, genetics loads the gun.

Please join us and hundreds of Coordinators around the nation during National Eating Disorders Awareness Week to organize the Great Jeans Giveaway and spread these messages about the powerful influence of genetics on both our physical and mental shape.

NEDA is dedicated to expanding public understanding and prevention of eating disorders and promoting access to quality treatment for those affected along with support for their families through education, advocacy and research.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Kimkins Diet–Is It Better Than Being Fat?

One of the biggest arguments Heidi had for following her starvation diet was it was better than being fat.

Here are some words of wisdom from the infamous Kate Harding:

Don’t You Realize Fat Is Unhealthy?

1. Weight itself is not a health problem, except in the most extreme cases (i.e., being underweight or so fat you’re immobilized). In fact, fat people live longer than thin people and are more likely to survive cardiac events, and some studies have shown that fat can protect against “infections, cancer, lung disease, heart disease, osteoporosis, anemia, high blood pressure, rheumatoid arthritis and type 2 diabetes.” Yeah, you read that right: even the goddamned diabetes. Now, I’m not saying we should all go out and get fat for our health (which we wouldn’t be able to do anyway, because no one knows how to make a naturally thin person fat any more than they know how to make a naturally fat person thin; see point 4), but I’m definitely saying obesity research is turning up surprising information all the time — much of which goes ignored by the media — and people who give a damn about critical thinking would be foolish to accept the party line on fat. Just because you’ve heard over and over and over that fat! kills! doesn’t mean it’s true. It just means that people in this culture really love saying it.

2. Poor nutrition and a sedentary lifestyle do cause health problems, in people of all sizes. This is why it’s so fucking crucial to separate the concept of “obesity” from “eating crap and not exercising.” The two are simply not synonymous — not even close — and it’s not only incredibly offensive but dangerous for thin people to keep pretending that they are. There are thin people who eat crap and don’t exercise — and are thus putting their health at risk — and there are fat people who treat their bodies very well but remain fat. Really truly.

3. What’s more, those groups do not represent anomalies; no one has proven that fat people generally eat more or exercise less than thin people. Period. And believe me, they’ve tried. (Gina Kolata’s new book, Rethinking Thin, is an outstanding source for more on that point.)

4. Diets don’t work. No, really, not even if you don’t call them diets. If you want to tell me about how YOUR diet totally worked, do me a favor and wait until you’ve kept all the weight off for five years. Not one year, not four years, five years. And if you’ve kept it off for that long, congratulations. You’re literally a freak of nature.

5. Given that diets don’t work in the long-term for the vast, vast majority of people, even if obesity in and of itself were a health crisis, how the fuck would you propose we solve it?

6. Most fat people have already dieted repeatedly. And sadly, it’s likely that the dieting will cause them more health problems than the fat.

7. Human beings deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. Fat people are human beings.

8. Even fat people who are unhealthy still deserve dignity and respect. Still human beings. See how that works?

9. In any case, shaming teh fatties for being “unhealthy” doesn’t fucking help. If shame made people thin, there wouldn’t be a fat person in this country, trust me. I wish I could remember who said this, ’cause it’s one of my favorite quotes of all time: “You cannot hate people for their own good.”

10. If you scratch an article on the obesity! crisis! you will almost always find a press release from a company that’s developing a weight loss drug — or from a “research group” that’s funded by such companies.

Try reading some of these other "Health at Every Size" Blogs:

HAES, Health at Every Size, is endeavoring to improve one’s health by means other than weight loss, but which may cause incidental, almost always temporary, weight loss. HAES is about working to make your body as healthy as possible, regardless of its size, hence the name.

Read through some of these fascinating blogs. It is truly enlightening. Empowering too.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Ode to Irony

In going through many of the blogs I read daily, I stumbled on a fabulous post, The Today Show: Clueless on eating disorders »

The irony here:

The Today Show did a very moving segment about a young girl suffering from an eating disorder. On the very same page .......

A rundown of other segments:

Treats that won’t spoil your diet
“Loser” Jackie’s weight loss
How a mom lost 105 lbs.
Fix those ‘bad’ body parts

How are children and adults for that matter suppose to gain a healthy body image when they are bombarded by all this junk about diets.

Here's what the author of this blog had to say:

Are show producers really so clueless and oblivious that they don’t see the correlations here? Do they not realize how focusing on weight, obsessing over weight loss, encouraging and promoting dieting, and classifying body parts as “good” and “bad” contributes to negative self-perceptions, unhealthy relationships with food and weight, and even eating disorders?

Head over there and read the whole post and the many wonderful comments.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Kimkins--Gotta Have the Maintenance

Obesity is a chronic disease that requires long-term therapy for successful long-term weight management. Often, patients who are able to lose weight with obesity therapy regain their lost weight after therapy is discontinued. This figure represents data from 76 obese women (mean body mass index 39.4 kg/m2) who were were randomly assigned to one of three treatment groups: 4 months of a very-low-calorie diet (VLCD) of 400–500 kcal/d, 6 months of behavior therapy and a 1000–1200 kcal/d balanced deficit diet, or 6 months of a combination of a VLCD and behavior therapy. Each treatment program was effective in achieving short-term weight loss. However, most subjects regained a considerable amount of weight by 1 year and had returned to their pretreatment weight at 5 years.

  1. Wadden TA, Sternberg JA, Letizia KA, et al. Treatment of obesity by very low calorie diet, behavior therapy, and their combination: a five-year perspective. Int J Obes 1989;13 (suppl 2):39-46.
  2. Obesity Online - Educational resources for health professionals on obesity, weight-loss, metabolism and dietary therapy
Maintenance does not exist after following the Kimkins plan. It has been proved not only by people who have lost their weight. But research shows it to be true. I hate to burst the bubble of all those people like Deni, Christin and others who reached goal with Kimkins---you are gonna gain it all back and then some.

Very-low-calorie diets (VLCDs) usually provide 400–800 kcal/d and produce an average weight loss of approximately 20 kg over 12 to 16 weeks [1]. However, these diets may not result in greater long-term weight loss than standard low-calorie diets (LCD), which provide 1200–1500 kcal/d, because of greater regain of lost weight. This figure illustrates the data from a randomized, prospective study conducted in 49 obese women that compared the effect of a VLCD with a LCD on short-term and long-term weight loss [2]. Subjects were randomized to behavior therapy combined with either a LCD (1200 kcal/d) throughout treatment or with short-term use of a VLCD (420 kcal/d) for 16 wks followed by a 1200 kcal/d diet thereafter. All subjects attended weekly group behavior therapy sessions for 52 weeks, and then biweekly sessions for an additional 26 weeks. Initial weight loss was more rapid and of greater magnitude in those randomized to a VLCD than a LCD; at week 26, the VLCD group had lost significantly more weight than the LCD group (21.5 kg vs 11.9 kg). However, the VLCD group regained weight rapidly, so total weight loss was similar in both groups by 78 weeks. The use of a VLCD requires more medical supervision than does the use of a LCD, because rapid weight loss associated with VLCDs increases the risk of gallstone formation, dehydration, and electrolyte abnormalities.

  1. Wadden TA, Van Itallie TB, Blackburn GL. Responsible and irresponsible use of very-low-calorie diets in the treatment of obesity. JAMA 1990;263:83-85.
  2. Wadden TA, Foster GD, Letizia KA. One-year behavioral treatment of obesity: comparison of moderate and severe caloric restriction and the effects of weight maintenance therapy. J Consult Clin Psychol 1994;62:165-171.
  3. Obesity Online - Educational resources for health professionals on obesity, weight-loss, metabolism and dietary therapy

Anyone having lost weight by using a VLCD or even a LCD have one of 2 options. Well 3 if you count just regaining any lost weight and being happy that way.

First you can continue to follow a VLCD or LCD for the rest of your life. With considerable risk to your health if you do so. Or you can heal your metabolism, regaining some weight in the process, then lose weight the right way.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

When are they going to quit Starving themselves?



What is malnutrition? Malnutrition (mal-noo-TRISH-un) occurs when you do not get enough calories or nutrients to keep you healthy. Nutrients are protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. Malnutrition may make your body weak. It may cause health problems such as trouble fighting infections and healing.

What are the causes of malnutrition? Malnutrition may be caused by not eating the right amount or right kinds of food, or by having certain health conditions. Malnutrition may be caused by health conditions that keep your body from digesting (breaking down) or absorbing nutrients properly. It may be caused by health conditions that increase the amount of calories or nutrients that your body needs. Your body may also lose nutrients because of diarrhea, bleeding and other problems.

Who is at risk for malnutrition? The following people are at greater risk of having malnutrition:

  • Infants and children who do not get the right type or amount of calories and nutrients.

  • Older adults.

  • People who are taking medicines that decrease appetite or affect the digestion and absorption of nutrients.

  • People who abuse drugs or alcohol.

  • People with eating disorders.

  • People with certain diseases such as cystic fibrosis, celiac disease, liver disease, kidney disease and cancer.

  • People with a low income who have trouble buying the right kind of food.

  • Pregnant women.

What are the signs and symptoms of malnutrition? Malnutrition usually develops in stages over a long period of time. Signs and symptoms may not appear until the later stages of malnutrition.

  • Some early signs and symptoms of malnutrition may include:

    • Irritable (bad mood) and tired.

    • Slower growth than normal, or no growth (in children).

    • Weight loss.

  • Later signs and symptoms of malnutrition may include:

    • Bone or joint pain, and weak muscles.

    • Bloated abdomen and swelling in other parts of the body.

    • Changes in the skin and hair.

      • Brittle and spooned nails.

      • Dry, scaly skin.

      • Hair loss.

      • Skin and hair change color.

    • Loss of appetite (not hungry).

    • Slow wound healing and easily get infections.

    • Sunken temples (sides of the head).

How is malnutrition diagnosed? Your caregiver will do a medical exam. Your caregiver will also check your weight and height. Your caregiver may ask you questions about your health and the medicines that you are taking. He may also ask you questions about your diet to find out if you are getting enough calories and nutrients. Your caregiver may also do blood tests to find out if your body is low in certain nutrients.

How is malnutrition treated? Treatment for malnutrition depends on the cause. You will need to work closely with your caregiver during your treatment. Treatment for malnutrition may include increasing the calories and nutrients in your diet.

  • You may need to increase the calories and nutrients in your diet by doing one or more of the following:

    • Eat large meals and snacks between meals.

    • Eat small meals often throughout the day if you have trouble eating large meals.

    • Eat or drink a nutrition supplement if you have trouble eating the right kinds and amounts of food.

  • You may need to take vitamin or mineral supplements if your body is low in vitamins and minerals. Your caregiver may treat you with medicines if you have a health problem that is causing your malnutrition.

  • If you cannot buy or prepare the right kinds of foods, talk to your caregiver. Ask for information about community programs that can help you.

Risks: Malnutrition usually develops in stages over time. Malnutrition may make your body weak and cause health problems such as trouble fighting infections and healing. Severe malnutrition may cause heart problems, breathing problems, and kidney problems. It can also cause changes in the level of chemicals in your blood called electrolytes. Severe (very bad) malnutrition can even lead to death if it goes untreated. Malnutrition can be treated if you follow your caregiver's instructions.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Happy Mardi Gras

Serving a King's Cake during Mardi Gras celebrations is a tradition that honors the Magi who visited the Christ child on the twelfth night or Epiphany (January 6). The cake is shaped in a ring with a pecan, bean or plastic baby placed inside the dough, before baking, to represent the baby Jesus. The cake is then decorated with the purple, green and gold colors of Mardi Gras, and divided among guests. Whoever finds the baby doll will host the next King's Cake celebration.

King's Cake Recipe

Dough Ingredients:
4 packages active dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water (110-115 degrees F)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 cup cold milk
1 cup plain or vanilla yogurt
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
1 stick butter or margarine
5-6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Filling Ingredients:
1 stick butter or margarine, melted
2 cups granulated sugar
3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 dried bean, shelled pecans, or naked plastic babies

Icing Ingredients:
3 tablespoons soft butter or margarine
4 cups confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
4-6 tablespoons milk

Combine the yeast, 1/2 of the sugar, and the lukewarm water in a very large bowl, stir well and set aside for a few minutes until the mixture swells slightly and small bubbles appear on the surface. Stir in the remaining sugar, milk, yogurt, lemon juice, vanilla and salt. Mix well. Add egg yolks and mix again.

In another bowl, work the butter/margarine into 5 cups of the flour.

Add the flour-butter/margarine mixture to the yeast mixture a cup at a time, mixing well after each cup is added. Begin to knead in the bowl, adding more flour if necessary to make a smooth, elastic dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead about 5 minutes, adding more flour if the dough is still sticky.

Shape the dough into a ball and place in a bowl which has been buttered or sprayed with a no-stick spray. Cover and let stand in a warm place until dough doubles in size.

Punch dough down and divide in half. Roll each half on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle about 8 x 14 inches. Brush each rectangle with 1/2 stick of melted butter or margarine. Combine the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle 1/2 of the mixture over each rectangle. Roll up from the wide end, as you would a jelly roll, inserting one of the dried beans, pecans, or naked babies along the way. Press the ends of the dough together and stretch the roll into an oval about 14 inches long. Place on a greased/sprayed cookie sheet and allow to rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven for about 35-45 minutes until the cakes are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped with the fingers. Remove from the oven and cool for 30 minutes.

Beat the butter or margarine until softened. Add confectioner's sugar and vanilla and continue to beat, gradually adding milk until a glaze consistency is achieved. Use half of the icing on each cake.

Spread the icing evenly over each cake and decorate immediately with granulated sugar that has been rendered purple, green and gold with food coloring, making alternating bands of color.

Other decorating options:
Divide the icing into three portions and use food coloring to make purple, green and gold icing. Spread in alternating bands along the length of the cakes.

Use purple, green and gold gumdrops, jelly beans, or other candy to decorate the white icing.

Someone REALLY needs to come up with a low carb version of this....

Monday, February 4, 2008

Picture's worth a 1000 words

They say a picture is worth a 1000 words....

This is the food for one entire day!

Calories: 594
Fat: 26 grams
Carbs: 16 grams
Protein: 74 grams

mariasol: Kimkins Diet Plans

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Super Bowl Sunday

Keep up with all the happenings of the Super Bowl right here. Enjoy your day!!!