Monday, April 21, 2008

The many faces of ED

When the media covers stories of eating disorders there is usually the stock photo of a severely emaciated young girl. Sympathy pours out from all corners of the globe for these young women. How do you think the majority of people would feel seeing me and learning I have suffered from an eating disorder for over 30 years? Most would not believe it.

Anorexia defined by the DSM definition must meet the 85% body weight loss criteria. I personally think that is flawed. I know many people who exhibit the same behaviors as those diagnosed with anorexia but they remain overweight or of "normal" size.

Those suffering from an ED come in all shapes and body sizes. Ranging from emaciated to morbidly obese. While the emaciated are offered sympathy those who are larger are shunned. They are blamed for not having any self control. Most are encouraged to go on a strict diet to lose weight. How's that for illogical thinking? Prescribing eating disordered behavior to someone already suffering from an ED. Here's a classic example from the Fathealth website: First Do No Harm: Binging? Purging? Vomiting blood? Try dieting…

This is about a young women who is overweight ending up in the ER for vomiting blood after a years of binging and purging. She was seeing her own doc the next day. Here is just a small portion of that doctors visit:

I explained that recently I had lost about a bunch of weight starving and puking nonstop and that now I was restricting much less but still bingeing and throwing up constantly; I told her that I’d had an active eating disorder for about four-five years and I filled in the details of the previous night’s ER episode. She asked about my highest and lowest weights—despite several times losing dramatic amounts of weight quickly and unhealthily, I’ve never been “thin,” and when I told her my highest weight, she said it was “great” that I’d lost the weight, even though I told her I’d only lost it restricting and purging.

This doc is applauding her weight loss efforts---when her "diet aide" is bulimia.

She goes on to tell me that what she wants to do is put me on a modified Weight Watchers plan and have me come back in a month and weigh me again. (I am 5’4” and 145 pounds—which is 30 pounds less than I weighed six months ago, though I lost the bulk of it in six weeks—and I am so sick with an eating disorder I am barfing up blood and she’s talking about a DIET?!)

I tell her that I’m really not interested as I’m already working with a nutritionist. She then asks me, in a hostile tone, what exactly I want from her; I’m at a loss for words since I figure it’s pretty self-evident that, um, she’s a doctor and I want her to…monitor my health?

There are no words...... you need to read the whole story. While you are at it read the whole blog. It's a serious wake up call.

To further prove that EDs strike anyone, read about the 69 year old man with bulimia, former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott.

My own ED has been active for damn near all my life. Yet my weight has fluctuated over the years. Just because someone doesn't show the "typical" face of an ED doesn't mean it's not there.

Common Misconceptions

Below are some of the most commonly held misconceptions about the behaviors attributed to Anorexia, Bulimia and Compulsive Overeating.

"I cannot be Anorexic because I do eat when I have to..."
Restriction of food and calories does not mean complete restriction for every sufferer. For some this means restricting certain types of foods (each individual sticking with what they perceive as "safe foods") and limiting calories to below normal on a daily basis. For others this means fasting for a certain number of days and then eating "normally" for the next number of days, and repeating the cycle continuously.

"I don't fit any category... I only eat when I absolutely have to (but I don't binge) and then purge whatever I do eat..."
Those suffering Anorexia do not always completely restrict. Often times when they cannot avoid a meal or food they will follow any consumption with self-induced vomiting or laxative abuse. This is considered "Anorexia, Purging Type." You should read the definitions of Anorexia, Bulimia, Compulsive Overeating, and Binge Eating Disorder, as well as "Eating Disorders not Otherwise Specified".

"I am above/on the high end of my healthy weight range... I cannot possibly have an Eating Disorder..."
People suffering with any Eating Disorder can be of any weight. For most sufferers weight will continuously be going up and down. The weight of a person's body does not indicate their overall health, nor does it change the danger each sufferer may be in! There are more dangers involved in the disordered eating patterns themselves, rather than in each person's actual weight.

"I eat a lot of candy, and can't possibly be Anorexic..."
Many Anorexics and Bulimics are junk-food addicts. There is little nutritional value to junk food but they serve as a false sense of energy. They also appease extreme cravings... for example, a sufferer's system may be depleted of Sodium so there may be a strong craving for something salty. A bag of chips would seem to satisfy this craving. It is not uncommon to find a person with Anorexia or Bulimia who lives solely on candy (or junk-food), and like any Eating Disorder sufferer, this puts them in great danger. Other common "replacements" are drugs, alcohol, coffee, tea and/or cigarettes.

"Only middle-class, white teenagers suffer..."
ANYONE can suffer from Anorexia or Bulimia. Regardless of previously held beliefs, it is not only young, middle-class white teenagers or college students who can suffer. African-American, Hispanic, Asian, or white, women or men, rich to poor, from their teen years well into their fifties, there are sufferers from every age-bracket, class and culture. Don't rely on the "written statistics" - they are based on reports made to government agencies and if a country, state, or province doesn't require that doctors report the cases, the statistics will not be accurate. Keep in mind as well, the more shame a person feels, the less likely that they will come forward and say they have an Eating Disorder... so if we keep perpetuating the idea that only "young white women" suffer, less and less people who suffer that don't fit this ideal will not come forward, be acknowledged, and get the help they deserve.

"I eat three meals a day (or I eat a lot during the course of a day) and never purge. How can I have an Eating Disorder?..."
Disordered eating doesn't always mean restricting, binging and/or purging. Sufferers sometimes eat 3 meals a day, or eat continuously throughout the day and through this can disillusion themselves into thinking that all is fine. If these eating patterns or meals consist of only lettuce, salad or yogurt (or other comparably low calorie, low fat food), and the calorie intake overall is far below normal (and is combined with emotional attributes), this would be considered Anorexia. A person suffering may not be "starving" themself of food per se, but of any real calories, substance and nutrition. (The same is illustrated above in the example of eating candy.)

"I don't make myself vomit or use laxatives, I cannot be Bulimic..."
There are other methods of "purging" following a binge. The person suffering with Bulimia will eat an unusually large quantity of food in a short period of time and follow it with purging; In addition to using laxatives or inducing vomiting, purging can also be compulsive exercise or complete fasting. This is one of the attributes that can be present in a person suffering both Anorexia (restriction and purging without binging) and Bulimia (binging and purging).

"My family member/friend eats normally around me. He/She can't possible have an Eating Disorder..."
It is not uncommon for those with Anorexia, Bulimia and Compulsive Eating to eat "normally" around others. This type of sufferer may look forward to their time alone, to be able to "make up for" the time they've spent eating "normally" around others. Anorexics will completely starve themselves, Bulimics will binge and purge, and Compulsive Overeaters will overeat or binge once they have gotten back into their solitary environment. Sufferers may even look forward to being alone so they can partake in disordered eating patterns.

"This is just a phase..."
Anorexia, Bulimia and Compulsive Overeating are not phases a child, teen or adult goes through. Some may go through dieting phases but this is far different from having an Eating Disorder. You should visit the other sections on the website to learn more about what having an Eating Disorder means.

"I take vitamin/mineral supplements so I know
I will stay healthy..."

Vitamin Supplements will not protect anyone from the harm an Eating Disorder will expose the body to. Vitamins and Minerals are absorbed into the body much more efficiently through their source food, and work in harmony with one another to ensure the highest level of effectiveness and absorption. While taking vitamins and minerals may help to provide a sense of security, or even prolong certain aspects of health (like warding off infection), they will not protect you from the dangers associated with having an Eating Disorder, such as: the bowel or kidneys shutting down, shrinkage of the brain, dehydration, diabetes, TMJ Syndrome and misalignment of the teeth, tears in the esophagus, ulcers, joint pain and arthritis, digestive and absorption problems, acid reflux disorders, cancer of the mouth and throat, low or high blood pressure, heart arrhythmia and cardiac arrest, loss of menstrual cycle, infertility, dilation of the intestines, or depression and suicide.

"Everyone who is overweight or fat has
Compulsive Overeating..."

What defines the illnesses of Compulsive Overeating or Binge Eating Disorder is more than just the weight range of the individual. Emotional eating, eating to fill a void, stuffing down feelings with binging, isolation and pushing others away are just some of the traits. There are also those who suffer from Compulsive Overeating or Binge Eating Disorder who are not extremely overweight, as well, there are other reasons an individual can be overweight (including medical reasons or genetic pre-dispositions to a larger body size). The overall symptoms that help determine if a person suffers from any disordered eating are how their eating relates to a lack of self-esteem and ability to cope with pain, anger and stress.

"I can't die from this..."
Anorexia, Bulimia and Compulsive Overeating can kill those who suffer from them. Eating Disorders have the highest rate of death out of any other psychological illness. Up to 30% of the sufferers of Eating Disorders (and maybe higher) will die as a result of a complication caused by the illness. Be sure to see the Physical Dangers sections to read about all the complications associated with Anorexia, Bulimia and Compulsive Overeating.

Info courtesy of
If you recognize yourself in any of the above---head over to Weighing the Facts. She has lots of helpful links and resources listed.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Join Bloggers Unite For Human Rights On May 15!

Join Bloggers Unite For Human Rights On May 15!

Thanks to you, May marks the first anniversary of Bloggers Unite and this time we're launching an awareness campaign chosen by BlogCatalog members. On May 15, let's unite for human rights and make a statement that all people are born with basic rights and freedoms - life, liberty, and justice!

On May 15th 2008, let's come together and all blog about Human Rights. There are dozens and dozens of human rights issues that you can write about. The one you choose is up to you.

Topics to Consider

  • The wrongful imprisonment of journalists covering assemblies.
  • Governments that ignore the plight of citizens left tot he mercy of gangs.
  • Harsh punishments that include torture, forced labor, and starvation.
  • Sexual assault against women by members of military or militia.

Learn More About Human Rights

There are many organizations that promote human rights and work to protect people. We've picked three to help you learn more and find breaking topics.

  • Amnesty International ( is a worldwide movement of people who campaign for internationally recognized human rights for all. They work to improve human rights through campaigning and international solidarity.
  • Human Right Watch ( is dedicated to protecting human rights of people around the world. They stand with victims and activists to prevent discrimination, uphold political freedom, protect people from inhumane conduct in wartime, and to bring offenders to justice.
  • Youth For Human Rights ( is an independent non-profit that educates people about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights so they become valuable advocates for tolerance and peace.

We have an entire group discussion dedicated to Bloggers Unite ( where you can add more organizations that you think are worth including.

How To Join Bloggers Unite!

To join, simply visit the Bloggers Unite page ( to get more information. Then, on Thursday, May 15th, write a blog post that shares awareness about human rights.

Your blog post could:

  • Have the title "Bloggers Unite For Human Rights" (or some variation).
  • include an example of human rights so people can learn about it.
  • Explain the importance of human rights and how it applies to everyone.
  • Link to one of the sites we've listed or the most suitable site for your country.
  • And add a link to our BlogCatalog Community Human Rights Awareness Campaign page so we can give you and your blog credit for being part of it.

If you have any questions, please e-mail And please, don't forget to tell your friends to blog about this too. Together, I know we can raise awareness and prove bloggers can do good!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Diet company 'misled' its clients

Oh!!! Shock of all shocks.....(insert eye roll smilie here)

With an annual turnover of £18m, diet company LighterLife claims to have enabled 60,000 people to lose three stones in three months.

The liquid-based programme, aimed at people who are three or more stones overweight, involves dieters consuming just 530 calories a day for 12 weeks.

But Inside Out in the East has heard from some dieters who have experienced disrupted periods, hair loss and water poisoning.

LighterLife say very low calorie diets help people to lose weight quickly and safely.

Concerns about her health led Lizzie Whitehead from Norfolk to tell her LighterLife counsellor that she was giving up the diet.

Ms Whitehead said: "I explained to her that it was due to how the diet had messed up my menstrual cycle and caused me to feel so ill.

"She basically said 'well that's just one of the side effects, feeling ill. You've just got to carry on, you'll get past it'.

"No-one warned me about any side effects at all. She just said to drink plenty of water. No health warnings were given to me at all."

The experience was shared by another dieter Sarah Morley.

She said: "When I came off LighterLife, within about two weeks my hair was falling out in clumps... Nobody had warned me.

"When I mentioned it to my counsellor she said 'isn't the fact that you've lost weight enough? Surely a bit of hair loss is ok?'"

When BBC undercover researchers asked two separate LighterLife counsellors, picked at random, what side effects might be experienced they were told the worst they could expect was a headache.

Hair loss

Inside Out asked Bar Hewlett, a founder and director of LighterLife, to explain why the counsellors did not warn about side effects such as hair loss and interrupted periods.

She said: "If a counsellor is asked about the side effects of weight loss there would be a different answer than if they were asked about the side effects of a very low calorie diet."

She added that these things are made clear in LighterLife literature.

Another former LighterLife dieter Paul Kendrick was admitted to hospital with water poisoning, having drunk too much in a bid to relieve constipation caused by the diet.

He asked LighterLife to warn people against drinking too much water but, counsellors told BBC researchers that it was "not possible" to drink too much water.

LighterLife said they give guidance on drinking water in their literature.

Gil Clasby from Cambridge lost weight successfully.

She said: "I weighed 19 stones in April 2007 and by January 2008 I had lost 9.5 stones - so I actually lost half my bodyweight.

"I liked the counsellor, the way she talked, the facts she gave out.

"I worried about cost but the weight loss was going to be a weight loss that came off quite quickly, quite dramatic compared to anything I'd done before and I had so much weight to lose to be a healthy BMI, that I thought this is probably the only thing that's going to work for me, getting the weight off quickly".

The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines state that very low calorie diets should only be used for a maximum of 12 weeks.

Any diet of less than 600 calories should only be used under medical supervision. One counsellor was seen to be undertaking this herself with no reference to a medical professional.

Another client was seen by a "locum" with only two days training - again in breach of the company's own protocol.

Eating disorder

Ms Hewlett told Inside Out: "If we find that a counsellor is not abiding by our protocol we will take steps to make sure that that behaviour changes.

"All our counsellors end up with a nationally accredited qualification.

"At the end of about their first four months they start practising in the field and they're heavily supervised and at the end of that supervision time - about two years - they are awarded, by an external learning board, a diploma."

Inside Out filmed the diet being offered to someone with an eating disorder.

The company stands by its policy of allowing people with eating disorders, including compulsive eating, onto the programme.

Ms Hewlett told Inside Out: "The National Eating Disorders Association actually sends people to us who are obese.

"They believe that the programme we have and the services we offer are absolutely suitable for people with eating disorders."

The Eating Disorders Association (now called B-eat), told the BBC: "We don't make referrals to LighterLife or any other diet.

"Anyone with an eating disorder should talk to their GP and be referred for specialist medical help."

Sound like any diet you know.......

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Dihydrogen Monoxide - The "REAL" Truth

In the post below I linked to a site and told you of the dangers of the chemical Dihydrogen Monoxide. If you clicked on the links and read through the pages you will find some very scary stuff......

or do you???

Dihydrogen Monoxide



I posted that to make a point. On the Internet, we can find many things, even scientific things, that need to be looked at closely. A healthy dose of skepticism is a good thing.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Dihydrogen Monoxide - The Truth


Dihydrogen Monoxide (DHMO) is perhaps the single most prevalent of all chemicals that can be dangerous to human life. Despite this truth, most people are not unduly concerned about the dangers of Dihydrogen Monoxide. Governments, civic leaders, corporations, military organizations, and citizens in every walk of life seem to either be ignorant of or shrug off the truth about Dihydrogen Monoxide as not being applicable to them. This concerns us.

Spreading the Truth about Dihydrogen Monoxide

In 1997, the Dihydrogen Monoxide Research Division was formed and went online spreading the truth about DIHYDROGEN MONOXIDE. As word has spread, so too has the public awareness of Dihydrogen Monoxide and its implications involving the Internet and accessibility of such information. To that end, the DMRD's web site at continues to provide the most comprehensive collection of Dihydrogen Monoxide information available anywhere.

Common Dihydrogen Monoxide Scare Tactics

Unfortunately, some have seen fit to fill many thousands of web pages with purposely slanted propaganda meant more to titillate and sensationalize than to inform. The following "information" about Dihydrogen Monoxide is what you'll commonly find on the Internet. The Dihydrogen Monoxide Research Division does not endorse the use of such scare tactics, particularly when telling people about the invisible killer, Dihydrogen Monoxide.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

??Growth spurts may cause obesity??

Growth spurts in early childhood could cause obesity, according to researchers at the University of Glasgow.

They reveal that added growth in early life can cause a metabolic rate in adults 20% faster than if the individual had grown more steadily.

It is the first time a study has shown that early growth patterns could cause long-term differences in metabolic rate.

The findings are published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

OMGoddess this is horrible!!! We must do something. We have to control childhood obesity or we will have a bunch of fat adults...OMG!!

I know you can't tell from my writing style, but that was an attempt at sarcasm.

The above story is true and has been picked up by several news organizations. Adding more fuel to the fire of the obesity pani-demic. All people will do is read the headlines. The study in question did show obesity in the subjects after growth spurts. The kicker here.....the subjects of the study.


Yup, that's right. The media is rapidly spreading this garbage because of a study carried out on Zebra Finches.

The study was never meant to be used in relation to humans. Yet that is what the media is spouting off about.

Where's my head desk icon.......

Our society has so vilified being fat that they will use anything to shove the message down our throats. Like we don't have enough guilt about weight as it is.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

"HEAD-DESK" once again....

Yet another one of THOSE moments...... (foul language ahead)

The ‘Flob’: It’s a Not-So-Small World After All
by Kevin Pease

America’s collective wide ass has increased food portions and pushed the structural limits of pants. Now these wide posteriors are reshaping a classic ride from my childhood. Disneyland will soon revamp “It’s a Small World” so that its boats can accommodate more plump passengers. This mob of fat people, or “flob,” as I like to call it, has forced the world to change in a way that crosses the line.

It is a well-known fact that America has been getting fatter for some time now; over half the nation is overweight, while almost a third is obese. The average person’s consumption of high-fat foods, such as meats and cheeses, is incredible. The average American drinks more soda than water and typically consumes more than 30 pounds of cheese a year.

A social scientist is not needed to see the changes that our growing guts have spawned on society. Go to Carl’s Jr. and order a small soda. It is a trick. Most fast-food restaurants no longer offer a small size. Next, I dare you to order the large. They will practically hand you a keg. Serving portions have spun out of control in America.

The “flob” has also demanded social changes in the way it is treated. Every time a celebrity dresses in a fat suit as part of a joke for a movie or TV show, there are activists who compare it to a white actor putting on black face. It takes stones to compare the treatment of those who eat too much with those who were forced into the most brutal form of slavery the world has ever known for over 300 years.

Obese Americans are not treated like their skinny counterparts. They are stereotyped as lazy people with poor self-control. Obese people tend to have lower self-esteem and are at a higher risk for suicide, especially in the teen years. However, obesity is not comparable to racial identity. It is a health problem, one that is fixable with lots of hard work. People who protest every time celebrities put on a fat suit or when an obese person is forced to buy two tickets on a plane make you think that fatness shapes identity.

Using this assumption, the obese community wants us all to believe that if someone is obese, we should treat it as a disability. Take blind people. They are given special accommodations whenever possible in order to make their lives easier. Obese men and women want to be treated the same way. This claim is ludicrous, especially when you consider that obesity is a fixable condition. It may not be easy, but if a blind man were told he would no longer be blind if he ate his fruits and vegetables while exercising four times a week, he would do it.

Adding girth to the boats of the classic children’s ride only serves to perpetuate these ideas. By keeping the ride boats slim, they could serve as a harsh reminder that obesity is a problem. Every accommodation made for the comfort of the obese reinforces their claim that they are a separate minority and that not adhering to their demands is a form of discrimination.

The famous “It’s a Small World” ride is practically an American institution that has remained unchanged for over 40 years. Changes in Hollywood or the always-chaotic food industry are expected, but changes to such a constant in American pop culture are indicators of the change in American health standards. Millions of rear ends have placed themselves in those seats. They were built with the average tourist in mind. Widening those seats indicates that it is acceptable for the average tourist to be fatter than the same tourist 40 years ago. It is a benchmark of how far society has come in terms of circumference.

Events will not cease with this change of seats. America shows no signs of slowing down as the fat train barrels through chubby town. Soon, airplane and theater seats will be drastically widened. Eventually, other American institutions will fall victim to lowered standards. Imagine a world where the Lincoln memorial is given a gut and a box of nachos in order to better reflect the America he helped keep together and avoid hurting people’s feelings. The truth is that if you are fat, you must be told that you are fat so that you will do something to change it. If you are too obese to fit on a ride at Disneyland, make a note that you are overweight and do not ask them to change the ride for you.

Kevin Pease is a third-year psychology and social behavior major. He can be reached at

This is yet another college newspaper. MayberryFan gave a great comment on yesterdays post why a college newspaper would print this garbage.

My chief concern is this idiot will be a psychologist in a few years. Can you really image going to a doc like this??? Someone who is suppose to be concerned with your mental health.

Meowser at FatFu showed what a session with this jerk as your doc might sound like:

I can just picture Dr. Kevin’s future sessions with his oh-so-lucky patients.

“But I DO exercise 4 or more times a week and eat plenty of fruits and veggies.”

“No, you don’t, fatass, you’re lying.”

“It’s true that I eat other things besides fruits and veggies, but you know, I kind of HAVE to to stay alive.”

“No, you don’t. All the nutrition you ever will need in your life is stored in your fat ass. You don’t need anything but veggies until you’re thin, and that’s just to fill your greedy stomach.”

“Besides, if a blind person had to go on a radical diet for the rest of his/her life trying not to be blind, the way I’d have to in order to stop being fat at you — i.e. go WAY beyond moderate healthy changes in diet and exercise habits into being CONSTANTLY hungry and exhausted, working out 4 hours a day on 800 calories or less, every single day — you wouldn’t tell them they were obligated to do that in order to be accepted, would you?”

“Yes, I would, if blind people were over half the population.”

“Oh, I get it. People who are ‘different’ are cute little accessories as long as there aren’t too many of them. But if they outnumber the likes of you, then they suck. Right?”

“You’re just pissed because nobody wants to fuck you, you ugly fat bitch.”

That one comment about being able to live off your fat ass just cracked me up---the doc sounds kinda like Heidi in a way.......

There are no words.....

Really there are no words to fully express my outrage to this article that was published in a University of Toronto student paper, The Newspaper.

"10 Reasons it's not OK to be fat."

1. Public health care - why should the rest of us have to pay high taxes for you to eat yourself to death?
2. Nobody likes you. Except for, possibly, other fat people.
3. Even if you're successful, it just means you'll have enough money to become a drug addict and kill yourself like Chris Farley.
4. Because I don't want to ever have to think about fat people again.
5. Not only do you frighten children, but you're also setting a bad example.
6. You ruin pictures.
7. You ruin moments.
8. The thought of you ever having sex single-handedly ruins the day of at least 50% of the people whom you meet.
9. Because only aircraft are meant to be equipped with flaps. Their flaps serve a purpose.
10. It's fucking disgusting.
Check out what some others had to say about this....

There is also info on there to contact them about this absurd post.

This is another one of THOSE moments......

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Say it with pictures

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. This piece from Shapely Prose speaks volumes.

This demonstrates just how flawed the BMI standards really are.

There’s also a Flickr set with a bunch more photos.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Link Free Zone