Fit vs. Fiction's Blog


My life with a binge eating disorder

Posted in Uncategorized by fitvsfiction on May 24, 2015
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Food is my weapon, impeccable aim

Won’t ease off the trigger til I’m writing in pain

Suddenly my skin feels 10 sizes too small

Can’t fit in my clothing, I’ve outgrown them all.

I nibble for pleasure, then binge into pain

Can’t stop the cycle, am I going insane?

My heart is in pieces, where it used to be strong

Try to fix it by eating, though I know that it’s wrong.

It’s like food is my savior, and sugar’s the cure

How much more of this madness, can my body endure?

The scale in my bathroom continues to rise

My spirit is dying, can’t muffle the cries.

The strong fearless woman that I used to be

Is quickly becoming a stranger to me.

“Not thin enough, not thick enough, not sick enough” they say

Yet I cry myself to sleep at night praying, “God, take me away”.

In a world where being STRONG earns respect and revere

It’s hard to feel weak and want to be here

Why I started Fit vs Fiction and why I won’t shut up about it

BECAUSE:
We live in an image obsessed, fat-phobic, one-size-fits-all, thin is in, skinny jean wearing, thigh gap measuring, binging and purging, body hating society where kids barely out of pre-school are begging their mothers to keep them home from school because they feel like they’re just too fat to fit in!

And THAT..is NOT..Okay.

Latest Book review from VictorianEDTreatment Center, Newport Ca

Book Review: The Body Image Survival Guide

by mhurst220— last modified Apr 24, 2013 04:05 PM

Filed Under:
psychology

The Body Image Survival Guide for Parents by Marci Warhaft-Nadler is a must read for every parent raising a child in the 21st century. A negative body image is a contributing factor for developing an eating disorder. Eating disorders are on the rise in children. There was a 119% increase of eating disorder related hospitalizations among children under 12 years old between the years 1999 and 2006.

Watching a family drop off their daughter at the Victorian – Eating Disorder Treatment is heart breaking. Emotions are high; crying, screaming and bargaining are all quite familiar. Our staff calms the parents and client reminding them that they are making a wise decision to seek help for this deadly mental illness. It is a scenario every parent dreads – acknowledging their child is sick and in need of professional help. Many question if anything could have been done to prevent the eating disorder? A genetic and social disease, preventing eating disorders is hard to quantify. However, a new book titled, The Body Image Survival Guide for Parents by Marci Warharft-Nadler, eating disorder survivor and Certified Personal Trainer provides several preventative tools to navigate a child towards a healthy body image.

The Body Image Survival Guide is broken down into chapters addressing issues for every age group:
•Ages 0-3
•Ages 4-8
•Ages 9-12
•Age 13 and up

As well as how to address body image in a variety of scenarios:
•Body image issues with boys
•Building self-esteem
•How to help an overweight child
•When parents need to lose weight
•Post-pregnancy dieting
•Role modeling positive body image
•The dangers of negative body image
•Media literacy

My favorite thing about the book is the way Nadler breaks up the chapters with real questions from parents. The “Dear Abby” format of the book quickly makes it seem as if Nadler is simply one parent talking to another. I highly recommend The Body Image Survival Guide for Parents to parents, teachers and school counselors.

You can purchase The Body Image Survival Guide HERE

and follow Nadler on twitter here: @fit_vs_fiction

The Body Image Survival Guide for Parents:Helping Toddlers, Tweens and Teens Thrive

Front20cover20no20spine   This is my book.
The book I wish my own mother had had when I was struggling and she felt so powerless. It states the problems but is full of solutions, games, projects, resources and cheat sheets for when your kids ask you sticky questions… and you need solid answers. The negative messages our kids will hear from the media and society will be loud. The positive messages we give them as their parents need to be even LOUDER!
As of today (Friday, March 15th) You can order your book from Amazon.com (or from my website www.fitvsfiction.com)
These are the tools you need to empower your kids to grow up with the self-confidence and self-esteem they deserve.
Self-worth shouldn’t be measured in pounds! xoxoSee More

Body Image Pledges for Parents and Kids: A promise to be good to ourselves and eachother!

Body image pledge (for older kids):

I promise to believe in myself and to reject the unrealistic and unhealthy ideals that may be thrown at me by society, the media or marketers trying to profit off my bruised self-esteem. I will lead; not follow. I understand that nobody can make me feel bad about myself unless I let them. And I will not let them. I believe in myself and I am amazing just as I am.

Pledge for younger child:

I promise to always treat myself with love and respect. I promise to be proud of who I am and not let anybody make me feel like I’m not good enough. I won’t judge other people on how they look because it’s what’s on the inside that matters. I will believe in myself and follow my dreams. I don’t have to be perfect. I’m great just the way I am. I don’t need to be exactly like everybody else, because I am unique and special in my own way. I’m me and I’m magnificient!

SELF-WORTH SHOULDN’T BE MEASURED IN POUNDS!

* “The Body Image Survival Guide for Parents: Helping Toddlers, Tweens and Teens Thrive”

Available through Amazon.com and www.fitvsfiction.com

Mayor Bloomberg, do you want us to be healthy or just skinny?

The judge has spoken, the ruling’s been made and our right to drink super sized, sugar loaded beverages remains in tact.

I’ll be honest with you and say that I’m feeling somewhat conflicted by the decision. I know that the main argument against the ban was from people who just don’t want the government telling them what to do. Nobody likes to be told what they can and cannot eat or drink and people tend to get a little annoyed when they feel like their being treated like children, or fools, or foolish children. That said, who the hell needs to be drinking soda from a cup big enough to swim in, anyway? If you’re still thirsty after drinking enough liquid to bathe in, you’ve got some bigger issues that need to be addressed. I have no problem with Mayor Bloomberg wanting to limit the size of sugary drinks being sold, what I do have a problem with is that, once again, he is completely missing the mark on doing the HEALTHY thing.

An article by The Canadian Press states, ” The rule prohibits selling non-diet soda and some other sugary beverages in
containers bigger than 16 ounces.”

NON-DIET SODA.

Aye, there’s the rub.

WHY is drinking copious amounts of sugar-laden drinks unhealthy but consuming the same amount of chemical filled crap just fine? WHY are we protecting people from the evils of sugar while promoting, accepting and even encouraging the consumption of chemicals that come with risks related to health issues like depression, severe migraines, inflammatory bowel disease and Cancer?

Oh wait a minute, I know, because they have less calories! Calories are bad because they make you fat and fat is bad, because it can lead to health issues. Can you see my concern here? Why is that certain health risks are acceptable as long as they don’t affect our size? Why are we, once again, putting our weight ahead of our health?

He’s the really crazy part, some research has suggested that artificial sweeteners can lead to, say it isn’t so, OBESITY!

I have no problem with the government wanting to help us get healthier, but I do have an issue with it just wanting to make us skinnier.

I work with kids as young as 7 and 8 years old who have already started counting calories for fear of getting fat and that’s just not okay! If we want to raise healthy children we need to teach them that eating well makes them FEEL good, instead of promoting the dangerous messages that eating less makes them look skinny.

Time to stop trying to lose weight and start focusing on gaining HEALTH!

 

Why I had to write the Body Image Survival Guide for Parents:

Why did I write this book?

I always thought that if I ever wrote a book about my life, the title would be, “Who knew?”.

It seems fitting because whenever I look at old pictures of myself from when I was just a little kid, before the traumas came fast and hard, I look at the little girl in the pictures and think, “You have NO IDEA what life is about to throw at you. Get ready, it’s gonna get rough for awhile”.

Life has definitely sucker punched me in the gut on more than a few occasions and thrown a crapload of challenges my way that proved extremely hard to overcome. I’ve lived a lot, lost a lot and learned a lot. Along the way, there was one thing that was there for me through it all. My eating disorder.

Yup, when life got too hard and the pain too intense, I turned away from what was hurting me and turned to my disorder for help. At the time, it made sense. When I was 17 years old, my brother Billy died and a huge part of me died right along with him. The pain of his loss was too much to bear and my life seemed completely out of my control so I turned to the one thing I thought I could control. My body. I started starving myself in an effort to feel like I was in control of SOMETHING or else I was sure I’d go completely insane.

It was easier to deal with the pain of an empty stomach than the sadness I felt walking into his empty room.

My disorder was the diversion I thought I needed. I thought it was helping. I didn’t know it would end up robbing me of my friendships, my health and my dreams. It kept me from making new friends and made it hard to keep old ones. It encouraged me to drop out of school and give up my ambitions. It told me I was nothing without it and I believed it.

I know what it’s like to think that everything you are and everything you could ever be depends on what you LOOK like but to feel like you’ll never look good enough. I know what it’s like to feel like you could never be smart, or funny or interesting enough to matter so you sure as hell better be pretty enough, but to never feel that you are. I know what it’s like to hate who you are so much that being the “girl with the eating disorder” becomes your entire identity and even though it hurts so much, you don’t want to give it up for fear you’ll just disappear.

I know what it’s like to battle with body image. I know what it’s like to watch my mother see me in pain and feel completely powerless about how to help me. I know that this is an issue that is confusing and complicated and incredibly hard to understand.

I also know what it’s like to recover.

My body image issues may have taken me to hell and back, but the important part is that I came back.

I know that with the right tools and information, parents don’t have to feel powerless. There is so much we can do as parents to instil the right messages from the time our kids are babies that can help them grow up with the confidence they deserve. Kids younger and younger are feeling pressured to be who they THINK society expects them to be instead of appreciating who they already are. They need our help.

I wrote the book I wish my own mother had had when I was struggling. I want parents to feel EMPOWERED. I give practical, solid answers to sticky questions and suggest games and projects that build healthy body image and self-esteem. I’ve included positive internet resources and body image pledges and include tons of stories from real people sharing real experiences.

My goal is to teach people that the “Best” bodies are HEALTHY ones and that SELF-WORTH IS NOT MEASURED IN POUNDS!

xoxoxoxo

My E.D. nearly killed me. But although I’m a little bruised and scarred, I’m still here.

photo (29)

Today I found the journal I kept when I was a teenager.  I was 17 and my eating disorder was just starting to creep it’s way into my life.   It creeped it’s way in slowly. I hardly saw it coming, but before I knew it it had completely taken over. It felt like every minute of every single day was spent thinking about what I HAD eaten, WAS eating or was GOING to eat. My life was filled with fear, shame and guilt..but very little food.

My disorder nearly killed me.

To be honest, there were times when I wished it would.

But it didn’t. I’m still here. And after over 20 years of fighting against myself, I finally found a way to fight for myself instead.

Young, sad, sick girls just got themselves a new role model. Thanks Amanda Bynes!

If there’s one thing we’ve learned about social media is that it makes it possible to share everything and anything we’re feeling the second we’re feeling it. While this is perfectly harmless when talking about the delicious sandwich we just ate or the soccer goal we scored or the hilarious thing our kid just did, it can be extremely dangerous when we use it to promote unhealthy behaviour and a hell of a lot MORE dangerous if you’re a celebrity.
It’s no secret that Amanda Bynes has become a bit of a train wreck recently. Two DUI arrests and a lot of erratic behaviour have put her on the “needs some drastic help” radar for some time now and this latest development just reinforces that point.
Amanda has decided that she needs to lose weight and for some bizarre reason she’s decided to choose 100lbs as her goal weight. The problem is that at 5’8 inches tall, weighing just 100lbs would make her completely unhealthy. It is just NOT a healthy place for her to be.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/15/amanda-bynes-weight-loss-100-pounds_n_2695706.html

Why do I care?

I care because she has chosen to document her feelings and weight loss plan on social media and has even posted pictures of her thighs on Instagram.

This is particularly disturbing considering the latest trend in body shaming among young people which involves measuring their “thigh Gaps”.
http://ca.shine.yahoo.com/blogs/shine-on/thigh-gap-results-teen-girls-starving-themselves-191159136.html

As a celebrity, even one whose star is fading quickly, she needs to be responsible when it comes to what she shares with the public. By saying that she needs to lose weight from her already healthy physique, and posting critical pictures of her body parts, she is sending a very dangerous message to her young fans.

I asked a couple of young women how they felt about Amanda’s goal and one teenager shared,
“I think this is going to affect a lot of young girls because so many of us grew up with her as a role model. It’s disgusting what a smart confident woman has become.”
The other said, “If a girl is 5’6 and weighs 110lbs she’ll assume she’s obese when that’s totally underweight! She’s in the media and young girls will see this and think, “Oh she’s pretty and famous, if I want to be like her I should want to be 5’8 and 100lbs.”
Amanda is obviously going through a very hard time and I’m not judging her for that. Having battled my own severe body image and eating disorder issues for over 20 years, I can certainly relate. BUT, while I’m not judging her struggle, I am having a HUGE problem with how her actions may bring a lot of young girls down with her. Like it or not, being in the public eye gives her voice and her actions more attention than the rest of us and with that comes a lot of power. Her comments through social media are reaching millions of young people and can end up causing disastrous results for some of them.

The great thing about social media is that it can connect us to almost anyone, anywhere at anytime. The terrifying thing about social media is that exact same thing.

Body image concerns: Advice for Grandma and Grandpa

A woman approached me at the grocery store the other day because she had read an article about me in the newspaper where I talked about (what else?) body image and kids. She explained that she was a grandmother and was worried that she was putting a little too much pressure on her grandkids when it came to food choices. While she didn’t want to make them self-conscious about what they were eating, she also didn’t want them to feel free to eat whatever they wanted and risk becoming overweight.

Not too long after that, I heard from another grandma who was very concerned that her daughter-in-law’s own body image issues were setting her grandkids up for their own issues and was unsure how to handle the situation.

What so many people don’t realize is that body image issues and eating disorders don’t just affect the people who are struggling with them, but also impact the lives of those who love them. Watching someone you care about obsess over their weight/ food/ appearance can be beyond frustrating and heartbreaking since it’s really difficult for them to know what they should say or do.

It’s easy to overlook the stress put on friends and family of eating disorder sufferers, which is a huge oversight since having a strong and stable support system can make all the difference when it comes to recovering from such an insidious disorder.

For my next few posts, I’m going to talk about the people around the people who are suffering (grandparents, parents, siblings, friends) and offer some tips on how to feel a little less powerless.

1. Compare notes.
Grandparents don’t usually see their grandkids on a daily basis and it may be easier for them to spot the subtle changes that may be happening than parents who can be too close to a situation to have a clear view. If you are concerned about something you’re seeing, whether it be physical or behavioral changes, don’t be afraid to bring these concerns up with the parents. Find out if they’ve noticed anything concerning and make sure there is an open line of communication so you can work together to make sure the kids are safe.

2. If you suspect that something’s not quite right with your grandkids,Talk to them directly but make sure your conversations are non confrontational and your questions don’t come across as accusatory. Instead of asking, “What’s wrong with you lately?” Or, “I know something’s going on, what is it?” Try instead to ask about things like school and their friends while you’re out for lunch or just hanging out together. For a lot of people, opening up about body image anxieties can be tough, but talking about other kinds of stress can be much easier. Just chatting about what’s going on their lives can give you a great perspective of where added anxieties can be coming from.

3. It’s time to give up the cute nicknames that may not be so “cute” anymore.
We all do it. We all have cute terms of affection we come up with for our kids and grandkids and they come from a place of pure love. Sometimes, however, it’s time to let those nicknames go. Calling your granddaughter/son “Chubby cheeks” or “Chunky Monkey” may be cute for an infant, but not nearly as sweet for an older child.

4. Cancel your membership with the “Clean your plate club”. There are still a lot of parents and grandparents who guilt their kids into finishing every last morsel of food off their plate at mealtime and this is a really bad habit to get into. It is so important for kids to learn how to listen to the messages their OWN bodies are sending them. They need to know when they’re hungry and when they’re full. If they are taught to just keep eating until the food is gone, they will end up eating for all kinds of reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with hunger. Kids need to work with their own bodies and not have them micromanaged by anybody else.

5. Love them unconditionally.
Sadly, the world can be a very judgemental place and kids need to believe that they have a support system that will always have their backs. A woman once shared with me that while spending the weekend with her grandparents when she was a child, she overheard them talking about the fact that she gained a little weight and how worried they were about her getting fat. She’s a grown woman now, and that memory still haunts her.

My #1 advice is to let your kids/grandkids know that if there is ever anyhing they need to talk about, you will be there for them and they will have your full attention. Even if they have no interest in opening up right away, just knowing that you’re there will give them huge sense of comfort.

#self-worth shouldn’t be measured in pounds

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