Fit vs. Fiction's Blog


Childhood-Obesity is NOT the problem!

Childhood Obesity isn’t THE problem.

There, I said it and I’ll say it again: CHILDHOOD OBESITY is NOT THE PROBLEM.

While it’s become nearly impossible to turn on a TV, listen to a radio or read through a newspaper without hearing about our society’s obesity epidemic and it seems like there are anti-obesity programs and campaigns popping up everywhere, I believe we are focusing our energy and efforts on the WRONG problem. Is obesity a serious issue? Yes, it is. But obesity is just one SYMPTOM of the real issue which is unhealthy living. By focusing solely on obesity, we are turning a “lifestyle” issue into a “fat” one. By doing this, we’re completely missing out giving people the information and the tools they need to be truly HEALTHY. The dangerous part about this is that instead of encouraging people to get healthy we are demanding that they get skinny and the truth is, skinny is not always synonymous with healthy. As a result of our “war on obesity” we’re creating a generation of kids who are TERRIFIED of being overweight and because of our society’s obsession with thinness, they don’t even know what being overweight truly looks like! Watching TV or flipping through fashion magazines and being inundated with unrealistic images of unattainable physiques can have most tweens and teens feeling inadequate and insecure about their looks within minutes. When the media is telling them that they need to be skinny to be beautiful and anti-obesity campaigns are telling them they need to be skinny to be healthy, the only message they’re hearing is: YOU NEED TO BE SKINNY!
Here’s a shocker: You can’t always tell how fit or unfit a person is simply by what they look like.
Being a little overweight and active is healthier than skinny and sedentary. Weight is not the ONLY factor in a person’s overall health, and we shouldn’t be made to feel like it is.

WHAT ARE THE DANGERS?

1.Thin kids become apathetic:
There are some kids who can eat as much junk food as they want and do very little physical activity without gaining any weight. Lucky for them, right? WRONG. However, IF they’re constantly being told that OBESITY is the issue than they won’t see the risks related to their present lifestyles. Things like: Diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol and Cancer.

2.Skinny at all cost mentality:
How about the kids who are so afraid of gaining weight that they become overly concerned with every piece of food they consume? I get emails and phone calls from parents of kids as young as 5 years old who are already struggling with eating disorders! While it wouldn’t be surprising to hear our toddlers worry about imaginary monsters or witches, hearing them cry because they feel they look fat in their snowsuits is something most parents are not prepared for. More and more kids are putting their health at risk through dangerous behaviour related to weight loss and a huge part of it is because of our society’s Fat-Phobia!

Recently, many schools have tried to get on board the fight against obesity by implementing programs aimed at making our kids healthier. Unfortunately, in an effort to solve one problem, they are inadvertently creating an even bigger one by encouraging disordered eating and negative body image. While numbers and charts may offer a little insight into a person’s health status, they can be drastically misleading if other important factors are ignored.

Take for example, the recent story about the 10 year old Massachusetts boy who was sent home from school with a letter saying he was obese. This boy’s athletic (healthy) build was considered obese by the BMI rating his school was using to measure their students body weight. To be honest, I am completely against ANY KIND of program that has school faculty measuring (judging and shaming) a child’s weight and the fact that they’d use such an inaccurate system to do it, makes it all the more frustrating.

http://todaynews.today.com/_news/2013/02/27/17119287-fat-letters-sent-home-to-students-cause-a-stir

Schools need to EDUCATE, not HUMILIATE.

3.It’s become okay to point fingers at the chubby kid.

You’d think that with all the talk about bullying going on these days, we’d be able to recognize when we’re doing it ourselves, but here’s another example of good intentions lost on bad execution. By singling out the “overweight” kids we’re making them easier targets to be picked on. Some might argue that if they’re overweight, they’re probably already being picked on, but the difference is that they’ve now got school staff agreeing with the bullies. This kind of negativity will only make them feel less worthy of respect from others and themselves. HOW does that help??

We all want the same thing. We want our kids to grow up as healthy and as happy as they can be, but we really have to be so incredibly careful about how we go about doing that.

Eating with balance and moderation and being physically active shouldn’t be something we feel forced to do because we hate our bodies, but something we WANT to do because we love and respect them. We can’t lose weight in order to like ourselves, we have to first like ourselves in order to lose weight.

Enough with the “ANTIs” and bring on the “PROs”. Instead of an Anti-Obesity approach, why not try one that’s Pro-Health? We shouldn’t be fighting AGAINST our bodies but working WITH them.

FAT isn’t a bad word. It’s an essentially nutrient necessary for good health. Why have we turned it into an insult? Teaching kids that fat is “Bad”, can be a dangerous lesson. However, educating them about the benefits and risks related to different kinds of fats can be extremely helpful without being judgemental.

A truly healthy child is one that is healthy physically, emotionally and psychologically. By focusing simply on the physical, we risk damaging everything else.

The question I’m asking is: Do we want HEALTHY kids or just skinny ones?

Olympic medallist Leisel Jones criticized for being "Fat".

Olympic medallist Leisel Jones criticized for being “Fat”.

Olympic medallist Cathy Rigby.Admits that she and many teammates battled eating disorders while competing

Olympic medallist Cathy Rigby.
Admits that she and many teammates battled eating disorders while competing

Healthy bodies have less to do with how they LOOK and everything to do with how they WORK.

“Self-worth shouldn’t be measured in pounds”

Why I LOOOOVE sharing Fit vs Fiction with kids!

Believe it or not, there are still WAY too many people who don’t believe or understand that Body Image and eating disorder issues are killing our kids. These issues destroy them physically, emotionally and spiritually. They hit so deep that it can take years and years of hard work to get their mental and physical health back on track, if ever.

 

I share my Fit vs Fiction workshops at schools as a way of breaking down the dangerous myths related to fitness and beauty and get kids talking about the pressure they feel to be “Perfect”. I use TONS of pictures while discussing things like media manipulation, sexualization and the motivation behind the messages they’re being inundated with on a daily basis. I share my truth; the good, the bad and the very, very ugly so that they can feel safe sharing their own. I make them think, I make them laugh, I make them understand that they can be whoever and whatever they aspire to be and that no one has the right to make them feel otherwise. For years I put my health and life at risk more times than I can count through my negative body image and disordered eating and while I was able to find recovery, I will never get back the 20+ years the disorder took away.

I’m often told that I’m fighting an uphill battle and that our fat-phobic, youth and weight obsessed world isn’t ready to change and I don’t completely disagree. But, as hard as this battle might be, it’s NOTHING compared to life with an eating disorder.

After doing a couple of Fit vs Fiction workshops at an elementary school last week, I came home to an email from one of the teachers that was there. She had copied me on a note she sent to the V.P. following my workshops. I’m sharing it because with all of the people who are still in the dark about the severity of these issues, it’s such a joy to hear from someone who is aware and willing to help.

Hi L.,

I am so pleased that I was able to participate in this
absolutely fabulous workshop.  The students in Grade 6 and 7 were absolutely
riveted to what the presenter Marci Warhaft had to say about healthy body image.
Ms. Warhaft also showed many pictures from the media of distorted body images
using television and film personalities known to many of the students.  She used
her own previous experiences of poor self-image as an example, and spoke
eloquently of how she was able to nurture a more healthy body image as time went
on.  Her responses to student questions were excellent, and her presentation was
well-paced and upbeat.

Thank you for bringing such an effective and
timely speaker to this school! I would be glad to assist in any way possible to
publicize Ms. Warhaft’s session to the school community in
April.

Mrs.
Junior/Intermediate
French Teacher

(I edited names for anonymity)

Kids need and WANT to talk..we just need to start listening!

Hey School Boards: Stop telling my kids Physical Education is just not that important!

Recently, I was talking with some university students about the challenges they face when it comes to staying fit and healthy at school and an issue that came up a lot was TIME. It seems that they just don’t have enough time to fit exercise into their schedules. I truly believe a big part of that is because, from the minute they start school our school systems tell them that it’s just not that important. I talk about this a lot because it infuriates me that with all the focus being being on what our kids are eating,  there seems to be a lack of focus put on what our kids are DOING!

Don’t get me wrong, there are lots of commercials on TV telling us that our kids are playing too many video games and not getting outside enough, but the fact is, our kids are in school MOST of the day and are SUPPOSED to having scheduled “Play time”, and way too often, they are not.

In many elementary schools, kids are supposed to have Phys Ed classes between 1 to 3 times a week ( not enough in my books) and yet, I can’t tell you how many times my kids have come home from school complaining that gym class was cancelled because: They had an assembly, they had a presentation instead, the gym was being used for something else, the class was being too noisy, they didn’t finished their math lessons,etc…. it seems like gym class is the first one to be cancelled when the teachers need to make room for something else and I’m just not okay with that! While it’s become alright to cancel a gym class in order to get more work done in a different subject, you’d never hear a teacher say, ” Well class, Since we didn’t finish our volleyball game, we’ll have to miss math.”  Understand, I am NOT, in any way, blaming teachers for this problem, I have seen some amazing teachers at my kids’ school who spend their time and energy working with afterschool activities that help keep kids active, but it’s bigger than that. In 2005, Elementary schools in Ontario started the “Healthy schools initiative” which was supposed to ensure that every class got 20 mins of moderate to vigorous sustained physical activity EVERY DAY; sadly, most teachers admit to WANTING to participate but just aren’t able to fit it into the daily schedule.

The message our kids get is that exercise is an afterthought and that being active is great…IF you have time, when they should be learning that being physically active will not only benefit their health, but as a result, will help them concentrate better in school.

By the time most kids hit Secondary School, phys ed class becomes an OPTION. A lot of kids don’t have to take it if they don’t want to. Again, the message is that in order to succeed you MUST work hard at academics and if that leaves no room for physical activity, so be it.

By the time these kids get to University, it’s no wonder they are feeling incredibly pressured to perform well academically and feel that making room for exercise is a luxury they can’t afford!

A study out of Queen’s University revealed that 51% of female students between 18-25 years old reported binge eating due to stress and pressure to succeed academically and stress is also known to increase the risk of heart disease. Interestingly enough, Exercise has been proven to be a great stress REDUCER!

If our school boards think they are doing our kids a favor by keeping them tied to their chairs and computers, they are sadly mistaken.

All the professional and financial success in the world means nothing…if you don’t live long enough to enjoy it.

I’m calling for a provincial Ban of Math Books!

My son got a papercut from his math book yesterday, so I’m calling for a PROVINCIAL BAN on MATH.. or BOOKS..I’m not sure which one yet, but believe me, something got to be banned because THAT’S the way we deal with things, RIGHT?

Of course I’m referring to the latest and clearly, ridiculous situation of the Toronto school that has decided to ban soccer balls (as well as most other kinds of balls) from their property after a parent got hit in the head with one last week.

I could go on and on about how INSANE this is, but I will try to keep this short..like my fuse right now. Kids NEED to PLAY and they need to play without FEAR! It would be impossible to keep our kids away from EVERYTHING that could POSSIBLY harm them in life, which is why we teach them how to be careful and vigilant. We teach our kids how to play safely and fairly and when neccessary, we provide helmets and padding to lessen the likelyhood of serious injury, but they will still get hurt. They will fall and trip and yes, they may even get hit with soccer balls but they will probably be just FINE.

I truly believe that if you never fall, you will never learn how to pick yourself up again and that is a lesson we may be cheating our kids out of these days. Trust me, I am not a laissez-faire kind of parent, I’m actually a worrier..a pretty big worrier to be honest, but I WILL NOT let my irrational fears stop my kids from enjoying their lives. Are there times when I’d like to cover my kids in head to toe bubble wrap? Damn right there are; but I don’t, because that would be silly just like the ball ban we’re talking about.

We keep hearing how out of shape and lazy kids are today, yet we keep making it harder and harder for them to be active! It’s shameful how most schools offer far too little physical education in their curriculum to begin with and now we are limiting what they can do at recess?!

It seems that whenever a school wants to look like they’re being responsible, it involves removing something! I know kids who are afraid to be caught HOLDING snow in their hands for fear of being accused of actually throwing it at someone and don’t get me started on the “Junk Food” ban. Here’s a thought..instead of simply taking stuff away..why don’t we try to put stuff back in,like maybe COMMON SENSE and TRUST.

I am sorry the parent got hit in the head with the soccer ball, I really am, it must have hurt like hell, but isn’t this reaction a little much? Are we really going to start removing eveything that we could accidentally hurt ourselves with? If so, can we start with those razor sharp geometry sets, they’re scary…and math kinda sucks anyway.

Are we trying to raise healthy kids or just skinny ones?

As parents, it’s our responsibility to guide our children through life’s many obstacles. We encourage,instruct,advise, and help them make,what we feel, are the “Right” decisions in day to day life. We want to give our kids the tools they need for success. However, I strongly believe that when it comes to their bodies and their health, we could actually learn more from them than the other way around.

These days, we hear constant messages about the fact that our kids are apparently eating too much and exercising too little. We’re told that there are more overweight kids than ever and “Junk Food” is killing them slowly. As a result, too many parents have started stressing over every bite of food their child takes and every minute of tv they watch.Interestingly,this type of stress is actually more dangerous than a few Oreos or video games.

Research shows that putting too much of an emphasis on food and weight will not encourage healthy eating but may initiate a preoccupation with body image. In fact, a journal published by the American Academy of pediatrics found that “Anti-Obesity campaigns, though positive in intention,may enable unhealthy dieting and compulsive exercise, while breaking down self-esteem by tying self-worth to weight”.

Believe it or not, this is an area where we could learn a lot from our kids. Our bodies are amazing machines that let us know when we’re hungry and when we’re full. Newborn babies, for example,will cry when hungry and stop when they’ve had enough.Sadly, at some point we start judging our bodies instead of listening to them and put ourselves on restrictive diets where we eat only as much as we think we “should” eat and only foods we think we “should” eat. This throws our systems completely off track and creates a relationship with food that is less than harmonious.

Kids are different. They haven’t been manipulated by years of diet propoganda and shouldn’t be thinking about calories or fat grams. Is there an insane amount of fast food and candy out there? Of course, but if we demonize certain foods, it creates emotion around them. These sinful foods either become terrifying or even more attractive. Food is food. Some of it nourishes us, some of it just tastes good. None of it needs to be BANNED completely. It’s about balance.

Eating should always be a positive experience. Feel free to introduce new foods to mealtimes, have your kids prepare meals with you, offer a wide variety of tastes and textures. Truth be told, exposing your kids to food in a healthy way will not make them overweight….but hiding it from them just might.

Sticks and stones may break my bones..but being called FAT destroys me!

Yesterday, a heard from the parent of a 13 year old who is extremely frustrated at the fact that her child is constantly being teased about their weight at school. Interestingly, this teasing isn’t coming from school “Bullies” or kids they’ve have issues with in the past, the nasty comments and hurtful insults are coming from kids they’ve been friends with for years.

This mom was surprised she was even hearing about what was going on because her child usually doesn’t share this type of information with her..it’s just not something BOYS often speak freely about.

As confusing as the fact that this teasing is coming from kids he calls his friends, is the fact that this boy is NOT overweight, not even close. Yet, for some reason, there are a few boys in his circle that have labeled him the “fat kid”. At an intellectual level, he knows he’s not overweight, but emotionally, he’s not so sure.

So many people still think that body image issues are something that girls deal with and that boys are somehow immune to, but the sad truth is that more and more boys are feeling intense pressure to be physically perfect and accepted by their peers. A few months ago, I had a conversation with a group of teenaged girls, who talked about how weird they thought it was that their guy friends insult eachother all the time, and put eachother down, but then seem to laugh it off as if it didn’t hurt.

Truth is, it does hurt. It’s just not cool to admit it.

The mother I spoke with yesterday is concerned because she is starting to see the impact that this “harmless” teasing between “friends” is having on her son. The most noticeable change has been a significant weightloss since the end of last year. While some of the weightloss has come from a healthy increase in physical activity, some of it has also come from an overly restrictive diet. No matter how fit he gets, if these kids continue to insult his weight, he will continue to feel the need to lose more of it.

She is doing everything she can to explain that bullies bully as a way of trying to make themselves feel more powerful, usually it’s to hide how insecure they actually feel.

Here’s what I find truly upsetting. While boys FEEL just as deeply as girls do, they don’t feel as comfortable sharing those feelings for fear of looking weak. They are constantly told  to “suck it up!” or ” Man up!” By not expressing how they feel, they internalize these feelings, and since feelings don’t just disappear, they usually end up resurfacing in a seemingly unrelated way. They become more aggressive, moody, even OVERLY confident; anything to mask the pain they’re feeling.

We are constantly hearing about how we need to raise our boys to understand women, be sensitive and respectful to their feelings..yet we don’t allow them to do the same for themselves.

We have all met “Mean Girls” in school, but guess what? There are now “Mean Boys” as well. ALL kids need to learn that bullying isn’t funny and it’s just not ok.

I know that there are a lot of people who feel that, “Boys will be boys” and this isn’t a big deal; but these boys eventually grow into MEN and it’s our job as parents, teachers, coaches and caregivers to help them through the transition with sensitivity and compassion…even when they don’t ask for it.

Ban cookies, save lives? Sorry, it’s not so easy.

On Tuesday, I will be 1 of 3 panelists at an all Candidiate Provincial Election Debate in Vaughan, and I was asked to prepare two questions that each of the candidiates will have to answer. My first question is about the new Ontario Schools Junk Food Ban and my second, is about the lack of physical activity being offered in Ontario schools.

It’s no secret that while I don’t have a problem with “unhealthy” foods being removed from school stores and cafeterias, I DO have a problem with the lack of education being put in their place. I think it’s ridiculous for the government to think that by simply removing the “offensive” food, they will be saving thousands of children from the vicious claws of obesity and sending them on the path to healthy living. Not quite. In fact, study after study is proving that the government’s focus on obesity is actually just making things worse.

A few points I wanted to share:

Child Nutrition expert Dr. jennifer O’Dea stated:

Negative messages such as sugar and fat are “Bad” and the use of the term “Junk Food” contribute to underlying fear of food,dietary fat and weight gain which precedes body image concerns and eating problems.

Wellness Council of America:

“Perhaps the most damaging affect of childhood obesity prevention programs result from the focus on weight as opposed to health.”

“Negative consequences of the war on obesity are also being felt by normal weight children who perceive themselves as being fat.”

“Many studies over the last few decades show that when adults try to control what their children wat, the children are more, not less, likely to end up with weight,body image and eating related problems.”

 

“BMI is NOT a good predictor of body fat as it does not take into consideration any discrepancies in terms of gender,race,age and ethnicity. It doesn’t distinguish between fat and muscle tissue.”

 

American Journal of Public Health:

“Our efforts to prevent childhood obesity can no longer afford to ignore eating disorders and related behaviors”

The fact is: We must STOP putting the focus on WEIGHT and out it on HEALTH where it belongs. By focusing on FAT we are making healthy weight kids feel overweight and overweight kids hate themselves. This is NOT productive.

If you simply take cookies out of the cafeteria, the message is: Cookies are BAD because they’ll make you FAT.

But if you replace cookies laden with unhealthy trans fat and replace them with cookies made from natural ingredients, you are TEACHING about HEALTHY choices not diet ones.

Kids should learn that being active and eating a balanced diet will make them FEEL good.Period. How it will make them look, shouldn’t even come into play. Afterall, shouldn’t Skinny kids eat in a healthy way as well, or do they not have to worry because they can fit easily into their skinny jeans?

It’s time to move away from obesity prevention and towards childhood health promotion.

Self-worth should not be measured in pounds.

 

“Junk food” Out? How about exercise IN?

I’ve been asked to speak a lot this week about the new Junk Food Ban in Ontario and I think I’ve made my position on the issue pretty clear: While I think the INTENTION is good, my problem is with the execution. Simply “Banning” foods from schools will not solve any problems, we need to EDUCATE, not just mandate.

But that’s not what’s on my mind today. Today my issue is with the lack of Physical activity being offered at Elelmentary schools. I think it’s hypocritical for the government to tell us that they are concerned about our kids’ health and then make physical fitness such an afterthought.

Our kids are in school MOST of the day and NEED a chance to move around,get their hearts pumping and blood flowing. It’s been proven that just 20mins of sustained vigorous exercise helps kids learn better, which is WHY Ontario introduced the “Healthy Schools” plan in 2005 which ensured that kids got up and moved for 20mins everyday.

Sadly, this program has pretty much been abandoned. I do NOT blame the teachers since I know that they would love to give their students a chance to re-energize during the day, but feel that their schedules just don’t leave them ample time to do it.

What’s worse is how often gym is the first class to be cancelled when there’s an issue with over scheduling and all of a sudden, the scheduled 2 gym classes a week gets cut to ONE class once a week. Now factor in those days when it’s too rainy or snowy for outdoor recess and the kids are kept inside all day. The situation is a grim one.

IF kids today are not as healthy as they used to be and IF, as so many TV Commercials are telling us, they aren’t getting nearly enough exercise as they should be, can’t our schools help us out? Not all families can affored extra curricular activities or may have a problem getting their kids back and forth, shouldn’t we be working together on this?

The government is so quick attack food as the problem but maybe it’s because taking food out is easier than putting exercise in.

The fact is..I am less concerned with the food that’s available at my children’s school than I am with the physical activity that is NOT.

Think Body Image issues are just a Girl thing? Think again

The mother of a 13 year old boy approached me today to tell me that her son was almost suspended from school recently for calling a girl in his class FAT. The principal explained the rules against bullying and expressed how badly the boy’s comment had hurt the girl’s feelings. What he neglected to mention was WHY her son had chosen to act out the way he had and the reason was an important one.

Knowing her son the way she does, she was puzzled by his comment and asked him to explain. What he told her was that he only called her fat because she and her friends had been teasing him mercilessly for being too SKINNY! They bugged him about his skinny arms and scrawny legs, he fought back in a way he hoped would get them to stop and maybe even feel as badly as they had made him feel. Where was this principal’s concern for this little boy’s feelings?

What most people don’t understand is that it’s not just girls who feel pressure to look a certain way; these days, young boys are dealing with body image issues to a degree that they never have before.

The really interesting thing, is that their pressure is twofold. Either they feel like they’re too BIG and lazy or too small and wimpy. Teen based TV shows and magazines are covered with images of young men with perfectly chiseled six-pack Abs and biceps to kill for, in comparison, your average, healthy, tween or teen boy is going to feel like he doesn’t measure up. Not realizing of course, that many of these “teen” actors aren’t teens at all, but are closer to being in their 30s in some cases!

As part of the version of the Fit vs Fiction workshop I do specifically for boys, I show the students a picture of a male model from the 90s, who was very muscular and then I show them one from the 2000s and this model is extremely skinny and quite androgynous looking. In fact, in a recent interview I read with male models, they spoke about being told NOT to exercise or eat much because the designers like the look of their clothes on pre-pubescent looking boys. yuck.

The next time your in a toy store, take a look at the action figures; long gone are the days of healthy and fit looking GI Joe and Superman, today’s action figures look like they’ve been pumped with steroids! The message to little boys: To be a hero you need to be BIG and muscular.

What kind of impact is this having? A recent study reported that in the last 2 decades the amount of men who admitted to being unhappy with their bodies has TRIPLED and men are having more cosmetic surgery than ever before.

We need to protect our daughters from the negative messages they get from society and the media everyday concerning body image, but lets not forget about our sons. While many girls will talk about their feelings and what they’re struggling with, a lot of boys will choose instead to internalize it and suffer in silence. Just because they’re not talking about it, doesn’t mean they don’t need to.

Which is why I will keep fighting the good fight in hopes of changing the way we see others and most importantly, ourselves.

http://www.fitvsfiction.com

Why the heck am I so intensely passionate about this issue?!

Fit vs Fiction

Let me tell you:

You’d think after spending 20 years of my life being controlled by severe body image issues and battling an intense Eating Disorder, that once I had found recovery and had been given the tools to move on with my life, I would focus my energy elsewhere and never look back.

To be honest, that’s exactly what I thought I would do. Afterall, it had taken me until my mid 30s to reclaim my life, what would make me want to revisit the pain of my eating disorder on a somewhat daily basis? I soon realized, that I really had no choice. Maybe I had recovered, but I was still part of a society that glorified extreme THINNESS and demonized softer, rounder, even though often, healthier, bodies. I needed to do something about that.

My obsession with my body started when I was 17yrs old after losing my older brother and finding the pain of starvation easier to handle than the pain of losing him. But, according to the doctor I spoke with at Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto last week, boys and girls as young as 7 yrs old are being treated for eating disorders. Is it from the media, society, their parents? Probably all of the above, and something needs to be done about it.

I created the workshop Fit vs Fiction to break down the myths related to the fitness, diet and beauty industries. I bring my workshop to elementary schools, high schools, parent groups, etc.. By using a wide variety of images, facts and stories of true life experiences, I get people to share their feelings about the pressure they feel to live up to unrealistic expectations thrown at them daily from a multitude of outside sources.

People WANT and NEED to be talking about this, I give them a safe place to do so. I think that by sharing my story, even the uglier aspects of it, I make it easier for others to open up as well.

I think of it as turning trauma into triumph.

My new campaign to bring awareness to body image issues is through a poster campaign sharing some facts that will hopefully get people thinking and talking about a problem that won’t go away unless we actively make some changes in how we see others and even more importantly, ourselves.

Please share these posters and their very important message!
:o)

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