Fit vs. Fiction's Blog


We need to fight FOR our kids and not against eachother

I decided to send my Huffington Post article about Childhood obesity to a fairly well-known local fitness team and asked them for their thoughts. I did this, knowing that my article “Childhood obesity is not the problem” is a tad controversial. In my post, I discuss the dangers of anti-obesity campaigns and the fact that I believe we need to focus less on weight and more on health. I was genuinely interested in hearing their thoughts as people who have spent the last 25 years or so, offering health tips to families. They responded by saying, “The author is missing point. I think she is taking the topic and twisting it to write an article.” I wrote back explaining that I am, in fact, the author and that while I understand that there’s a health crisis in this country, focusing solely on weight is completely ignoring all of the other factors that play into our kids overall health and well being.

I was really looking forward to the discussion that I was hoping was going to follow. Afterall, we’re both trying to reach the same goal and I believed in the benefits that could come from extremely dedicated people approaching the same issue from different angles. Sadly, that’s not what happened. Not only did the conversation end, but my entire post had been deleted from their Facebook page.

REALLY?!

What this showed me was that some people are so stuck in their own opnions, that they aren’t even willing to consider that there may just be another way to look at things. I wasn’t looking to completely change their outlook, just expand it a little and I was just as open to the possibility of learning something new as well.

Here’s why I find this SO FRUSTRATING: There is hardly a lack of weightloss experts, programs and campaigns out there trying to make us lose weight and yet, obesity is still an issue. Maybe, just maybe, it’s time to look at things in a different way. If we keep banging our heads against the same “Skinny means healthy” concrete wall, nothing will ever change.

Do I believe that I have a TON of knowledge to contribute? Yes, I do. But I am also not so arrogant as to believe that I have nothing left to learn.

We all know that childhood obesity is a problem, but here are a few things most people don’t know.

Fact: In Canada, for all the kids who are overweight, there are even more kids who are NOT but THINK that they are.

Fact: Eating disorders aren’t just a teen girl issue anymore. Girls AND boys as young as 5 years old are destroying their bodies in an effort to be skinny

Fact: It can be extremely difficult to find treatment for eating disorders due to lack of resources or finances.

Fact: Some people suffering from eating disorders find it nearly impossible to be taken seriously if they don’t “look the part”. It’s easy to look at someone who weighs as much as 380lbs or as little as 80lbs and recognize that they probably have a problem but someone battling a severe eating disorder can look healthy while slowly dying inside and can be overlooked even by medical professionals.

Fact: Anti-obesity campaigns tell kids they need to be skinny to be healthy by focusing on numbers, but we are more than just numbers and our self-worth should not be measured in pounds.

I understand that obesity is an issue, but I also understand that it is one of several issues that need to be tackled simultaneously if we have any chance of truly raising healthy children. While I understand this, there are way too many people who refuse to see the bigger picture and choose only to look at fat as the enemy. For there to be any chance of us finding solutions to the health crisis we’re facing, and for our kids to stand a chance at the long, quality filled lives they deserve, we need to fight the risks of unhealthy living instead of eachother.

If we let ego get in the way of progress, WE may feel better, but our kids won’t get any healthier.

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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

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

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.

 

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)

Video games don’t make kids fat. Shame and guilt do.

This morning I woke up early, VERY early…5am kinda early to make it to the gym for a spinning class before starting the rest of my day. I decided to log on to my computer for a few minutes before I went, and was NOT thrilled to see a short (but not so sweet) article in The National Post titled, “Canadian Kids are fat and it’s OUR fault.” By “Our” the writer meant Parents.

Great. Another reason for parents to feel guilty where our kids are concerned.

Here’s my problem with his article. It’s not true. Are some kids in Canada overweight? Of course. Is it the epidemic he’s suggesting it is? No, no it’s not. More importantly, is a child’s weight problem always connected to inactivity and food choices? nope. There are MANY factors that contribute to someone’s weight and while overeating and underexercising has an impact, you cannot look at someone who does not fit into society’s idea of “Fit” and ASSUME that they sit on the couch all day eating candy.

Back to our role as parents: RESEARCH has shown that parents who focus too much attention on food in an attempt to guide their kids to a healthy lifestyle can actually send them in the complete opposite direction of where they need to be. Parents who label foods as “Bad” or “Junk ” and attempt to restrict or ban these foods only bring more attention to them and either make them seem much more exciting than they should be OR end up creating enormous FEAR around them that can result in their child developing serious eating disorders as they grow up.

By incorporating these foods INTO a healthy, balanced diet, the child will learn to enjoy food without Glorifying or Demonizing it. Kids have natural instincts when it comes to food, it’s the adults that need help. We should stop trying to tell THEM how to eat and start learning from what they do.

Think about babies for a second, babies want food when they’re hungry and wil stop eating when full. Kids try to do the same thing, but we mess them up by trying to alter that natural instinct. “Finish your dinner or there’s no dessert”, or “You had a healthy lunch an hour ago, you can’t be hungry again so soon!”

We need to stop trying to micromanage their digestive systems and let them learn how to listen to the cues their bodies are trying to tell them. Let them know when they are hungry, when they are satisfied AND what they are hungry for.

As for exercise, YES our kids need to be active! But that also shouldn’t become a stressful situation.Find out what your kid likes to do and find a way to do it regularly. If there isn’t anything that particularly interests them, get creative! Go to a park and set up obstacle courses with the jungle gyms. I’ve done that for years with my kids and they love it! There are plenty of ways to exercise without feeling like you’re exercising.

But you do not have to unplug video games and TV to do so. Unlike the fellow who wrote the article, I am a parent. I have 2 boys who are 9 and 12 and who are very active; they play soccer and do Martial Arts and any other sport that comes their way, but ask them about video games and they will brag endlessly about the number of Zombies they’ve killed or aliens they’ve destroyed via Playstation!

It’s all about BALANCE and MODERATION; I say it all the time, because it’s true. If I banned video games, they would want to play any chance they got..at friends’ houses or maybe even at home when I wasn’t looking. By allowing it, while also emphasizing benefits of being physically active, the aren’t obsessed with it; it’s just one of many things to do.

So am I a bad parent because my kids are allowed to eat cookies and ice cream and play video games? Nope. It just might be that my kids are learning to trust their instincts when it comes to their bodies and be confident with WHO they are, which will make them less likely to fall for the media and society’s obsession with telling us WHO we’re supposed to be and what we’re supposed to look like.

As parents we tend to worry about EVERYTHING when it comes to our children, but let’s not create a new problem in an effort to fix one that doesn’t exist.

By the way, along with 5am spinning classes, I also enjoy fresh baked cookies and watching TV..so sue me!

Real Heroes don’t wear capes, just ask my son.

Last night, I was tucking my 9 year old son into bed as I always do, when I heard him quietly say, “You’re my hero.”

Gulp.

It’s funny how much his words affected me. Maybe it’s because I can vividly remember saying the very same words to my mother when I was growing up or because I spend much of my time wondering if I’m a “good enough” parent.

I thanked him and told him how happy he makes me and how lucky I am to be his mother. I left his room and he fell asleep quickly. I however, have not been able to stop thinking about those 3 little, yet powerful words since.

What is a hero? On TV or comic books they wear capes and tight leotards over bulging muscles and save the world from destruction. In real life, they are the firemen and police officers who rush into the dangerous situations the rest of us run out of, or the doctors and nurses who save our lives and make us well. How could I be a hero, when I’m so ordinary?

I started to think about what my life was like about 6 years ago when I was in the middle of an exercise obsession and managed through serious body building training, to achieve what I had always thought was the “Ideal physique”. All muscle, very little fat. I had the 6 pack Abs and sculpted biceps I had always wanted. I looked powerful. I looked the way so many magazines were telling me I SHOULD look. I convinced myself that I was being a good role model for my sons by taking care of myself and being healthy; but I was thoroughly misguided.I spent many hours at the gym and as a consequence, ended up with my priorities out of whack. I had long stopped exercising to FEEL good and was only concerned with LOOKING good..even it was to the extreme.I hate to admit it, but I had become quite self-absorbed. A good role model? I don’t think so.

It’s funny,but it was only once I found balance in my life, physically, emotionally and spiritually that I began to reconnect to other people and even to myself.

I’ve always been an active person who’d rather hike than shop, but I no longer feel pressure to live up to anyone else’s unrealistic expectation of what a woman SHOULD look like. I have always enjoyed food and will no longer feel shame over indulging in foods whose only redeeming quality is that they taste Awesome!

Truth be told, the 6 pack abs are gone, the bicep are muscles are still there, but somewhat hidden under what I’ll call, the soft cushioning of my 40 year old body, but today I feel more powerful than ever.

My son has no idea what his words meant to me because he has no idea how much time I have spent judging myself. They also got me thinking about who my heroes are.The people who ispire me don’t wear capes or run into burning buildings, they are the true, everyday heros that leave me in awe on a daily basis. They are people like: my friend who cares for her special needs child as a single parent, my mother in law who survived cancer and the loss of a child without losing her capacity for joy, or my own mother who faced a terrible divorce, survived the death of my brother and then battled Breast cancer 4 times only to lose the war at 56 yrs old.; who had every right to be bitter, yet lived her life embracing love, hope and laughter, and even my husband, who sat by my hospital for 2 months while I was fighting for my life 10 years ago and wouldn’t give up on me, even when the doctors told him to prepare for the worst.

I decided to try and see myself through my son’s eyes and realized that everytime I tell him I love him, read him stories, dance,play, and sing with him; everytime I’m there when he scratches he knee or has his feelings hurt,when I listen, REALLY listen when he’s telling me about his day;I make him feel safe and loved. Isn’t that what heroes do?

I still judge myself more than I should, but I’ve learned that it’s possible to be a good mom while also being somewhat flawed and imperfect. My son wouldn’t have it any other way…that is until a few years from now when he enters his teen years and just thinks I’m annoying. :o)

Go ahead moms, lie if you have to!

How many times have you lectured your kids on the importance of inner beauty, between sips of a diet cola or spoonfuls of fat free pudding? How many times have you assured them of the importance of not following the crowd, while you yourself were following a diet program on the advice of a girlfriend or some celebrity you saw raving about it on TV? Let me give it to you straight: Your kids are less interested in what you’re saying and more interested in what you’re doing. And believe me, they are watching. Long gone are the days of, “Do as I say, not as I do.” Most kids are in a hurry to grow up. When they’re 8 they want to be 10, when they’re 10 they want to be 16 and when they’re 16 they want to be 21. Lucky for us, there’s nothing they can do to speed up the aging process, but they will however do their best to act as if they can. On their quest for maturity, they will try to emulate the adult with the most influence in their life, and that, my friends, is you. It’s been proven that young women are most influenced by their friends and their mothers. What this tells us is that we have the opportunity to reach our kids in ways we may not even realize. When your kids see you making healthy lifestyle choices, like taking part in a physical activity on a regular basis and eating a full, balanced diet, they are more likely to do the same. Likewise, if you let things like fatigue, a busy schedule or the fear of trying new things keep you on the couch, and the ease of convenience has you reaching for foods high in fat, calories, additives and preservatives that temporarily comfort rather than nourish, your kids might follow suit. However, as dangerous as inactivity and unhealthy food habits may be, it is just as dangerous to go to the other extreme and let a diet mentality motivate every choice you make. If every bite and every step you take are based solely on how it will affect your waistline, you are desperately in need of balance. You cannot expect your kids to grow up enjoying a healthy relationship with food, if they’ve seen their mom live off diet products and food scales. You cannot teach anyone how to live a healthy lifestyle if you aren’t living one yourself.

I am a firm believer in the importance of honesty. The truth will set you free, as they say. However, when it comes to how we feel about our bodies, it’s okay to lie when in front of our kids. This is what’s called, “Lying with love”. These days, it’s become a national pastime to criticize every flaw and imperfection we can find in ourselves. It seems okay to complain about our stomachs that aren’t flat enough and our hips that are way too wide. But, in actuality, it’s not okay. It also doesn’t do anybody any good. I believe that how a woman views herself in front of her kids has an enormous impact on how her kids will eventually view themselves. Most women think nothing of patting their tummies with a sigh of regret or criticizing their food choices. This has to change. Like it or not, when a daughter sees her mom judging herself and ultimately knocking herself for being too fat, she will internalize what she’s seeing and in turn, will look at herself with the same overly critical eyes that will only become more critical and judgmental as she gets older.

This is where “Lying with love” comes in. The next time you’re feeling fat, keep it to yourself. The next time you find yourself starting to comment on the thighs you find too thick, try to change it around. Instead of seeing your thighs as too big, try appreciating them for the strength they give you to keep up with your kids when they’re running around. The next time your arms seem too soft and jiggly, remind yourself of all the things they need to lift, pull and push throughout the day. Truth be told, most kids would much prefer a hug from a warm, soft body than a bony, muscular one. If you make an effort to alter the messages you tell yourself in their presence, it’ll eventually become common practice.

The best part about this exercise is that the more positive reinforcement you give yourself for the benefit of your children, the more you’ll start to believe it yourself. We are so used to immediately going to the negative with ourselves and need to start focusing on the positive. Modeling unconditional love for ourselves is the greatest gift we can give our children.

Take the words “I feel fat” out of your vocabulary. It serves no purpose. I am not, however, suggesting that if you are engaging in unhealthy lifestyle behavior and find yourself overweight and unhappy that you should pretend to be happy for the sake of your kids. That would help no one. Instead, this would be a perfect opportunity to include your kids in the positive changes necessary to make a difference in your life. It’s crucial that you make the focus of your new lifestyle the element of “Health” instead of “weight”. For example, instead of telling your kids that you are going to start exercising and making better food choices because you’re fat; explain that you don’t feel as strong or energized as you’d like, and have decided to do something about it in a healthy, responsible way.

Make sure that you don’t fall into any quick weight loss traps and instead, seek out the kind of diet and fitness guidance that will set you on the path of lifelong well-being. Involve your kids in food preparation as a way of exposing them to a variety of healthy cooking options. There is no point in complaining about something you have the ability to change. Just be willing to make the changes.

Lead by example. Get active! Plan family activities that get you moving. The possibilities are endless. Find hiking trails in your area and choose the type of hike that suits you best; a relaxing nature walk or challenging uphill climb ending with a picnic at the top. Hop on some bikes and go for a ride or simply start a ritual of going for a stroll together after dinner. Surprise your kids by playing with them at the park instead of sitting on the sidelines and watching them as they play. It’s never too late to change; not just for your children, but also for yourself. You deserve to feel good about yourself. We all do.

A Body worth dying for?

Isabelle Caro, a 28 yr old former model, died recently after battling Anorexia since she was 13 yrs old. At the time of her death she weighed approx.62 lbs. Isabelle bravely posed for shocking billboards in Europe as part of an Anti-Anorexia campaign. She appeared on the billboards completely naked, exposing her excruciatingly thin body. It was a message to designers and other models that anorexia should not be a pre-requisite for a job in the fashion industry. While shocking and poignant, I fear her message was also lost on the masses who probably think of her case as unique.

It’s not.

Anorexia is a BRUTAL disorder to have and one that is incredibly difficult to recover from. Believe me, I know.

I also know that while there are different types of E.D. Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge eating,etc.. they are all pretty much the same thing. If a person’s life completely revolves around what they’re eating, have eaten or are going to eat..or NOT eat. They have an eating disorder. It doesn’t matter of they restricting it, purging it, or gorging on it. An Eating Disorder is an Eating Disorder. They all suck and they can all kill you; Each one casuing it’s own type of physical, emotional and spiritual agony.

The thing that angers me the most is how ACCEPTED Anorexia has become in our society. If a person is suffering from compulsive overeating, they may become seriously overweight or obese and obesity is clearly seen as a huge problem by society, the medical field, the Government,etc..Being overweight is “Bad”. We hear that message all the time.

However, being extremely thin, even if it’s from undereating or over exercising is oftentimes revered and admired. It’s this very thing that makes it SO HARD for anorexics to recover.While their friends and family members may be telling them that they’re too thin, hundreds of magazines are saying they aren’t thin ENOUGH!

Young men and woman today are being told by the media and society that they aren’t good enough. These messages are not only making them sick, but they are also keeping them sick.

I am CONSTANTLY hearing about how we need to be HEALTHIER, but I think too many people have completely forgotten what that actually means.

We have a lot of work to do when it comes to Eating Disorders..I wish more people were listening.

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