Favorite Quotes

  • You're not too old, and it's never too late

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Happy National Eating Disorders Awareness Week!

Before this year, I had no idea this week even existed. I hope everyone dealing with food issues is healthier than they were one year ago, one month ago, one week ago...

I've "met" some great people online and through Google+. I wish them all well.

I have one short story to share this week and again, it has to do with my oldest and her friend who is doing that crazy Dr. Oz diet. The friend has lost weight (8 lbs) but my daughter and I know...the weight's coming back at some point.

My daughter, (I'm going to now refer to my oldest as "Bee" and my younger one, "Bird" for reasons they understand) Bee and I were in the kitchen yesterday and she said, "I got a juice at lunch today and "Diet Friend" scolded me. When I sat back down at the table, "Diet Friend" said, 'Do you realize how much sugar you're putting into your body with that drink?'"

"That's food shaming," I said.

"I know," said Bee.

I've lived with so many people "food shaming" me most of my life, (none of whom are in my family of origin, btw) I would've had crumbled underneath that remark, especially from a friend, and especially when I was in high school. My high school self would have not drunk that juice. My 40-year old self would not have drunk that juice. I can just imagine being at a luncheon somewhere and having some other woman comment on something I was ingesting. Hey, I HAVE been at a luncheon where someone commented on what I was putting into my mouth, and I began restricting immediately.

I'm glad to say, Bee is not like I was back in high school.

"What did you say to her?" I asked.

"I told her, 'I don't care. I like it, and I'm drinking it.'"

"Good for you!"

Food shaming and eating issues start when we're very young. This "friend" of Bee's didn't mean to hurt her feelings, and in fact, she didn't. But other girls hear comments like this, and I know there were probably girls more like myself sitting at that table and I know they felt the shame of the remark.

So here's my plea, especially for this week: Ladies, girls! Let's be kind to one another. Let's keep our comments to ourselves! Let's not put our food/body/self-image issues on to other women. We all have enough of our own problems to deal with. Let's just accept each other for how we look and who we are.

And moms...let's talk to our daughters about healthy food choices, the fact that no food is "bad" or "off limits" and exercising for enjoyment, not only for "ripped abs" and thigh gaps. If we keep the dialogue going with our girls, maybe they won't have to seek the help of an eating disorders therapist when they're our age(s).

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Rollercoaster of Recovery

This week has been up and down for me. I'm not sure why. It might have to do with my husband being away on business, or maybe it has to do with my hormones, which are shifting like tectonic plates beneath the ocean. I've recently become an official member of the Change-of-Life club, and physically my days range from pubescent cramps and irritability to fanning the hot flames of middle age flash.

These symptoms aren't making my life in recovery easy. I gave in to emotional eating the other day, something I haven't done in months, and I feel bad/guilty/ashamed of it. I didn't indulge like I used to, I just didn't "honor" my hunger like I have been these past several months. It feels out of the ordinary when I fall back into this old habit. I try to "sit with the uncomfortable feelings" as suggested by my therapist, and I do sit with them much longer than I ever have. But inevitably, I give in and do what I've always done, which is comfort myself with food.

We've had some stressors as of late, and I think these have played a role for me this week as well. I wish I could throw myself into exercise and working out when stress gets to me. I hear other people do this, and I wonder why I can't/don't.

If it were only that easy. I realize it is for some. Maybe someone reading this is thinking the same thing: Just do it!

I've also been getting a lot of work/writing done on my memoir this week and that has brought up old, hurtful feelings from the past--definitely something that could throw me off. At least I'm writing through those feelings. There have been many times when I've sat down to write and have stopped because the topic of the day was too difficult for me to face. As a writer I've come to accept the fact that writer's block doesn't exist--it's just that things get uncomfortable or difficult for us and we don't want to write and work through them. At least that's been the case for me.

So, today I'm going to get off the roller coaster. I'm going to be easy on myself (another thing I'm working on!) and I'm going to get some exercise in. Then I'm going to see my therapist. I'm sure she'll have some words of wisdom. She always does. I hope anyone reading this is taking it easy on themselves as well. And if you have any words of wisdom to share, like how you deal with falling back on hold habits, I'd love to hear them.

For now, enjoy Love Rollercoaster by the Ohio Players!

Monday, February 10, 2014

We Moms and Our Good Intentions...

I'm glad I've shared my EDNOS with my girls. At first, I worried it wasn't the "right" thing to do. After all, they're 15 and 12--tender ages when it comes to food/eating/body image issues--and I don't want to screw them up anymore than I already am.

My older, former self would have definitely hidden from my girls the fact that I see an Eating Disorders therapist AND and Eating Disorders nutritionist, but secrecy was part of my problem.

Well, no more!

Not only have my daughters been very supportive in my recovery, but they're learning not to diet and how to just eat what they want when they want, and exercise by engaging in physical activities they really like. We also share "did you hear that?" or "did you see that?" glances when we're in public and listening to and witnessing diet mentality in action. These moments are very satisfying to me.

That, and they bring home stories like the one my oldest shared with me today. We were on our way to her weekly tennis lesson, and she told me that one of her friends, the friend's mother and younger sister are all doing the "Dr. Oz Diet." I'm not going to link to it here because I no longer support these crazy diets, but anyone reading this can go check it out on their own. I plan to discuss it with my nutritionist this week, but I'm pretty sure she'll say it's severely restrictive and won't approve.

My daughter's friend is of healthy weight, she's also 15 and she's on the swim team at school, which means she gets plenty of exercise on a daily basis. This is not a person who should be restricting her diet, especially the protein portion of her diet.

I don't know the mother or the younger sister, but I can tell you they shouldn't be restricting like this, either. Especially the YOUNGER sister. :o/

In addition to the severe diet--on which they hope to drop 10 pounds in two weeks--Eldest Daughter tells me that the mom has taped a number of pictures on their refrigerator. As you can imagine, the pictures are from fashion and fitness magazines--publications that hawk the airbrushed, ultra-thin version of "perfection" most of us will NEVER attain.

I feel sad for these girls/women, but I don't judge them. God knows I have been where they are now so many times before. I'm glad I am where I am now.

I also appreciate the up side of this tale. My daughter said she shared her opinion (even though I'm not sure it was requested...) and told her friend that she eats what she wants, when she wants, and that she makes sure to get the right amount of exercise in. She also said, "My mom would never put those pictures up. She doesn't allow those magazines in our house."

To which her friend apparently responded, "Really?"

"I get in trouble for even looking at them in the checkout line at the grocery store!" my daughter told her friend. She's right about that...I don't allow those magazines in my home because I don't want to look at those fake pictures, nor do I don't want my girls looking at them. And by the way, she doesn't get in trouble for looking at the magazines in the checkout line...she might, however, get this kind of look:

Truthfully, these horrible  magazines provide an opportunity for discussion--about how we feel and what we think of the messages they bombard us with every day. And with the number of such publications, we should have a lot to talk about all the time!

Monday, February 3, 2014

When Dove Cries (We Should Listen)

Has anyone seen this?

Or this?

Amazing. And so important to share with the young girls of today. I've watched them with both of my daughters, ages 15 and 12.

And now a photographer/documentarian (I believe) Michael Crook has partnered with Dove to bring us, "Selfie." This film is wonderful not only because it illustrates how young girls perceive themselves and the media imagery which bombards them every day, but it also includes their mothers. And we moms, whether we like it or not, significantly impact how our girls interpret messages about beauty and body image. This video really resonated with me (see my last post).

I don't use Dove soap because it just doesn't work for me (skin issues). But I'm going to support them every way I can. As an American woman who has suffered at the hands of fashion editors and media opinion, I say, "Go Dove!!"

(Videos were obtained from You Tube from Body Evolution by Tim Piper and Doveunitedstates).