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  • 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).

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