Friday, June 29, 2007

Yet another doctor devised "diet"

Melissa Hershberg, a former Miss Fitness Manitoba is now a doctor (less than one year out of med school) who has a diet book on the market. [Read the article.]

So, why am I blogging about it?

Because it erks me. Really erks me.

The more MDs promote "diets," the more credence is lent to the whole "diet industry," thus confusing society more while increasing focus on the numbers.

Does anyone else find issue with this???

When will society learn that it's not about the numbers!

Life is not about the number on the scale, or on the tag in your pants/dress/shirt, or even in your bank account. Life is about the "little things" that add up to so much more. It's the smile you give as you pass by a stranger. It's the hug you give and receive from loved ones. It's the tender kiss on the top of a head. It's the quiet morning. It's the sleepy evenings.

It's all these things and more.

So does anyone have any ideas on how can we get the world to focus on life instead of numbers???

My idea (which I'm working feverishly on) is to challenge everyone who talks to me about numbers. So if someone says to me, "I want to make more money/to lose weight/to drop a dress size." I ask them why. If the answer isn't to become healthy (either physically or financially,) then I talk about my philosophy. "It's not about the numbers."

Oh, and I blog. ;-)

It's a real crawl - this way of changing the world a person or two at a time.

I'm open to suggestions.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Find Your Slim????

Okay, I know I'm posting a lot today. I'm having a little down time a work (for a change...)

Okay, I just found this post in iVillage - "Slim Fast's Find Your Slim Contest" and I just have to speak out.

The premise is that a woman goes online, uploads a photo of herself, selects a "realistic" goal weight, and then in a few months, reports back.

However, the first paragraph of the post states:
"Stop thinking you have to squeeze into a size have the right to define your own realistic goal weight and get the help you need to achieve that goal."

Am I the only one who sees the paradox?

If you have the right to set a realistic goal weight, isn't it conceivable that that weight is where you are right now?

I'm so fed up (okay, bad pun) with those in the diet and fashion industries who use adolescent schemes to make people (not just women) think they are ugly and fat and need to lose weight or tone up or conform to some unreachable, unhealthy ideal of beauty!!

Beauty is what's inside!!!

And while I try to nourish my body with the nutrients it needs (vitamins, minerals, protein, fatty acids, complex carbs, etc.,) I also respect that my body knows better than my brain what it needs.

I read a post in the Science and Speculation blog entitled, "Intuitive Eating" the other day. The blog lifted an article by Brock Vergakis of the Associated Press. This article described how Steven Hawks, a health science prof at BYU, scrapped dieting and taught himself how to listen to his body - eat intuitively. He eats when he's hungry, for what he is hungry, and then stops when he's full. Simplicity at its best.

So, I'd like to send a message to all those who find themselves on "diets."
Stop. Look. Listen.

Stop dieting - losing weight does not happiness guarantee.
Look around you - what in this life really makes you happy. Is it really the number of the scale or on the tag of your pants?
Listen to your body, to your true self, to that inner child who is begging to be let free - only then will you find happiness. Your body knows what it needs to survive - listen to it.

And each time you find yourself thinking about your weight, thinking about what you should or shouldn't be eating, Stop. Look. Listen.

Oh, and if you should forget sometimes, give yourself a hug and try again. Because it's never too late to do the next right thing.

Reassurance and grounding

As I think I blogged earlier, in January, John (my therapist) and I agreed that I was healthy. We parted ways with the understanding that if I needed him, I just had to call.

Last night, I saw John for the first time. With all the emotions budding about my trip to Buffalo in a few weeks, I knew that I needed help. In the past, I would "tough" it out and see how far I could get on my own. Inevitably, ED was there to help me get through. I would starve and binge until I was miserable, and then I would ask for help from a real live person.

This time, I vowed it would be different. The moment I felt my anger and anxiety rise, I decided to call John and schedule an appointment. I needed to talk about what I was feeling, and not just with my husband (who is priceless for listening,) but from someone not intimately involved. An impartial third-party, so to speak.

John is the best person I have for that.

So, last night, we talked about my trip to Buffalo in a few weeks and how this is the first time I will see Tom in person since I confronted him, about how I had been able to compartmentalize when I talked with him on the phone on holidays, but that this felt different, and about how I was thinking of sending Tom an email of ground rules for my visit.

From John, I received reassurance that my gut was right. That I have every right to feel everything that I'm feeling. He said that there is no time limit on my anger. In fact, I probably will always feel angry towards Tom and that it's okay and natural. It's natural for this visit to trigger all these emotions and more. And, he said, this won't be the last trigger in my life.

John liked my idea of emailing Tom with ground rules for my visit (to include no touching, no hugging, limited communication, and no alone time with my son.) He reminded me that I need not think of Tom's feelings about any of this - they are irrelevant. What matters is making this visit as comfortable for me as possible, because I didn't do anything wrong.

I left my appointment feeling confident and purposeful; recharged and ready; grounded.

I'm incredibly proud of myself - for my recognition of my feelings, for my proactive response, and most importantly, for not letting ED in this time.

John simply confirmed (validated for me) what I already knew in my depths - that I am strong and healthy now.

And it feels wonderful.

Anorexia: The Little Things

I just watched a very inspiring video on YouTube by Kat (eniwekwe) where she spoke about how one doesn't need a major motivator to want to recover; Life is enough. And what is life if it isn't the little things - the feel of the warm summer sun on your skin; the whisper of a sigh; the chill of a tall glass of iced tea...

I couldn't agree more. Life is all about the moments.

Unfortunately, when someone is in the throes of an eating disorder, these moments are rarely appreciated. For me, I had the supreme motivator of all - my pre-school son. The knowledge that he needed me (and would always need me) kept me driven towards recovery - no matter the cost. It has been only in the last year or so of my three year journey that I've been able to appreciate the little things, and want to live to experience more of them. It's been in this last year that I've learned to live in the moment, for the beauty that each moment gives.
Learn from the past, dream for the future, but live in the now.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Shuffle off to...

In a previous post, I mentioned that I'm heading up North to visit my family. Not real interesting you say.
But what if I tell you that this will be the first time I see my brother since he apologized to me (and thus, confirming that what I remembered about the molestation sessions were honest to goodness real.)
I'm feeling all sorts of things - anxiety and anger being high on the list, but also indignation.
I'm indignant.

Here's my thought train - hang on for the bumpy ride.

Here I am, 400 miles away from any extended family. I moved here by choice. [And I don't regret it a bit.]
There my brother sits - a few miles away from all kinds of family (and thus support,) getting free babysitting whenever he wants, getting free meals for his large family (4 girls, wife, mother-in-law, grandfather-in-law) every single week.
Worse, he is portrayed as the ultimate in fatherhood.

Now granted, my parents do their best to even it out when they come down to visit my family and me.

But I still feel indignant.
Because I didn't do anything wrong.
And yet, my brother assured me that I was the only one he abused that way. So maybe he isn't so bad after all. And he was a minor as well when he did those things to me.

But it was still wrong. He had no right to touch me the way he did.

And the argument goes back and forth in my mind...

So, here I sit - with lots of conflicting emotions.

My main reason for going back to my hometown is to visit with my grandma (who's almost 95 years old and will never be able to travel to visit me.) I'm also going to visit with one of my best friends (who also is unable to visit me right now.)

But part of me wants to go up there to prove a point (to myself? to my brother?) That Tom didn't run me out of town because of what he did. That I'm still a part of that family and by-gum, I didn't do anything wrong.
That I have no reason to hide.

Todd has offered (many times) to go up there with me. I've asked him not to go - mainly because I need solid ground to return to (or call while I'm up there.) I liken it to rowing out into shark-infested water...

I don't anticipate anything happening. I can be civil - been very civil on the phone on holidays.

But this will be face to face. And my skin is crawling with the thought of it...