We Bite Back: Post - Proana Has Finally Arrived

I first came across the site We Bite Back while searching for positive Eating Disorder Recovery information. I followed a link which led me to a wonderful project called The Orange Revolution. I was very taken with the project as I read accounts of women from all over the world who, armed with post-it notes, are fighting against eating disorders and reaching out with a message of hope and positive body image. Stuck to the mirrors of public restrooms, the walls of fitting rooms, stairwells, trees, bulletin boards, trash cans, and slipped between the pages of books, those participating in the Orange Revolution are spreading the word of self-acceptance; love yourself and your body.

Imagine coming across a brightly colored post-it that says, "You are beautiful just as you are. Love your body," or "You are simply amazing. Love it! Embrace it!" What an incredible idea. What a powerful message! I was impressed and inspired. I wanted to participate and help spread the word.

My contributions so far: a stall of a rest area bathroom, two dressing rooms, and a tree on a well traveled walking/biking path.

We Bite Back describes their site as Post-pronana. Most everyone knows what proana is but post-proana? What is that? We Bite Back has the answer. "Post-proana is an online subculture made up of people actively working to decrease disordered eating habits. Recognizing that proana communities provided teens and adults alike with an appreciated supportive environment, we have created a community that provides support without encouraging anorexic or bulimic behavior patterns. When the mirror lies, each person must learn to rely on the eyes of those who care about us. Those eyes are reading these pages. Working together as a team, we are overcoming our eating disorders together. Successfully."

"This is the site that comes after the madness. Have thinspiration pictures lost all appeal? Wonder what it would be like to finally not be punishing yourself for punishing yourself in an endless cycle? Choice is powerful.Tell Ana to go suck a lemon, and begin your recovery by biting back! Us Oranges are collectively defining a more sustainable, healthier standard of beauty. Join the fight. You don't have to do it alone!"

Sharon Hodgson, the creator of We Bite Back had previously moderated "a rather 'moderate' yet still decidedly proana forum." Her and others on the site "were starting to grow weary with the whole proana schtick, even though they formed a community that was outwardly labeled as such." When the board announced it would be closing she and her friends realized they would be losing their support base. She knew they needed a place where her and her friends could "stay positive and not be alone in their recovery struggles," so they would not have to return to a proana community and risk becoming progressively worse. On May 10th, 2006 she set up We Bite Back with funding help from a friend.

Known on the site as Ms. Orange, Sharon Hodgson has created an online environment at We Bite Back where those seeking recovery from their eating disorder find a warm welcome and positive support. The site includes forums that deal with not only anorexia, bulimia, compulsive overeating, and ENDOS (Eating Disorders Not Otherwise Specified) but include subjects such as exercise, recipes, and artwork. Registration is free.

"You are who your friends are," she says on her site. "If all your friends are miserable and you are feeling vulnerable at the time, they will drag you down. If you are down and you surround yourself with people who are all actively pursuing recovery, health and happiness, they will help you stay strong."

"Instead of swapping tips to lose more weight, people on We Bite Back encourage one another to be stronger, happier, healthier people."

"It's time for people to actively pursue their own recovery, and bite their eating disorders back. It's time for ethics above aesthetics. It's time to bite back!"

Medusa has a great post: Are Thinness Laws Too Heavy Handed?. Be sure to check it out and read what Sharon Hodgson had to say in the "Globe and Mail."

Sources: http://www.webiteback.com
pictures: We Bite Back orange logo

post-its: MrsMenopausal


Sara said...

I'm thrilled to see WBB getting more attention--it's a really great place. I stumbled across it, ironically enough, while looking for pro-ana sites. I was theoretically in recovery but felt I was missing the encouragement and social support that I got from pro-ana. I had tried another recovery forum, Something Fishy, but their rules were so restrictive I didn't feel like I could be honest about where I was without getting yelled at, so I left.

The support I've gotten at WBB has been amazing. It's one of the rare places where I feel like I can be real, no matter where I am in recovery, and I think that's essential because so much of life with an ED is about maintaining an appearance of normality when everything is truly distorted.

Anyhow, thank you so much for posting!

MrsMenopausal said...

Thank you so much for commenting, Sara. I'm so glad you found a home at WBB. It really is a fabulous site.

Medusa said...

Great post, MrsM!

We Bite Back is a fantastic site. Thanks for bringing it to the attention of so many, especially those who are looking for support in their recovery.

Kudos to you!

My blog: Medusa

MrsMenopausal said...

Thanks, Medusa. We Bite Back really is an excellent resource for those that are seeking recovery from eating disorders. I hope more find it and are able to reap the benefits of the support there.
Thanks for commenting.

mariasols said...

Interesting, as your posts always are. I think we need to make a post-kimkins community. Tippy's Camp is not a good alternative as Tippy herself is in-and-out as she herself describes it. Still resorting to low fat stints to take a few regained pounds off.

Angel said...

I love this!

I'm definitely going to start carrying post-its in my purse. I can't wait to get started, starting with my own mirror:)

MrsMenopausal said...

Thanks, Mariasol. :)
That wouldn't be a bad idea. Who knows how long KK will be left standing and those that didn't leave by choice will be forced to without a place set up for them. I haven't a clue how to go about it, though.

MrsMenopausal said...

Angel! Thanks for stopping by. Isn't it a great idea? I can't tell you how much fun I had putting up those post-its and taking pictures of them. (insert mission impossible music here.lol) I have several more written out and in my purse at the ready.

My teenage daughter loved the idea. She made her own post-its to put up.

Have you been to WBB? If not, check it out. Great site.

Arielle said...

As one of the moderators at WBB, I can obviously say I love it! It's a fantastic place and I'm thrilled you did a post about it. Sharon is amazing and the place is so full of support and unconditional love.

Thanks, Mrs. M.

MrsMenopausal said...

Thanks Arielle. I'm so impressed with We Bite Back. It's a wonderful site. Thanks for commenting and congrats again on your marriage! :)