Holdingon says in her intro to the video, "... I'm still recovering and I'm not perfect, I slip up now and then. But I have already gained so much from recovery and from deciding that I'd had enough of anorexia. Life is too short to waste like that."
Song: More than fine by Switchfood
Key characteristics of Bulimia include: “ binging (the intake of large quantities of food) and purging (elimination of the food through artificial means such as forced vomiting, excessive use of laxatives, periods of fasting, or excessive exercise),” and is most common in young adult and adolescent women. Common in those with bulimia is a feeling of loss of control and guilt over their eating. In contrast to those suffering from Anorexia, Bulimics are often of normal weight.
According to emedicinehealth.com the exact cause of bulimia is not known though a number of factors may influence its development:
* “Studies have shown eating disorders occur more frequently in relatives of people with bulimia than in others. This frequency appears to be related to genetics, but family influences may also be important.”
* “Researchers have suggested that altered levels of the chemical serotonin in the brain play a role. Serotonin levels can be related to the development of clinical depression.”
* “Experts agree that cultural factors are very important in the development of eating disorders. Modern society's emphasis on health, in particular thinness, can greatly influence those who seek the acceptance of others.”
Side Effects as listed on Bulimiasideeffects.com
Physical Side Effects:
- Esophageal problems
- Vocal chord damage
- Stomach ulcers
- Hair loss
- Digestive problems
- Decreased body temperature
- Irregular heart beat
- Elimination problems
- Dental Damage
- Organ damage
- Vitamin and mineral deficiencies
- Enlarged salivary glands
- Dry skin
- Decreased bone density
- Menstrual dysfunction
- Hormone irregularities
- Low red blood cell levels
- Weak muscles
- Immune system damage
- Out of control feelings
- Mood changes
- Avoidance of others
- Constantly thinking about food
- Unable to eat with others
- Poor body-image
- Chronic intestinal inflammation
- Chronic constipation
- Irregular bowel function
- Systemic toxicity
- Kidney damage
- Body fluid stagnation
- Blood pressure complication
Bulimics are more likely to admit that a problem exists “when interviewed by an understanding professional.” An evaluation should be done to determine if a serious medical complication exists, requiring immediate care.
Symptoms that require urgent treatment:
* “Severe weakness or abdominal pain should be evaluated as soon as possible.
* Vomiting blood could indicate a tear of the esophagus or stomach.
* Many people with bulimia also suffer from clinical depression, and any behavior or statements from someone that suggests that the person may be contemplating suicide is reason to bring that person in for evaluation at once.”Bulimics may be malnourished which can cause anemia, poor healing, and increase the risk of periodontal disease."Laboratory tests may show low blood sugar, electrolyte changes, low potassium (caused by laxative use). These, and other side effects, can cause “life-threatening disturbances of the heart rhythm.”
More on Oral Effects
"The dental changes seen in many people with bulimia are often recognizable," according to Frequent vomiting may cause your salivary glands to swell and the tissues of your mouth and tongue to become dry, red and sore. People with bulimia may have chronic sore throat and small hemorrhages under the skin of the palate.
Frequent vomiting can erode your tooth enamel, especially on the tongue side of the upper front teeth. This sharply increases the risk for decay in these areas and can make these teeth sensitive to temperature. Severe erosion can lead to changes in your bite, or the way your upper and lower teeth come together. Your back teeth can be reduced in size and some teeth can even be lost eventually."
The earlier treatment is sought, the greater the chance of recovery. Treatment methods for bulimia include counseling, behavioral therapy, group therapy, family therapy, antidepressant medication, medical monitoring by a physician, and hospitalization in the case of physical complications.
“Most eating disorders are not about food but about self-esteem and self-perception. Therapy is most effective when it concentrates on the issues that cause the behavior, rather than on the behavior itself.”
For More Information: Warning Signs of Bulimia
Laxative Abuse For Weight Loss
Diuretic Abuse For Weight Loss
*See sidebar menus for Self-Assessment Tests, Tools, Hotlines, Resources, and Recovery.
Professor Rosemary Pope, 49 years old, passed away this week. Pope, an anorexic weighing less than 5 stone (70 pounds) is reported to have eaten little more than coffee, soft cheese, and diet sweets, according to an inquest heard yesterday. She was renowned as an exceptional academic who was engrossed in her work, hiding her 30 year battle with anorexia from her colleagues. This year, as she struggled with the demands of her position as Pro Vice Chancellor of Bournemouth University, her body began to fail.
Her brother, Michael Pope, told the inquest of Rosemary's struggle with eating since she was a teenager. "We were fully aware she had an eating disorder but were very wary of broaching the subject in case it caused her distress", he said. He added that they never suspected her eating habits would result in her death.
This past January Professor Pope contracted a stomach virus. Though her colleagues spoke to her of their concerns about her weight loss she refused to see a doctor. Her body was too weak to fight the virus and she collapsed at her home where she was found dead March 21st. It is suspected that the strain of carrying groceries "may have caused her frail body to fail" the previous day.
Professor Pope, was 4’ 10” tall and suffered hypoglycemia which "probably caused her to fall into a coma and her heart to stop beating." Her heart was the size of a child's from having starved herself for so long, the inquest reported.
"Michael Pope told the inquest his sister took desperate measures to avoid eating. When she went to stay with him, she brought her own food and refused what he offered. At Christmas 2007, Professor Pope invited her two brothers and their children to her house, where she provided a 'feast" but she left the room while they ate."
She was said to have an "unusually vivacious and outgoing personality" with a "robust sense of humour."
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.
"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."
pictures: We Bite Back orange logo
"Their presentation was strongly rooted in the belief that many girls and women are unhappy with their physical selves and spend a great deal of time, effort, and money in seemingly endless attempts to attain the perfection that the media portrays as necessary to achieve happiness and success," states the article Winning The Battle Against Eating Disorders. written by Carol Britton Meyer
“Women’s bodies have become material objects, and both men and women have begun to treat them as such,” Shabo and Benger agree. “Self-awareness can be lost beneath overwhelming, restrictive societal values and attitudes – which can lead to a distorted image of body, loss of self, and eating disorders.”
“It is not a choice. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone,” Jasmine Benger told Carol Britton Meyer concerning the the misconception that people choose to have eating disorders. “It engulfs your life. You lose the capacity to think reasonably and rationally."
"Eating disorders 'creep up on you,' Shabo said. 'In our society, everything’s about 100 calorie packs. You hear beautiful people saying terrible things about themselves.” This is due in large part to low-esteem resulting from the media blitz to be thin and 'perfect.”
"The key, Shabo said, is to 'find out who you really are, to accept the imperfections that you have and give yourself some leeway. Find the beauty in yourself.”
Read this article in full here.
written by: Carol Britton Meyer
picture of White Lady by Anna Williams
picture source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nrkbeta/2256309044/
Article By: DEVORAH LAUTER, Associated Press Writer.
Paris- "The National Assembly approved the bill in a series of votes Tuesday, after the legislation won unanimous support from the ruling conservative UMP party. It goes to the Senate in the coming weeks."
"Fashion industry experts said that, if passed, the law would be the strongest of its kind anywhere. Leaders in French couture are opposed to the idea of legal boundaries on beauty standards."
"The bill was the latest and strongest of measures proposed after the 2006 anorexia-linked death of a Brazilian model prompted efforts throughout the international fashion industry to address the repercussions of using ultra-thin models."
"Conservative lawmaker Valery Boyer, author of the law, argued that encouraging anorexia or severe weight loss should be punishable in court."
"Doctors and psychologists treating patients with anorexia nervoas — a disorder characterized by an abnormal fear of becoming overweight — welcomed the government's efforts to fight self-inflicted starvation, but warned that its link with media images remains hazy."
"French lawmakers and fashion industry members signed a nonbinding charter last week on promoting healthier body images. Spain in 2007 banned ultra-thin models from catwalks."
"But Boyer said such measures did not go far enough."
Read the article in full here.For more information see Medusa's Post: France Tables New "Anorexia" Law
Special thanks to WildAngel6 for bringing the article to my attention.
"In the wild ride that is life, some of us seek to find control in food. We use it to make ourselves feel better or worse. We restrict. We binge. We purge. We deprive. We use. Why food? Well, that’s the question, isn’t it?"
"There were times in my life I fasted for days, consuming nothing but water or diet Coke ... Sometimes, as I went between wanting to recover and wanting to wallow in my disease, I’d eat one meal a day—dinner—which was not nearly enough to satisfy my deprived body and mind. I remember summers of living on rice cakes at night after a 12 hour day of work. I did not have a good relationship with food." These are the words of Arielle Lee Becker, a young woman who's blog is an inspiring testament to her recovery from Anorexia .
"I came to a crossroads," she says in her blog entry, Fighting, Facing--and Finally Embracing--Food. "I really wanted to recover. Really wanted to be all right. Really really wanted it. Wasn’t just wishing, wasn’t just hoping—I was willing to do something about it. I was willing to work, to learn, to try."
"I got good at just saying 'No. ... When I’d feel that familiar grip of anorexia, I’d say, 'No.' Figuratively, literally, whatever it took. I was bold with myself—with my disease. I did not take shit ... It takes a lot of willpower. More willpower than it takes to starve."
"I wrote. Daily. I used my writing to help me, to save me, to direct me. ... In the process I learned about myself, sought to love myself, wrote about my pain and my feelings, wrote about my struggles. I began to feel better. I began to stop counting. This was tough—to forget about sizes, forget about calories, forget about a number on a scale."
Arielle writes about giving up her scale, "...you have to work at it. You have to be strong and not allow yourself to give in. And in time you will be okay. You won’t be a slave to a device that conquers your mood and your sense of well-being. And let me tell you, without a number to dictate your daily mood, you begin to listen to yourself and to how you feel without that number. You know yourself as you never knew her before. You feel good. You feel free. You begin to finally see that you feel so good that there is no way you’d ever want to go back to that dark, horrible place you were before."
"I gained weight, but instead of being horrified by the way I looked, I appreciated the curves that were slowly showing themselves. The mirror was—strangely, I thought—more of a friend to me when I had put on some pounds than it was when I was sickly thin and longing to be thinner.""The right path is never the easiest one, you know," she writes, "And the more you struggle, the better you will feel when you’ve overcome what it is that is bringing you down. In essence, everything worth fighting for starts with a struggle. And believe me, your health and your happiness are definitely worth fighting for."
"To read the above in full, plus more of Arielle's inspiring writings and poetry, visit her blog: Actively Arielle: A voice with a Commitment.
If you were a victim of Heidi Diaz's Kimkins Diet Scam and you reside in San Diego County, or know someone who does, your help is needed.
Calling San Diego County…
"If you were a victim of the Kimkins scam and you live in San Diego County, you can make a major impact in stopping Heidi Diaz’s Kimkins scam. Please contact me at email@example.com or contact John Tiedt at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information."
"If you are a former or current Kimkins member, you can still help by spreading the word to any San Diego County resident who joined Kimkins."
Kimkins: An Internet Diet Scam
Kimkins: Anatomy of a Diet Scam
The Kimkins Controversy
Kimkins Class Action Lawsuit
Russian Brides: Fake Kimkins Success Stories
Law Offices of Tiedt and Hurd
Google: Kimkins Scam
View the latest report: Insider Exclusive with Steve Murphy.
For a transcript of the report: Grilled Cheese Sandwich With Pickles
Health is not merely the absence of disease, it is the balance of mind, body and soul.
Finish each day and be done with it ... You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it well and serenely.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.
There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow men (sic) - true nobility is being superior to your former self.
Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.
When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.
The future is not a result of choices among alternative paths offered by the present, but a place that is created --- created first in the mind and will, created next in activity. The future is not some place we are going to, but one we are creating. The paths are not to be found, but made, and the activity of making them changes both the maker and the destination.
The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.
Sometimes I go about in pity for myself, and all the while a great wind is bearing me across the sky.
The more faithfully you listen to the voice within you, the better you will hear what is sounding outside. And only a person who listens can speak.
Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.
When I began to listen to poetry is when I began to listen to stones, and I began to listen to what the clouds had to say, and I began to listen to others. And what is most important for all of us, is to learn to listen to the soul, the soul of yourself, in here, but which is also the soul of everyone else.
The Native American poet Joy Harjo on PBS
When you do things from the soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.
There is a vitality, a life-force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open.
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
Don't ask yourself what the world needs ... Ask yourself what makes you alive because what the world needs are people who have come alive.
Ranier Maria Rilke
Common sense is not so common.
And the day came when the risk to remain tight inside the bud was greater than the risk it took to bloom.
When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.
Alexander Graham Bell
The thing always happens that you really believe in; and the belief in a thing makes it happen.
Frank Loyd Wright
Success is the good fortune that comes from aspiration, desperation, perspiration and inspiration.
Happiness is not a matter of events, it depends upon the tides of the mind.
Goals are the fuel in the furnace of achievement.
The greatest mistake you can make in life is to continually be afraid you will make one.
We are still masters of our fate.
We are still captains of our souls.
Constant dripping hollows out a stone.
The whole of life is but a moment of time. It is our duty, therefore to use it, not to misuse it.
Press on! A better fate awaits thee.
See also Using Affirmations
See sidebar for more inspirational quotes and quotes of the week.
Picture source: MrsMenopausal
“Such people are sometimes affectionately called ‘health food junkies.’ However, in some cases, orthorexia goes beyond a mere lifestyle choice. Obsession with healthy food can progress to the point where it crowds out other activities and interests, impairs relationships, and even becomes physically dangerous. When this happens, orthorexia takes on the dimensions of a true eating disorder, like anorexia nervosa or bulimia,” explains Dr. Bratman.
“Unlike people with anorexia, patients with orthorexia are generally unconcerned about their weight, and do not feel fat. For raw foodists, vegans and fruitarians, what matters most is feeling pure.”
People suffering from this obsession may display the following signs:
* Spending more than three hours a day thinking about healthy food
* Planning tomorrow's menu today
* Feeling virtuous about what they eat, but not enjoying it much
* Continually limiting the number of foods they eat
* Experiencing a reduced quality of life or social isolation (because their diet makes it difficult for them to eat anywhere but at home)
* Feeling critical of others who do not eat as well they do
* Skipping foods they once enjoyed in order to eat the "right" foods
*Eating only foods regarded as healthy
*Relying on only natural products to treat an illness
* Feeling guilt or self-loathing when they stray from their diet
* Feeling in "total" control when they eat the correct diet
“The defining feature of orthorexia is obsession with eating healthy food and avoiding unhealthy food. The definition of healthy and unhealthy food varies widely depending on which dietary beliefs the patients has adopted. The usual immediate source of orthorexia is a health food theory, such as rawfoodism, macrobiotics, non-dairy vegetarianism, Ornish-style very-low-fat diet, or food allergies. Note that, in most cases, the underlying diet is itself reasonably healthy (if unreasonably specific). It's in the obsessive approach to diet taken by an orthorexic that the disorder lies,” says Dr. Bratman.
"We're certainly seeing more of this behavior," says Dr Yellowlees. "Like other eating disorders, the issue at the heart of it all is obsession. Part of it is to do with the way we're constantly bombarded with media messages about what's healthy and what isn't. People don't quite know what to believe, so they lose a sense of perspective. They also take a certain enjoyment from refusing food in front of others, as a way of demonstrating their superior commitment to the purity of what they eat.”
“It’s not that I don’t support eating healthy food. It's only that when healthy eating becomes an obsession, it's no longer healthy, "says Dr. Bratman.
Please see sidebar for Resources and Tools.
Signs and symptoms: http://www.pamf.org/teen/life/bodyimage/orthorexia.html
It is not uncommon to find that those suffering with eating disorders are also dealing with underlying psychological disorders. ADD or ADHD, studies have shown, often co-exist with eating disorders. Food is used as a form of self-medicating, temporarily calming the restlessness that someone with ADD/ADHD experiences both physically and emotionally.
“Food is legal. It is a culturally acceptable way to comfort ourselves. For some people with ADD, food is the first substance that helped them feel calm. Children with ADD will often seek out foods rich with sugar and refined carbohydrates such as candy, cookies, cakes, and pasta. People who compulsively overeat, binge, or binge-and-purge also eat these types of foods.
It is no accident that binge food is usually high in sugars and carbohydrates, especially when you take into consideration how the ADD brain is slow to absorb glucose. In one of the Zametkin PET scan studies, results indicated that "[g]lobal cerebral glucose metabolism was 8.1 percent lower in the adults with hyperactivity than in the normal controls..." [] Other research has also confirmed slower glucose metabolism in adults with ADD, with and without the hyperactivity component. This suggests that the binge eater is using these foods to change his or her neurochemistry,” says Wendy Richardson MA, LMFCC, in her article THE LINK BETWEEN ADD/ADHD AND EATING DISORDERS.
She discusses eating to increase serotonin levels in an attempt to feel better, “One way to temporarily increase our serotonin level is to eat foods that are high in sugar and carbohydrates. Our attempts to change our neurochemistry are short-lived, however, and we have to eat more and more to maintain a feeling of well-being.”
Adult vs. childhood ADD / ADHD
“The symptoms of ADD / ADHD change as someone with ADD / ADHD develops from a child into a teenager and then into an adult. While the core problems of hyperactivity, impulsiveness, and inattentiveness remain the same, the specific symptoms manifest differently. Typically, the symptoms of hyperactivity decrease and become more subtle, while problems related to concentration and organization become more dominant,” according to helpguide.org
Hyperactivity in adults:
* inability to relax
* restlessness, nervous energy
* talking excessively
Impulsiveness in adults:
* volatile moods
* blurting out rude or insulting remarks
* interrupting others
Inattentiveness in adults:
* “tuning out” unintentionally
* inability to focus on mundane tasks
* constantly losing and forgetting things
Signs and Symptoms of Adult ADD/ADHD
According to Dr. Thomas E. Brown of the Yale University School of Medicine, "ADHD is essentially a name for developmental impairment of executive function." Executive functions are the skills involved in planning, selective attention, motivation, and impulse control. Adults with ADHD have problems in six major areas of executive functioning:
* Activation – Problems with organization, prioritizing, and starting tasks.
* Focus – Problems with sustaining focus and resisting distraction, especially with reading.
* Effort – Problems with motivation, sustained effort, and persistence.
* Emotion – Difficulty regulating emotions and managing stress.
* Memory – Problems with short-term memory and memory retrieval.
* Action – Problems with self-control and self-regulation.
Symptoms in children can be found here.
"It is essential that both ADD and eating disorders are treated. Too many people are struggling with their eating disorders because they have undiagnosed or untreated ADD. When ADD is properly treated, the individual is better able to focus and follow through with treatment for their eating disorders. They also have greater control of their impulses and less of a need to self-medicate their ADD symptoms," according to ADD.org
Here are some more positive methods of dealing with your emotions and stress, rather than turning to such Eating Disordered behaviors like starving, binging and purging, or overeating.
Stop, Swap and Console!
* Use the ideas below, and your own ideas, to make a COPING BANK!
* Write in your Journal
* Listen to your favorite music
* Tell one person how you feel
* Call an old friend
* Read a book
* Remind Yourself "It'll be OK"
* Take a deep breath, count to 10
* Ask your therapist to make a tape with you that you can use during difficult times
* Go to a favorite "safe" location (beach, park, woods, playground, etc.)
* Think of advice you'd give someone else... and take it!
* Say something good about yourself
* Use Self Affirmation tapes and books... and make your own affirmations (use notebooks, index cards, tapes, post-it notes, journal)
* Meditate, use Relaxation
* Call a Hotline
* Stay in touch with others through contact - don't isolate yourself
Ideas for when you feel out of control, are having a flashback and/or need grounding...
* Don't be afraid to ask for help
* Hug someone safe
* Hold someone's hand (someone safe)
* Call your therapist
* Call a Hotline
* Pray, talk yourself down or yell
* Say what you feel out-loud, even if you have to yell or cry!
* Change your environment
* Do self-affirmation... read books, listen to tapes and write down good things about yourself
* Identify your triggers (things that make you feel badly or have bad memories or flashbacks)
The above lists can be seen in full here.
picture source: MrsMenopausal
A youtube video by Holdingon: "This is a video that deals with some of the lies that you believe when you have anorexia."
Song: Catch Me by Jasmin Tabatabai
Eating Disorders: A Look at Anorexia
Anorexia: Mortality Rates
See sidebar for Resources and Tools
F-word.org is doing a study and is looking for bloggers who have eating disorders who blog about their experiences. The survey is to help determine "the role blogging plays in eating disorder recovery."
"I want to hear from any active blogger - male or female - who suffers from any eating disorder and who are in any stage of recovery," Rachel says.
"This study is done in partnership with Dr. Susie Mendelsohn, a clinical psychological specializing in the treatment of eating disorders, for publication and research purposes. The survey consists of 40 questions and may take some time to complete, depending on how detailed you are in your answers. Your participation in this study would be immensely helpful in our research. Thank you in advance."You can read more and/or participate here.