Tuesday, March 13, 2007


National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (NEDAW), an event of the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), ended on March3rd. During the week, scores of events were held at schools, hospitals, fitness centers, and houses of worship, all designed to convey the message "Be Comfortable in Your Genes." As the Winter, 2007 issue of the NEDA newsletter, "Outlook" states:

Too often individuals struggle against their natural, genetically influenced size just to fit into that pair of "skinny jeans" in the back of their closets. Fighting your natural size and shape can lead to unhealthy dieting practices, poor body image and sometimes eating disorders. While you can adopt a healthy lifestyle and aim to be fit for your particular body type, you cannot change your genes.

As part of the NEDAW, NEDA introduced a number of challenges (see below) that we might attempt in order to move toward acceptance of our natural size. Yes, it's the week after NEDAW, but is this really a time-limited event? Which can you do?

1. Sign the National Eating Disorders Association’s Declaration of Independence from a Weight-Obsessed World to free yourself from the three D’s: Dieting, Drive for Thinness, and Body Dissatisfaction.

2. Celebrate Fearless Friday - A Day Without Dieting - and feel how empowering a diet-free day of self-acceptance can be!

3. Attend a workshop, presentation, lecture, or meeting in your community that will help you feel better about yourself. See the National Eating Disorders Association’s website, your local newspaper or campus calendar for events.

4. Use your voice to effect change: join the National Eating Disorders Association’s national media advocacy campaign to write letters of protest and praise to media, corporations and advertisers who promote negative or positive messages concerning body size, weight, dieting and eating disorders. Sign up via the web at http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/.

5. Consciously choose to avoid making comments about other people or yourself on the basis of body size or shape.

6. Compliment someone else for a skill, talent, or characteristic they have that you appreciate. Remind yourself that a person’s value is not determined by their shape or size.

7. Enjoy your favorite meal without feelings of guilt or anxiety over calories and fat grams.

8. Donate your jeans and other old clothes that no longer fit your body comfortably to charity. Someone else will appreciate them, and you won’t have to worry about the way they fit anymore.

9. Start each morning by looking in the mirror and saying something nice about yourself out loud.

10. Put away or throw away your bathroom scale.

11. Look through magazines and newspapers, ripping out advertisements, photos and articles that promote negative feelings about weight, body image and food. Talk back to the TV when you see or hear an ad that makes you feel dissatisfied with your body.

12. Read a book that lifts your self-esteem, promotes positive body image, encourages healthy living or helps you overcome stereotypes about social standards of beauty.

13. If you know someone who is struggling with an eating disorder, take the time to reassure them of your friendship and support for their recovery process.

14. Throw out all of the diet products in your house.

15. Remind yourself and others that It’s What’s Inside That Counts!

16. Become a member of the National Eating Disorders Association and join the effort to create a world where self-esteem is not weighed in pounds on a scale. Visit http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/ or call (206) 382-3587 for more information.

(from the NEDA website)


PalmTreeChick said...

I'm all over #10! Ha!!

WifeMomChocoholic said...

Did you read the article in O Magazine this month about the need to go hungry when trying to lose weight. The scary part is that it's by Aaron Beck's daughter! I'm pretty sure his therapy will be used to treat the eating disorders his daughter is going to cause!

J.L. said...

PTC- Can I watch? Haha! Or---I'll just come do it for ya!


Anonymous said...

I think we also need to acknowledge that no matter the size of the person, disordered eating behaviours are disordered eating behaviours. I'm specifically referring to when fat people (particularly women) are praised and encouraged by health professionals and laypeople for strict calorie/food group restriction and excessive exercise, and "accepting" that their bodies are wrong and must be changed. Hell, we have a whole "reality" TV series devoted to it. If thin people did what participants in "The Biggest Loser" do, they'd have friends and family concerned they have an eating/body image disorder. Why is this acceptable behaviour for the fat? It's not healthy for *anyone*.

And yes, even if you accept the most dire predictions about adiposity and health risks, there's still no evidence that for the great majority of people, losing weight is possible and sustainable long-term and reduces health risks long-term.

So for the sake of all women, we need to accept a new paradigm that focuses on actual health not a number on a scale, and eliminate fear of fat - especially in the guise of "health". We not only have women with eating disorders because they fear they'll be unattractive or undesirable, but now there is a popularly manufactured fear that if you get or are even a little bit fat, you're going to die of diabetes, cancer and a heart attack simultaneously at the age of 32.

Healthism is as insidious as lookism.

PalmTreeChick said...

You would love that, JL, wouldn't ya??? HA HA

drstaceyny said...

Palm, Palm, Palm. . .

If my understanding of your sarcasm is correct--I believe that the exercise was to indicate which of these you COULD do. So, what will it be?

And, if you're not being sarcastic, but in fact are "all over #10," when will this be occurring?

wmc--oy. She's actually a (cognitively oriented) psychologist, too, Just did a search and found she has a book: _The Beck Diet Solution: Train Your Brain to Think Like a Thin Person_. Funny thing is, I know a number of thin ppl who don't think they should go hungry!

jl--thanks for organizing this. ; )

anon--great points. You just reminded me abt something I wrote about TBL a while back. I especially like your last line.

PalmTreeChick said...

I could do:
3,4,6, 13 and maybe 16.

BTW, #10 will NOT be happening anytime soon! In fact, I'm about to go weigh myself right now, if you want me to be totally honest!

J.L. said...

#10 will be happening for PTC this weekend. I will be at her house at 8:17 pm on Sunday to toss the scale. You can come help by holding her down. =)

Oh- and when is she NOT sarcastic?


PalmTreeChick said...

You're going to need EVERY blogger in the world to help hold me down!! I'm feisty and I bite!