Monday, April 27, 2009

Let the Games Begin!

In NYC, a high-end gym advertises at a bus stop near me: "Memorial Day Countdown: Are You Ready?"

Ready for what? Memorializing those we've lost? Hot summer days? Barbecues and lollygagging, swimming and holidays? The implication is clear. We don't even call it summer anymore; it's "bathing suit" season and everyone knows what this means.

Alas, it could be worse. A reader sent me this photo, a bus stop in the Netherlands, where the bus goer's weight is displayed as (s)he awaits transport, part of an ad campaign for a local health club.


Monday, April 20, 2009

Bits and Pieces

For all you mommy (or future) mommy bloggers, here is a piece I wrote on helping your children develop a healthy relationship with food.

Also, I continue to get interesting emails from readers. See below:

Hi Dr. Stacey,

I've been reading your blog for a few months, and I really enjoy the way that you present things. One thing that I was wondering was if you might be able to address the issue of fluid restriction, which is something that I personally struggle with in my eating disorder, and it is just not talked about enough at all. Restriction of food/calories is understood well enough by the mainstream world, but I am often in situations (basically whenever I explain my eating disorder to someone who is not a well-educated professional) where people think I'm crazy for being afraid to drink water/gatorade etc. I know other people who feel the same way about fluids and was hoping that you might be willing to address it.

Thanks very much. . .
And. . .


I was looking through your blog and I have a special request. I'm working on my master's degree in Public Health (at Brown University in Rhode Island) with an emphasis in behavioral nutrition. Long story short, I created an online survey about how work environment affects women's eating habits (including value judgments they place on food), and I was wondering if you might be willing to post my survey on your blog?

This is a project for one of my classes, and it's completely, absolutely anonymous. The kinds of questions I'm asking are things like:

- During a normal social conversation with people at work, how often do you talk about what, when, or how much to eat?

- How often do you think that the kinds of food you eat at work are different than the kinds you eat at home?

- On a normal day, is there food available in a common area at work?

It's not a test-- no judgement attached to any of the questions. I just want to feel out the blogging community since blogs tend to create a great community for motivation.
Any feedback (on my story, the fluid restriction question, or the survey cited) would be greatly appreciated. . . .

Monday, April 13, 2009

Ugly = ?

Last week, I had my first live television appearance. As I arrived at the studio, I was stripped down and doused in make-up and hairspray before I even had a chance to settle in.

In order to secure this spot, I had to send in a DVD of myself in a previous television interview. I hesitated to send in the clip I had because of how I appeared. The more media I do, and the more I learn about the industry, the more I understand how everything comes down to looks. Anyone who's interested in booking me for a television gig (or any gig, really) wants to see my picture. My initial reaction was anger--why do they need to see how I look? Why aren't my credentials enough? I've made a conscious decision not to include my picture on this site, nor on the one for my private practice. In my mind, it's not about how I look. . . though, sometimes, it is.

So, I send in this DVD, a news segment in which I did my own hair and make-up (lesson learned, more is better on camera). I emailed the two women who do my p.r. that, given the industry's focus on looks, I was concerned about submitting the segment because I thought I looked (gasp!) "ugly."

Now, here's the kicker: Both women, independently, after viewing the clip, responded to me, "No, you don't look fat." And so it goes. . .

Monday, April 06, 2009

Celestial Bodies

Newsflash: Kim Kardashian has cellulite. Now Kim, who has one of the most beautiful bodies in Hollywood (according to moi), recently spoke up about the Complex Magazine photos that surfaced, alerting us to the truth about her pre-photoshopped bod.

On her official website, Kim responded:
Complex later replaced the pic with the photoshopped version, causing all of this drama. But you know what, who cares!

So what: I have a little cellulite. What curvy girl doesn't!?

How many people do you think are photoshopped? It happens all the time!

At the same time as this Complex shoot, I was gearing up for my fitness DVD and you should see my thighs now!!! Haha!

This all motivates me to stay in the gym because my goal this year has been to get in better shape and tone up! Hard work pays off!

I'm proud of my body and my curves and this picture coming out is probably helpful for everyone to see that just because I am on the cover of a magazine doesn't mean I'm perfect.
What do you think about her response?

And now, the time has come where we must talk about Michelle Obama's body, mostly because we might miss the bandwagon if we don't. With a woman as well-credentialed as she, it's a shame our focus must land on her shape, but her body and clothing have gotten her more attention than anything else. And, how we love to talk about her arms. . .

AP Photo

A couple of people have mentioned that perhaps Michelle Obama's presence will usher in a new, larger, body ideal (with the idea that she isn't as tiny as former first ladies. . . Nancy Reagan and Jackie O come to mind). I've heard her described as "normal-sized" (whatever that means), and many suggest that she's because she's not a thin woman, she represents the masses.

Terry McMillan, in a piece in New York Magazine, praises Michelle's body, noting her to be a new role model for Black women, where "large lips" and "big behinds" may now find some acceptance. McMillan writes:

In recent weeks, so much focus has been placed on Michelle Obama's biceps, but I'm much more excited about the rest of her body. Especially her hips. Those beautiful curves are hopefully sending a message to women of all ethnicities. . . that having some meat on your bones is and always has been a blessing you don't have to be ashamed of. I think she should make a video: The First Lady's Guide to Fitness and Self-Love or something. Every time I see her on television or in a magazine, I get goose bumps and my cheeks hurt from smiling because she represents us. . . .
Do you agree with McMillan? Does Michelle really represent us? To me, she's a thin, toned woman whose media presence won't necessarily pave the way for a more inclusive body ideal.