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. . .

Hi,

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. . . .

9 comments:

Kiersten said...

I think the article you wrote on developing healthy eating habits in children is great. My mother definitely made all of these mistakes when she raised me, resulting in my unhealthy relationship with food and an eating disorder. I recall my mother constantly trying new diets and saying very negative things about herself when she gained weight (I remember her calling herself a "fat cow" often). As I got older and grew chubby during middle school I started hating my body and thinking I was a "fat cow" too because that was what I learned from my mother.

I don't think people realize how crucial it is to teach their children healthy eating habits from the time they are young. I think most people (particularly women) make these mistakes though because they have such negative relationships with food and their bodies, and they just don't realize that this leaves an impression on their children.

Christine said...

Just an FYI, the survey appears to only be open for people in the US.

Leigh said...

For as long as I've known them, my parents have been dieting. I can remember these little candies they ate back in the 70s called Ayds or Aids or something like that (I'm sure they're not around anymore!). My brother and I always wanted to eat the candies since they were like little chocolate and caramel chewies but we couldn't understand how they were for our parents' "diets." I'm thankful that my mother never made me feel like weight was an issue when I was growing up - I was an athlete so I was "healthy" not "big." But other members of my dad's family certainly did! "Thunder thighs" was a particularly cruel taunt my aunts and uncles used. Now I know they were suffering from their own parents' criticisms of them but at the time, I cringed whenever my parents insisted on a family visit.

Oh yeah, family just can't win. :)

p.s. word verification: prole. how ironic.

Icie said...

Is the fear to consume liquids linked to concerns of bloating?

My mom also criticized her own body in front of me throughout childhood, and often tried new diets to lose weight. She still diets and is currently on South Beach. I would NEVER blame my mom for my body image issues, though I would say it drew attention to the idea of putting one's own body under scrutiny... I suppose it made it more salient in a way. Society and the media continued to fuel that insecurity ever since I was about 12. My mom was always telling me positive things about my body and appearance and saying I had nothing to be concerned about. She was my biggest cheerleader, but I basically would have none of it.

Interestingly, I now have a bf who was raised for a number of years solely by his mother. I believe she has body image issues and orthorexia - what little she eats must be organic and low cal/fat - the "right" foods only. She's also obsessed with her exercise routine. I noticed that my bf is very critical of his physique and he is enviably thin and toned. It seems to be an instance of a mother passing a disordered relationship with food and body image issues to a son.

Grace said...

Is the fear to consume liquids linked to concerns of bloating? Not for me...maybe for some. For me it is not connected to feeling full after drinking or thinking that fluids will make me bigger (either bloating or weight gain)...it's completely irrational and I don't even have an irrational explanation for it.

liposuctionguide said...

I deeply regret that I wasted so much time continually thinking about food and fanatically counting calories. This only made me self-obsessed and unhappy.

Leigh said...

One more thing, if I may add...as a YA writer, I try to be very aware of what I say about weight - either mine or my characters'. Today I blogged about body image and I mentioned Dr. Stacey and this blog in response to the Body Image Week Challenge at the YA Book blog, My Favorite Author.

RunnerGirl said...

Not related to this post, but certainly to the blog. I went to a new doctor today and I asked the nurse if when she weight me she wouldn't say my weight or show it to me (I am a recovering anorexic), and I got on the scale backwards. She said "yeah, I know it's a girl thing."
And I paused and thought to myself, is it a 'girl thing'? If sp, why does it have to be?
She didn't know that the reason I don't want to see my weight is because of an eating disorder, part of me wanted to say that so I wouldn't seem like such a 'silly girl.'
Does anyone else think this is sad? That thin girl (I'm still thin, but not at an unhealthy weight anymore) ask to get on a scale backwards and it's seen as just a girl thing, as opposed to odd, or indicative of someone with eating issues?

kristyn joy said...

I know this thread is old, but Grace -- I have the same fear of taking in liquid. In fact, when I read this, I found myself shouting 'OH MY GOD I TOTALLY FEEL THAT TOO!' , which is something I don't really do in my normal life.

However, I don't know what it's called, or anything else about it. I don't even know exactly what -eating- disorder/s I have, or which ones I've had over the past sixteen years ... doctors just don't seem to be very helpful. They just tell me to eat more, eat less, do this, do that, oh and drink your fluids -- but we all know that doesn't help a bit.

Personally, I can often let down the fear by drinking unsweetened juice, because I tell myself it is fruit and thus not only a way to get fluids but also a way to keep my blood sugar up, or by eating some watermelon. It must differ for everyone.