Author, Body Image Advocate, Founder of the Fit vs Fiction Workshops
Marci Warhaft-Nadler is a body image advocate, founder of the Fit vs Fiction workshops and author of “The Body Image Survival Guide for Parents: Helping Toddlers, Tweens and Teens Thrive”. After battling her own body image issues, Marci created her Fit vs Fiction program to tear down the dangerous myths related to beauty and fitness and empower kids with the self-esteem they need to tune out negative messages and be proud of who they are instead of judging themselves for who they think they’re not.
I understand Lucy, because I've shared the same feelings about myself. When you have an eating disorder, the world can think you're perfect, but all you see are flaws. Let's not crucify her for it. Instead, let's use it as an opportunity to talk about how messed up the entertainment industry is.
The diet industry will constantly tell us that we need to lose weight, sell us a cure that will fail, make us feel like the failures and then sell us something else. STOP! It's not just about losing weight, it's about gaining health, and that's not all about a number on the scale or the size of your jeans.
Contrary to what the Ontario Ministry of Health is saying, listing calories on menus will not make us healthier. In fact, it can actually make some of us sicker. Giving people partial information with which they're supposed to make informed decisions is just not going to work.
We care more about "likes" on social media posts, than actually being liked as people. Getting positive feedback on an online post is like getting a standing ovation from friends and strangers all over the world. How can something so meaningless seem so important and why is it hurting our kids?
As dangerous as these rapid weight-loss practices are for adult athletes, the potential damage to young athletes is even scarier. In some sports, kids as young as eight years old using extreme measures to lose weight before competition.
This month, The FDA approved a device that promises quick weight loss in minimal time and it has many physicians furious. The device is called AspireAssist and it's appalling. a tube is surgically implanted into the patients stomach using a port valve, which is an opening just above the belly button that can be opened or closed to drain food. Let's discuss the implications of all this.
Eating disorders don't care if you're male or female, under 10 years old or over 50 years old. They'll destroy anyone who's ripe for the picking. When I speak at school or to parents about body image, the issue of media manipulation always comes up and for good reason. We are definitely influenced by what we see and hear in our magazines and TV screens, but does the media CAUSE eating disorders? I say no.
For those of you who've been thinking that it's been far too long since the internet has given us a way to judge and hate our bodies, you can relax because there's a brand new "am I skinny enough?" challenge fresh from China that's trending like crazy, called the "belly button challenge."
For years, marketers have told boys and girls which toys "should" interest them, instead of encouraging them to choose freely. This makes no sense. Why should we limit kids that way? An incredible new campaign called #NoGenderDecember seeks to fix that problem.
I get a lot of emails during this time from people wanting tips and tools to help them get through the holidays without letting their eating disorders overwhelm them. But this article isn't for them. This article is for the people who love them and who will be spending meal times with them during these holy days and need to know what they can do to help.
In case you haven't heard, Calvin Klein is the latest clothing company to come out with a campaign that has a lot of people extremely pissed off. The campaign is called, "Perfectly Fit" and it features model Myla Dalbesio modeling what Calvin Klein is calling their "plus sized" underwear. It should come as no surprise that 27-year-old Myla is not what most people would consider anything even close to plus sized. I suppose I understand the outrage in principal, but why are people still so shocked when a company that is known for promoting one kind of beauty continues to do just that? Frankly, if Calvin Klein wanted to do something seriously shocking, they would use a model who was older than 25 years old and wore a size bigger than a four.
The Hudson's Bay Company in Toronto threw its hat into the "Let's try to be clever by making fun of eating disorders" ring, by selling a T-shirt with the words "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels." I am pleased to find out that HBC has removed the offensive T-shirts from their shelves, but am disappointed they were ever there to begin with. These were the exact same words I repeated to myself over and over at the beginning of my very long and destructive battle with an eating disorder back in 1987, when I was 17 years old. Eating disorders aren't new, but the way some companies are trying to profit off of them has recently become a very dangerous trend.
After years of being told that we don't know how to eat, we've actually started to believe it. This makes us completely vulnerable and therefore prime targets for any new diet plan or product that come our way. When did we lose faith in ourselves and start putting all our trust in complete strangers, who care more about healthy incomes than healthy consumers?
Having experienced life with an eating disorder myself, I fear what lies ahead for Rachel. Right now her entire self-worth is being based on how she looks and how much weight she lost. What's going to happen if her body fights back and puts on a few pounds? How will she feel about herself then?
Why does it feel like even before the tinsel's been removed from the tree or the wax has melted from the Menorah, we are bombarded with messages from TV talk shows telling us it's time to repent for everything we've eaten or had to drink during the holidays? Here are a few common mistakes we make post-holiday season.
Why should the word fat be illegal? It's not offensive unless we make it offensive. Try this: instead of banning fat talk from your home, invite it in with the understanding that the second it starts to get mean, it will be asked to hit the road. Fat isn't offensive, using it as an insult is.
The focus of our petition is less about hurting Lululemon and more about helping women. Our goal isn't about bringing Lululemon down, or forcing them to sell merchandise they don't want to, it's about starting a conversation that will open the eyes and minds of so many people who insist on judging a person's level of health by their weight.
Thanks to Caroline Berg Eriksen's post-pregnancy selfie that she took just four days after giving birth to her daughter we have been pulled back into the "what should women's bodies look like?" debate. Let's stop paying so much attention to the bodies that we can't relate to and start embracing, celebrating and taking care of the ones we do.
When a mom in Manitoba sent her two kids to school with homemade lunches that included roast beef, potatoes, carrots, oranges and milk, she was shocked to receive a note from the school telling her that their lunches were deemed "unbalanced" and were supplemented with Ritz crackers. The school follows the strict guidelines of what many believe to be a very outdated Canada's Food Guide and felt that the "grains" category had been neglected. To add insult to injury, this mom was fined $10 for her oversight. I'm confused, and if I was this mom, I would be livid.