The Canadian Press
Anorexia survivor Hope Virgo feels she must see the film because she's been warning about its hazards.
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Critics claim "To The Bone" is triggering to those struggling with mental health.
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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.
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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.
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The silence and the stigmas that surround mental health makes this place that much darker, and that much scarier. If we open up the conversation, we can ease the guilt and shame that comes with having a mental illness -- it's as if battling with your own mind wasn't already hard enough.
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Just about everywhere you turn these days, the words appear -- seared into the psyche through a heart-wrenching story, recounted in raw detail by sufferers, their families and loved ones, fingered by...
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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?
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Men have been suffering in silence under the heavy weight of body expectations; drastically taking measures to fit their own body into the ideals they see on the cover of men's fitness magazines. Think this is outlandish? Men don't have body image issues, do they?
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This is a story of courage; this is a story of hope. It's a narrative about incredible women uniting for an important purpose. I think that's only appropriate on International Women's Day. It is also...
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We speak in platitudes about the "road to recovery" with eating disorders, like there's an easily-replicable strategy, like winning a board game. My recovery was a hellish game of snakes and ladders: I'd make progress and then have a setback and slide back to start.
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March 8 is International Women's Day. This is an opportunity to focus attention on the health and well-being of women. One mental illness that occurs predominantly amongst women is eating disorders.
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It's Eating Disorders Awareness Week in Canada (Feb.1-7, 2017). It has taken me about 15 years to ADMIT that I had an eating disorder (anorexia nervosa) as a child and teenager. If you know someone with an eating disorder, here are a few things to be aware of.
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Growing up, food was always a challenging subject in my house. My mother was hospitalized in her 20s with anorexia. As a result of this influence, my diet history - especially in my teenage years - included a variety of low-fat, low-calorie and fad diet plans.
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I have spent over 14 years hiding this "tiny" part of my life, and it is now, only after writing my memoir, that I've realized that by hiding, I've been chipping away at my heart. I decided that I didn't want to hide anymore. I realized in that moment that I should have SHARED my pain instead of hiding.
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.
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This yo-yo or extreme dieting may be seen as harmless or even vain but we must recognize it stems from a very dangerous place. Negative body image is the negative self-perception of your body. It is often accompanied by shame; the unworthiness we feel due to our flaws. This combination of negative body image and shame is what leads us to take desperate measures with our bodies.
The first person I told asked me, "What does that even mean, to have a mental illness?" I struggled to explain how I felt. That was three years ago. Today, I think I have a better grasp on what it means to live with a mental illness. So now I'll finally try to answer that question.
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Get active as a family. Working out together is a great way to squeeze your workouts in without squeezing out family time. Even if you're doing a workout you don't particularly love, it's more enjoyable when you're in the company of the people you do love.
In retrospect, I can say that on some level, I saw what was happening to me. I was just truly powerless to stop it. That's not to say I wasn't in control. No, each hunger pang I endured proved I was in control. Each starving hour that passed between four o'clock and bedtime made me feel focused, disciplined. It was all the fuel I needed to resist another meal. The truth is, anorexics feel a lack of control in their lives, so they take control of one aspect -- food. Alas, this illusion of control can only last so long.
In my family, we do our best to be open about it. We share with each other and talk openly about the challenges and struggles surrounding mental health -- challenges that have touched our family directly, and the families of countless Canadians. The conversation can sometimes be uncomfortable or difficult, but it is too important to let that stop us. We work hard every day to try to reduce and eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health. In order to recover, we must be willing to find and accept help. We can have conversations with our family and friends, even when it is difficult to do so. Some of you may not have families who are available or open to conversations about mental health, but that does not mean you are alone.
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I've made no secret of the fact that I am someone who has a history with depression and eating disorders; in fact I've written about this here and here. I'm also someone who has used my past battles a...
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.
There's been a lot of visceral (read: ICK) reaction to the stomach-draining device that was just approved by the FDA. An alternative to traditional dieting and more invasive than traditional bariatric surgeries, the AspireAssist system is definitely a new way of preventing calories from being absorbed by the body.
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I crushed on guys who were "out of my league." I saw others get attention while I was ignored or rejected. I felt bad about my body, which was mostly fat, with little or no visible muscle. My face was pretty and my mannerisms were soft, leaving me pretty low in the hierarchy. So I took action.
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Just know that you can learn how to love yourself.
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I know this disorder has many causes, but the agony of starving oneself, the self loathing that comes with it, I wouldn't wish on anyone. Eating disorders are also difficult for families, who may feel powerless to stop it. Like any form of mental illness, intervention is key, getting professional help early and not playing down the severity of the behaviour.
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By and large, we live in a diet-obsessed society, so my health nuttiness went unnoticed. Plus, like most individuals with eating disorders, I was a master at hiding all this dysfunctional behaviour for many years. I was also incredibly successful at outwardly presenting a well put-together front when facing the world. I had been a model student, a star employee, a good friend and doting auntie to my young nephews. Until it all came crashing down on me.
Until we can see ourselves in the mentally ill we will not stand up and fight for better care, increased awareness, and greater funding. As long as we stand to one side and not recognize that we are all vulnerable, that mental illness can happen to any one of us.
Over the five years I spent seeking treatment, my family and I encountered a seemingly endless series of obstacles -- from programs that couldn't accommodate me, to waiting lists that lasted much longer than my desire to get clean -- all of which combined to feel like the treatment system was designed for me to fail.
As a mental health advocate, I was addicted to appearing to be recovered. I was afraid to admit that I am living with an eating disorder. Afraid that it meant the messages I was telling people about recovery being possible wasn't true. That living with an eating disorder, while being highlighted as recovered, meant I was a fraud.
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They're asking those in recovery what makes them beautiful.
“They said he’s not going to starve himself. Well, he did."