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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
Being healthy includes living an active lifestyle and eating a variety of foods in moderation, but being healthy will look different for different people. Wouldn't it be awesome if we could actually see more than one version of a fit body represented in the media? Instead we're bombarded with image after image perpetuating the myth that the skinniest women are always the fittest and the men with the most muscles are always the strongest.
My problem isn't with Maria as a person. I don't believe that she was intentionally trying to hurt anyone, and there's a very good chance that she had no idea how this image would add major fuel to the already blazing fire of contempt in a society that glorifies the skinniest bodies and demonizes pretty much everything else.
This morning, a friend of mine sent me what's now become the infamous photo of fitness trainer and uber lean and toned mother of three Maria Kang, with the caption "What's your excuse?" I was a hard bodied, fit looking mother of two and it's because I've been there that I am so frustrated by the myth it represents. What's my excuse? Here are just a few.
Kids have started getting excited about the bounty of candy they'll be getting and their parents are getting anxious. There is so much focus being put on the issue of obesity recently that we have become terrified of every calorie and fat gram we consume and are unfortunately, passing this fear on to our kids.
Heading back to school after summer vacation can be stressful for kids. A lot can happen to a young person's body over summer vacation. Some kids will experience a growth spurt, while others will need a little time to catch up. Here are a few things you can do to help your kids start the school year off with confidence.
While healthy lifestyle changes are a good thing, it can be surprisingly easy to cross the line from fit to fanatical. It's not hard to understand the dangers that come from eating too much of the wrong types of food or not getting enough physical activity, but it can be much harder to grasp how too much of a good thing can also put your health at risk.
Dear parents of an overweight child, how many times have you said something a little unkind to your child about their weight because you felt it would benefit them in the future? Confused about what to say and not to say? Here are a few sentences that should be immediately and permanently deleted from your vocabulary.
Nine-year-old boys are asking why they can't have six-pack abs like Jacob from Twilight and eight-year-old girls hate their "chubby" tummies. What can we do as their parents to help them feel better about themselves? I offer tips, tools, games and projects to help parents empower their kids with the self-esteem they deserve. Here are some fun ideas to get you started.
We live in an image-obsessed, fat-phobic, thin is in, skinny jean-wearing, thigh gap-measuring, binging and purging, forever dieting, body-hating society where kids barely out of preschool are begging their mothers to keep them home from school because they feel like they're too fat to fit in. And that pisses me off.
Recently I was asked if I ever worried that I was putting my children at risk for developing eating disorders by being so open and honest about my own. The truth is that they always knew their mom was a bit "different," they just didn't know why. I may have convinced myself that they were oblivious to my disorder, but how could that be true when we'd be walking out the door to go for dinner and one of them would ask, "Are you eating today, Mommy, or just watching?" or they'd shout, "Look, Mommy's a dinosaur!" because the bones of my spine would poke out so sharply from under my skin.