Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Need Your Help

My friend,jane, just discovered that her daughter, liz, has begun starving and purging. jane learned this by reading liz's diary. to make matters worse, fourteen-year-old liz has begun dressing trampily to get attention from boys. her self-esteem has always been low.

jane doesn't want to tell liz she read the diary, and Jane's therapist agreed. i think Jane needs to tell liz she read her diary. She can say she read it because she's been very concerned and she loves liz so much, and now she's ready to help.

but jane's stuck on this privacy thing -- she and her therapist thing it will feel like too huge a betrayal to liz. so jane thinks she just really can't do much of anything at this point but watch and wait.

i say liz needs to go to a medical doctor now AND to an eating disorders specialist therapist. i sometimes find that the most wonderful regular therapists don't often understand our disease.

i'm really worried about liz. she was always a chubby kid. now she thinks the only way to get boys is to be really thin and dress promiscuously. will she submit in a sexual way to boys, so they'll like her and pay attention?

jane is distressed and loves her daughter, but i don't think she sees the big potentially awful picture.

some questions:

what can one do for a young teen who's developing an eating disorder?

should jane tell liz she's read the diary?

do you tell a teenager ALL the repercussions of anorexia and bulimia? do you try to sort of scare her by sharing the physical side effects?

do facts and information dissuade someone from developing an ED?

what can we do for out daughters?

do you have other thoughts and ideas on the topic?


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Crystal Renn, The Hunger

i could not wait to read this book. i pre-ordered it on amazon and kept checking for its arrival.

it was a good book, but i was disappointed. Renn does a great job describing her youth and her starving days while modeling. the detail is clear; the story incisive. i felt i lived it with her. What a heart-wrenching, frightening experience. it's a cautionary tale and one that will help

but then she glosses over the part i wanted most -- the years of gaining weight. what was it like? how did she feel looking in the mirror as her face and body expanded. what her thoughts as those jean sizes went up? what did she eat? can it really have been as easy, breezy as she makes it sound? there's so much more there, and i want it.

i want to know how to accept and embrace natural weight gain. i want to know how to face the mirror as a new, larger size. how can i laugh at the scale? how to let go of the people who prefer me, and everyone, a size 6/8?

i wish she'd gone there.

on another, but not really dissimiliar, note, dr stacy of Every Woman Has an Eating Disorder
writes that some parents of pre-schoolers are being offered the opportunity to have their kid's school pictures airbrushed.

this freaks me out. where is our culture headed? are we going to end up in a futuristic society where perfect beauty (of the mainstream variety) is everything and the only thing? i worry it really can happen. now we condone telling pre-schooler they're just not good enough at all, just as they are? it's the saddest thing.

angelica huston sticks in my mind -- what a beautiful woman with the world's character on her face. she has an important nose and kind of lop-sided features, AND i've always loved her beauty.

but in today's world, symmetry's beating character nearly all the time. and now it's starting in pre-school.

my late mother was so proud of my kindergarten picture. i wore a navy jumper and had a big bow around my ponytail. there's one stray pump in the front of my hair, where obviously the comb missed the spot. kind of adorable, actually.

my fiance has that picture on his side of the bed. he named it "little Melissa". even i, who think nothing of my looks, think it's cute. imagine if it had been air-brushed. self-hatred could have started on that very day.

ah, do you think i feel strongly about this?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Out of Focus

I've really been off. i lose my keys, i've lost three pairs of sunglasses, i lost my cellphone. i'm driving badly - not focusing on the road. i'm not paying attention.

i've always been A LITTLE spacey, dreamy and distracted, but this is off the charts.

it scares me. where is my brain? is it busy wondering about the persistent stomach pain and headache?

i'm eating well. that's okay. pretty good, actually.

in posts past, i'd insist (practically scream) "I AM MY EATING DISORDER".

I'm not my eating disorder. my ED has ruled my life, it's decided my choices, it's encumbered most everything i do, but I AM NOT MY EATING DISORDER.

last night, we had friends over, and i had a great time. we talked and laughed and relaxed. the food was delicious, and i ate a nice amount. after dinner, even though i was full, i enjoyed a small slice of magnificently tasty carrot cheesecake. i wouldn't say it was intuitive eating, because i was already full, but in that moment i enjoyed my cake. and there was no freak-out after. so peaceful

all said, i see where i can be more confident, although i don't necessarily act on it. my friend Eve is on an amazing path -- she gets stronger and more directed. i watch her deal with her boyfriend in a centered, confident new way. here's something for me to gain and feel for myself. my communication skills lack something. and my self-confidence likes to cower.

if i can keep my shoulders back and honor myself (honor ME, who is not my eating disorder), things will get better.

ah, there's more work to do. it's all for good. it's all for good.

i wish i knew quite where to begin. i will figure it out.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Eating in Pittsburgh

i had the best, best time visiting my family in pittsburgh. my sweetie and i relaxed, de-stressed and just had fun. soooo much fun. i laughed until i could barely breathe. what's better than pure, happy laughter?

and i ate. i hate heartily and with abandon. i ate a lot and didn't care. everything was too much fun to care about food and weight.

yes, i gained a couple of pounds (weighed myself when i got home. darn). that part's hard for me. i know, i know that my body wants to be free -- free to pick up the pounds it craves. but damn, that's not what i want right now. doesn't make things easy, does it?

has anyone read Hunger by Crystal Renn? i wasn't blown over by the book itself, but i love the concept of eating and being healthy AND reveling in a happy size 12.

i wish i could bottle the joy i had in pittsburgh. i was happy and engaged all the time. often, i check out and go far, far away from the given moment. in pitt, there were so many people to talk to, culture, coffee shops, bookstores, outdoor jazz, museums. at home, i'm way out in a nowhere of strip malls and fast food. sherlock holmes couldn't uncover a decent cup of coffee here.

pittsburgh has my family. my fantastic, amazing nephew, my great brother-in-law and my sister. she and i have always had a complicated relationship, but this time we really talked and connected and of course, laughed.

then there's my fourteen-year-old niece, Karen. we have such a bond and always have. her body image issues are starting. it kills me. she's the loveliest, most sensitive person. and she doesn't have kate moss's thighs. why, why, why, why, why is this considered important?

my niece asked me if i'd had bulimia or anorexia. no one had ever told her anything about my issues. she also asked me if i'd had problems with alcohol. then, gulp, she asked me if i'd done hard drugs.

i answered her questions as well as i could, focusing on how well i am AND trying with all my strength to help build her self-esteem.

we talked forever, and she opened up about what's going on with her and her friends. she's an amazing person. why, why, why, why, why does it matter that she doesn't have Gisele's hips?

as i lay in bed the night after our talk, i realized that no one in my family had ever asked me any of the questions Karen asked my issues/addictions-- not my mother, my father, my brother, my sister. friends. no one.

recently, i've shared my issues with my dear cousin, but prior to our discussions, no one seemed to care. or notice.

i guess the key for me is always communication. if someone talks to me and we can each be open, somehow, i allow myself to connect and don't give any special powers to food or weight.

i've know this before, but it was perfectly clear in pittsburg. where i had the best time.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


I haven't blogged much lately -- work and life have gotten in the way. That's not such a good thing. Blogging grounds me, for a lack of a better word, spiritually. When i'm not blogging, writing, and connecting, i start to get away from myself. Soon I'm sweating the small things and worrying about stuff that wraps me up in knots.

The next few days are going to be long and fairly unfulfilling -- work can get like that. But work pays the bills.

I've decided that i need to set some goals which will help bring some spiritual nourishment (if you will) back into my life. Starting next week, when things calm down, i'm going to blog every day. And, I'm going to apply for class, non-matriculated, in a field that interests me.

When i feel myself slipping, i'm going to honor those goals -- by doing them. And that's a great goal