Friday, September 13, 2013

Friday All You Can Read Buffet

I’ve recently read several very good articles, and I can’t help but share them with you.

This one from the blog “Weightless” titled Body Image Booster: Mirrors and Mantras is about how looking in the mirror has become a traumatic experience for some people.  We subject ourselves to harsh criticism and beat ourselves up over supposed “flaws”.  If you struggle with keeping a good body image like I do, then looking in the mirror or even encountering a window reflection can be agonizing.

Margarita, the writer, explains how to begin to change your reactionary habits when you see yourself.  She says, “When looking in the mirror, try [repeating] the same mantra. Or if saying “I am beautiful” is too hard, maybe you can say something else that’s positive and feels true.”

The key word is “positive” in that quote.  Become aware of how much you torture yourself when you look in the mirror.  Then, realize you don’t have to put up with that kind of abuse, verbal self-abuse.  You can change the way you talk to yourself.  Use positive phrases when you are looking at yourself in the mirror.  Hopefully, with time, seeing your reflection will not be so much of a horrible experience.  You are worth it.

The next article I want you to check out is “Being Married to a Person with Depression or Bipolar: 6 Survival Tips” .  I particularly found #5 to be helpful, “Learn the Language of the Illness”.  Therese writes:

Sometimes I forget how hurtful my words can be when I’m expressing how anxious or depressed I feel. “I just want to be dead.” “I don’t care about anything.” “If only I was diagnosed with cancer and could make a graceful exodus out of this world …” Oh, no offense. Thankfully my husband knows that it’s my depression speaking, not me. He has been able to separate his wife from the illness. That is the result of lots of research on his part and a few conversations with my psychiatrist.

After I read the above paragraph, I wanted to make sure that my loved ones, especially Craig, know that depression can take over a person like weeds can take over a lawn.  I am not saying that I don’t have to be responsible for the things I say.  I am saying that I am going to need extreme, saint-levels of patience and forgiveness.

Moving on……….this post “Formerly Obese Teenagers are at High Risk for Eating Disorders” was a really good, quick, and insightful read.  The authoress, Lindy, writes:

Today in America's Holy War on Obesity, teenagers who "beat" fatness and manage to become thin (MISSION ACCOMPLISHED BANNER) are at a significant risk of developing eating disorders and unlikely to have those disorders diagnosed. Because, hey, thinness is the goal—not health. Thinness is everything, thinness is the be-all and end-all, and thinness signifies health whether actual health is achieved or not. Sure, you might be starving to death, but at least the public doesn't have to look at your big thighs anymore! WORTH IT.

Can I get an “Amen, Sister!”  I am really hating all this emphasis on weight loss in our country, particularly, all of the campaigns the First Lady is doing in the schools.  It makes me so sad and angry and frustrated and sad again to see these young people subjected to false information that could potential hurt them for life.  Maybe that’s why I loved Lindy’s poignant sarcasm in her post.  You see, I was a chubby kid, at least, chubbier than my peers.  I noticed because the adults noticed and could help but point it out when I was standing close enough to hear.  You see, I was the kid that tried to please everyone by doing the best I could do.  No one seemed to care whether or not I was healthy, but everyone noticed that I was losing weight.

OK, second last one: “12 Things Selective Eaters Want You toKnow”.  I don’t have kids yet.  But, I’ve said this before, one of my worst fears is passing on my disorder eating tendencies to my children.  So, I like to read articles about being aware of how you affect others with your words, actions, and habits.  The post is from the blog, “Mealtime Hostage”.  The author wrote 12 reminders in the perspective of a child when it comes to eating.  Number Five is, “Embarrassing me (or allowing others to embarrass me) based on my eating habits doesn’t encourage me to eat. I really don’t want to be the center of attention. This only makes me feel uncomfortable and less likely to want to eat in a social setting.”

I can totally relate each one of her 12 points.  The quote above particularly reminds me of when I was going through the worst years of my eating disorder.  Being the center of attention definitely did NOT help at all, and, sometimes, even hurt my progress toward “normal” or “healthy” eating.

The last article I think you should read is titled, “Our Diet Bias”.  This post is from the blog, “Building Family Counseling”.  Dawn, the writer, very clearly presents the problem with “weightloss”.  She says:

For some people, trying new fruits or vegetables is a health goal. Meeting this goal may (or may not) lead to weightloss but it will certainly give that person insight into their wants, wishes and will expand their nutritional horizons. For some people, learning to eat a cupcake without becoming mired in fear, anger, regret and guilt is a health goal. Meeting this goal may (or may not) lead to weightloss but it will certainly give that person relief, freedom and will expand their self-acceptance. When we talk about diets and health we need to go beyond the idea of restriction and weightloss.

Being healthy is about way more than what you weigh.  I can’t get enough of this positive message.  I think it’s because I feel like I’ve lost 10 years of my life to this disease of an eating disorder and I want to do everything I can to stop other people from falling into the same trap.  I see so many people hurting from this terrible lie that you have to be thin in order to be good enough.  Don’t believe the lie.  We have the cure!  Come and drink the medicine.  Stay away from women’s magazines, diets, and poisonous weight-loss propaganda.  The tonic is learning to love yourself for the way you are.

I hope you enjoyed the smorgasbord.  Have a wonderfully nourishing weekend!