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Thank you for visiting. Content MAY BE TRIGGERING ESPECIALLY FOR THOSE WHO HAVE EXPERIENCED ABUSE, STRUGGLE WITH SELF-INJURY, SUICIDE, DEPRESSION OR AN EATING DISORDER. Contains graphic descriptions of suicidal thoughts, self-injury and emotional, physical and sexual abuse. Do not read further if you are not in a safe place. If you are triggered, please reach out to your support system, a mental health professional or call 911.

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Disclaimer: Although I have worked with persons with mental illness for twenty years, I do not have a Master's Degree or a license. This is not meant to be a substitute for mental health care or treatment. Please obtain professional assistance from the resources listed on the right of the page, if needed. And call 911 if you or someone is in immediate danger.

A key word that you will see:

Fragmentation: a mental process where a person becomes intensely emotionally focused on one aspect of themselves, such as “I am angry” or “no one loves me,” to the point where all thoughts, feelings and behavior demonstrate this emotional state, in which, the person does not or is unable to take into account the reality of their environment, others or themselves and their resources. This is a term that my therapist and I use and is on the continuum of dissociation.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Bohemian Rhapsody??

Over 12 million have watched this video on YouTube, enjoy!!

The original:

This Queen classic has been parodied many times.

Trivia: Queen played very few gigs at the start, avoided the club circuit and rehearsed for two years while they all remained in college. They are the most educated band in rock history. (May began work on a Ph.D. in astronomy; Taylor has a degree in biology; Deacon, a degree in electronics; and Mercury had one in illustration and design.)

Share your YouTube videos links and all comments welcomed!!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Eating Disorders: A Personal Story

TRIGGER WARNING!!! This is not meant for anyone with an eating disorder to find ideas which you probably already know. I am purposefully not revealing my weight, height, sizes as a precautionary measure. I ask that you do the same in your comments.
I am really ambivalent about writing this post. All week, I’ve been writing about eating disorders for Eating Disorders Awareness Week and have not really used personal examples. Even in my blog and 500 plus posts later, I’ve really never addressed it directly and honestly. I feel like I want to be honest for me and in hopes that others can relate and know that there is help, hope and it is a process…no overnight fix…like any other addiction.
Yet, there is always a part of me that wants to keep my eating disorder and what it entails completely secret and not let anyone in. “I have control of it. I’m okay.” It is about control and many other issues. My gaining 60 pounds last year due to my health problems freaked me out. I felt so out of control with my body and appetite…one medication stimulated my appetite. It was like I just couldn’t stop gaining weight.  I hated and still do hate myself for not being able to control my appetite or eating...and for having gained SO much. (Self-hatred is also expressed in an eating disorder...slow suicide or self-harm. Taking care of yourself and loving yourself is all a part of eating. Not eating is my expressing my self-hatred and ambivalence to loving myself and living or dying.)

My therapist and I have talked about that my eating disorder is the first place that I go to when under stress. Grandma’s passing away has kicked it up again. Even before I was getting into trouble. I’ve lost ten pounds and week I weighed myself and I’ve gained some of it back. Immediately, went into what I can and cannot eat mode. I also know that it is a defense mechanism, so that I don’t have to deal with the emotions going on. And, also an indication of my self-hatred and expression of my sexual abuse and more. I didn’t have control then, but I will now just not in a healthy way.

Last year, my therapist and I got into some contentious “arguments” about my eating disorder. I insisted that I couldn’t be diagnosed as anorexic and he disagreed. We went back and forth. And, despite my weight gain and other symptoms, my thought patterns and emotions are the same. So, he kept making me say that “I am anorexic.” Okay, he is right, “I am anorexic.”

My eating disorder basically began with cutting up my food into small bites, eating some, then saying that I wasn’t hungry anymore. I was about 9 or 10 years old. Also, there were some signs before. Starting puberty in Junior High school was okay and I liked the attention that I was receiving from the boys. I also started restricting what I ate and what I would eat.

(Click on picture to see larger version)
Then, in High School, it was like everything stopped about caring about how I looked to others especially boys. My first boyfriend was physically and emotionally abusive and basically just wanted sex. I broke it off when he moved out of state. My second boyfriend only wanted sex and kept pushing me. He broke up with me over the telephone after I told him that I overdosed on Tylenol that day…nice huh. I stopped dating until a couple of years into college, I kept going on dates that were way to physically and sexually aggressive for me…it was three or less dates and I'd say, "bye." Actually, I just stopped returning telephone calls.

During High School, I really started restricting my diet. However, during my last year, I began to gain weight into college and my mother and step-father has a horrible divorce and I moved four times in one year including during finals. Then, I just stopped eating or restricting my diet. At that point, I became underweight and could have been hospitalized. Don’t tell my therapist…I keep denying this point. But, he is right.

Since I had been somewhat overweight, I really liked being able to fit into smaller, cuter clothes and the compliments. I also enjoyed losing weight. I felt good in being able to do so. It felt good to be able to not eat for an entire day and ignore signs of hunger. Eventually, I didn’t have any feelings of being hungry. I also started to calorie count and foods went into good and bad categories. I also began to exercise twice per day.

With the help of therapy, I eventually was able to let go with much resistance. That is such an understatement. What most people don’t understand is that it is an addiction. I always need to be careful. I was doing great for about five years and then my Grandpa passed away and I went spiraling down into depression and into my eating disorder. I entered therapy and my repressed memories surfaced.  So, all of my symptoms and defense mechanisms increased.

It can start with seemingly benign thinking, feeling or behaving. For me, whenever, I start to lose weight, I have a goal, but the goal keeps getting lower and lower. Foods become good and bad. I like the feeling of being hungry. And, many other things.

I know that now I am in a little bit of trouble as I am losing weight by restricting or skipping meals. Lying to my husband about what I ate. The garbage disposal is a good thing for me.  Becoming anxious at mealtimes and with everything I eat or drink. I’ve become preoccupied with my body, calories, weighing myself everyday and categorizing foods. It really is an addiction…you get that first taste of the endorphins and then you are hooked again. I think of it as I am always in recovery. I will always need to be careful.

Right now, I am quite overweight due to last years health issues and have difficulty knowing or wanting to try other ways of losing weight quickly. (No advice please…often those with eating disorders know more about food than some professionals.)  With me right now, as with anyone, it is the willingness to give up the illusion of control and deal with what is emotionally going on.  Somedays, I feel like I can tackle this and I want this and then other times, I get into "I don't care what this does to me.  I'm going to lose the weight."  But it never stops there the bar just keeps lowering.  As it does my self-harm and suicidal ideation increases.  I also get into a "fuck you" mode..I don't care if I die for this...I want to die anyway.

It is an obsession and an addiction. I feel so good when I lose weight, fit into smaller clothing or am able to go without eating. It is a form of self-harm, self-hatred, a defense and a way to control my emotions. I do want to talk with my therapist just so I can be honest with someone. I am also quite ambivalent because I don’t want to change what I am doing despite the potential problems. I had told my therapist that my realistic goal was to eat something at every meal. But, at this point, that isn’t realistic. What is realistic is for me to eat at least one full meal a day. (This week when I brought this up, he told me that he wanted me to push harder and to eat two meals...I am ambivalent about this as I am with much of my life...Welcome to Borderlineville.)

The irony of this whole thing is that my therapist recently said that he might have me write down a food log for him. I didn’t know that this week was coming up as I had written the posts way in advance. Additionally, wouldn’t you know it, but my psychiatrist spent 20 years with eating disorders as his specialty…I didn’t know that when I started with him. LOL!!! God is looking out for me. Remember there is hope!!! (I need to remind myself of this and to let go.)

Again, this is not meant for anyone with an eating disorder to find ideas which you probably already know. I am purposefully not revealing my weight, height, sizes as a precautionary measure. I ask that you do the same in your comments. If you need assistance, please seek professional help or go to any of the links on my side bar or in the previous posts for this week.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Eating Disorders: How to Help

Most families and friends are anxious of doing or saying the wrong thing to help someone with an eating disorder.  Some, in an effort, to help reinforce eating disorder thinking and behavior.  Also, there are very specific tips that have helped me with my eating disorder of 25 years.

During the 25 year period, it hasn't been active. But, it is like any addiction, you are always in recovery and the slightest thing can throw you off.  I've had a six year with no symptoms of an eating disorder.  But, the stress of a death in my family threw me into a tailspin and back into therapy.

Eating disorders are an addiction and a mental illness.  It is highly difficult to treat and takes much time with a patient therapist and with yourself.  This really is the case of you are only as sick as are your NON-VEBALIZED secrets.  The following chart is an example of the addiction cycle:

For Friends and Family Members:
  • Avoid power struggles over food
  • Accept your limitations
  • Accept the other person's right to an independent life
  • Do not cater to the person's diet, such as, making special food other than what the family eats.
  • Allow each household member to make his or her own food choices
  • Hold the person responsible for behavior that affects others
  • Avoid power struggles (remember it is about control)
  • Don't monitor someone else's behavior for them (even if you are invited to)
  • Don't try to play therapist
  • DO NOT comment about someone's weight and looks
  • Obtain professional help, sometimes it requires inpatient or outpatient hospitalization
  • Educate yourself about eating disorders
  • Be patient.  They will probably reject your help and react with anger and denial.  Having an eating disorder feels painful and shameful.
  • Be compassionate.  Eating disorders are complex and are symptoms of much deeper issues.  It is an unheathly way to deal with emotions.
  • Talk about other things than their eating disorder.
  • Affirm their strengths and other interests that having nothing to do with food or their appearance.
  • Express your own needs, without blaming or shaming the person. It is important for them to take their own time. However, if medical intervention is necessary do not wait!!
  • Keep calm, focused and respectful during difficult conversations.
•Examine your own attitudes about food, weight, body image and body size. Think about the way you personally are affected by body-image pressures, and share these with the person.
  • Think about your own attitudes and prejudices about body image, weight and desire to be thinner.
  • Take care of yourself. Take care of your own physical, emotional, social and spritual needs.
If you have an eating disorder you can help yourself:
  • Read self-help books.
  • Write in a journal or blog.  Try to focus on feelings.  Feeling "fat" is not a feeling. It is a judgement.
  • Express yourself in writing, fingerpainting, painting, and other types of art.  Be creative...there is not write and wrong.
  • Try to stay in touch with your feeling and thoughts especially if you binge.
  • Your eating disorder may be your best friend.  I found/find it very comforting, but I am learning to find other ways, such as, talking with a friend about other things than food or body image, a hug, listen to music, practice mindfulness or meditatation, etc...
  • Accept the way you are and start to love yourself and appreciate yourself.  This is quite difficult at first as we are used to being critical and judgemental about ourself.
  • Listen to your body...I am I hungry?
  • Eat something at normal meal times.
  • Don't focus on your weight. Hide or get rid of the scale.
  • Don't count calories.
  • Don't categorize foods into "good" and "bad."
  • Don't try to hide your behavior.  At least, speak with your therapist about your difficulties.  For me, it helps me to keep accountable and more aware of what I am doing.
  • Don't tell others that you have eaten when that "really" isn't the case. 
  • Purchase clothing that fit you and make you feel good.  Don't focus on the size!!
  • Develop a good support system.
There are many excellent resources available by doing a search on the Internet. It would be too long to list in this post.  Remember, take care of yourself...something that I have to remind myself everyday...somedays are better than others...Be kind to yourself because it takes time.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Eating Disorders: Media influence

Eating Disorders Awareness Week: Media and Garment Industry influences.

Vanity sizing, also known as size inflation is used to refer to the phenomenon of ready-to-wear clothing of the same nominal size becoming larger over time. It is generally acknowledged that clothing of the same nominal size has become larger over the years.

In 2003, a study that measured over 1,011 pairs of women's pants found that more expensive brands tended to be smaller than cheaper ones of the same nominal size. The increasing dimensions of garments of the same nominal size has caused some designers to introduce size 0, 00, or other subzero sizes. Many commentators have suggested that "vanity sizing," as its name suggests, is designed to satisfy buyers' wishes to appear thin and feel better about themselves.

Model fired for being "too large."

For another video clip titled, "Size 4 model 'too fat' to work" 

Retouching: Real versus Fake:

Trying to attain the "perfect" body according to the media requires retouching.  No wonder most women want to lose weight...some will DIE to get it.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Eating Disorders: Myths and Influences


Myths & Realities From Mirror-Mirror:

Only teenage girls suffer from eating disorders. Many eating disorders do begin in the teenage years, but children, men, older women and just about anyone can fall victim to this terrible disorder.

You can never fully recover from an eating disorder. Recovery takes a long time, but with hard work and the proper treatment, you can fully recover from your eating disorder.

Men with eating disorders are always gay. Someone's sexual preference has nothing to do with them developing an eating disorder.

Eating disorders are solely a problem with food. With all eating disorders, weight is the focus of life. By focusing on food, weight and calories, a person is able to block out or numb painful feelings and emotions. Some use food as a way to comfort themselves. Eating disorders are NOT a problem with food. They are in fact only a symptom of underlying problems.

Bulimics always purge by vomiting. Not all bulimics try to rid themselves of the calories they have consumed by vomiting. Purging can take the form of laxatives, diuretics, exercising, or fasting.

You can always tell someone is anorexic by their appearance. Not all anorexics look like the extreme cases shown on talk shows, etc. Some anorexics may be anywhere from 5 to 15 lbs. underweight. They look thin, but they do not have what society considers to be the "anorexic" look. Just because someone does not look emaciated, does not mean they are not anorexic or that their health is not in danger.

Anorexics do not eat candy, chocolate, etc. Many anorexics do avoid such foods, but some do eat them on a regular basis. If an anorexic decides to only allow him/herself 300 calories a day, they may very well choose to eat a chocolate bar, candy, etc.

Anorexics do not binge or purge. Many anorexics will go on occasional binges and purge. Some anorexics can become so fearful of any food or drink that they will purge whatever they put into their system, including water.

You cannot die from bulimia. Bulimics are at a high risk for dying, especially if they are purging, using laxatives and doing excessive exercise. Many bulimics have died from cardiac arrest which is usually caused by low potassium or an electrolyte imbalance. Others have died from a ruptured esophagus.

People with eating disorders do this to hurt their family and friends. People with eating disorders are doing this to themselves. They are usually very upset when they know the people around them are worried or hurt by their eating disorder.

Compulsive eating is not an eating disorder. It is very much an eating disorder and is just as serious as anorexia and bulimia.

Compulsive eaters are just lazy people. Compulsive eating is a way to cope just like anorexia and bulimia are. A person uses food as a way to comfort or numb themselves, block out feelings and emotions, etc. They are not lazy! They are people in emotional pain trying to cope using the only way they know how. Like anorexia and bulimia, they need proper treatment to overcome it. They do not need to be sent to health spas and diet clinics.

People cannot have more than one eating disorder. Many people have more than one eating disorder. It is very common for someone to suffer with more than one eating disorder. That just proves that the eating behaviors are only the symptoms, not the problem.

Some risk factors include:

  • Body dissatisfaction
  • Dieting
  • Low self-esteem
  • Perfectionism
  • Childhood sexual abuse
  • Family history of eating disorders
  • Obsssive-compulsive features
  • Need for control
  • Difficulty expressing emotions
  • Media pressure to be thin
  • Being female
  • Mood disorders
  • Overly critical families
  • Athletes, actors, television personalities, dancers, models, ballerinas, gymnasts, runners and wrestlers.

Karen Carpenter (musician): Went on a water diet to lose weight and, as she put it, to appear more attractive. Continued to diet even after losing 20 lbs, until her death at the age of 32. She died of cardiac arrest due to anorexia and weighed only 80 lbs.

Ana Carolina Reston: Brazilian model, starved herself to death in 2006.

Theresa Marie "Terri" Schiavo (December 3, 1963 – March 31, 2005): Her physician failed to recognize and diagnose bulimia

Margaux Hemmingway: actress, model, suffered with bulimia

Christy Henrich (gymnast): In 1988, Christy was told by a U.S. judge that she had to lose weight in order to make the Olympic team. She died of multiple organ failure, as a result of anorexia, at the age of 22. She weighed only 60 lbs.

Heidi Guenther (ballet dancer): After being told by a theatre company that at 5'5" in height and 96 lbs in weight she was too chunky, she developed an eating disorder. She collapsed and died at the age of 22 due to complications from her eating disorder.

Leila Pahlavi: The youngest daughter of the late Shah of Iran stole prescriptions from the desk of her doctor in order to feed her fatal addiction to barbiturates, an inquest heard yesterday. Princess Leila Pahlavi, 31, died alone in her suite at a London hotel after taking prescription drugs and cocaine. She was found in bed, her body emaciated by years of anorexia and bulimia.

Anne Sexton: American poet Anne Sexton (1928-1974), who was sexually abused in childhood and committed suicide at the age of 46, suffered from anorexia and depression.

Paula Abdul: Dancer, choreograph and singer battled bulimia and decided to check herself in a clinic, back in 1994. Her negative feelings about her own body image came as early as seven years old when she began dancing, but "it didn't manifest into a full-blown eating disorder until I was in high school." Today Paula Abdul is a spokesperson for the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA). "It is one of the toughest things to talk about, bar none, and it is one of the hardest disorders to deal with because it's not black or white. Eating disorders really have nothing to do with food, it's about feelings."

Imogen Bailey: She's been called one of Australia's sexiest models, but actress Imogen Bailey recently revealed her battle with anorexia and how she is now healthy.

Maria Conchita Alonso: Beauty pageant winner and actress, the first contemporary international Latina superstar, recently began speaking out about her struggle with bulimia. Struggling with the condition for nearly a decade, resulting in damage to her esophagus and her teeth, she eventually sought help for the self-destructive syndrome.

Christine Alt: Model Christine Alt (Carol Alt's sister) developed an eating disorder under the pressure to slim down from modeling agencies and clients. "I think that half the women in this world who are plus-size would not be if they never went on a diet."

Magali Amadei: Magali Amadei has appeared on the covers of fashion magazines. She's been on TV commercials, billboards and even in movies! With all that success, you'd think that she would have tons of confidence. But for many years, Magali suffered from bulimia.

Fiona Apple: Singer and songwriter Fiona Apple became anorexic after being raped outside of her mother's home at the age of twelve. She says she was not anorexic out of a desire to be thin, but as a reaction to being raped. She also admitted to having self-injurious behaviors in the past.

Imogen Bailey: The English 'Neighbours' soap opera star has revealed that she battled with anorexia when she first started modeling. The 31-year-old actress, who plays Nicola West in the soap said that she began to diet when she started doing bikini photoshoots.

Justine Bateman: Former 'Family Ties' actress Justine Bateman struggled with bulimia. Justine is now an activist for recovery and speaks from time to time at eating disorder support groups about her experiences with an eating disorder.

Victoria Beckham: Victoria Beckham (Posh Spice from the Spice Girls) publicly admitted struggling with an eating disorder in the early days of the Spice Girls, after years "in denial". "I was very obsessed. I mean, I could tell you the fat content and the calorie content in absolutely anything," she told ABC's 20/20 in 2003.

Kate Beckinsale: Actress Kate Beckinsale struggled with an eating disorder during her teen years, before she decided to start acting. She has frankly spoken in interviews about her eating problem. Thanks to the support of her family and therapy Kate was able to recover from anorexia.
Melanie Chisholm: Singer Melanie Chisholm (Melanie C - former Sporty Spice from the Spice Girls) publicly admitted suffering from an eating disorder and depression. Throughout the time she was in the "Spice Girls", Melanie alternated between starving herself and excessive exercise. "My mum assumed my tiny body was a result of being busy with the band and working out regularly."

Kelly Clarkson: The 'American Idol' winner struggled with bulimia for six months until friends discovered her secret and begged her to get help.

Nadia Comaneci: gymnast

Sandra Dee: Model and actress Sandra Dee struggled with an eating disorder and had a drinking problem for decades. "I was anorexic for many, many years -- even before people knew what it was .They didn't even have a name for it back then."

Susan Dey: Actress Susan Dey battled anorexia and bulimia. Susan was so underweight and malnourished she stopped having menstrual periods and her fingers turned orange from eating almost nothing but carrots.

Diana, Princess of Wales: Princess Diana struggled with an eating disorder and also admitted that she used to self-harm herself. The following is an extract of an interview of Princess Diana about her battle with bulimia - "I had bulimia for a number of years. And that's like a secret disease. You inflict it upon yourself because your self-esteem is at a low ebb, and you don't think you're worthy or valuable. You fill your stomach up four or five times a day - some do it more - and it gives you a feeling of comfort. It's like having a pair of arms around you, but it's temporarily, temporary. Then you're disgusted at the bloatedness of your stomach, and then you bring it all up again. And it's a repetitive pattern, which is very destructive to yourself." Diana also admitted in a television interview that she intentionally cut her arms and legs and had thrown herself down a flight of stairs on more than one occasion.

Sally Field: Actress Sally Field struggled with an eating disorder in the past. Sally began her three-year battle with anorexia and bulimia at the age of 20. "Everybody then was Twiggy, except me."

Jane Fonda: Award-winning actress Jane Fonda revealed several years ago that she had been a secret bulimic from age 12, and struggled with anorexia and bulimia for 30 years. Jane became one of the first Hollywood actresses to break the silence and talk openly about eating disorders and campaigned to raise awareness about anorexia and bulimia. In her autobiography "My Life So Far", Jane honestly talks about her 30 year battle with eating disorders.

Tracy Gold: Actress Tracey Gold suffered from an eating disorder and was first diagnosed with anorexia at the age of 12. She went into treatment and recovered after only a couple of months. But at the age of 19, in 1988, she relapsed and fell back into the vicious cycle of anorexia. Tracey eventually recovered and resumed her acting career which was effected negatively by her eating disorder.

Geri Halliwell: Singer Geri Halliwell (former Ginger Spice from the Spice Girls) publicly admitted suffering from bulimia and binge eating for several years. "I realized I couldn't control this monster anymore. I needed to find help." Her piece of advice for those who are struggling - "I can honestly tell you from personal experience, that worrying about an eating disorder really can get you down. There's nothing to be ashamed about. You'll be amazed at the difference it'll make to your whole life if you tell someone you trust. There are lots of people who want to help and you really CAN'T fight this one on your own. It might be a hard decision to make, to tell people and to seek help but, trust me it's nowhere as hard as trying to deal with it on your own." Geri has written a book called "Just For The Record" in which she talks with brutal honesty about her life, including battling and overcoming eating disorders, which she has struggled with since childhood.

Audrey Hepburn: Actress Audrey Hepburn struggled with anorexia and depression - which was unknown to the public during her career. She was known to lose weight under pressure and to be "strange" about food. Rumor has it that current actresses are being "harassed" by the media who points to Audrey as an example of a thin woman without an eating disorder, but that was NOT the case!

Janet Jackson: Singer Janet Jackson has been quoted in the media as having an ongoing battle with an eating disorder.

Elton John: Elton John has gone public about his struggles with bulimia, as well as a less common eating disorder of chewing and spitting.

Maureen McCormick: Actress (The Brady Bunch) struggled with bulimia as an adolescent.

Mary McDonough: Actress (The Waltons) struggled with an eating disorder.

Kellie Martin: Actress Kellie Martin developed anorexia when she was cast in "Life Goes On".

Alanis Morissette: Canadian singer Alanis Morissette has admitted that she has struggled with anorexia and bulimia between the ages of 14 and 18 when she was trying to break into the music business. She wrote the song "Perfect" (from Jagged Little Pill album), inspired by her eating disorder recovery.

Thandie Newton: Actress Thandie Newton says she used to suffer from bulimia and still bears the scars. Newton, who won best supporting actress at last year's BAFTA awards for her role in 'Crash.' Thandie developed the eating disorder at the age of 14 while training at dance school. She told about how she suffered from "horrible bulimia for about a year", saying: "I've still got the scars on my knuckles from where I put my fingers down my throat." The actress said a therapist in L.A. helped her overcome her battle with food, in her mid-twenties.

Syliva Plath: Poet and author Syliva Plath struggled with an eating disorder and depression.

Cathy Rigby (gymnast)

Joan Rivers: Comedian and author Joan Rivers battled bulimia for years.

Ally Sheedy: Actress Ally Sheedy (best known for her role in the 1985 hit "The Breakfast Club") struggled with anorexia and bulimia in the past and at one point also was addicted to pain killer medications.

Richard Simmons: Fitness and diet guru Richard Simmons suffered from an eating disorder in the past.

Courtney Thorne-Smith: Former 'Ally Mc Beal' actress Courtney Thorne-Smith battled an eating disorder. Courtney developed anorexia due to the pressure to be thin. Her slide into anorexia led her to quit the television show 'Ally Mc Beal'.

Meredith Vieira: Former 'The View' co-host Meredith Vieira said that she had an eating disorder and body images issues when she was younger.

Oprah Winfrey: The most influential person on TV, Oprah Winfrey, who was raped at the age of nine by her nineteen year old cousin and repeatedly sexually abused, struggled with disordered eating. Oprah, who said about her weight "It's always a struggle. I've felt safer and more protected when I was heavy. Food has always been comforting."

The above only covers a small portion of more celebrities and famous people.  To find out more and resources, and information regarding eating disorders go to EDRefferral.com.

Monday, February 22, 2010

National Eating Disorders Awareness Week

Most countries have Eating Disorders Week within the month of February. The U.S. National Eating Disorders Awareness Week is from February 21st to February 26th.

On my blog, this week is dedicated to National Eating Disorders Week. Everyday, I will have a post regarding eating disorders.  For more information regarding eating disorders click the picture at the beginning of the post.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Fields of Gold

Yesterday, was the Olympics ladies long program which gives me a heartache as I am a huge Michelle Kwan fan. When she earned the bronze medal in 2002, I felt so much disappointment as did much of the world.

7428-lgI write from Southern California and she is a local girl. A friend of mine ate her family's restaurant and reported it is American styled Chinese food. Additionally, her training rink is about ten minutes from my home. There are huge pictures of her on the outside electronic billboard and many, many pictures and memorbilla inside the rink. It is a great addition to the area as there are no close by ice skating rinks.

picturesicepalaceThere are many skating routines that I like, but Fields of Gold is one of my favorites as Michelle skated the exhibition performance beautifully after winning the bronze medal where she was the favorite to win the 2002 Olympic gold. Although she earned at bronze and silver Olympic medals, the Gold was elusive. However, during this performance, she carried on with grace, dignity, emotion and a good example of being a "good sport." The following is her Olympic Fields of Gold exhibition performance:

Michelle is the most decorated figure skater in U.S. history, Michelle Kwan has won an unprecedented 42 championships, including five World Championships (1996, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2003), eight consecutive and eight overall U.S. Championship titles, (1996, 1998-2005) and two Olympic medals (silver-1998, bronze-2002) .

In the nearly 100-year history of ladies figure skating, Michelle's five World titles and nine overall world medals (five gold, three silver, 1 bronze) in nine consecutive years (1996-2004) are all marks that have been bettered only by the immortal Sonja Henie of Norway (10 titles/11 medals/11 consecutive years) ... She is the only woman in figure skating history to reclaim the World title three times (1998, 2000, 2003) ... Kwan's eight consecutive U.S. Championship titles (1998-2005) and 12 consecutive U.S. Championship medals (1994-2005) are both U.S. records .
skatingHer nine career U.S. titles tie the legendary Maribel Vinson, who won nine titles in the 1920s-30s; and her mark of 12 U.S. medals (9 gold, 3 silver) are the most in U.S. skating history ... In her career she has received 57 perfect 6.0 marks in major competitions, the most of any U.S. skater in history, and any singles skater ever ... She has been awarded at least one 6.0 in each of her last five U.S. Championships, a U.S. record ... Her winning long and short performances at the 1998 U.S. Championships, where she received 15 perfect 6.0 marks (out of a possible 18) for artistry over the course of the event, is the most by any skater in the history of U.S. Figure Skating.

In June 2009, she graduated with a bachelor's degree in international studies and a minor in political science. She then chose to pursue a graduate degree in international relations at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University

On November 9, 2006, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice named Michelle Kwan as a public diplomacy ambassador. In this non-salaried position, Kwan will represent American values especially to young people and sports enthusiasts and is expected to travel widely. Kwan made her first overseas trip in the capacity of public diplomacy ambassador with a visit to China from January 17–January 25, 2007.

Michelle's diplomatic position as an Envoy has continued in the Barack Obama administration where she has worked with vice-president Joe Biden and Secretary-of-State Hillary Clinton.

The following is Michelle's 1998 National Championship performance.  It is one of the two skating performaces that has brought me to tears. This is my favorite competion skating performance.

Friday, February 19, 2010

PAST JOURNAL ENTRY: 6/18/07...filling in the gaps

Trigger Warning!!!

I am feeling panicked and almost terrified to share this with you.  I can feel myself start to go away...my fingers are tingly, things are beginning to become echoy.  Coleen, just stay here, stay here.  I actually wrote a story about my life of abuse using excerpts from 2007 forward when the flashback really became intense and I was still working full time.  Although the following is out of sequence from my past journal entries, I think that it will help explain what was going on in the last entries.  This was written on 6/18/07 when I remembered what occured.

Gary...I was surprised by my reaction to talking about “the medium on the hill” church. I remember it was an evening service (I think a Friday, I don’t remember going to school the next day) in a small church on some sort of residential or resort grounds. In the front was a podium and two kneelers behind. I remember being able to get candy and maybe a word puzzle book at the liquor store just before the turn off PCH. I had to wear a dress even though not all women did. Maye went with us most of the time. I remember, I was the only child there because my mother and Maye made special arrangements because usually children as young as I was did not stay. There were some teenagers there.

The woman’s voice scared me because she was almost shouting and quite flamboyant. Sort of like the Pentecostal churches. She would give a “message,” there was music and time for prayer. During most of it, I sat on the floor coloring, completing the puzzles or reading, so I really did not hear much of what was going on. It seemed like I blocked it out because I remember that I knew the reason that I was there was to receive prayer. Prayer for others, I saw included laying on of hands and what must have been some type of tongues. It scared me. I also remember that I did not want to go up there. I felt like I knew I was going to be hurt physically. Felt like I had to be dragged by my mother and Gene gave me that look. I felt absolutely terrified, panicked and wanted to run, but I knew that two of the men would run after me. Having all those people encircle me and touch me to pray really freaked me out and what they said scared me especially since I did not understand much of it.

Apparently, my mother had spoken with the woman before because she knew what Maye, Gene and my mother wanted her to pray for me. She called me evil and that my family stated that I was evil because I did not follow my parents’ directions and rules and rejects father. I remember feeling angry that she referred to Gene as my parent and father. She added that she also knows because of her special gift from God that I was extremely stubborn and something to the effect of defiant. I don’t remember what was exactly said, but this is the gist of what I remember, but I am using adult terms.

After what seemed like a really long time of prayer, in which, I was sore from kneeling and my neck being pushed down as someone put their hand on my head and as they got tired they began leaning on my head. She stated that the devil was inside and was stubborn to leave, but needs to leave so that the evil inside of me would leave too. To me that meant I would no longer be evil. (I’ve had lost of slide show type flashbacks the weekend which have been quite disturbing and I feel like I really need to talk and really don’t want to because I keep thinking that I’m making it up…like I can’t believe that they would be involved in a cult like church. Also, that there has been so much that I’ve remembered already makes it hard to believe that something happened here too. I do know that I felt extremely terrified when we talked about it at the end of session on Wednesday. Every time, I think about the church, I get spacey, dizzy, buzzy and numb.)

After the prayer, I don’t know what happens next, but I know I am going to feel physical pain, where I don’t know. I kept thinking I’m going to get hurt after they pray. I remember thinking of running, but knew if I ran they would catch me and the pain would be worse. I remember wanting my mother to protect me, confused that she was allowing this, even made arrangements for it and being really angry at her for being a part of this, having no one to turn to or to explain things. Gene and my mother even helped them hurt me. I don’t know how. All I know right now is that I felt a lot of physical pain, but I don’t even know where. But, I can remember being inside the church, some of what people including myself was wearing, the odors especially of the incense (and perfumes, colognes, candles burning, and the wood of the building and pews), can hear the crickets and frogs outside, etc…I am absolutely terrified. (I’ve been having nightmares about the church and have not slept the last two nights very well. I had difficulty falling asleep, which is not the norm for me. I’ve been falling asleep around 3 am. I really don’t like not knowing.)

Flashbacks include: There is a table with a purple cloth covering it. The “medium” is wearing a long purple and black dress. I’m on the table naked…someone holding my arms down and someone holding my feet and legs to the table. A choice was given for me to either be held down or tied down…I don’t understand. I don’t know who got to make the decision. I’m extremely embarrassed…exposed…buttocks healing from bruises, various stages…Everyone in the church can see me. At first I could leave my underwear on, but the “medium” sees some of the bruises showing from my white lacey edged underwear. The “medium” says that my mother and Gene did not do enough…and this is such a difficult case that the whole church needs to help…rejection of parents is the same as rejecting god. she wanted me to cry and then I would stop being hurt, but I couldn’t and I was trying…so I need to bleed…don’t know how, where or with what…who is holding me…suggested salt to absorb and protect me from evil…basin of water…

(just vague flashes during the weekend and as I am trying to fall asleep. Could not even nap even with my PRNs. Somewhere in the middle of the events, I go completely away and wake up at home the next morning hoping it was a dream, but it wasn’t. Feeling really overwhelmed, panicked and terrified to talk about this, but I do want to know more. Feeling really crazy and in disbelief…I’m sure I’m making this up. I’m really quite terrified and don’t know what to do or what is going on. Feeling really crazy, flooded and overwhelmed.)

Remember these are events that I remembered in June of 2007 and are not currently occuring.

Isaiah 49 :15 -16

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