Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Picky Eaters Might Suffer from Eating Disorder

According to an article at Life Science, picky adult and picky child eaters might actually suffer from an eating disorder, rather than just be annoying brats. "Selective eating disorder, more commonly known as very picky eating. Instead of having a couple foods they'd rather avoid, the way most of us do, people with selective eating disorder feel there are very few foods they are even capable of eating." So, instead of say, avoiding onions or disliking beets, those with selective eating disorder will only eat very very few things--like one man quoted as only eating crackers, peanut butter, grilled cheese and chocolate milk. Everything else, according to this patient looks like "a plate of barf." Its not just "stubbornness," but extreme food aversion. Some of the treatments for selective eating disorder mirror the treatment of obsessive compulsive disorder or OCD because many of the thought patterns that develop around food are similar to those who ritually wash their hands over and over or engage in other obsessive behaviors.

As with anything dealing with food, there was quite a lot of backlash in the Jezebel comments that covered this issue (well, honestly, backlash on both sides--quite a few "picky eaters" came out of the closet to combat the "just eat it" crowd). When you read about patients like the man described above, limited to four foods and not possibly getting the kinds of nutrient you need to thrive, its very sad and treatment needs to be taken seriously. Same for all eating disorders, which now account for 4% of all children's hospitalizations. But the general trend toward indulging "picky eaters" or more accurately, the encouragement of all children to become "picky eaters" through the proliferation of "children's foods" --you know, mac n' cheese, grilled cheese, chicken fingers (no bones EVAR), fries and general crap--is a very bad development. In France, French children eat "food," not adult food, not children's food, but "food"--same for India. We pathologize food, advertise it, brand it, plastic wrap it, etc. I'm sure that their are children (& adults) with OCD or selective eating disorder, but in cultures where its expected that children eat what they are prepared, and what their parents eat, it is probably easier to identify and deal with. In our culture, "picky eating" is almost an expected phase...that can turn into a lifetime of poor eating habits, nutrient deficits and familial conflict. My brother was a picky eater and he's a picky adult eater--he's never really grown out of the "kids menu" mentality and that sucks, but at least he recognizes that its bad and tries to get his daughter to eat a more varied diet. I'm not saying, starve your children until they eat what's given to them, although I know one person that worked for (a friend wouldn't eat what her mother made, so instead of giving in and making her something else, she had to stay at the table until she had at least three bites...she refused, went to bed hungry, then the next morning they put out the same meal...she finally gave into the those three bites and she's a varied eater to this day.) It sounds really tough, but watching my poor mother make three separate meals, one for my picky-eater brother, one for my vegetarian sister, one for my dad, me and her was exhausting. Now looking into picky eating--is your kid or are you adverse to certain foods because you might be lactose or gluten intolerant? These are avenues of exploration that need to be traversed, but the best way to prevent picky eating is to only serve your family one kind of meal and expect everyone will try it. Expectations often predict behavior, but spreading awareness that sometimes picky eating is actually a full-blown eating disorder (or could develop into an eating disorder) is crucial in our conversations about food, food culture and eating REAL FOOD.

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW: Bad Girls Club Kristen Kelly Says 'I Could Have Been Raped'

Radar Online Reports: Kristen Kelly from the Bad Girl's club reports that she was drugged during the wild behaviour that got her kicked off the show.

Kristen stated:

"I was victimized, somebody put a something in my drink, somebody could have hurt me, somebody could have killed me. I could have been raped."

"This is a very serious situation. People are date raped and drugged everyday. Every night when you go out, you really need to protect yourself and you can't think you're invincible like I did."

I don't condone the antics of the Bad Girl's Club, but Kristen does have a point that partying has its dangers. Every person going out needs to be mindful of their surroundings, "friends", and beverage consumption.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Just Watch

Aids PSA Topsy from Human Music & Sound Design on Vimeo.

Here's Selinah, a woman afflicted with AIDS. She agreed to be filmed once a day for 90 days. This is part of a program to help show that treatment for HIV/AIDS really works. Warning: it might make you cry, but in a good way. Right now, there are some really harmful rumors at work (in the US as well as abroad) that it is the HIV drugs that makes people sick, not HIV. Even the former president of South Africa trumpeted this concept (South Africa: An estimated 5.6 million people were living with HIV and AIDS in South Africa in 2009, more than in any other country.1 It is believed that in 2009, an estimated 310,000 South Africans died of AIDS.2 Prevalence is 17.8 percent among those aged 15-49, with some age groups being particularly affected. 3 Almost one-in-three women aged 25-29, and over a quarter of men aged 30-34, are living with HIV.)

This video and other outreach programs like it are helping to dispel the harmful myths that 1.) HIV isn't the cause of AIDS; 2.) those infected with HIV in developing countries "can't be responsible enough" to take the expensive drugs that help HIV patients in developed nations lead almost normal lives.


Notre Dame's Punt in the Probe of Lizzy Seeberg's Sad Death

Melinda Henneberger reports on the hypocrisy of cheering on a sports teams when one of its members is under suspicion of a sexual assault that lead to a suicide.

The author is correct that as a society we must separate reality from hero worship. We cannot participate in hate and cover ups to preserve the reputation of our heroes. If people do wrong we need to hold them accountable.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Reading Recommendation: How the Skinny Bitch Discourse Isolates Women

Check out this very thoughtful post a Jezebel: "How the Skinny Bitch Discourse Isolates Women."

Some salient points of interest:

The key change in the past decade around skinniness is the explicit recognition of thinness as a marker not only of status, but of proud isolation from other women.

It seems likely that this "discourse of female cruelty" works in tandem with the narrative of compulsory individuality to suggest to young women that theirs is a hyper-competitive world where success is a solitary and sexualized pursuit. Whether it's chasing grades or getting guys, even your sisters are nothing more than "frenemies" at best.

What's new is that rather than seeking to strengthen young women's bonds with each other, the dominant cultural message seems determined to fray them further. The relentless reminder that other girls are mean and manipulative combines with the suggestion that success (good colleges, good boyfriends, good jobs, good praise) is scarcer than ever and requires ever more competitive effort.

I have a friend, "J" and she is a size 2. When she went to study abroad, her host mother was so offended by how thin she was, she insisted that she take second and third helpings of lunch and dinner. She was able to gain 8lbs after a full semester of rich, plentiful French food. She went home for Christmas, her mother was THRILLED to see that she had gained 8lbs! She lost the weight--over the freakin' holidays! Her metabolism was just too fast to maintain that 8lb weight gain without eating past her level of comfort/satiety on a regular basis. She has had to endure "skinny bitch" joking or not comments most of her life. She is not "a mean girl"--she is lovely and a delight. Perfectionism, extreme self-control, A-type personality, "bitchiness"--these are the stereotypes that characterize the very thin. Lazy, out-of-control, "jolly," ignorant--these are the stereotypes that characterize the fat. No one body type has market-control over laziness or bitchiness. People in all shapes and sizes exhibit personality disorders, as well as kindness, diligence and compassion. The article referenced above does an excellent job of looking at isolation and the alienation of women/girls from one another through body-type ideation. In order for fat-activists and body-acceptance activists to succeed in making the content of our character our markers rather than our body-types, we need to help our very-thin sisters feel included in these discussions. This means avoiding making those "eat a sandwich" jokes and supporting eating disorder victims (even when their own disorders makes them cringe when they see average/fat people).
Vive la différence!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Jilted: Hetero's Sanctifying Marriage Reality TV Style

Ummm, yuck. So the premise is that a woman who is in a relationship gives her man an ultimatum: marry me (in a week's time) or we're breaking up...and my humiliation will be on the TeeeeVeeee if you "jilt" me at the altar. Once again, yuck. I'm fine with adults having serious conversations about marriage/commitment, maybe even timelines (reasonable timelines--one week is not enough for self-reflection), but this is just gross. Once again, hetero's are proving how very sacred marriage is and how soooo in danger marriage would be if the gay's got to do it.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Mila Kunis & Natalie Portman Starve for their Art?!?

Both Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis plummeted their already skinny BMI's into starvation territory for their latest film, The Black Swan, about anorexic ballet dancers. Kunis said that her family "freaked out" and "started panicking" when they saw her after five months of hard dieting to under 95lbs. Director Darren Aronofsky "recently admitted he became so worried about Portman's weight loss , he begged the skinny actress to eat."

Kunis probably had the most interesting quote when she said:

"I could see why this industry is so f**ked up, because at 95 pounds, I would literally look at myself in the mirror and I was like, 'Oh my God! I had no shape, no boobs, no a**... All you saw was bone. I was like, 'This looks gross'. But in photographs and on film, it looked amazing..."

She also said that gaining the weight back was emotionally difficult because the extreme dieting had altered her comfort with her previous (very thin, but not starving) shape.

Now, Christian Bale nearly starved himself for "The Machinist" and then packed on the muscle and pounds when he played Batman the next year. Usually when you hear about an actor altering their weight for a role, its the other way around. Renee Zwelliger is "brave" for gaining 30lbs and Tom Hanks had tons of fun gaining weight for "A League of their Own," but this weight-loss of already thin actresses into menses losing levels seems quite dangerous. Bad job, Hollywood.

Giuliana Rancic: I Get 63 IVF Shots a Month

US magazine reports:

Bill and Giuliana Rancic say that they're toughing it out with their IVF treatments -- sometimes involving more than 60 shots in a month -- to get pregnant.

The stars of Giuliana and Bill first opened up about their miscarriage in October. "It was several months of guilt and sadness," Giuliana, 36, told The View.

I commend Guiliana for keeping it real in Hollywood. IVF is no quick fix. So many Hollywood starlets are delaying pregnancies due to career. Then at 40 they do an interview about how she naturally conceived and gave birth. It could happen but probably didn't.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

35th Great American Smoke Out, Today

Today is the 35th Annual Great American Smoke Out. The goal isn't to quit cold-turkey today and fail, but rather to take the day to make a plan for quitting. Check out more details HERE.

Also from their website:

The American Cancer Society is marking the 35th Great American Smokeout on November 18 by encouraging smokers to use the date to make a plan to quit, or to plan in advance and quit smoking that day. By doing so, smokers will be taking an important step towards a healthier life – one that can lead to reducing cancer risk. Quitting smoking is not easy, but it can be done. To have the best chance of quitting successfully, you need to know what you're up against, what your options are, and where to go for help.

Turning Up the Resistance

So, I was at the gym the other day, enjoying a Gilmore Girls episode, while plugging away at the elliptical...and guess what happened? I didn't feel the workout. Yes ladies and gentlemen, I'm getting in better shape. So, I turned up the resistance. I've lost some weight recently, so I had to add some back via my cardio equipment. This is a good thing, but it also reminds me that you really do need to check in with your body when exercising. Its so easy to get into routines and fitness ruts. Many exercise gurus suggest never doing the same routine day in and day out, and I do get that, BUT its better to commit to 30 minutes on the elliptical a few days a week plus some toning than skipping out because you're worried you're working out the same muscle groups. Right now, I'm happy to have a gym routine that works for me, with an eye down the road at varying things come Spring. Still, its important to notice what your body is telling you. In my case it was: you need a harder workout. Sometimes it might be saying, "slow down" or "ouch." All of these signals are important for life-long fitness regimes and self-care.

Kelly Osbourne Poses in a Bikini

US Magazine Reports:

"I've never worn a bikini in my whole life," says Osbourne, who tells the magazine she's shed 50 lbs over the past year, USA Today reports. "I was called fat and ugly in the press almost my entire life.

"...I understand that being judged by others comes with the territory, but it broke my heart and ruined my self-esteem," says the 5-foot-2 star, who now weighs 112 lbs. "It sets you up to hate yourself in a huge way. I was so angry about the things people said about me."

I think the Bikini goal of health and fitness is always overkill, but I agree with her comments that constantly being put down ruins your self-esteem.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Diva of the Week: Adele

Her new album drops soon. I really liked her first.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Cary Tennis: Reasonable Advice Giver Today

So, sometimes I like to email my friends Cary Tennis' column at Salon and make fun of his ability to completely avoid answering the question of his letter writers, to wax poetic about life, art & the meaning of life. His column is great because the letters are usually thoughtful and much more detailed than most advice column queries tend to be. Other people's problems are interesting, sometimes...

Well anyway, today Cary actually got straight to the point and answered the letter writer's question. HERE's the Column. Essentially, she's 30, her boyfriend is 25, they are both in Ph.D. programs and she's ready to be almost ready for kids and he's much further off the mark. Should she dump him? Cary told her to clarify his timeline--does he think he'll be ready in 4 years or 10 years? Based on those possible scenerios he tells her to think provisionally about this relationship. "In other words, don't put all your eggs in one basket." This may be unromantic, but its real. I agree with him.

Which gets me to another point, I think that just as gender norms can get in our way of living our lives as we feel most comfortable (waiting for prince charming to ask us out), I think that romantic norms can get in the way of going after what we really want. Everything must be "natural" "spontaneous" or at the very least "destined" according to Romantic Comedy wisdom, but the real world seldom works out that way. So, here, she's having to make some very non-romantic decisions and it sucks, but its real. So, readers, what unromantic thing have you had to deal with to make your personal life fit with your life's goals? Share in the comments.

Thank You Onion!

Today Now!: How To Thrust Your Fat Into A More Appealing Shape

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Half of Me Addict

Okay, seriously, I need to stop linking to Jennette at Half of Me or you'll just think that this is a blog devoted to her blog, but seriously, here's a really good post about how obesity is framed as a moral failing rather than a disease (like how lepers were once shunned because it was an indicator or their inherent evilness or AIDS was "punishment" for being gay, not understood as an infection of HIV). Seriously, check it out (and I promise to stop linking to her for at least a week).

Friday, November 12, 2010

Vintage Beauties: Jennifer Love-Hewitt

Jennifer Love Hewitt was a lead character on Party of Five in the 90's. She was picked as a vintage beauty because she had such a great complexion.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Designated Fat Girl

Check out this article written by Jennifer Joyner at Salon. First off, I'm gonna warn you that its heavy reading and potentially triggering to people who suffer from food addiction or eating disorders. Thirdly, what was REALLY triggering for me (triggering me to fly into a blind rage) was the comments at Salon regarding this piece. Not all, but several were unbelieveably hateful and completely lacking in human compassion. Jennette over at Half of Me has a review of Ms. Joyner's new book, Designated Fat Girl, which deals with eat disorder, her body image problems (actually, her abject self-loating), her botched gastric bypass and coming out of this dark tunnel, thinner but still grappling with her food addiction. Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Wanna Win a Quaker Oats Amazing Morning Kit?

Leave a comment at Ann P's Blog HERE if you would like a chance to win her snazzy Quaker Oats Amazing Morning Kit, which includes lots of lovely oatmeal and a yoga mat. The kit includes:
  • A yoga mat
  • A copy of Bob Harper’s latest Yoga DVD
  • Four packages of Quaker’s new Hearty Medleys Instant Oatmeal in two flavors, Apple Cranberry Almond and Banana Walnut
  • A journal
  • An oatmeal bowl
  • Coupons for more free oatmeal
  • A cloth napkin and spoon
  • A super cute old-school alarm clock
Seriously, I need to start gettin' free stuff to give away myself!

Check Out this Interview with Hillary Clinton--She's Funny!

Diplomacy is generally a stuffy affair, so its nice to see Hillary Clinton (in Australia, on a comedy show) just be her delightful self. Hillary 2016!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Vintage Beauties: Kellie Shanygne Williams

Kellie Shanygne Williams played Laura Winslow on Family Matters . She was picked as a vintage beauty because her character represented a good womanly character.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Demi Lovato Was A 'Cutter' Before Entering Rehab

Radaronline.com reports:
In wake of the shocking news that Disney darling Demi Lovato has entered rehab for what her rep describes as "emotional and physical issues", one reason for her entering treatment could be is that she's a "cutter" - a person who self-mutilates as a way of releasing inner pain.

My heart goes out to her. As a child/teen star, I am sure agents/executives/fans/critics have requested a lot. Many times these requests are to much to ask of an adult let alone a child. I think we as a society should move back to evaluating people on their talent and not their looks. I believe this one gesture can sooth much of the drama celebrities create for themselves.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween Candy

So, usually, we have left over Halloween Candy, but this year I had to do an emergency run 1/2 way into the trick-or-treating timeframe and pick up more because we ran out! We were almost cleaned out of the emergency back-up candy too (although we do have a couple pieces left). In my rush to find some candy last minute at the grocery, I picked up my new favorite candy: Take5. Its a salty pretzel covered in chocolate, caramel, and peanut butter. Its really good. I had two. Around the food/health blogosphere, I've seen alot of "fess up, what did you eat" posts. I'm not gonna do that...rather, what candy is your favorite? Are you the kind of person who can have their favorite candy around and eat it over time reasonably? Do you dread Halloween or love it? Let us know in the comments.

November Resolutions

November Resolutions:

I love perpetual self-improvement projects (I don't always necessarily meet all my goals and challenges, but the process itself is often helpful). So, I'm stealing Kim's idea from The Kim Challenge and I'm going to set some resolutions for the month of November (she does this every month at her blog).

1. Get enough sleep. Lately, House Hunters International and/or one of the New Housewives franchise has me staying up too late and then getting up still tired at 6:00 a.m. I need to try to be in bed by 10:00 p.m. reading or trying to sleep. No more TV in bed past 10 p.m.

2. Really commit to strength-training in November. I've been walking outdoors because its the last nice outdoor walking season until after March, but I haven't lifted a weight or done a squat in quite a while. Somehow at the gym, its easier to go from the elliptical to the weight room than it is to walk outdoors and then do some handweights/home-variety toning exercises. This month I will try to squeeze the last outdoor exercise possibilities while also remembering the weights.

3. Remember my vitamins. I'm pretty good on this score already, but I want to make sure that my vitamin regime is a firm habit, not just an occasional habit.

So, what about you, readers? Any November resolutions? These three seem pretty doable to me. They aren't huge resolutions like change a job or get married by 25th birthday kinda stuff. Sleep, pick up a hand weight and take your vitamins. These are within my reach.