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spamwarrior
05-27-2009, 06:02 AM
Hey,

I'm looking for an expert on diets and/or eating disorders. Multiple experts are ok. Thanks!

backslashbaby
05-27-2009, 06:09 AM
More info, please :)

I had an eating disorder, which can be useful for a character that has one. I'm not in the field or anything, and what I know about diet is not abouts diets. The big D word is not allowed, as you might imagine :)

Don't know if that's what you are looking for, but there it is.

Maiden
05-27-2009, 07:28 AM
I have suffered from a couple eating disorders, and my best friend has the opposite of what I had.

I also have spent time with nutritionists and diet experts.

You might try just posting the question/questions you have and see what kind of insight you can get. Usually if no one knows they can help point you in the right direction.

daehedr
05-27-2009, 08:46 PM
I work as a volunteer with the Food and Nutritional Sciences Department in the University where I work. My thesis was on Fat is a Feminist Issue and I do a lot of research around eating disorders, obesity issues, bariatric surgeries and dietary issues for diabetes if that helps at all.

Faith

spamwarrior
05-27-2009, 09:14 PM
Thanks a lot for the responses! ;)

The questions i had were;

1. What do you think of the current hype on diets? Everywhere you look there's talk about diets, etc.

2. Do you think this puts pressure on people to compare themselves to an "ideal"?

3. For people who have struggled with eating disorders, what pressures did you feel? (i.e. pressure to be perfect, live up to someone's standards, make someone happy, etc)

4. If you have recovered/are recovering, what made you decide to do so?

5. Is anyone familiar with the pro-ana/mia sites that are up on the web? If so, what is your take on those?

Thanks for your time!

Maiden
05-27-2009, 09:54 PM
A bit on the personal side here but part of my eating disorders stemmed from the fact that I have extreme obsessive OCD. Controlling my food is just one of the things I obsess about. It also became a way to deal with severe anxiety. It might not make much sense to most people I am sure. It actually start when I was a teen with self esteem issues. Then after my first child I gained a lot of weight which did nothing to help my warped image of myself. That is when the eating disorders got bad. After struggling for years with it I gave up. I ended up dropping over hundred pounds in a few months. I lost most of my muscle tone and it also worsened some digestive issues I have among other things.

Then I got pregnant with my second and I am a strong believer in giving babies the best starts possible. So I adopted healthy , albeit still obsessive, eating habit (no MSG, caffeine, etc.)

Now after my third child it is still a struggle to not fall back into it. Not that I am perfect and haven't slipped up. I have to remind myself I have to be healthy for my kids.

Not the easiest to share something as personal as eating disorders and not sure if it helped any. As for you other question I try not to pay much attention to fad diets. Most are horrible for you or just don't work. Eating right and being active (and consuming enough water) are the best plans for a diet. To the issue of people feeling force to be "ideal," all the people I know who suffered with eating disorders are not people who are greatly overweight. It is usually more of a control thing or a coping mechanism. but I do think that people, young people more so, feel pressured to fit a stereotype of beauty and perfection.

Alpha Echo
05-27-2009, 10:12 PM
Thanks a lot for the responses! ;)

The questions i had were;

1. What do you think of the current hype on diets? Everywhere you look there's talk about diets, etc. Media has a lot to do with it. I think that contributes to healthy people thinking they are too fat. Models and movie stars are torn apart if caught with a wrinkle or dimple where it shouldn't be, as though being normal is wrong. They also spend so much money getting things nipped and tucked that it's hard to know what a normal healthy human being should even look like! Also, somehow, especially America, has turned into such a glutinous (ew spelling) nation that many people don't even know how to eat healthy. They they realize they're overweight and want a miracle cure - hence the diet fads. If we all just lived healthy life styles, if we hadn't become a nation of fried and processed foods and ate more natural foods, I think a lot of the hype would be gone.

2. Do you think this puts pressure on people to compare themselves to an "ideal"? Absolutely.

3. For people who have struggled with eating disorders, what pressures did you feel? (i.e. pressure to be perfect, live up to someone's standards, make someone happy, etc) It wasn't about any kind of pressure, not really. It was like a fight with the scale. When the number on the scale started going down, for me, it was an addiction. Well, I can lose 5 more pounds. Now 5 more. And if I gained a couple pounds, I looked at myself and was disgusted. I'm actually still working on this now. Feel free to PM me if you have other questions. But for me, it wasn't about anyone else. It was only pressure put on me by myself.

4. If you have recovered/are recovering, what made you decide to do so? All along, I've known it wasn't healthy for me, what I was doing. I still struggle. I'm not completely recovered. I have to try to remind myself of what I'm doing to my insides, even if it's not reflected on the outside. I also try to remind myself, since I am a Christian, that my body belongs to God, not myself. And I'm hurting him as much as myself.

5. Is anyone familiar with the pro-ana/mia sites that are up on the web? If so, what is your take on those? Vaguely. I think some can be helpful, but some I feel seem to just increase the way you're all ready feeling, validate what you're feeling.

Thanks for your time!

You're welcome!

spamwarrior
05-27-2009, 11:21 PM
Thank you, Maiden and Alpha_echo! That has helped me a lot.

Any more responses from anyone else/registered dietitians/people suffering from ED or recovering welcome!

One final question: What would advice would you give a teenager (or young woman) suffering from an eating disorder?

Maiden
05-28-2009, 12:23 AM
I am not the best at advice. I guess I would tell her (or him) to not be ashamed but that they need help and support from people who understand. There are plenty of support groups and counseling that is free. There are healthier and easier ways to lose weight. Getting to the root of why it all started is important.

Giving anyone advice is hard, and young people/teens it can get tricky. The thing about eating disorders is that most do not know someone has one until they seek help or something bad happens. Usually by the time that their appearance shows how bad they have gotten it is so far gone they will need serious help. By that I mean daily monitoring, doctors, and a lot of care. I have known some that had to put hospitalized in the mental ward.

So I would have to be speaking to a general person who might be listening. For that they should know they aren't alone. That people of all ages struggle with it and it isn't easy for any of us.

Wow, I was rambling there sorry :)

spamwarrior
05-28-2009, 08:54 PM
Thanks, Maiden. That helps!

backslashbaby
05-28-2009, 09:21 PM
---




1. What do you think of the current hype on diets? Everywhere you look there's talk about diets, etc.

I understand it because of the number of overweight people looking to find something that works, but I believe it has many effects on children and adolescents. In the end, it's better all around to push for eating healthily for health and try to leave looks out of it, imho.

2. Do you think this puts pressure on people to compare themselves to an "ideal"?

When I see a girl who is already too thin by many standards in a commercial for The Special K Diet - as the girl starting the diet! - I get angry now. I used to obsess about how fat I must be then, if she needs to diet. I had no idea what normal was, but that was part of the pathology.

3. For people who have struggled with eating disorders, what pressures did you feel? (i.e. pressure to be perfect, live up to someone's standards, make someone happy, etc)

All of that and more. It was about control, lack of control, wanting to be perfect due to needing to be perfect. Mine was a background where anything less than perfect was not OK. Even perfect was not OK half the time. Unfortunately, teachers and coaches solidified the messages I got at home.

4. If you have recovered/are recovering, what made you decide to do so?

I got into too much trouble, honestly. I switched behaviors, and it took years before I stopped that, too. After I was older and really did have more control over things.

5. Is anyone familiar with the pro-ana/mia sites that are up on the web? If so, what is your take on those?

They are hideous, but it doesn't surprise me at all. It was nothing for a group of friends to encourage each other not to eat. "I did 4 days!" "Man, how cool; I could only do 3." "Yeah, but Heather had milk. That's cheating..."

One final question: What would advice would you give a teenager (or young woman) suffering from an eating disorder?

Therapy. Specialized therapy.

Alpha Echo
05-28-2009, 09:38 PM
Thank you, Maiden and Alpha_echo! That has helped me a lot.

Any more responses from anyone else/registered dietitians/people suffering from ED or recovering welcome!

One final question: What would advice would you give a teenager (or young woman) suffering from an eating disorder?

Advice is tough b/c I still have my own issues, and I'm not entirely clear on why I have the issues in the first place. Though I didn't have the issues when I was younger and into dance, and it's gotten better since I started running. Not b/c it helped maintain weight - I was never overweight anyway. But b/c it gives me something to do. I can set goals and feel great once they are accomplished. So perhaps the advice I would have is to be active. Surround yourself with only positive people - you don't want your best friend to constantly be talking about how fat she is or thinks she is. Regardless of the reason for the eating disorder, if I'm around someone who is like that, I'm contantly reassessing the size of my own waist.

daehedr
05-28-2009, 09:40 PM
Eating disorders are a problem both ways too much and too little food. In the case of the plus size woman we have fat hatred "you are going to die because you are obsese" , and on the other side the too skinny whether or not it is due to diet, disease or genetics. We just don't accept the range of body sizes that make up the beauty of human beings and in particular we force unrealistic expectations on women to conform to a "type". In the clinic I work in we are also seeing more and more boys and men suffering from body dismorphic conditions such as anorexia and bulimia.

diet hype is exactly that - they don't work and every nutritionist and dietician knows it. One also has to be aware of the crappy science reporting that is rampant these days. The truth is that most "diets" are about the money. If you want really interesting and truthful stuff about diets and obesity check out junkfoodscience.com all the facts you are not being told site is by Sandy Swarc ex-managing editor at Meredith Corporation (Better Homes and Gardens).

pro-ana sites very very very scary they promote anorexia and teach teens how to become anorexic and bulimic and not get caught. They are dangerous.

Peer support for teenagers and working with specialized therapists with a long history of dealing with eating disorders. Teens will listen to other teens who are dealing with this easier than adults.

I see mothers in the clinic all the time who claim they don't pressure their girls but they themselves hate their bodies. No good therapist will be able to work with a teenagers until they assess the parent and home to see where the atitudes originate.

spamwarrior
05-30-2009, 10:57 PM
Thank you for your honesty.

Daehedr, I think it's really interesting. I'd read magazines like Oprah and Prevention, and they'd write an article about the "3 best diets, once and for all." And then a few months later, or even only ONE month later, they'd write another article about the "5 best diets, once and for all." Different diets.

Same with fitness and exercising. "The best 5 exercises to tone your tummy, once and for all." Then in another week or so, it's different exercises to tone your tummy. All demonstrated by skinny women.

What do you think about mothers who talk all the time about how skinny they should be, and how much weight they have to lose, in front of their daughters?

Smiling Ted
05-31-2009, 11:30 PM
One of the biggest problems - and one that is totally unrecognized - is the whole idea of the short-term diet.

A diet is something you start and finish. But if you gain or lose an unhealthy amount of weight over time when you aren't on a diet, then merely going on one for a specific amount of time won't help - you haven't addressed your underlying issues, and you will gain the weight back once you stop. Maybe that's okay if you all have to lose is five or ten pounds. It isn't for larger weights.

Nutrisystem, the Biggest Loser, Kirstie Alley - these are all examples of the dangers of the extreme short-term approach. People lose the weight, then gain it all back - and more. (Hence those "results not typical" disclaimers.)

daehedr
06-01-2009, 06:39 PM
One of the biggest challenges we face is the mixed message and a mother who is constantly berating herself and has no confidence in her own body sends a message to her daughter that she is also not good enough. Mothers fail to realize the significance of their own body hatred and its affect on their children and it doesn't just apply to weight, aging, plastic surgery all those things add up to a woman who isn't happy with herself and therefore her daughter will suffer the same and in more and more cases sons are also feeling the fall out.

Smiling Ted it is true that the media doesn't recognize the inherent dangers of short term weight loss because obviously these are the "quick fixes" that we want to see in our "reality tv world". Truth is that much of the damage done to people is done through these types of weight loss. It was proved in the 70's that yo-yo dieters did far more damage to their hearts than people who just stayed fat, the heart is a muscle the first place we lose weight when we diet is our muscles. It has been proven by the NIH that in truth fat people live longer than skinny people and that the national level of obesity has not risen significantly since 2003.

The media is not interested in the truth about the larger body type otherwise they would have debunked the BMI years ago. Remember Tom Cruise, Arnold S, Sly Stallone and many many others are considered obese, fact is BMI does not take into account muscle mass which weighs way more than fat and as an indicator of health BMI is useless. Weight or fat predjudice does more than damage an individual pysche it damages all of us.