Better With Sprinkles

The Colourful Side to Healthy Living.

WIAW: Eating Disorders Awareness Week.

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Good morning! 3 things before I get on with it:

1. Thank you so much for all your comments on yesterday’s post. I always feel a little nervous and vulnerable posting stuff like that, but you guys remind me why I love this community so damn much. Thank for all your support!

2. A huge shoutout to my cousin Adam and his wife Melissa on the birth of their first baby! A boy born Saturday night – I can’t wait to meet the little guy.

3. I have my stats midterm today. Send me good vibes!

Yup – it’s that time of the week again!

So last week was Eating Disorders Awareness Week in Canada. This week, it’s in the States. Considering my own history, it’s no surprise that I do my best to spread awareness and offer support to those who suffer with ED’s.

London is home to Hope’s Garden, the only eating disorder resource centre in the area. It runs solely off of volunteers and donations – they don’t get any government funding whatsoever. Every year during EDAW, they host a breakfast at the Hilton Hotel to raise funds. Of course, I went last year and enjoyed it, so my mom and I purchased tickets again.

After getting up at a somewhat ungodly hour (registration started at 6:30 am) my Mom and I headed down to the Hilton. We checked in and we immediately headed over to look at the silent auction and draws.

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I was really hoping to win the Chil Froyo gift card, but no luck there (we will still hit it up sometime, Chelsea!)

It was planned so that the breakfast would occur before the speakers, so we headed over to the buffet tables. It was a fairly typical (but still delicious) fancy hotel breakfast spread – frittata, bacon, sausage, hash browns, fruit, pastries and cheese.

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I helped myself to bacon, the veggie frittata, fruit, and cheese (I have no idea what kind of cheese that was, but it looked intriguing. It was pretty good!). My mom and I also split a croissant. After breakfast and some opening remarks, it was time for the keynote speakers.

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First up was Julie Rochefort, with a talk entitled: ‘Becoming a Body Image Warrior’. Julie is a Registered Dietitian who focuses on obesity and weight discrimination. She talked about how the science concerning ‘healthy weight’ is flawed, and how weight isn’t the best predictor of health.

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The fact that this book exists (and is aimed at 6-12 year olds) is so, so shameful for our society. “Maggie” is bullied at school, loses weight by eating ‘better’ and exercising for hours, and becomes super-popular and a star soccer player. I had heard of the book before, but not in that much detail – WHY does this exist?! And really, what kind of lesson does this book teach kids?

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At the end of her presentation, Julie left us with this message, and I love it. I feel like most people approach RD’s because in their mind, getting healthier = losing weight. I loved hearing Julie’s mindset that we need to take ownership of our bodies the way they are supposed to be. She invited us to take a pledge to celebrate both our bodies and the bodies of those around us – real bodies, real people, no unrealistic expectations.

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Of course, my name is on there Smile (And oh my god, how do people walk in pencil skirts?! I felt like I could barely move my knees all morning).

The second speaker was Jan Pryde, who is on the Board of Directors at Hope’s.

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Jan is extremely passionate about the fight against eating disorders, because she has been watching her 26 year old daughter struggle for twelve years. She talked about the experiences she’s had with her daughter, climaxing when Jan carried her daughter threw hospital doors last June, at less than 60 pounds and blood pressure that was barely registering on the scale (I can’t remember the exact numbers, but it was something like 48/20). By some miracle, her daughter survived.

Jan was an amazing speaker, letting her passion for the fight against ED’s flow through her words. She discussed how eating disorders leave scars and battle wounds on our hearts, and how eating disorders become a battleground between the sufferer and the disease.

It was one of the most heart-wrenching, inspiring talks I’ve ever witnessed. Of course, she received a standing ovation, and when she brought her daughter up with her on stage…yup. Any chance of me getting out of there with my mascara intact was gone.

While I do not consider myself lucky for my own struggle with anorexia, I am extremely grateful that I was able to pull back when I did, as opposed to letting my anorexia continue to dig it’s claws deeper. Listening to Jan was a reminder that I am one of the lucky ones in the sense that I’ve escaped my struggles, but I need to keep fighting the battle on behalf of everyone who comes in contact with this horrible, harrowing disease.

Hope’s Garden does truly amazing work with ED patients – I know, because I reached out to them when I was ready for my own recovery. I attended their group meetings for the better part of a year, and through them found my fantastic therapist, who was absolutely vital in the process of my self-discovery. I don’t exactly have a lot of extra funds available for donating to charity (grad student problems) but I will always be happy to help out Hope’s Garden with my time, support and money. And of course, if you are in the area and you are (or know someone) who is struggling, I completely recommend turning to them – it was one of the smartest decisions I’ve ever made.

Of course, Jan’s talk brought to mind how extremely grateful I am for my parent’s support in my recovery – therapy ain’t cheap, and I can only imagine how scary it must have been to watch their daughter slowly wasting away, unable to understand why or how to make it stop. I love you guys and I will be forever thankful for all the love and support that you’ve always shown me, whether in my recovery, my education, my goals, and every other aspect of my life.

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And my mom makes a fantastic breakfast date Smile

 

But now that I’ve managed to make myself tear up…moving on.

Although I didn’t win the froyo gift cards, we cleaned up pretty nicely with the draws Open-mouthed smile

Prizes

That fig balsamic vinegar I’ve been using on my spinach salads lately? Courtesy of a gift basket from Olive-Me & Co, a specialty olive oil and balsamic store in North London. The balsamics I won are: fig , chili, and an 18 year old traditional. The olive oils: citrus habanero, Italian herb, and sundried tomato parmesan and garlic. I’ve tried most of them, and I have yet to be disappointed! I think I need to get a really good french loaf this weekend to really enjoy them. The prize also came with that cookbook, but I don’t use quinoa too often and I already have a similar one. So I forwarded it on to an aunt of mine.

We also got a HUGE giftbasket full of 3M stuff – tape dispensers, band aids, page dividers…

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And post-its…so many post its. (Amanda, I know you’re jealous Smile with tongue out)

So this post is already pretty massive, so a quick speed through the rest of the day’s meals:

Lunch

Lunch

Salad – romaine, bell pepper, chopped baby carrots, tomato, blackberries and chicken, topped with a tzatziki yogurt dressing. A slice of multigrain toast with butter on the side.

A small bowl of my mom’s homemade chicken noodle soup.

Snack

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The Simply Bar in Cocoa Coffee – so I like coffee in dessert and in bar form, but just not in drink form? I think this needs to be my strategy to get myself to like coffee…

Dinner

For dinner, I was feeling inspired by Chelsea’s Turkey Sausage, White Bean and Kale Soup. I followed her recipe, but I subbed kidney beans for the white beans and spinach for the kale. I also threw in a bit of dried basil.

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It’s pretty damn fabulous – I ate it for lunch every day afterwards Smile

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Palate cleanser…

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And a nighttime snack of cottage cheese, cinnamon raisin swirl PB, and chocolate chips.

So…wow, epically long. Hopefully you plowed through it!

<— Had you heard of “Maggie Goes on a Diet” before? Does it piss you off as much as it does me?

<— Tell me someone you’re grateful for.

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39 thoughts on “WIAW: Eating Disorders Awareness Week.

  1. I actually heard about that book and posted about it a while ago – I felt so ragey when I read it. Books like that are the reason why eating disorders are so prevalent amongst youngsters. What irked me most was the idea that weight and happiness are directly linked. If you can’t find happiness from within, losing infinite amounts of weight cannot make u happy!

    Thank you for sharing about this event, Sam. I’m sure it didn’t bring back the best memories but am so glad you walked away from the ED stronger 🙂

  2. Where do they sel the simply bars? I want to try them! I am thankful that I am off work tomorrow, its going to be a long day today!

  3. Oh my gosh, that’s incredible. Her daughter survived? You don’t hear about those kind of stories often turing out so well, that’s a miracle for sure. I’m excited (sorta? Should you be excited for ED awareness) to help spread the word this week!

  4. I wish I could go to an even like that. It would be so inspirational and motivating. I’m glad you got to experience it and share it with us. That book is really, really sad. Young kids SHOULD NOT be going on diets. I’m sorry, but no. They will grow out of it and it’s more important to educate them on the importance of balanced, healthy diets with active lifestyles. That doesn’t mean “working out” it means playing outside with friends, running around in a game of tag, climbing on swingsets. If we start teaching kids to diet now, they’ll never have a healthy relationship with food.
    I’m glad you went with your mom; I feel like that would be a really great bonding experience to have together.

  5. I also have been loving the chocolate chips in my yogurt at night, almost tastes like frozen yogurt.

  6. That’s an amazing story about the lady with the 26 year old daughter that she survived. That is so scary 😦 Thank you for sharing all this. And no, I have never heard about that book but I’m already pissed off from the little things you said about it.

  7. WHAT??? I have never heard of that book and am absolutely disgusted with it. I really can’t believe that that exists. This sounds like an amazing experience, love, and I’m glad that you were able to participate with your mom no less. It makes me happy to know how supportive your family was/is through everything. Mine was as well and i know i wouldn’t be here today without them since they were the ones who fought for me when i coudn’t fight for myself

  8. Best of luck Sam, sure all your hard work will pay off 🙂 and congratulations on your cousin’s baby! The picture of you and your mum is lovely too – you look very smart! Maggie Goes On A Diet sounds just awful, I can’t believe that it available. Who even wrote that?! Surely if a book needs to be banned, it’s this one (well if they can ban Harry Potter..)

  9. These kinds of conventions and conferences are what I wish I could attend more often. I went to one that was very similar in VA that hit home with the amount of dieting that is happening at a younger age. I still remember my therapist saying that her clients were getting younger, even at the age of six up which is just crazy. I am grateful I grew up in a family where dieting was not even on my mind, sadly I didn’t escape the social pressures in high school. Thanks for speaking about ED awareness week, I am doing a post this week because i think it is a great reminder of the fights that people are still dealing with out there.

  10. So that Maggie book is just… oh wow. My left eye is twitching in an uncontrollable rage. I’ve never heard of it before, but I honestly can’t believe that they let things like that on the market. And people wonder why we have the problems that we do? It breaks my heart to hear about young girls “dieting”, especially because the age at which they start seems to be getting younger and younger. Growing up, I can’t honestly remember dieting ever crossing my mind… My mom never worried about her weight, which is actually something that I’m extremely grateful for – having a family that is basically a perfect example of what ‘normal eating’ really is… Gah. I’m almost afraid of what my own kids (when I actually have them) are going to have to face 😦

    PS – congrats to your cousin! And definitely sending you good midterm writing vibes!!
    PPS – yes, I am jealous of your Post-It note treasures…

    • That is something to be grateful for, for sure. It definitely helps to grow up in that sort of environment!
      And yes, that Maggie book drives me absolutely insane. As someone else mentioned, Harry Potter can get banned but this book is ok?! Insane.

  11. Wow, what a neat experience you got to go to the Hope’s Garden event, the fact there are so many folks rallying for ED Recovery is encouraging. I have not heard of the book, it’s asinine, that is a ridiculous message to send to CHILDREN! I am grateful for having a supportive family & it looks like you do as well!

  12. Sounds like a really good conference! I would have been interested to go to something like that;
    I can’t believe about that book..i’ve never heard about it before but it sounds horrendous..
    what worse a message can you give out?!

  13. Sounds like an interesting and thought-provoking event. Your melon from breakfast looks so good! I can’t wait for it to come back in season.

  14. I have never heard of that book, but it sounds completely awful!! What kind of message is that sending girls?? That you have to lose weight to be successful and happy in life?? That sounds like such a fantastic and touching event that you went to; it sounds like you had a wonderful time. That story about Jan Pryde’s daughter is both incredibly sad and incredibly wonderful–in the sense that her daughter was able to survive such a terrible experience. I can’t even imagine what my parents felt like when I was underweight and unhealthy; it must have been so stressful, and I feel so guilty for causing them so much pain–even if I never got to the point when I had to be hospitalized. I feel so extraordinarily grateful for my family and friends; they have always been so supportive of me, and I could never thank them enough for everything they’ve done!!

  15. That event sounds amazing and empowering!

    – KW
    http://musthaveboxes.com/

  16. WOW Sam I’m in tears. This experience sounds so moving and empowering. I’m so glad you shared. You are one of the strongest people I know, and I look to you for inspiration daily.
    On another note, that soup sounds killer, and I really need to try it.
    Love you girl!

  17. Wow two shout outs in one post? Don’t I feel special! 😉 1. Yes we definitely need a Chil date soon! They have a new maple flavour that is incredible! 2. I’m glad you enjoyed the soup!

    Also that’s awesome you went to that breakfast – I was thinking about going, but then I forgot about it. I wish I had gone! I would have been pretty disturbed by that book too… whatever happened to children’s books about hungry caterpillars and paper bag princesses? 😛

    I’m grateful for my sister. She’s seriously my best friend!

  18. OH my gosh. So many Post-Its! It’s like my dream come true! I’m glad you had a good time at the conference. 🙂

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