Saturday, February 26, 2011

National Eating Disorder Awareness Week

This is something that I wrote to all of my facebook friends. It was hard to do. I like to just keep my mouth shut and not talk about hard things. But I did it. And if it helps just one was totally worth it.
I have had this topic on my heart especially this week because it is National Eating Disorders Week. I wanted to write to you all (yes I tagged practically all of my friends) about something that is very important and personal to me. I don’t want anyone to feel like they have to read this (sorry for the length). I am not going to post any grotesque pictures for you to see. However, if you have an eating disorder, know someone who has one, or have never met someone who has an eating disorder, I hope that this helps you to realize the significance and detrimental consequences of this disease that is skyrocketing in our society today.

Did you know that out of all the mental illnesses, eating disorders are the number one killer? Currently, there are 11 million people in the United States suffer from anorexia nervosa and bulimia. Millions more suffer from binge eating disorder. Eating disorders are mental illnesses just like depression, schizophrenia, or Alzheimer’s. The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders found 18-20% of anorexics will be dead after 20 years due to suicide or heart failure and only 30-40% will ever fully recover. Those with anorexia nervosa are 12 times as likely to die between the ages of 15 and 24 than ANY OTHER causes of death for females. Not many people know these facts.

It is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. However, not many people talk about eating disorders because they are:
  1. A sensitive topic
  2. Viewed as “selfish” and “vain”
  3. Misunderstood.
This is seen by the fact that funding for schizophrenia is over 210 times as much as the funding for the research of eating disorders. Yet, the mortality rate for those with eating disorders shoots way above the mortality rate of those with schizophrenia.

<span>What are the eating disorders? </span>
Eating disorders are different for everyone. Some may struggle with one thing and some may struggle with another. There is no real model for eating disorders. These are just the most common.

Those who have anorexia nervosa restrict their intake of food and over exercise. Those who have anorexia nervosa don’t eat enough food to fuel their bodies resulting in them losing weight dramatically. These patients are many times hospitalized once they reach down to 90-100 pounds. However, there are many who fall to 80, even 70 pounds. These patients have to be tube fed and restricted to bed rest for several months. These are the side effects that anorexics experience:
Fatigue and loss of energy
Hypertension (low blood pressure)
Dizziness due to low blood pressure
Fine hair growth on body (lanugo hair)
Hair loss
Pins and needles (parathesia due to changes in the peripheral changes in the nervous system)
Brittle nails and fragile bones due to low calcium
Increased vulnerability to osteoporosis
Anaemia and pale skin due to low iron levels
Easy bruising
Susceptibility to cold due to loss of insulation
Edema (tissue swelling from water) due to electrolyte imbalances
Cessation of menstruation
Strain on most of the bodies organs
Thyroid dysfunction
Irregularity in the secretion of growth hormone
Potential kidney failure
Urinary tract infections
Chronic indigestion
Potential liver failure

Bulimia patients induce weight loss by vomiting the food they have eaten. Many will binge and then purge the food that they eat. There is also exercise bulimia which is rapidly increasing. Those with exercise bulimia may eat a normal amount of food but then proceed to exercise for a very long amount of time. And when I mean a long amount of time, I mean they exercise most of the day. The symptoms for bulimia include:
Low potassium (loss of electrolytes)
Kidney damage
Heart irregularities and possible cardiac arrest
Increased cavities in teeth due to loss of tooth enamel
Hoarseness of voice
Swollen glands
Erosion of the enamel of back teeth (from vomiting)
Broken blood vessels in the face
Constant sore throat
Erosion of the esophagus
Hiatal hernis

Those who have binge eating disorder eat large amounts of food in order to cope with emotional distress. Symptoms include:
Type 2 diabetes
Gallbladder disease
High cholesterol
High blood pressure
Heart disease 
Certain types of cancer
Joint and muscle pain
Gastrointestinal problems
Sleep apnea

<span>Mental Symptoms:</span>
Among all of these symptoms, most of those with eating disorders will tell you the worst part is the mental pain they experience. Eating disordered individuals in most cases are:
Extremely Depressed
Enormously self conscious to the point that they literally hate themselves and think that everyone else hates them too.
In a constant state of thinking about food, exercise, and dieting.
Obsessed with weighing themselves (many weigh themselves at any chance they can get).
Unable to eat food made by someone else or eat food in front of someone else.
The scary part about eating disorders is that when an individual is so low in their weight, a chemical called edema kicks in and causes them to become swollen and puffy. For a person with an eating disorder, this causes them to see themselves as larger than they are.

<span>What are the causes of eating disorders?</span>
There is not one specific cause of eating disorders. The key factor is that eating disorders areMENTAL ILNESSES. They are caused by depression, abuse, loneliness, family issues, friend issues, bullying, and so much more. They are even learning that their may be a certain brain make up that may make someone more likely to have an eating disorder. Those with eating disorders are trying to find SOME WAY to be acceptable, loved, and worthy. The media is probably one of the largest factors. The media equates beauty with happiness. Those who are searching for happiness see being skinny as their only way to get out of a situation or to be loved.
The average female is 5’4” and 140 pounds. The average model is 5’11” and 117 pounds. Yet we admire and look at models as “thin, fit, happy, and beautiful”. This unhealthy media portrayal of women affects young girls and boys. Between the ages of 11 and 13, fifty percent of girls think they are overweight. Eighty percent of 13 year old children have tried to lose weight.

Something needs to be done.

What can you do?
Learn more about it. The information I got was from an organization called NEDA. Here is their website which is full of information, help, and encouragement: Please watch this video if you have a moment:
Talk about it. Warn your friends and family about eating disorders and help others to see the dangers of starving and purging your way to thinness and eating in order to cope with life’s challenges. This is a great program that NEDA started:
Watch what you say. Do you find yourself talking about food in a negative manner? Do you talk about how others are “lazy, unhealthy, large (or even fat)” in front of others? Keep these thoughts to yourself. Who is it helping by breaking down yourself by telling others how you “shouldn’t have eaten this, or should have worked out harder, etc.”? Food is not bad. It is food. Nourishment for our bodies. Please don’t talk about food as though it is harmful. This is not only to help those who have eating disorders. Obesity is a growing concern in our world. However, even talking negatively about food and exercise is hurting the obese and making them feel inadequate and never able to achieve health.
Tell someone. If you know someone who has symptoms or who you suspect might have an eating disorder, tell someone. First, try talking to the person. Most likely, they will not see their problem and not believe you. So go and talk to their parents or go and get a group of friends to talk to them.
This topic is something that is extremely personal to me. I am on a journey to find a life where food is seen as nourishment and exercise is not something that I have to do every day in order to be healthy. It is my goal to help the world realize that being beautiful and thin is not what brings happiness. There is a Higher Power at work that will wipe away all the pain, sorrows, and tears that hurt brings.
Anyone who knows me knows that I love exercise and eating healthfully. Therefore, I am not saying that we should all start eating Twinkies and fried chicken. Health can be achieved by eating a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and “healthy” fats. Exercise in the form of running for 30 minutes a day, strengthening your muscles by lifting weights, riding your bike, or playing a sport can help people mentally and physically. Everything just needs to be in moderation. The world needs to find that happy balance.

NEDA’s mission statement is: “NEDA envisions a world without eating disorders.”

Let’s do our best to make this vision a reality.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Fennel Orange Cranberry Sauce.....and musings on life.

Hello bloggies! Hope you all had a wonderful National Almonds Day! I had a kinda crappy one to be honest. I ate my oatmeal that morning that consisted of almonds, 1/2 banana, peanut butter, agave, oats of course, and butter. Whew. the butter about gave me a heart attack. I am terrified of butter. Probably one of my favorite biggest fear foods. My counselor/nutritionist told me that I am still not eating enough fats. She said either eat 4 tablespoons of peanut butter or put in a tsp. of butter. So I put the butter. It took me about 1/2 of an hour to eat it. So hard. But I got through it. Lunch was misery. I was feeling SO guilty about the butter in my oatmeal that eating lunch was like pulling teeth. I was on the brink of tears when a classmate came up and sat next to me. Can't start cryin' to a 50 year old woman from your statistics class about having to eat a salad, garlic bread, and spaghetti. was a hard day. But the next day was better. Today I put on some old pants that for the last 6 months have been HUGE on me. Now they fit just right. I know I should be happy and rejoicing but I just don't feel like it. Gaining weight is hard people. Harder than most people think. I feel like being a couch potato and eating as much as I can is my job. I can't wait till I am at a healthy weight again and just stay their. It will come soon. I just wish it would come sooner. Enough of Debbie Downer.....lets move on to that recipe I promised a while ago:

Fennel Orange Cranberry Sauce by David Lieberman -6 to 8 servings
8 oz of frozen or fresh cranberries (whole)
1/2 naval orange, zested
1 whole naval orange, juiced
1/4 cup of agave nectar or 1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
Directions: combine ingredients in saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, until cranberries begin to break down and water evaporates, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

I am telling you. EVERY person who has eaten this has hated it said it is the best cranberry sauce ever! It is so simple too! Put it on turkey, chicken, in rice, on your oatmeal, on a sandwich, on anything and it will make it delicious! You have to try it!

I read a really helpful short article from a magazine we get. It is called "Coming out and going in!" and it is taken from UCB's Word for Today. It goes like this:

"Before God's people could get out of Egypt, Pharaoh made them three different offers. To each Moses said, "no". If he had not they'd never have got out! First, Pharaoh said, "go, only leave your children here." Next, he said, "go only leave your business here." Finally, he said, "go, only don't go too far". Listen to what Moses told him, "there shall not an hoof be left behind", Exodus 10.26. That's what you've got to do too- look the enemy in the eye and say, "No! I'm taking my family, I'm taking my business, and I'm going all the way with God!" That's what it takes to get out of Egypt!

But then there is the question of getting into the Promised Land? That happens city at a time... one habit at a time.... one attitude at a time and one step of faith at a time. 

Never speak words that make the enemy think he's still in control- he's not! The bible says you have the authority to drive him out - and He's got to go, Luke 10:17. If you allow him even an inch, he'll turn it into a stronghold, Ephesians 4:27.

Rise up in faith today and announce, "I'm coming out and I'm going in!"

A couple eats from the last couple weeks:
                                              I don't like Jif PB but it was almost empty so I snatched it up and ate my oatmeal out of it!

Salad at school with garbanzo of my favorite toppings!

"Orange pinwheels" with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice with a side of almonds! YUM!
Hope that you all have a grand weekend!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Happy National Almond Day!

YAY! It is National Almond Day!

Be sure to eat lots of almonds today in celebration! Almonds have tons and tons of nutrients! Check out this website to learn more about how almonds can prevent cancer, osteoporosis, heart disease and much more:!

What is your favorite nut?
Mine is almonds...duh! hahah! I also LOVE walnuts, brazillian nuts (try right good and unique), cashews, peanuts, pretty much all of them except pecans!

How are you going to celebrate National Almond Day?
MMmmmm.....I am going to eat almonds in my oats, on my salad, in my yogurt, as a snack....etc!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

New Year's Resolutions....a month late! :P Part One.

Good Morning Bloggy World!

I hope everyone is doing just grand today! I certainly am. Last night I did not feel this way. In fact I kind of came to a breaking point.

This is how I felt.
I seriously was at one of the closest moments I have been to wanting to give up. I looked in the mirror and saw what I thought was a fat pig who was hideous inside and out. Yesterday I didn't eat much. And I did it consciously. Part of it was that I have a cold so my appetite was not huge but I also restricted. I was home alone and while I was doing some body checking and pinching and squeezing of my "fat" ( and necessary fat to live) I told myself that I hated myself and was fat and ugly and that NOBODY liked me.I yelled that I wanted to die. I was saying it to God. I used to beg and plead to God that I would die. I haven't done this in a long time. I am sad that I would do something like that again. I ran through my head all of the rejections from friends and others and equated my appearance with the rejection. I told myself, "No wonder I have no friends. I am hideous and annoying and ugly and horrible." You see...since I have no CLOSE CLOSE BFFs right now....I think that I have NO friends....which is completely untrue. I have plenty of friends at school and ones from high school that I still am friends with. But since I don't see them often and I don't make an effort to be social I figure that no one likes me. Silly. And you know what made me feel the most ugly? My attitude. I feel SO guilty to God for hating myself so much. I still do. But this morning I awakened refreshed and invigorated to make a change.

One thing that is helping me is this book:

Great book. You should go get it. It makes me feel normal and not alone. At the beginning of each chapter there is a quote. The one for the Chapter called , "Do it for You," says, 
"The person who seeks all their applause from outside has their happiness in another's keeping." 
Read that several times to really let it sink in. Its very profound, true, and enlightening. I need to make myself happy for me and God. NO ONE ELSE. I will never ever ever ever please EVERYONE. NEVER. And that's okay! The only people I need to please is the Lord and myself. (aside from obeying parents and of course I am not going to go around hurting people to please myself.... you get the idea)

So this is my new and ultimate New Year's Resolution (a month late)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am going to STOP....STOP....STOP pleasing others. RIGHT NOW. This is it. NO MORE.

I also came up with a list of 
Goals For 2011:
1 Weight XXX (healthy weight) and maintain.
2 After weighing XXX pounds stop weighing myself.
3 Read Bible everyday BEFORE homework, exercising, and computer time.(I usually end up at the end of the day reading for about 1 minute before bed because I put it off all day.)
4 Pray at least 5x's a day.( I probably pray once or twice a day. I don't even give thanks for food anymore. Not good.) 
5 Find 5 positive things each day about myself and repeat them out loud (suggestion from book).
6 Don't body check.
7 Don't not wear something because it shows curves..
8 Take 2 rest days from exercise a week.
9 Do only 2 days of cardio a week.
10 Study for only 5 hours a day. Stop after five hours (I study WAY TOO MUCH!)
11 Every time I feel ugly, fat, etc.......pray. (This one is going to help a lot...I know it.) 

So these are my goals that are things that I need to change about myself. I have another list of more fun goals! I will post those next.(Please don't compare yourself to these goals. Everybody has different goals/standards. These are just mine.)

Now because I am pretty much a go with the flow kind of person PERFECTIONIST, I would normally follow these goal religiously and beat myself up if I don't do something for just one day. I am not going to do that. These are things I want to strive for. As long as I make some effort......I am accomplishing something. A quote from the book above helped me to realize this. Micheal Addison Read said, 
"Since every failure is a lesson, every challenge an opportunityy, and every joy a triumph, it's hard to go wrong."

Monday, February 7, 2011

No time no

Hello! Wow. It has been way to long since I have posted. I have been keeping busy with out of town guests, school, counseling, church, piano, family, rooting for the Packers (woohoo!), and eating new foods!

As far as recovery is going well. Almost too well for my taste. I have gained 3 pounds in 2 weeks. SCARY AS HECK! I have re-introduced full fat yogurt, full fat cheese, and butter into my diet. And kind of packs on the a good way. I am really proud of myself for gaining steadily.

The scariest thing right now is the way I look. In two weeks I feel like I am huge. I know it is unrealistic because 3 pounds is not a HUGE amount of weight. But others and myself have been noticing. My sister and mom have been really encouraging to me by saying that my butt is getting bigger and that I have bigger arms......but I can't see the positive. I was honestly hoping that even if I gained weight....I wouldn't change sizes/shape if I kept on working out and stuff. Irrational I know, but I almost believed that it would be true. Well its not. And I guess this is my next step in recovery. I have to learn to accept my body.

Right now I am eating a delicious salad consisting of arugala (LOVE), nappa cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, vidalia onions, cilantro, almonds, feta, ranch, and yellow mustard. Before that I had a bowl of stew and half a slice of bread. Oh yeah....I have started eating bread again...with butter on it! Hardest thing. But I am doing it.

Last Friday I ate at an Ethiopian restaurant. Ummm. Let me say that it was very ..... different. Not a huge fan. Here is a picture of the restaurant :

The food was about the strangest ever: doro wott
Everyone in your group basically just tears off pieces of the bread stuff called injera (NASTY!) and scoop up the meat and veggies with it.

The meal was redeemed by going to get fro-yo!!!!!!! YUM! We got Pinkberry Fro-Yo! I got chocolate fro-yo with hazelnut butter (DIVINE), pumpkin granola, and half of a wafer cookie on the top. (gotta bring those calories up!

DEBBIE DOWNER: Ugh....I am now eating an orange that is far from disappointing seeing as how the oranges lately have been INCREDIBLE! Seriously...go buy oranges right now!

Do you put yellow mustard on your salads? DO IT! Learned it from this lovely
Is it hard to hear other people say that you have gained weight (as a compliment)?
Have you ever eaten Ethiopian food?