(Belated) Sunday Smorgasbord

Yes, I know, it's Monday.  But I fell asleep last night before I could post the smorgasbord, so without any further adieu...

It's once again time for your weekly Sunday (Monday?) Smorgasbord, where I trawl the web for the latest ED-related news, research, and more, so you don't have to!

A Losing Personality: Being neurotic boosts your chances of losing weight—lusting for adventure does not. A fascinating look at personality traits and weight loss- the links to eating disorders are really obvious.

The rise of the lifestyle nutritionist.

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Diet Season...

Smorgasbord of genomes for food lovers.

Think you can take a holiday from your eating disorder recovery? Alas, no. You can't.

Free online workbook, Overcoming Disordered Eating.

Need support for loneliness? Find out about website webofloneliness.com here.

Trouble with your health insurance coverage for ED treatment? Report insurance non-compliance with the Mental Health Parity Act.

What is "eating competence" and does it work?

"Real doctors, real people" series profiles Dr. Cynthia Bulik, her life as an ice skater, scientist.

Geneen Roth on how stopping the calorie counting changed her life.

Hungry for Meaning: Why Tofu Burgers Taste Better than You'd Expect.

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hm said...

The Losing Personality article was hilarious, although I'm sure it wasn't meant to be. It is for sure inadvertently describing ED sufferers! The one about not taking a holiday from your ED made me sad... I see the truth in it but it sucks. I do not get the "eating competence" article, at all. I even went to this Ellyn Satter's site and still didn't get it. I suppose that says something about my own eating competence.

Cathy (UK) said...

Some interesting articles here as usual; I always enjoy your Smorgasbord :)

I must admit that I dislike the article: 'It's beginning to look like diet season'... mainly because I dislike the feminist perspective on EDs and the suggestion that we could (even should) look in the mirror and tell ourselves how much we love our bodies - alongside all this 'body confidence' and 'real women' nonsense.

I find all the advertising about weight loss products and celebrity diet and exercise DVDs that come out post-Christmas hilarious. But not just hilarious; BORING. People 'buy into' advertising far too much. Let's face it, we live in an obesogenic, consumerist society. Some people stuff themselves silly over Christmas and then proceed to diet in the New Year as part of their 'New Year Resolutions' (the latter also being silly). Yoyo dieting is more unhealthy than is being overweight...

The only people who seem to worry about post-Christmas dieting malarkey are people who don't need to worry about being overweight because they're anorexic, or some feminists who interpret advertising and money-making from a body image (rather than health) perspective, and come up with all this drivel about 'loving your body'...

Anonymous said...

I also found the Losing Personality article hilarious but for different reasons - according to it I should be obese, and during my ED I was at very low weights, now I'm still slim but healthy. Guess novelty-seeking ain't all that bad after all. (also, wave hi for all the non-restrictive AN sufferers out there who probably wouldn't fit the neurotic/harm avoidant tags either)

Cathy - I can't help wondering if the feminist perspective on EDs isn't oversimplified a bit by calling it 'drivel about loving your body'. that makes it sound intrinsically shallow, but the fact remains that a vast majority of ED sufferers are female and there must be a reason for that. sure it doesn't affect everyone with an ED, but I and many others would argue that women are specifically pressured to define ourselves by our appearance and to 'have it all' (aka if you want to be independent, go for it, but you should be hotandthin too). I think if there's a reason for those of us with genetic predisposition to EDs to actually start down that path, for many of us looking at what it means to be female in modern society wouldn't be a bad start. I almost feel like body image and feminism are dirty words on this blog and I'm not too sure why.

Cathy (UK) said...

@evilfii - I am not criticising feminism per se, just feminist theories relating to EDs, and especially AN. EDs comprise a pattern of compulsive behaviours in which an individual 'gets stuck'. It is probably true that for some women, body dissatisfaction is the cause of the dieting that triggers the ED. But body dissatisfaction can arise of its own accord and need not be related to culture; it may result from teasing, bullying, abuse, or simply, puberty. Some girls cannot cope with the bodily changes of puberty and the expectations of adolescent life - which include issues relating to sexuality and intimacy, developing an identity, excelling in schoolwork etc.

I, for one, maintain that everyone's experience of an ED is individual, even though there will always be a similarities between some sufferers. But what I object to is the axiomatic assumption that EDs are caused by body dissatisfaction or are synonymous with body image distortion. People can have severe EDs in which they attempt to keep their weight dangerously low because starvation and low weight numb emotions and help control anxiety. Some people's EDs aren't even about weight or body image.

As for the 'love your body'/'real women'/'body confidence stuff': this only serves to inflame our societal obsession with weight and shape. The intention is well-meaning, but it merely draws attention to the body as a means of judging one's personal value/self worth.

Anonymous said...

actually I couldn't agree with your last paragraph more ;)
as for the rest - probably a difference of interpretation. I also get irritated with very stereotypical media portrayals of EDs...you know, the 'did you starve yourself to look like Victoria Beckham' type thing! but I would argue for a balanced view on it which doesn't dismiss body image, most especially wrt BN and EDNOS which may be where we are talking about different things. I don't necessarily agree that body dissatisfaction can be divorced from culture though - even with issues like bullying etc you have to wonder why weight is a focus of teasing for young kids in the first place.

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I'm a science writer, a jewelry design artist, a bookworm, a complete geek, and mom to a wonderful kitty. I am also recovering from a decade-plus battle with anorexia nervosa. I believe that complete recovery is possible, and that the first step along that path is full nutrition.

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