Tuesday, December 09, 2008

What I said

Nearly a year ago I wrote a post about Oprah's public battle with weight. Back then I wondered whether anyone could "win" the "battle of the bulge," if Oprah with all her money and resources couldn't.

Now the comment is a bit different: If Oprah, with all her ups and downs, her struggles to accept herself as she is, her repudiation of her body and her appetite, can't learn to love herself, then who can?

The answer: You can. I can. Even Oprah can.

But to do that, you've got to let go of the fantasy image of yourself as you wish you were.

You've got to grieve for the vision of yourself you've held dear for so long. You've got to grieve for that perfect you, the one who floats effortlessly through the world, svelte, unsinkable, emotionally airbrushed. You've got to learn to love instead what you've got: your thighs and your big heart, your dreams and your pores, all of them part of the same imperfect and vastly more interesting package than any airbrushed toothpick-thin fantasy could ever be.

Oprah, if you're reading this, I'm rooting for you--not to lose that weight again, but to gain something infinitely more precious: yourself.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Round-up time!

I've been a Very Bad Blogger recently, for which I am deeply sorry. :-) Here are a few tidbits to tide you over until I can come up with a brilliant new post.

First, 3 new studies looking for participants:

The Mount Sinai Eating and Weight Disorders Program is offering study treatment as part of a federally funded study (Principal Investigator: Katharine Loeb, PhD) for children and adolescents with symptoms of anorexia nervosa. If your child is 10-17 years old, is medically stable, and is developing signs and symptoms of an eating disorder, s/he may be eligible to participate. The study is approved by the Mount Sinai School of Medicine Institutional Board (Protocol 04-0978, approved through 8/31/09). For more information, call Lauren Alfano, 212-659-8724.

The University of Chicago is looking for adolescents with bulimia nervosa and their families for participation in a 6-month outpatient treatment research study. (Principal Investigator: Daniel le Grange, PhD) The purpose of this research study is to identify effective outpatient psychological treatments for adolescents with bulimia nervosa.
To be eligible the child must be between 12 and 18, be living with at least one parent, and have a diagnosis of bulimia nervosa or partial bulimia nervosa. Participating families will engage in 6 months of outpatient therapy for bulimia nervosa at The University of Chicago Hospitals. These treatments have the potential to bring about improvement in eating disorder symptoms. For more information, please call the bulimia nervosa treatment study at (773) 834-5677, email bulimia@yoda.bsd.uchicago.edu, or visit the Treatment of Bulimic Adolescents Study webpage.

The Johns Hopkins Eating Disorders Program is looking for women 18-40 years old with bulimia nervosa interested in a research study funded by the Klarman Family Foundation. (Principal Investigator: Angela Guarda, MD.) The study includes a health assessment, blood testing, and pictures of the brain taken using a medical scanner. Eligible women will be paid up to $400 for their participation and will be offered 6 weeks of outpatient treatment. Please call (410) 955-3863 for more information.

Next, mark another milestone in the Fight Against Good Foods/Bad Foods: Researchers in Spain have found that a handful of nuts added to your diet each day lower cholesterol and other cardiovascular risk factors. Whether this will actually decrease heart attacks and strokes is anybody's guess. The good part from my POV is that it moves nuts back out of the "bad food" category. Someday, somehow, we will abolish those categories . . . and this is a step in the right direction.

And finally, a shameless plug for my upcoming anthology, Feed Me!: The first review is in, and it's a good one, from Booklist. To see it, join the Feed Me! Facebook group--I've posted it there.

Send me your food/eating/body image news to get me through the grading of final projects. Thanks!