Friday, October 02, 2009

Interview with Dr. Katharine Loeb

Here's the latest in a series of video interviews with some of the top researchers in the field of eating disorders, done by Jane Cawley, co-chair of Maudsley Parents. This interview with Dr. Katharine Loeb of the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine offers sound, practical advice for parents of teens with anorexia.

Anorexia Nervosa in Teens: What Parents Should Know from Jane Cawley on Vimeo.

Take a look. Let me know what you think.

Monday, September 28, 2009

In honor of the High Holidays. . . .

Long before anorexia came to our house, I refused to fast on Yom Kippur. I understand the idea behind a 24-hour fast: to "cleanse" the mind of its emphasis on the corporeal, and to refocus it for a time on the spiritual.

For me, though, a fast made me think more about my body and its needs, not less. Standing in synagogue, beating my breast, all I could think about was food and hunger.

At 13, the first year I was "allowed" to fast, I became so ill with hunger that sometime during that long afternoon, I ate part of a candy bar I found buried in the sandbox behind our synagogue, and spent the rest of the night throwing up.

Personally, I'm much more able to feel spiritual when I'm well fed, well rested, and centered.

Jews wish one another an easy fast in honor of Yom Kippur. Since I don't fast--and since I hope those of you who are actively dealing with an eating disorder are not fasting either--I will wish you instead a day of contemplation, of connection to yourself and others, and a refocusing on your true appetites, whether they are spiritual, physical, emotional, or creative. Whatever your concept of holiness, I hope you can find some corner of it today.

To help you along, here's a gorgeous recording of Jacqueline du Pre playing Kol Nidre, courtesy of my friend Kay.