National Eating Disorders Association

In today’s society, there is a plethora of diets and health fads that take the media by storm. Some are short-lived like the Atkins Diet, while others stick around like gum on a telephone pole. But all-to-often the diets in the media focus on avoiding or restricting certain foods or engaging in behaviors that we cannot maintain long-term. Even more confusing, popular diets and trends can contradict one another, and we bounce around like ping pong balls trying one fad and then another.

NEDA’s Junior Board is made up of nine passionate individuals who are dedicated to making strides in the fight against eating disorders. These individuals have pledged to assist the work of NEDA as both advocates and fundraisers. Their major fundraising event of the year, called Striking Out Eating Disorders, was held June 5th in New York City at Frames Bowling Lounge.

Mia is a lot like any high school student, but after hearing an unpleasant remark about her body, she resorts to dangerous extremes that begin to worry her classmates. She starts crash-dieting and over-exercising. She develops a dangerous eating disorder.

Weight-loss diet scams are “a crisis in consumer protection,” said Senator Claire McCaskill in a Congressional hearing this week on false advertising. The Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Insurance, led by McCaskill, convened the hearing to “examine the deceptive advertising and marketing practices of weight-loss products and their effects on American consumers.”

The New York State Senate and Assembly have passed S2530/A5294, legislation that amends the public health law to establish the Eating Disorders Awareness and Prevention Program within the New York State Department of Health.

Last night, NEDA’s President & CEO, Lynn Grefe, was honored by Women’s e-News (WeNews) as one of the 21 Leaders for the 21st Century. Lynn was specifically recognized among the 21 leaders as one of the Seven Who Speak Across our Generations – leaders who are dedicated to improving the lives of women and girls.

In my monthly writing group (we call ourselves the Journalistas), I led three other writers and myself to list the Steppingstones of our marriages.  I think of Steppingstones as milestones.  I've heard Kathleen Adams, author of Journal to the Self: Twenty-Two Paths to Personal Growth, define them as before-and-after moments in that, looking back, you can see that something changed distinctly as a result of this Steppingstone event.

“I am not as sick as the other women… I don’t need treatment.”

I heard this statement from time to time in my role as a support staff counselor in an eating disorder rehab. My response? I’d say,
“Interesting. Tell me, what makes you less sick than the others?”

The answers I would hear were:
“I am not that underweight…”
“I am not that overweight…”
“I am not as crazy as her…”
“I am not as angry as her…”

I would then ask,

It was a time when courage was essential.  It was a time when tears, shock, rage and grief were unleashed as if I'd pried open a Pandora's Box.  It was a time when innumerable doors began to swing open, new connections form and my intimate darkness fade to make room for the light of My Life, a time ending in the sunshine.

In my own biweekly journaling, I need to run the daily details through my pen to make sense of and absorb them.  And sometimes, there are times when I need the clarity and guidance of a long-scope overview.  I recently looked back at the Steppingstones of my life, which showed my entire life's path spilled out in a list of twelve items on a single page.