Wednesday, February 23, 2011

NEDA week.

this week is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week.

i hope that no one will consider his or her self exempt from acknowledging the vastness of the effects that eating disorders and the pressure to be thin truly have on our culture.

although my heart truly connects with those who have experienced diagnosable disorders, this post goes out to women anywhere who have or are currently approaching food and their bodies in a disordered way.

that being said, in the spirit of awareness, i interviewed my wonderful nutritionist, Suzanne Eleazer, about some common misconceptions women have about their bodies and food. this woman truly knows her stuff, and has played a huge part in my recovery. (not to mention, if you could see her in person you'd want to do exactly what she says because she looks AWESOME)...

1. if you could pick only one thing you want women to know about food and exercise, what would it be?

That food and exercise are intended to add your quality of life, not steal your quality of life. Both are intended to add nourishment and strength, not add or subtract weight. Food is fuel and exercise is strength to life a long and physically active life!

2. what is the biggest misconception you feel that women as a whole have about their bodies in regards to nutrition?
"The more I restrict, the more weight I will lose." Nutrition is so much more than numbers on a scale and the size of our jeans. Nutrition is meant to fuel our individual bodies to maneuver through the life that we were created to live to carry out the purposes that only we can fulfill. Without nutrition, you slowly kill everything that makes you alive! If used in moderation and viewed in a positive perspective, food is simply a way of giving your body the fuel it needs to carry on day-to-day activities, as well as, uphold physiological functions. Food was never meant to be directly related to weight. But just like everything in this world, once its taken to one extreme, only negative results show.
3. what's your opinion about dessert?
Dessert is good for the soul. There should never be a food that has enough power in your life to determine your emotion or perspective about yourself. Food was created for use to enjoy. I encourage people to have dessert in moderation (2-3x/week) in an attempt to keep "restrictions" at bay. Food should never have the power to determine what you can and cannot do! It is what it is... another simple pleasure in life!!
4. why are carbs important?
Carbohydrates are the body's main source of fuel. Our bodies count on carbohydrates to fuel physiological functions necessary in keeping us alive. Carbohydrates are also needed to keep our blood sugar level which directly affects our moods, food cravings, and ability to think clearly. Without proper carbohydrates in your daily intake, the body seeks out nutrients by tearing down your very own muscle which over time will decrease lean muscle tissue and increase fat tissue.
Suzanne is a licensed and registered dietician here in birmingham. she has helped make recovery possible for countless individuals who struggle with eating disorders and disordered eating. to soak up even more of suzanne's wisdom about nutrition and exercise, check out her blog here.
i hope that you found suzanne's wisdom helpful.
please do not think that social, cultural, and personal pressures to be thin are something you can and/or should live with, just because you do not have a diagnosable disorder.
you are beautiful, and you live inside a body that needs to be fueled, that needs to be rested, and needs to be loved.
happy NEDA week.

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