You may read the title of my blog – ‘Until Eating Disorders Are No More’ – and think it idealistic. Indeed, the thought of getting rid of eating disorders seems daunting. A rampant mental health epidemic who’s numbers are going up, not down, a multi-billion dollar business model which seems intent on making everyone insecure about their bodies and themselves, and a culture which dismisses life-threatening mental illness because dieting has become normalized (to name just a few contributing factors).
Well, I do not think my title is idealistic at all. I believe that we are fully capable of eliminating eating disorders, and I believe that I will see this happen within my lifetime. However, this will only happen if we are dedicated and are willing to speak up about them.
The good news is, there are already more than a few organizations devoted to helping people do that very thing. To determine the best course of action, we must look at some of the reasons that eating disorders have become such an epidemic…
Listen to this post by pressing ‘Play’ or download the podcast here.
Growing up, I always had a hard time understanding what people meant when they talked about ‘being’ a man. Aside from biology and one’s age, it remained an elusive and abstract concept. When it came to stereotypical ‘guy’ stuff, I always felt out of the loop. I’ve never cared about or followed sports. I’ve always had an aversion to drinking and partying. I could care less about cars. Heck, I don’t even eat meat.
Of course, a lot of that is all superficial stuff. Hobbies and typical cultural interests aside, boys are told not to express themselves from a young age, taught that showing any emotion is a sign of weakness. This also confused me growing up. Maybe it was because I’ve always been fairly well in touch with myself and my emotions, but it just seemed stupid to ignore or deny a part of oneself. If a man isn’t supposed to have emotions, wouldn’t that make a man less than human?
I’m pleased to present the first podcast for the blog, the No More Cast! I hope to do more interviews with people involved in eating disorder activism and awareness. I hope the audio sounds OK – it wasn’t an ideal setup and we had some white noise, but I mixed most of it out. Let me know what you think, and if you’d like to see/hear more posts like this! It is the product of much time and editing, so I hope you enjoy it. You can stream it by pressing the Play button, or download it directly via the link.
I recently spoke with Karen Morris, an eating disorder survivor who now treats eating disorders with her unique approach of massage therapy.
My name is Karen Morris, I work at A Karen Touch Therapeutic Massage and Body Work, which is a company or business I started a year and half ago, or about. Massage was a major healing modality with me overcoming my eating disorder. It was helping me get reacquainted with my body, because for over 30 years I had an eating disorder, I’m in recovery.
Massage made me become aware back into my body. It made me feel my feelings. I had been disassociated from my head and my body for so long.
Why Eating Disorder Discussions Must Be Gender-Inclusive
This is more of a continuation of the previous post. My original intention was just to post a link to the interview, but then as I started writing it became more than that. I’ve had enough discussions with people in response to that post that I think another entry is warranted.
The first and most important thing is that eating disorders do not discriminate - you’re going to hear me say this a lot. They are increasingly observed across a wide range of ages, demographics, races, cultures, and of course, gender. When I was anorexic, I seemed to take it all in stride and just dealt with the fact that I stood out or was apparently different than the women in my group therapy or 12-Step groups (which actually had a few men but we were always still in the minority).
Welcome to my blog! My name is Matt Wetsel and I'm a Richmond, VA based eating disorder writer and activist. Recovered from anorexia, I'm committed to educating people about eating disorders, challenging body image standards, and questioning gender constructs as they relate to mental health and the way we regard our bodies.