Tag Archives: NEDAW

Living In Recovery: A Panel on Eating Disorders – 4/2/2014

Back in April, Kitty Westin and I had the pleasure of joining a panel with the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh on eating disorder recovery. It was done via Google Hangout, so the full discussion we had with the audience is archived.

It just so happens that the panel was scheduled on the same day as the reception for the Spring Eating Disorders Coalition Lobby Day. At first, Kitty and I were worried we wouldn’t be able to do it, but instead we had the pleasure of hanging out in person and crowding around my laptop. The visual quality isn’t the greatest, but the audio is fine. Kitty has some amazing things to share and I strongly encourage you to take the time to watch or listen!

A little about Kitty:

Kitty Westin is the founder and former President of the Anna Westin Foundation which is now known as The Emily Program Foundation. The Anna Westin Foundation was started by Anna’s family after Anna died of anorexia in 2000. Kitty is on the board of The Emily Program Foundation, the Eating Disorders Coalition for Research, Policy & Action, and she is a former member of the Minnesota Governors Advisory Counsel on Mental Heath, the Minnesota Mental Health Legislative Network and numerous other boards and counsels.
Since Anna’s death Kitty has spoken to millions of people about eating disorders through personal appearances and the media. She has been invited to tell her story to a variety of groups in Minnesota and across the United States and the world. Kitty has been an outspoken advocate for people who struggle with eating disorders, their families and friends, and professionals who work in the field.
Kitty has received numerous awards for her advocacy efforts including the EDC Advocacy Award, the Redbook Mothers and Shakers Award, the AED Meehan/Hartley Leadership Award for Public Service and/or Advocacy, the Park Nicollet Community Service Award and the National Eating Disorders Association Inspiration Award.

Special thanks to friend and EDC alumni Geneva Murray for the invitation and for putting the event together. Let’s do it again sometime!

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Anorexia in Men on the Rise – Huffington Post Live Interview

Happy Eating Disorder Awareness Week! I had the pleasure of participating in a discussion on Huffington Post Live on eating disorders in men this past Thursday. I’m excited that they chose to highlight this subject during awareness week, and appreciate the thoughtful questions they had for everyone on the segment.

You can watch the full segment below, which includes a young man named Alberto De Leon in Chicago who is currently in recovery from an eating disorder; Margaret Johnson, the editor for HuffPost Women; Amanda Webster, an Australian mother who’s son developed anorexia in childhood; and Dr. Gregory Jantz, an eating disorder specialist in Seattle. You can watch the full video below:

You may notice that the title on the video says, “Manorexia on the Rise.” Well, I don’t care for that term one bit, and I’m happy to report that when I emailed my contact on the production team, they changed it on the main video page and wherever else it was possible. Unfortunately, it’s much harder to edit out of the video stream, but I want to extend my gratitude for the quick response they had in changing it where they could.

I’ve written about my disdain for that term in the past:

If you’ve been keeping up with me on here, you have probably heard me talk about “gender inclusivity.” I believe for ED treatment, research, and prevention to advance, it has to be fully inclusive and not just catered to the majority. I almost slipped through the cracks of the resources available to me during my own recovery because it was all designed for women, and I mourn for other boys and men who find themselves in similar circumstances.

I grimaced at the original title because taking a word like “anorexia” and altering it to reference EDs in men carries the implication that men experience it differently in some way – otherwise, they would just call it anorexia, right? …In short, it by default is not gender inclusive.

It won’t do us any good to take notice of how our recovery culture is feminized if we just turn around and make it gendered in the opposite direction. Eating disorders are, more than anything, a matter of public health concern.

Thanks again to Huffington Post Live for having me, and for responding to my request regarding the segment title so quickly. If more media outlets handled this issue with the same level of care, we’d all be the better for it.

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Filed under Activism, Eating Disorder Awareness Week, eating disorders, Interview, Recovery, Uncategorized

Review: Miss Representation

I finally got to see Miss Representation last night, courtesy of a local event for National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. Released in late 2011, it’s a film exploring the role of women in our society and what we can do to change the disparities that exist.

It’s easy to hear about such a film and say, “But so much progress has been made!” While this is true, and yes, progress continue to be made, it’s slowed down more than you think. I’m not always one to tout statistics, but some of the figures they’ve researched are quite startling. For example:

  • The average teenager consumes roughly 10 hours, 45 minutes of media per day, between television, movies, the internet, and music, the majority of which is TV watching.
  • Of that media consumed, women own less than 6% of TV stations and roughly 6% of radio stations. The board members of the biggest media companies (such as Viacom, Time Warner, etc) systematically outnumber women by more than 2-1, so most of the media being produced and approved is from rich men.
  • Women make up 51% of our population at present, but are only 17% of Congress (even I was surprised by how low that number is).

Mad yet? You should be.

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Matt Ryd Testimony

Just a quick post to share this incredibly moving and touching video, which happens to be from another guy named Matt (but he’s apparently a way better singer than me!)

Please watch, share, repost, and if you dig his music (which is accompanying the video), you can purchase here and all proceeds are going to the National Eating Disorders Association between now and March 4th.

[August 2013 Update]I’m very sad to write that I have learned of Matt Ryd’s death. Please read and celebrate his life with me:

http://arenomore.wordpress.com/2013/08/06/in-loving-memory-of-matt-ryd/

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