Monthly Archives: November 2011

A Little Tact Goes a Long Way

Writing has always been important to me. Maybe it was just a coincidence, but I started keeping a journal when I started college, the same time anorexia took over my life. College, unfortunately, created an environment that had zero accountability and a whole lot more triggers and stress. I ended up journaling a lot about my struggles and have about two years worth of writing about the hell I went through.

I think writing was my way to attempt to make sense of the chaos and despair the eating disorder created. Writing was also something I did when I was isolated, and was an excellent alternative to engaging in disordered eating behavior. As I got back in touch with myself and started living my life again, I found I had less to write and was spending less time on the computer. In a way, it’s come full circle, because here I am keeping a blog, but it’s much different. I’ve said the journal was therapeutic, but writing these days is something I do for the sake of doing it.

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Interview Follow-Up

The recent interview I did with WRIC Channel 8 has afforded another opportunity to discuss responsibility in the media. I again want to thank reporter Nate Eaton for being receptive to my concerns. In our initial email correspondence, he had asked if I had any pictures from when I was sick that they could use in the story.

I consulted some fellow activists about the best approach. I heard stories about reporters respecting that request, only to slip in anonymous, headless shots of thin or emaciated women, and even a complete cancellation on a story! Not knowing what to expect, I explained to him my concerns about shock-value imagery and it’s potentially triggering effect on any viewers struggling currently with an eating disorder. I’m very happy to say that he was completely receptive and respectful of my concerns, and I’m deeply appreciative.

So then, to those of you who watched the interview, I ask: do you feel like the integrity or strength of the overall piece was negatively affected by the absence of pictures of me being emaciated? Were you left thinking, “But wait, what was your lowest weight?!” Did the story feel incomplete? While I think I already know the answer, I’m legitimately interested in hearing your response.

Maybe a 6 minute clip from a local news station won’t change the way the media does things. But it’s proof that we can discuss these delicate issues in a responsible way without hurting the integrity of our stories.

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Interview – Men with Anorexia, WRIC Channel 8

In early October, I did an interview with the local Richmond ABC News Channel 8. Reporter Nate Eaton read a story in USA Today about eating disorders in men, and reached out to Richmond practitioners about doing a story, which is how we got in touch. Here’s the full interview, original air date 11/15/2011:

Nate was very receptive to my concerns about not showing imagery from when I was sick or discussing things like lowest weights. Shock-value things like that can get your attention, but it does a disservice and misrepresentation of eating disorders as a whole. People who are considered overweight can have eating disorders, and images/numbers can be very triggering. Eating disorders in the media must be handled with responsibility and care, and Nate has done a great job with this story.

And yes, I had really long hair in high school. Don’t judge.

UPDATE: check out my Interview Follow-Up write-up here:

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Recovery Mantra

This post is dedicated to a dear friend of mine who very recently made the decision that she needs to go inpatient.

“You can do this.” 

November 12, 2011, marked a big milestone for me. The culmination of two years of running, six weeks of physical therapy, and over three months of intense training all added up to my sprinting across the finish line for the Richmond Half Marathon – a total distance of 13.1 miles. Not to mention, none of it would have been possible if I was not recovered.

The past few months, I’ve found myself a little excited to talk to people about it and discuss things like training and nutrition. I’ve gotten up early in the morning to make sure I have time to go running before work, and eat a good breakfast to support all the extra activity I’ve been doing. As I got further into training and my days and weeks were being planned around my training schedule, I realized just how similar it was to recovery.

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