And is it true? and is it true?
This most tremendous fate of all,
Seen in a stained-glass window’s hue,
A Baby in an ox’s stall?
The Maker of the stars and sea
Became a Child on earth for me?
And is it true? For if it is,
No loving finger tying strings,
Around those tissued fripperies,
The sweet and silly Christmas things,
Bath salts and inexpensive scent
And hideous tie so kindly meant.
No love that in a family dwells,
No caroling in frosty air,
Nor all the steeple-shaking bells
Can with this single Truth compare,
That God was man in Palestine.
And lives today in Bread and Wine.

-John Betjeman

There has been a firestorm of discussion and emotion since the release of Black Swan  that has me rereading Lauri Apple’s poignant article back at JEZEBEL  and rethinking. once again, the subtle but profound impact that media, culture, social; and familial arenas play and interact into our consciousness, whether they are actualized physically-mentally or not.

Since my daughter has suffered from Anorexia Nervosa and was a classically trained ballet student-dancer since the age of seven, as parents you may, unfortunately, get to see the side of ‘cygne noir’ – black swan that is layered within the walls of the dance studio. When eight year old girls are talking about having stomach surgery or that they are ‘fat’, or when you realize you are in the bathroom and a dancer in the adjacent stall, is intentionally inducing vomiting, it can become more than a bit disturbing.

While I don’t ‘blame’ the media, advertisers, etc. as the sole ’cause’ in perpetuating Eating Disorders , I find it simultaneously an act of denial to disregard the power and pull these mediums have and do carry, some more than others; and of course, within varying degrees for individuals and their set of environments, circumstances, genetic traits-pre-determinants, towards tipping a scale (no pun intended) sometimes in dangerous directions.

While I’m happy my daughter chimes in that she would rather see ‘True Grit’ vs ‘Black Swan’ I do believe the conversation happening is one worth continuing and deepening.

What are your thoughts and feedback? Please feel free to share…

Sometimes with the Heart
Seldom with the Soul
Scarce once with the Might
Few– love at all.
 
-Emily Dickinson

… is Worth a Pound of Cure as Mr Franklin once wrote. And certainly, within treating EDs, the earlier the diagnosis and treatment-management begin, the better the chances for prevention and staving off serious health complications.
As many of us who have had our budding adolescents suddenly taken in by the ravages of an Eating Disorder right about the time new thresholds of independence and growth were to begin, we can attest that getting as much support, education and care immediately when noticing signs of of an ED, or any other behavior that a parent or caregiver just ‘know’ isn’t quite right is absolutely vital, and in some serious cases, can save a loved ones life.
Thankfully the American Academy of Pediatrics is taking equal measures and strongly advising recommended ED screening for pre-teen and adolescents as part of annual check-ups and for participation in athletic activities in a newly released report.
This is great news. And recollecting back to when our then 12-13yr old daughter was initially diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa, I am continually grateful that we were able to get the initial support and assistance through our pediatrician. -Merci

Two studies that are to take a deeper look into Anorexia Nervosa: The Loughborough Eating disorders Activity theraPy (LEAP) study which looks at the role of extreme exercise in the maintenance of Anorexia Nervosa combining cognitive techniques and behavioural experiments. And the Strong Without Anorexia Nervosa (SWAN) study which aims at determining which three psychological treatments: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Maudsley Cognitive Motivation Therapy, and Supportive Clinical Management have the best outcome for Anorexia Nervosa.

With such a great need for continued research in the area of Eating Disorders, it’s always inspiring to see the dedication and commitment of the individuals and clinicians driving these studies- Kudos!

Interesting genome study identifying gene links to Anorexia Nervosa looking closely at single-nucleotide (SNPs) and parallel correlations of copy number variations (CNVs). This is the first and largest genome-wide association study on Anorexia Nervosa, which can only help in furthering the improvement of valid research and quality of care– like it! Merci Dr Hakon and co, keep up the great work.

NEDA’s 2010 Conference : Building Bridges to Recovery

: Change Upon Change :
Five months ago the stream did flow,
The lilies bloomed within the sedge,
And we were lingering to and fro,
Where none will track thee in this snow,
Along the stream, beside the hedge.
Ah, Sweet, be free to love and go!
For if I do not hear thy foot,
The frozen river is as mute,
The flowers have dried down to the root:
And why, since these be changed since May,
Shouldst thou change less than they.

And slow, slow as the winter snow
The tears have drifted to mine eyes;
And my poor cheeks, five months ago
Set blushing at thy praises so,
Put paleness on for a disguise.
Ah, Sweet, be free to praise and go!
For if my face is turned too pale,
It was thine oath that first did fail, –
It was thy love proved false and frail, –
And why, since these be changed enow,
Should I change less than thou.

-Elizabeth Barret Browning

: Coming Home :

See the terrestrial sphere
Read an exotic tome
Select a souvenir
The best is coming home

Make an ocean voyage
Dive into briny foam
Watch scavengers forage
The best is coming home

Visit a potter’s field
Explore a catacomb
Grasp all epitaphs yield
The best is coming home

Take cross-country road trips
Walk on bucolic loam
Follow provincial tips
The best is coming home

Let tensions unravel
Permit the feet to roam
Venture every travel
The best is coming home.

-Wallace Dean LaBenne

Kicking off today is NEDAwareness Week Feb 21-27. NEDA has created a daily calendar of ideas to help spark the conversation and theme: It’s Time To Talk About It. Find ways to get involved within your community and help the continuation of support, research, edcuation and improved treatment resources for those who suffer with Eating Disorders!

The mission of NEDAwareness Week

Our aim of NEDAwareness Week is to ultimately prevent eating disorders and body image issues while reducing the stigma surrounding eating disorders and improving access to treatment. Eating disorders are serious, life-threatening illnesses — not choices — and it’s important to recognize the pressures, attitudes and behaviors that shape the disorder.

What is NEDAwareness Week?

NEDAwareness Week is a collective effort of primarily volunteers, eating disorder professionals, health care providers, educators, social workers, and individuals committed to raising awareness of the dangers surrounding eating disorders and the need for early intervention and treatment.
How NEDAwareness Week Works

This year, NEDA is calling for everyone to do just one thing to help raise awareness and provide accurate information about eating disorders. NEDAwareness Week participants can choose from a huge range of ways to contribute: Distribute info pamphlets and put up posters, write one letter for Media Watchdogs, register as a Volunteer Speaker or host a Volunteer Speaker, coordinate a NEDA Walk, or arrange interactive and educational activities such as panel discussions, fashion shows, body fairs, movie screenings, art exhibits and more. As an official NEDAwareness Week participant you can be involved in any way that works with your schedule, resources, community, and interests. These events and activities attract public media attention – on local, national and international levels.

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