Archive for the ‘Editorial’ Category

posted by on Editorial, Life

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diet coke laura lewis
photo is by Laura Lewis

I’ve been meaning to write this for years. It originated with fashion blogs. I see many plus size bloggers and straight sized bloggers, but I don’t fit in with either. I’m a 10-12 or 11-13 (juniors’s) and a whole myriad of sizes depending on the designer. I have clothes from XS to XL.

Recently I’ve been more into sex bloggers, I still don’t fit. I’m an in betweener. I see very thin sexy bloggers, sizes 00-6 and then plus, 20+. I just don’t fit.

As a pre-teen/teen in the 90s I was considered average to fat. I was called fat so much that I have a complex.

I have disordered eating. I don’t even like people (even MDs or nurses knowing my weight, but it’s on my MM profile, go figure). I’ll eat so healthy and then veer the other way. I have suffered from exercise bulimia. In case you are unaware, that is bad, very bad, psychologically. I won’t drop dead, probably, like my late uncle, that I never met, who had a heart attack after a starvation diet. But..that possibility is always there.

I hate myself. I don’t want to, I know it’s irrational, but I still do. I want to be thin, I want to be beautiful, I want to be the archetype of my youth, sized 6, 130lbs. I was so close once, but alas, I freaked out, with reason, I mean, I exercised a minimum of 4 hours per day.

Yes, that’s bad. I don’t want to back slide. This is my cry for help, I guess, NEDA week/month is in Feb. I want to be better by then. I want to be healthy, not scared.

I don’t want to count calories, I can’t, it’ll fuck me up. I just want to be me.

I was vegan for a period of time, as a hobby, to occupy me. It helped to teach me about new foods, but it didn’t “FIX ME”. I really don’t think anything ever will. I feel even worse for the current generation. (from this 80s BABY)

Ideas? Suggestions? Not if you are super skinny or if you don’t know or don’t understand what I’m going through. If you think overexercise is good then don’t fuck with me, I will try to help you. If that doesn’t work I will dismiss you.

Are you with me on this in between crusade? Let me know. I’d love to interview you, regardless of your blog (or lack thereof)-fashion, sex, what have you, I don’t discriminate.

You may also enjoy:
NEDA Week: Types of Eating Disorders & Disordered Eating-my story is here
NEDA Week: Personal Stories of Exercise Bulimia
NEDA Week: 5 Eating Disorder Playlists
NEDA Week: On Marilyn Vos Savant or why the word’s smartest woman isn’t that smart

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posted by on Editorial, Life

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I am currently attending a trade school to earn an Associate’s Degree. After many years of applying to and backing out of traditional colleges (social anxiety, stinks) I’m doin it, and doin it and doin it well (Thanks L.L. Cool J.).

photo by Lidyanne Aquino (lethaargic)

photo by Lidyanne Aquino (lethaargic)

Something has been irking me. It’s not a huge thing. However thus far for my handful of classes I’ve only had two instructors. Both have, at times, referred to our attendance as being that of attending college. Ex. “So while you’re in college”. REALLY? REALLY? This is not college, ladies. It’s not even close to college. (To be fair I do believe that they attended actual colleges and make frequent mention of their children who do the same. I do not think this is done in a condescending way.)

It’s learning, it’s an approved learning institute. I appreciate it. It works. It seems much better for someone such as myself than a traditional college (including a community college). It also seems like a great place to start out if you need to earn a longer degree and can transfer your credits later.

THIS IS NOT COLLEGE THOUGH. College is (often) an option of the following: dorms, groups (not just Greek but various clubs), activities to bring the students closer together and well so many other things that I can’t quite recall at this moment.

College is also (often) a huge sprawling (possibly, especially for me, difficult to navigate campus). An abundance of young people who are up for anything (which is awesome, I get that) but who also have no idea how to do many things and will spend an inordinate amount of time on “worries” like laundry and not knowing how to feed themselves properly. As my older sister so in-eloquently put it years back, “If you wait another year to go to college you will be a non traditional student”, like she was.

Wow, that scared the fuck out of me. I could have stuck out like a sore thumb or overly compensated by partying and not getting my work done.

PLUSES: My school (the buildings) are relatively small. I now know where to find most things. There aren’t too many students milling about, most of the time. I am in small classes and am able to get one on one time with teachers without difficulty. I am learning information that is very useful for my major (if I can call it that, since this is not college).

So yeah, it’s trade school, or tech school or business school, or what have you. This is not college. And that’s okay.

You may also enjoy:
Life Imitates Art: Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
An Open Letter To Darden aka Quitting my First “Pretty Person Job”
No Longer a Mallrat
That Woman Behind You Is Better Than You, No Not That One, Look Harder
How Not to Shop in April or Avoiding Eugenics Funding
NEDA Week: On Marilyn Vos Savant or why the word’s smartest woman isn’t that smart

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posted by on Editorial

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Just because someone is imperfect doesn’t mean that their life isn’t worth living.

I don't want to live in a world that in any way resembles the movie Gattaca.

(photo source)

I’m going with a very simple message here. Autism Speaks was founded to eradicate autism so DO NOT support them. Autism is not a disease or a virus (so yeah, Jenny McCarthy, it’s not polio). Their research was based on finding an autism gene so that anyone who could be anywhere on the spectrum could be aborted prior to birth. Some people think this is way of looking at it is overkill. Some people balk at the inference that Autism Speaks is about eugenics. However if you look at what happened to the population of individuals with Down syndrome since they were able to find out their genetic makeup then you may see where I’m coming from. In the US it’s estimated that currently 87-98% of fetuses with Down syndrome are aborted. This isn’t so they can find some magical “cure”, inject your child with a needle and make them “normal”. That ain’t happen’. Kay?

After Autism Speaks had been around for a while some started asking how this was going to help their autistic children when Autism Speaks still hadn’t found a cure so they started to allot a small amount of their dough to children, about 4%.


(source of both the graph and the compiled data)

So what can you do this month?

Well it’s what you shouldn’t do.

Do not donate any money to Autism Speaks. Don’t fall for the celebs spouting rhetoric and don’t contribute to them via any of the following companies who are actively asking for contributions during this “Autism Awareness Month”. I am a realist. I am not expecting you to boycott them (unless that’s the only option). Just don’t buy whatever it is that they are selling that would directly benefit Autism Speaks.

Build-A-Bear Workshop
runs through June 30, 2012
They will ask you if you want to donate $1 or more at the register. In Canada they will try to sell you a purple satin ribbon for the same purpose.

CafePress
through April 30, 2012
They will be donating 10% of the final purchase price of any product tagged “autism” (according to this article, so untag your products now!) or “autismawareness2012” according to the site. 50% of the donations will go to Autism Speaks while the other 50 will go to another autism charity chosen by the CafePress Community.

Fashion Bug’s “Spare Change Makes a Difference” Campaign
runs through April 7, 2012
They will ask you to round up your purchase at the register, with the change going to Autism Speaks.

FuzziBunz Cloth Diapers
through December 31, 2012
The company will donate $1 to Autism Speaks for every Light It Up Blue diaper that is sold.
has raised over $13,000 for Autism Speaks in the past

Gaylord Hotels
through April 30, 2012
10% of the purchase of any “Rooms for Good” package will go to Autism Speaks.

The Home Depot
through April 30, 2012
They are selling selling “Light It Up Blue” Coleman LED lanterns and blue light bulbs. A $1 from the $1.65 bulbs or $2 from the $19.88 lanterns will go to Autism Speaks (donations cap off at $160,000).

Lindt (chocolate)
through April 8th, 2012
If you buy a Lindt Gold Bunny .10 will be donated to Autism Speaks, $2 from a pre-filled Easter basket from Lindt, $1 if you send an Easter e-card, $10 if you repin from their Pin4Autism board on Pinterest (I know you guys love Pinterest, don’t accidentally do this cuz it’s a bunny or chocolate!) or $25 if you create a pin for them

ShopRite (grocery)
through April 7, 2012
You will be asked to donate $1 or $5 at the register.

Square Shooters Game
through April 30, 2012
Simply liking the Facebook page for this game means that the company will donate $1 to Autism Speaks. ($3,500 cap)

Toys “R” Us/Babies “R” Us
They will give you a shopping bag designed by autistic artist James Hogarth if you donate $10 or more.
has raised over $12 million for Autism Speaks in the past

Walmart
Walmart is selling an ICE Block Cooler with a blue light inside for “Light It Up Blue”. I can’t currently find out how much of this money will go to Autism Speaks but “Light It Up Blue” is for them.

This list is not comprehensive. Feel free to leave info on any other places we should avoid donating at in the comments.

(Autism Speaks’ fear mongering)

a great project by the Autistic Self Advocacy Network

I am not saying that the companies who are participating in this are bad companies.

Some may be misinformed. I was. I didn’t know what autism was AT ALL…aside from the terribly negative, stereotypical videos and interviews perpetuated by Autism Speaks until last year. I also didn’t know anything at all about the goal of Autism Speaks. If you had mentioned fundraising for them a couple of years ago I probably would have thought that it would “help the children”.

In fact you are contributing money to them so they can cut open dead childrens’ brains to extract genetic information that may eventually lead to many people being aborted seemingly without a second thought, if the Down syndrome effect happens. This is why people have made Hitler comparisons. Some say that’s ridiculous. Sorry but he is the most famous person who tried to enforce his own ideas of who should and shouldn’t be allowed to live. In fact it’s even closer to that. The doctor Hans Asperger, who discovered Asperger’s Syndrome (on the autism spectrum), was actually doing his studies during The Third Reich. It’s believed that he was able to save some of his subjects from extermination under Hitler by altering reports on them.

The point, again, is that you should not donate money to a company that could eventually lead to the extermination of an entire subsection of individuals.

Don’t forget to check out the countering Autism Acceptance Movement by actual, real people with autism.

Now read and actually inform yourself if you want to learn from people with autism or about this type of eugenics
(Not: These are simply links that I recommend, I’m not implying that any of these people agree with anything that I’ve stated in this piece.)
Dear well-meaning strangers
There’s so much work to be done, and we’re lighting up
Why I am against Autism Speaks
The Loud Hands Project
Autism Awareness is Not Enough: Here’s How to Change the World
The Upside of Autism
Why Does Termination of Children with Down syndrome Affect us so deeply?
Autism research focuses on early intervention
Autism and Eugenics
Possible Pre-Natal Screening Test for Autism Sparks Eugenics Debate in UK
Down Syndrome screening and the revival of eugenics
Jon Will’s gift-about a man with Down syndrome and his family

Note: I am not against abortion in general. I am pro-choice. However I am against just willy nilly aborting every fetus determined imperfect in some way.

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posted by on Editorial, Library, On, Various

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Yes, the smartest woman in the world has disordered eating and is slightly underweight.


(source)

If you are a regular reader of Parade Magazine (it’s that fauxish magazine that accompanies the Sunday paper) then you may be familiar with Marilyn Vos Savant. She has a question and answer column in the paper entitled Ask Marilyn. Savant is noted as being the woman with the highest IQ in the world (190 or 228, depending on the source). Thus her column doesn’t just answer Dear Abby type questions. She routinely settles disputes that readers send in regarding logic, math, science and many other topics.

Truthfully science and math go over my head so sometimes I only skim the column. I never really thought much about her one way or another. That is until 2004 when a reader asked the following:

“I notice that you always appear to be thin in your photos. How do you do it?”

“Here’s the “Ask Marilyn Daily Diet”:
I have a very light breakfast (low-fat yogurt or fruit or cereal)
and a very small lunch (a bit of cheese and crackers).
During the day, I drink water and a few cups of tea (sometimes with caffeine).
For dinner, however, I have just about anything I want, including bread and a little butter or olive oil, most kinds of entrees and vegetables, plus a dessert. The biggest exception is that I try to limit saturated fats, so I seldom have foods like burgers and fries. I also skip fatty meats and gravies and soups with cream.

I think this maintenance diet is successful for me because it’s hard to overeat when I have only ONE SIGNIFICANT MEAL A DAY. If my weight creeps upward a few pounds, which sometimes happens, I eliminate the bread and dessert until it returns to normal.I also have strict rules that I seldom break, except during vacations and holidays.”Marilyn

I had never seen a photo of Mrs. Savant aside from her head shot at the time so had never thought of this. As you may imagine, after reading that I lost all respect for this woman. If you just glanced at that you may think, big whoop, she eats healthy. No, she eats an incredibly rigid, highly regimented meal plan seemingly with the sole intention of not gaining weight.


(source)

So, of course, I had to investigate. Surely I wasn’t the only one who found it odd that “the smartest woman alive” didn’t seem to eat for health (the logical choice, as you’d think that intelligence begets logic). This led me to a long discourse of her diet on her site. The following is an excerpt from her “strict rules” that she sometimes breaks until she feels fat which is when she goes uber diet all over her ass:

“No snack food at home: only mealtime food. This means zero cookies, chips, nuts, and other treats. When it’s time for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, you should find everything you need. But when you want something between meals just for fun, the cupboard should look bare.

No eating between meals. This includes “healthful” food such as fruit or juice. For your health, they’re better than “junk” food. But for keeping trim, they are just added calories. Instead, try a no-calorie beverage or a cup of tea with sweetener.

One of the best things about my routine is that I always look forward to dinner, when I can have most anything I want, what a treat! Plus, food tastes much better when you’re hungry and not eating simply because mealtime has arrived.

Yes any food always taste delicious when you are starving yourself!

…Warm drinks and room-temperature drinks are more flavorful than cold ones, so I don’t add ice. I order beverages without ice in restaurants, too. Plus, melting ice makes a beverage watery, and that diminishes the flavor even more. Even in summer, iceless drinks don’t seem warm. Body temperature is almost 100°F, and so 72°F water tastes plenty cool enough. And in winter, why have an icy drink at all?

I’ve never even heard of someone so insane that they deprive themselves of ice

…Do take forever to eat dinner. The simple pleasure of dining with family or friends is underrated in our hurried lives. So is dining alone while reading a newspaper or simply enjoying good food. One of my favorite activities is going out to dinner by myself when my husband is away. I usually take a couple of questions to ponder and linger for the evening. It’s blissful!

I have no idea how anyone could eat in the presence of this woman, no wonder she loves eating alone and instead of eating it would appear that she’s actually sitting at a dinner table working.

Do savor each bite. If you love food, why not enjoy the taste as long as you can? Plus, thorough chewing

Gee I wonder if she also practices the Dolly Parton diet where you chew your food and then spit it back out?

makes for less tummy trouble… This is one reason I avoid drinks with calories. They disappear in a flash!

Don’t change your dining habits on the weekends. Weekends are already delightful, and you can have most anything you like for dinner every day, anyway. Adding foodfests like brunch is just plain overindulgence. Use that time to take a walk in a hilly park, bicycle with the kids, or shoot baskets at a playground. You’ll feel much better afterward.

=it’s stupid to eat on the weekend, just exercise some more instead

Don’t underestimate the calories you consume. When I say “a very light breakfast” and “a very small lunch,” I really mean it: maybe 250 calories for both together.

Gee 125 calories per meal, I’d be such a glutton

People often underestimate the calories of “healthful” food and overestimate the calories of foods that are frequent targets of dieters, such as one of the scariest foods of all: butter. Yet an average apple has the same number of calories as two pats of butter!

I think this means that she’s against apples.

Don’t eat food that you don’t really enjoy. This is an important part of my daily diet, whether I’m maintaining my weight or losing a couple of pounds. I won’t eat anything that I don’t think tastes great, even if I’m at a restaurant.

I once practiced this as a half cocked diet idea, having nothing to do with her & guess what, if you don’t have anything fantastic around you just won’t eat, hello borderline anorexia, waving!

…I have a limited number of days in my life, and time is precious. In a similar way, I have a limited number of calories to enjoy in my life. I want to “spend” them in the best way I can. So I refuse to waste precious calories on stale bread, spaghetti that’s too soft, or a giant cookie that didn’t taste as good as it looked. One bite, and it’s all over!”Marilyn

Guys, I just found out that we only get so many calories, shit, how do I find out how many I have left!?! Better ask Eddie Murphy!

Naively I assumed that he comments section would be full of people who also found this um, let’s say odd, not so, many commended her (as Americans are apt to do to any thin person) and even asked for more tips. Gee, let’s just start a Pro-Ana forum. One, disgustingly was a dietitian, a shitty, shitty dietitian. When asked about exercise Marilyn also mentions that she runs up to 6 miles per day. Hey, who needs food for that?

more choice quotes:
“Whenever I’m tempted, I remind myself that being interested in food is not the same as hunger.”

No, no, it’s not, but ask anyone with disordered eating, if you avoid activities or have to plan your entire day’s activities/food consumption around that one time you might go to the circus and eat cotton candy (also from the comments, I’m guessing that’s in place of her dinner) then you’re a little fucked in the head.

commenter:“…How tall are you?…”

“I’m 5 feet 8 inches tall, and I weigh 125 pounds.
(Note: I have a small frame, so my weight is low for my height. I would happily weigh ten pounds more if they would distribute themselves pleasingly all over. But my extra pounds behave like rich people in the winter: They head south.)”
Marilyn

=fuck my health, I just wanna be skinny

Don’t believe me?

For a height of 5’8″ the ideal healthy weight is 147 pounds. The recommended weight range is between 131 and 164 pounds. (source, source)

Here’s one commenter who’s actually a voice of reason:

“250 calories for both meals together and then starve all day waiting for the dinner? that’s insane! Why not eat a bit less on the evenings and a bit more at lunch and breakfast? Plus, calories are not burnt while you’re asleep…I’d rather enjoy myself a bit more and be less skinny!…”

with husband Robert Jarvik, creator of the Jarvik artificial heart

(source, there’s also a bit of a bio on her here)

I did search the net because I thought I can’t be alone in this boat. Unfortunately the only real criticism of Savant was covered by Jezebel (ugh, you know that I hate linking to them, but the actual report is available only through a pay paper online). Apparently instead of using her genius to be an inventor or something useful to humanity she’s more of a married socialite with her column as a hobby. That doesn’t bother me as I feel that you should be free to live your life in the style that you desire. I just wish that she wouldn’t push harmful ideas on people.

However it does make this a bit more interesting (from the horse’s mouth)

Now, why do I have such a big problem with this whole situation? I neither know Marilyn Vos Savant nor care what she does in her personal life. What I care about is that a large number of already confused and self hating Americans (and possibly people all over the world since this is online now) read things like this and think, hey if the smartest chick in the world thinks disordered eating is the bomb diggity she must be correct.

Am I saying that everyone should eat junk food all of the time (as someone semi “hinted” to me recently)? No, of course not. I am saying that I’m sure that if you added up what this woman ate on a daily basis it would most likely be under 1000 calories per day. Anyone who has obsessively studied diets, dieting, etc (unfortunately like I used to) can tell you that’s dangerous.

Then the even bigger issue, “food issues” are not just categorized (or at least shouldn’t be) by someone’s weight or even all of the types of foods that they eat. A big part of the problem is the mindset. It’s the “never good enough, never thin enough” mindset. It’s the absolutes mindset. It’s the “I plan my entire life around depriving myself and then “rewarding” myself mindset”. What it happens to be is an entirely unhealthy relationship with food.

That is why I don’t read her column anymore. I feel that if she does that fine, it’s not my life, but advocating that shit, it’s putrid.

Block quotes are, obviously, me being a smart ass.

It should be noted that I am against women attacking other women but I don’t believe this is an attack so much as important info that you should be aware of. But yeah, I sort of hate her, what can I say?

Update: March 2016
It is now almost impossible to view the original links to Marilyn’s diet. I think she knows it’s messed up. My link and others online directly to Parade’s site just take you to a bunch of her articles. This link is actually a discussion of said diet on her own site by fans. It’s interesting.

I just found this 2010 follow up to her original diet answer. A reader asked how she keeps healthy on such a “small diet”. She even asks about vitamins and supplements. Marilyn counters that it’s not “a small diet”, but that she only eats about “three hundred (or so) calories for breakfast and lunch combined”, damn, that’s scary.

Related Posts:
NEDA Week: Personal Stories of Exercise Bulimia
NEDA Week: Types of Eating Disorders & Disordered Eating
On Health
That Woman Behind You Is Better Than You, No Not That One, Look Harder

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posted by on Battle of the Sexes, Editorial

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I try my best to avoid reading the type of blog post that I am going to describe to you as best I can, the trouble is that I’ll be reading something by someone I admire and get directed to one of these things. Then I’ll read half of it before I realize what it is…

“Did you notice that yesterday over there at shesbetter.corm Glinda stated that Geeneric Snack will poison everyone you know. I think that this is an important subject. The history of Geeneric Snack is overonWikipedia.

Do you eat it? Did you know that Evil Corp makes it? Did you know that eating it is a direct representation of who you are as a person?

Personally I only ate them once on a dare to join an exclusive country club to meet my husband but I’d like to know if all of you could leave a comment below telling me why you do or do not eat them and why that makes you better than the other side.

Thanks. Hurry…I just know that this will be a hotly debated topic all over the interweb…”

Obviously that was a bunch of gibberish that I just whipped up. I could go read a random sampling of blogs or other types of blog structured sites right this minute and link them back here, thereby giving you a random sampling of this type of semi-cloaked hatred directed at other women…BUT I WON’T.

Despite the way that everything seems to be set up (men and women at war with each other, women and women at war with each other), I like other women. I think that we should encourage each other. I read tons of writing by women that I find funny and insightful.

I see these types of posts often and find them quite disturbing. They may start out with any topic, it could be more superficial, like a beauty secret or something more complex, such as a political issue. It would not be unusual for it to fall into a vast gray area of topics somewhere in the middle. A post of this nature will usually quickly devolve from a woman stating the facts and then her opinions into a post where she turns it around on the reader asking them to choose a side. Then ladies flock to the comments section to argue about why something (quite possibly incredibly arbitrary) makes them in some way better than another woman. Sometimes she will even pick a side on the issue (it could be an issue that she just thought of and has no long standing opinions on) and state that if you are on the other side that you are in some way a moron (or maybe ugly, it would depend on the topic).

I’m not trying to tell women not to have a voice, quite the opposite. I just wish that they didn’t feel the need to turn every topic into some weird, creepy Mean Girls situation that involves them bringing other women down by placing those women’s hands on each other’s necks.

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