Thursday, March 28, 2013

Amy's Body Image Tips! #6

Make a date with your body for at least 10 minutes once a week and do something nice for it.

~Relaxing bath
~Deep conditioning for hair
~Facial mask  
~Listen to calming music
~Exfoliate skin

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Preteen eating disorders on the rise

The number of young children hospitalized for eating disorders is on the rise amongst preteens and children in B.C., and that's leading to an increasing demand for more education and treatment, according to health care workers.
"Girls as young as three are aware of fat and don’t want to be," says Mimi Hudson, director of community and provincial programs at Family Services of the North Shore.
"In Canada, there are kids as young as seven who have been diagnosed [with an eating disorder]. That’s pretty serious," she adds.
Aman Dhaliwal, a clinical resource nurse at the B.C. Children's Hospital eating disorders inpatient clinic confirms the number of young patients is rising.
"It's growing," says Dhaliwal. "There are more kids that are under the age of 13; probably about 20, 30 per cent of our population [at the inpatient clinic].”
Jackie, the mother of the youngest child ever treated for anorexia at B.C. Children's Hospital as an inpatient, says she was completely caught off guard by her daughter's illness.
"It didn’t even occur to me that she could have an eating disorder. I thought that happened to teenagers. She was nine," said Jackie, who wished to remain anonymous in order to protect her child's identity.
Anne Bissonnette, 21, of Kelowna says she can trace her eating disorder back to age three, even though she didn’t receive treatment until she was 14.
Bissonnette says doctors need to be more discerning on picking up eating disorders in young children.
"I had gone to so many doctors for health problems and no one picked up on it. They just kept telling my mom, 'No, no, no. She's a picky eater. She's fine.' And I wasn't."
In British Columbia the only inpatient unit for youth with eating disorders is at B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver.
But resources are limited and Dhaliwal says a specialized unit for children and preteens with eating disorders isn't viable.
"I don’t think the population is big enough to accommodate a sole specialized program for [younger children]."
"We have different care plans in place for the older ones and the younger ones," affirms Dhaliwal.
As the parent of the youngest child ever to enter the program at the time, Jackie said staff at times seemed unprepared for such a young patient, but says they were flexible enough to accommodate some changes at her request.
One change was to allow Jackie to stay later than other parents so she could tuck her daughter into bed at 8:30 p.m. A second change was not to put her daughter in group therapy with the older teens.
Dr. Ellen Domm, a registered psychologist and certified eating disorders specialist who runs a private practice in the Vancouver area believes that the healthcare system is doing the best it can with its limited resources. But she is concerned that is still not enough.
"I don’t think everybody who needs help is getting help," she says.
"I think they need more of everything: more doctors that help to identify problems when they’re in their beginning stages, more therapists, more support."
As a survivor, Bissonnette says part of the solution is more education for everyone involved.
"If no one knows what’s going on, how can they solve a problem?" asks Bissonnette.
B.C.'s eating disorders awareness coordinator is Amy Candido. She works at Jessie's Legacy, a support program of Family Services of the North Shore that focuses on eating disorder prevention by educating youth, families, educators and professionals on healthy eating and exercise habits.
She agrees that schools, families, healthcare professionals and communities need to be more aware that eating disorders can occur in pre-pubescent adolescents.
Candido suggests many changes need to be made to stop young children from developing poor attitudes towards food, including having schools implement eating disorder awareness lesson plans and removing diet drinks from classrooms.
She also says that both parents and teachers should be careful how they talk about food, exercise, and their bodies in front of children.
"Kids are watching. They’re listening to how you talk to your body."
Domm believes that nutritional and eating disorder education has to start at around age ten or 11, when children become more self-conscious and begin comparing themselves to others.
"We teach our kids sexual health at a young age. We teach them what's appropriate and not appropriate behaviour at a young age. I think it would be good to do the same thing regarding food and nutritional requirements and acceptance of different body types," Domm says.
"When I ask my clients, 'How old were you when you started feeling uncomfortable with yourself?' 11 seems to be the age that I hear over and over and over again. So clearly we’re not reaching our girls early enough to give them a good sense of self."
As a mother and an elementary school teacher, Jackie also believes the school system needs to provide more education for parents.
"I think PACS in schools putting on eating disorder nights for parents would be really important, or having a community health nurse come in to talk to parents. That would have really helped, because if it had been on my radar I might have picked up on it sooner."
There are many hypotheses as to why younger children are becoming more aware of their bodies and dieting.
"They’re hitting puberty a lot sooner. I’m also noticing the media is targeting younger and younger ones," says Candido.
"Kids are having sexual involvement earlier; there's all kinds of things around maturity that are sliding down in terms of ages," adds Patricia Roles, a social worker and private therapist who has treated eating disorders in youth and adults for 31 years.
And it is important to remember eating disorders don’t discriminate, says Jackie.
"We know it happens to boys, it happens to kids, it happens to adults. It's not just teenage girls," she says.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Amy's Body Image Tips! #5

Put positive signs on your bathroom mirrors, such as:

~I am more than my reflection.
~My body is an instrument, not an ornament. 
            ~Life is too short to waste my time hating my body this way.
            ~I am beautiful

What can YOU think of to write on your bathroom mirror?

Monday, March 25, 2013

Amy's Body Image Tips! #4

Amy's Body Image Tips! #4

What’s not helping you in improving your body image?  It can be anything, such as:

~The stacks of women’s magazines that lay on your nightstand
~The diet books you have
~The idea that you can’t go to a party unless you look a certain way
~Your size whatever jeans waiting in the back of the closet
~The scale in the bathroom

I had to think about the things in my life that weren't lifting me up, whether it was fears, thoughts, practices, ideas, behaviors, etc. 

~So, I cancelled my subscription to Cosmo
~Got rid of the recipes that were coming to my inbox
~Cancelled my gym membership
~Got rid of my scale
~'Unfollowed' certain friends on Facebook who were not healthy for my well being

These were fueling my negative body image and it was something within my control that I could change.  

What is fueling YOUR negative body image?

Amy's Body Image Tips! #3

Amy's Body Image Tips! #3

I used to value being thin and didn’t think it was such a bad thing.  BUT I learned that there were two types of values:  intrinsic values and instrumental values.

~An intrinsic value is not a way to obtaining something else, like gratitude.  Being grateful is good just because it’s good to be grateful, not because being grateful leads to anything else. 

~An instrumental value is intended to obtain something else.  Money is an instrumental value because you can use it to get something else.  

Thinness is another instrumental value.  People think that thinness brings other qualities they may find valuable.  In other words, it’s not thinness, but what thinness represents that you may find valuable, such as being successful, accomplished, disciplined, controlled, etc.

So, ask yourself what is it that you’re trying to achieve through being thin.  Do you want admiration and respect?  

How else can you obtain this sort of validation?

Friday, March 22, 2013

Amy's Body Image Tips! #2

2.  Look at Kelly Clarkson, Oprah, Queen Latifah, Adele, Serena Williams, etc.  They’ve earned their respect through their accomplishments, hard work, talents, and their achievements.  Does any of this change, seeing that they are not what the media would portray as ‘thin’?  Would you treat them any differently if you saw them on the street? 

These women help prove that:
~You don’t need to be thin to be accomplished in life
~You don’t need to be thin to be successful
~You don’t need to be thin to be admired
~You don’t need to be thin to be respected by others
~You don’t need to be thin to be unique
~You don’t need to be thin to be noticed
~You don’t need to be thin to be heard
~You don’t need to be thin to be HAPPY

Use these women as examples.  By setting goals for yourself and using your passion and natural talents, the possibilities are endless.  Like these women, you are more than a number on a scale or a jean size.  


Amy's Body Image Tips! #1

For the next few weeks, I will be posting a few of my very own Body Image Tips that helped me get through the hard times when I was struggling with my own body image.  Here's the first tip!:

1.  I was really struggling accepting my body.  I didn’t like what I saw in the mirror, and I couldn’t let go of the idea that if I lost a few pounds I’d feel better about myself and happier. So my therapist made be start off by being neutral.  I didn’t have to like my body, but just be neutral towards it.  Whenever I looked in the mirror, I would say to myself, “this is my body today, and it is what it is.” No judgment, no expectation.  

Friday, March 15, 2013

FIVE list of FIVE!

The next time you catch yourself feeling down about yourself, remember to say the:

FIVE list of FIVE!
~Five things I love about myself.
~Five things my body can do.
~Five things I’m grateful for.
~Five things that make me happy I’m alive.
~Five people who I love.

Keep this list in your pocket, purse, or wallet to use the next time you're having negative thoughts. Try it out and let me know what you think!

Ten Steps To Positive Body Image

Ten Steps To Positive Body Image

One list cannot automatically tell you how to turn negative body thoughts into positive
body image, but it can help you think about new ways of looking more healthfully and
happily at yourself and your body. The more you do that, the more likely you are to
feel good about who you are and the body you naturally have!

1. Appreciate all that your body can do. Every day your body carries you closer to your
dreams. Celebrate all of the amazing things your body does for you --running, dancing,
breathing, laughing, dreaming, etc.

2. Keep a top-10 list of things you like about yourself -- things that aren’t related to how
much you weigh or what you look like. Read your list often. Add to it as you become
aware of more things to like about you.

3. Remind yourself that “true beauty” is not simply skin-deep. When you feel good about
yourself and who you are, you carry yourself with a sense of confidence, self-acceptance,
and openness that makes you beautiful regardless of whether you physically look like a
supermodel. Beauty is a state of mind, not a state of your body.

4. Look at yourself as a whole person. When you see yourself in a mirror or in your mind,
choose not to focus on specific body parts. See yourself as you want others to see you -- as
a whole person.

5. Surround yourself with positive people. It is easier to feel good about yourself and your
body when you are around others who are supportive and who recognize the importance
of liking yourself just as you naturally are.

6. Shut down those voices in your head that tell you your body is not “right” or that you are a
“bad” person. You can overpower those negative thoughts with positive ones. The next
time you start to tear yourself down, build yourself back up with a few quick affirmations
that work for you.

7. Wear clothes that are comfortable and that make you feel good about your body. Work
with your body, not against it.

8. Become a critical viewer of social and media messages. Pay attention to images, slogans, or attitudes that make you feel bad about yourself or your body. Protest these messages:
write a letter to the advertiser or talk back to the image or message.

9. Do something nice for yourself -- something that lets your body know you appreciate it.
Take a bubble bath, make time for a nap, find a peaceful place outside to relax.

10. Use the time and energy that you might have spent worrying about food, calories, and your
weight to do something to help others. Sometimes reaching out to other people can help
you feel better about yourself and can make a positive change in our world.

PEDAW Campaign Idea: Host a viewing of a Movie!

Host a viewing of a Movie!
(Miss Representation, America the Beautiful, or Killing us Softly)

  • Encourage men and women to educate themselves on media and how they represent us.
  • Encourage men and women to understand how the media influences our everyday feelings about ourselves.
  • Encourage a conversation about media, advertising, and the way we feel about being miss represented.
Supplies Needed
  • DVD or copy of movie
  • Projector or screening room
  • Posters and flyers to advertise event
  • Wristbands to give out afterwards
  • Anything else you can think of!
Event Set up And Implementation: 
  • Post flyers and any other advertisements for the viewing.
  • Show movie.
  • Invite counselors, teachers, or a member of the PEDAW committee to conduct an 'after movie' discussion.
  • Explain PEDAW, the wristbands, and what it’s all about.
  • Be creative with how you want to implement this!
  • Take pictures of event and send to Amy to post on up on PEDAW blog!

PEDAW Campaign Idea: Banner Signing!

Banner Signing!

  • Encourage participants to take the pledge and sign the banner that you can be healthy at any size!
 Supplies Needed: 
  • Table
  • Banner
  • Pen for signatures
  • Wristbands to give out
  • Anything else you can think of!
Event Set Up and Implementation: 
  •  Get people to write down things they dislike about their bodies (ex. I hate my thighs).
  • After writing it down, have them throw it in the trash can as a way of ‘letting it go’
  • Explain PEDAW, the wristbands, and what it’s all about
  • Display a banner that says something like, “We are ALL Healthy at ANY Size!”  or “I LOVE my Body.” Be creative!            
  • People sign the banner to agree that we truly are all healthy at any size. 
  • Making the people sign it gives them a sense of responsibility and ownership to the saying.
  • Explain PEDAW, the wristbands, and what it’s all about.
  • Be creative with how you want to implement this!
  • Take pictures of event and send to Amy to post on up on PEDAW blog!

Friday, March 8, 2013

PEDAW Campaign Idea: Scales are for Fishes!

Scales Are for Fishes!

  • To help participants identify the positive things about their physical appearance and the aspects of themselves that they like most.
  • To assist in realizing that a person is more than size and shape and that healthy is not necessarily dictated by a number on a scale.
  • To allow creative expression in order to showcase the campaign messaging.
Supplies Needed: 
  • Scales for participants to decorate (participants can bring their own scale too)
  • Space to decorate
  • Crafts, glue, paint, etc. to decorate the scales
  • Space to display entries (likely Children’s Hospital)
  • Prize for winners (‘Perfect is Boring!’ t-shirt)
  • Any event-related handouts or giveaways explaining how scales can be negative 
  • Wristbands to give out
  • Anything else you can think of!
Set Up and Implementation: 
  • Work with participants prior to the event to educate them on the campaign.
  • Assign them with guidelines.
  • Take pictures of the entries and display them on the website for people to vote
  • Encourage viewers to vote for their favorite and award the winning submission.
  • Explain PEDAW, the wristbands, and what it’s all about.
  • Be creative with how you want to implement this!
  • Take pictures of event and send to Amy to post on up on PEDAW blog!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Body Image and Self-esteem Video

PEDAW Educational Video

Have you checked out our Youtube site?  

Here is a video Amy Candido did to raise awareness about eating disorders and disordered eating, in hope to prevent it and show people across the Province that you can be beautiful in your own skin!  


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

PEDAW Campaign Idea: The Sum of All Parts!

The Sum of All Parts!

  • Educate participants on the thin ideal and how it can be detrimental to our overall body image, confidence and self-esteem.
  • Encourage participants to identify parts of their bodies that they like, are proud of or are happy with for what it allows them to do.
  • Promote the pursuit of the healthy-ideal. 
  • Help participants realize that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes and that healthy looks different for everyone. 
Supplies Needed: 
  • Sharpies or dark pens
  • Large piece of butcher paper
  • Wristbands to give out
  • Anything else you can think of!
Event Set Up and Implementation: 
  • Set up the table in a place that has a heavy traffic flow.
  • With a dark marker, trace an outline of a person(s) with butcher paper. 
  • Hang the piece of butcher paper up. Have people write on the butcher paper one thing that they like about their bodies from a personal appearance perspective and/or one thing they like that their body allows them to do (hug someone, dance, play piano, run, etc.). 
  • Explain PEDAW, the wristbands, and what it’s all about.
  • Be creative with how you want to implement this!
  • Take pictures of event and send to Amy to post on up on PEDAW blog!

PEDAW Campaign Idea: Mirror Mirror on the Wall!

Mirror Mirror on the Wall!

  • To help people identify the positive things about their physical appearance and the aspects of themselves that they like most.
Supplies Needed: 
  • Large mirror set up in popular area
  • Tape
  • Table
  • Post-its
  • Any event-related handouts or giveaways
  • Wristbands to give out
  • Anything else you can think of!
Set Up and Implementation: 
  • Any time a person walks by and looks at themselves in the mirror, have them stop and fill out something that they see and like about themselves when they look in the mirror. 
  • Participants do not have to write their name on the piece of paper but ask if you can display what they wrote in an area around the mirror. 
  • Participants should be corrected if they qualify body parts (e.g., I would like my legs if they were just thinner). Gently tell them the activity requires them to say something they really like about themselves. 
  • Explain PEDAW, the wristbands, and what it’s all about.
  • Be creative with how you want to implement this!
  • Take pictures of event and send to Amy to post on up on PEDAW blog!