Thursday, August 29, 2013

Guest Post: The beautiful Sioned Dyer

I remember when I was in high school and I would spend hours scouring magazines, cutting out articles on how to lose weight and get the body that would finally make me happy. In reality, I was an athletic young woman who did not need to lose weight, but everything around me was telling me that in order to fit in, I had to look a certain way. I spent years unlearning this idea and only now in my late 20’s do I feel like I am there.

Looking back, it is really no surprise that I felt so unattractive and in that, unworthy of love and happiness. Every magazine I read was focused on making me feel ugly and needing improvement in order to get me to buy the products advertised within their pages. And for a long time, it worked. I spent most of my hard earned babysitting money on lotions, concealers, nail polish and beauty products that promised to make me into a prettier, happier and better person that I was told I needed to be. I followed the exercises in the magazines and severely reduced my diet in order to be 'my best self'. And despite what they told me I was going to feel like, it was one of the worst times of my life. I felt like I was always losing despite my best efforts and intentions.

I struggled in this existence for a long time and mostly by myself, as I was too embarrassed to talk to anyone about how I was feeling. But as I struggled, I also gained a lot of clarity about how incorrect the media was when it came to images of women. And then I started to get angry. After all, I was living proof that following all the make-up and exercise routines did not, in fact, make me happy. I was a full on miserable young woman. It took some time (and anger) to realize that what I was being told by advertisements and beauty commercials had nothing to do with helping me be my best self and everything to do with money. Beauty, cosmetic, and fitness companies are multi-billion monstrosities that focus on the following ideas:

  1. Our self-worth as humans is primarily defined by our physical beauty
  2. Our natural beauty needs to be built upon in order to be truly beautiful

As I said, it took me a long time to appreciate that I was the one who decided my own self-worth. It wasn’t easy and it still isn’t, but there are a couple ideas that I hold on to as being absolutely true:

  • You owe it to yourself to treat yourself with the upmost respect, love and compassion. If your friend came to you and told you how terrible they felt about themselves and how ugly they were, what would you say to them? Give yourself the same pep talk you would give to a friend.
  • I am the best at being me. There is not one single person in the world who is better at being me and so it would be a disservice to try and be somebody else.
  • Trying to live up to someone else’s standards of beauty is a losing game- that is a fact. If you put your self-worth in someone else’s hands, you will never feel truly good about yourself.
  • It takes time to come to love your self honestly. We have been told since birth that we are supposed to look a certain way, act a certain way and to think a certain way, so changing this ingrained and narrow perspective of female beauty takes time. 

So while I still have the occasional bad day where I let the media affect my sense of self, I know in my heart that when it comes down to it, I am a smart, capable and determined young woman. And that is a beautiful thing.

~ by Sioned Dyer

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Are you up for a challenge?

Our Provincial Eating Disorders Awareness week, which traditionally occurs during the first full week of February, will be here sooner than you think!  So we want to ask YOU:  
  • What would YOU like to see/have happen during this very important week?
  • What sort of 'challenge' for the week would most interest you?   
Be as creative as you like!  This week is all about YOU!  
So together, let's talk prevention, awareness, and make some noise around eating disorders!

Please comment below, or send us your ideas at! 


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Top 10 Suggestions...

1)  I am only food. Thou shall not give me more time and attention than you give to your faith.

2)  Thou shall not count calories when you should be counting your blessings. 

3)  Thou shall not spend money on diet programs that could be spent to feed the starving. 

4)  Remember to honor thy body,with good food,exercise,and rest. 

5)  Thou shall not judge another's virtue by their size

6)  Thou shall not believe that girth is a measure of worth. 

7)  Thou shall not envy the bodies of your neighbors. 

8)  Thou shall not binge or purge,or feel guilt for enjoying the blessings of good food. 

9) Thou shall not believe the false promises of diet books and fads and drugs. 

10)  Thou shall not honor your mirror more than your soul. 

~Katherine Derengowski

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Your body is okay....

Why do some people view the world through a weight lens? Whether it's counting calories, judging when looking in a mirror, or making assumptions about someone’s character based on their body size?

I want you all to know that your body is okay. Your size is okay. You can change how you feel about your body by changing your self-talk. Understand that your body has an opinion of what it should weigh at this time in your life. It regulates weight around a set-point that is pretty much nearly impossible to change! 

Your weight is not a measure of your self-worth. 
Accept yourself and set yourself free from this burden, and I promise you your entire life will change for the better.

Friday, August 2, 2013

A little something Fitness Professionals should Ponder...

Have you ever suspected that one of your clients has an eating disorder?  Maybe they always seem exhausted, are taking two or three cardio classes each day, or lost a significant amount of weight.  The secretive aspects of eating disorders make detection challenging and possibly go unnoticed by family and friends.  This puts fitness professionals in a unique and ideal position to detect individuals who are struggling with eating disorders.  People trust their trainers, listen to them, use them as role models, and take their advice.  Because of this, it is essential fitness professionals feel equipped and confident in their abilities to address eating disorder concerns with individuals. 

Still not convinced? Consider the following food for thought... 
  • An estimated 95% of University students diagnosed with an eating disorder (both men AND women) are members of fitness centers.
  • Over one million people in Canada suffer from an eating disorder or have significant symptoms.
  • Of all psychiatric disorders, eating disorders hold the highest mortality rate due to natural and unnatural causes.
  • 25% of all reported cases are male (7 million).
  • 91% of University students attempted to control their weight through diet.

These statistics briefly shed some light on the severity of a widespread struggle that has a particular hold on people. I know for myself, I refused to allow a morsel of food pass through my lips without a punishing and exhausting workout. My body was an enemy that needed to be controlled and punished through exercise. I remember purchasing a membership at my local gym and would wake every morning at 5:00am to be the first one there, exercise for an hour per machine (bike, then elliptical, then treadmill – all while watching Food Network TV), come home by 9:00am, shower, and off to school. I would compare myself to everyone at the gym, wondering how in awe they must be of my magnificent thin creation.  But what should you say to someone like me?  What should you not say?  How can you help?  Come join me on Wednesday, August 14th at 6:00pm in the InfoFIT Education Centre where I’ll share my struggle with anorexia and help clarify this delicate and tremendously important topic of eating disorders.  I’ll dispel some myths, shed some light into what goes on in the mind of an eating disorder, discuss ways to recover, and how to approach a client.  I’ll have several resources with me and information on eating disorder programs across the Province of B.C.

Fitness professionals are very quick and happy to jump on individuals for weight loss, and it is important to be just as quick to respond to eating disorders.

Hope to see you there.


Note: The following statistics have been compiled from specific research studies and papers found on the National Eating Disorders Information Centre. These statistics may not be applicable to other groups. See for more information