Eliminating Eating Disorders...IS Possible!
We (The F.R.E.E.D. Foundation, For Recovery & the Elimination of Eating Disorders:) created our blog to keep you updated on the pulse of our actions to raise money for people to receive treatment, prevention and education on eating/body image disorders, and life after recovering.
May 6, 2009
May 5, 2009
another death to "ED" --
following is an excerpt from an article in the Washington Post...the entire article can be found at:
Sarah's Death at 19 Left Her Family Struggling to Understand the Power of an Eating Disorder.
By Caitlin Gibson
Special to The Washington Post
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
"Leah's voice was calm on the phone.
I'm on my way home, she said. Sarah died this morning.
In the steady tone my best friend would use to say she had a flat tire or was late for class, Leah explained that she was about to board a flight to join her family as they prepared for her little sister's funeral.
Leah had known on some level that this might happen. She'd read the books, done the research and understood that girls with eating disorders got better, or they didn't. She saw Sarah as what she was: the everygirl of her illness, not immune because she was smart and beautiful, popular and athletic. But the knowledge that it might happen did nothing to prepare Leah.
Her false serenity lasted until the funeral, where she sat beside her parents in the synagogue and greeted a seemingly endless line of mourners. I took my place behind her, next to her aunt. Person after person shuffled forward to offer tearful embraces, and Leah's cocoon suddenly collapsed. The piercing cry that tore from her throat silenced the room.
Leah's aunt and I lunged forward in the instinctive way that one body answers another: our palms pressed against her back, fingers wrapped around her shoulders. Leah's scream subsided into a whimper, then quiet. The day shuddered on.
A growing consensus suggests that for young people with eating disorders, the sooner the problem is identified and aggressively treated, the better the chance of recovery. It is a truth that haunts Sarah's family; the tragedy of a teenager's funeral is all the more poignant when there is an underlying question of whether the loss could have been prevented; when those left behind cry not just for the person who is gone, but for the missed moments and lost opportunities that might have saved a life."
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a good reminder from DailyOM --patience
May 5, 2009
Progressing With Patience
Doing The Best You Can
It isn’t always easy to meet the expectations we hold ourselves to. We may find ourselves in a situation such as just finishing a relaxing yoga class or meditation retreat, a serene session of deep breathing, or listening to some calming, soul-stirring music, yet we have difficulty retaining our sense of peace. A long line at the store, slow-moving traffic, or another stressful situation can unnerve you and leave you wondering why the tranquility and spiritual equilibrium you cultivate is so quick to dissipate in the face of certain stressors. You may feel guilty and angry at yourself or even feel like a hypocrite for not being able to maintain control after practicing being centered. However, being patient with yourself will help you more in your soul’s journey than frustration at your perceived lack of progress. Doing the best you can in your quest for spiritual growth is vastly more important than striving for perfection.
Just because you are devoted to following a spiritual path, attaining inner peace, or living a specific ideology doesn’t mean you should expect to achieve perfection. When you approach your personal evolution mindfully, you can experience intense emotions such as anger without feeling that you have somehow failed. Simply by being aware of what you are experiencing and recognizing that your feelings are temporary, you have begun taking the necessary steps to regaining your internal balance. Accepting that difficult situations will arise from time to time and treating your reaction to them as if they are passing events rather than a part of who you are can help you move past them. Practicing this form of acceptance and paying attention to your reactions in order to learn from them will make it easier for you to return to your center more quickly in the future.
Since your experiences won’t be similar to others’ and your behavior will be shaped by those experiences, you may never stop reacting strongly to the challenging situations you encounter. Even if you are able to do nothing more than acknowledge what you are feeling and that there is little you can do to affect your current circumstances, in time you’ll alter your reaction to such circumstances. You can learn gradually to let negative thoughts come into your mind, recognize them, and then let them go. You may never reach a place of perfect peace, but you’ll find serenity in having done your best.
Apr 29, 2009
Thank You, Patrick Kennedy
For the entire article, please follow the link to:
Here is just a SMALL portion of the article...
Personal Low, Career Peak
After Drug-Fueled Crash, Patrick Kennedy Turned Focus to Mental Health-Care Reform
By Vincent Bzdek
Washington Post Staff Writer
Political aides counseled Rep. Patrick Kennedy not to mention the incident when he was campaigning for reelection in 2006. "Don't bring it up," they insisted, as Kennedy recounts their reaction. "Everybody already knows about it." Talking about it only reminded Rhode Island voters of other Kennedy family misdeeds and misfortunes, they said.
The incident was the pre-dawn drive the congressman took straight into a security barrier outside of the Capitol on May 4, 2006. At about 2:45 a.m., the bleary-eyed scion of America's royal family staggered out of his green 1997 Ford Mustang convertible and informed police he was late for a vote.
Fighting for Parity
After holding a nationwide series of field hearings on mental health coverage, Ramstad and Kennedy fashioned a new bill and presented it to the House.
And then they called in the secret weapon: Dad.
In the Senate, Ted Kennedy took up his son's cause, teaming with Domenici and Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) to quietly forge a broad bipartisan coalition after gathering input from mental-health advocates, health-insurance industry representatives and private businesses. With Ted Kennedy pulling the levers, the parity bill cleared the Senate with no dissent in September 2007.
"There aren't any coincidences when it comes to the Senate with my dad around," Patrick Kennedy said. The House's more expansive bill passed six months later.
House and Senate negotiators were hammering out compromises between the two versions when the legislation stalled over differences on unrelated budget procedures. Kennedy began to worry that the bill wouldn't get finished in time for his father to see it happen. The 77-year-old veteran lawmaker is battling a cancerous brain tumor that required surgery last summer.
In Hyannis Port, Mass., recovering from his chemotherapy and radiation treatments, Ted got on the phone. According to Patrick, his father talked nonstop to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and others, wheedling and cajoling his way toward passage, asking them to find a way to bring it up for a vote on the floor during a crowded schedule.
As Congress rushed to adjourn last fall, the bill was attached to the first emergency bailout of the financial industry steaming its way toward passage in late September -- and passed both the House and Senate. The only senator who wasn't there to vote was Patrick's father, who has made only a handful of visits to the Hill since his tumor was diagnosed.
Federal officials say the law, which President Bush signed Oct. 3, will improve coverage for 113 million people, including 82 million in employer-sponsored plans. Beginning in 2010, insurance companies will be required to charge the same co-pays, deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses for addiction and mental health treatments as those for all other illnesses. The legislation is expected to raise health-care premiums 0.2 percent to 0.4 percent on average and cost taxpayers about $3.4 billion over 10 years.
Ted Kennedy counts the bill among his greatest achievements as a senator. "I am enormously proud of Patrick's unwavering commitment to fairness and justice for all Americans struggling with mental illness," he said in an e-mail. "He is a true champion for the cause and a voice for the voiceless."
Patrick sent a note to his father the night after the bill became law. He wanted his thanks to be written down, something his father could forever hold and keep.
"Because in a sense," he explained, "in his fighting for it, he was fighting for something that was not only important to me, personally, as a son, but he was fighting against the stigma and shame that I've always felt at being 'lesser than' because I've had this illness. And that meant the world to me."
Vincent Bzdek is the author of "The Kennedy Legacy: Jack, Bobby and Ted and a Family Dream Fulfilled" (Palgrave Macmillan 2009), which is published today.
Apr 24, 2009
good media coverage of ED... warning: numbers/pictures...
Thank you!! GOOD COVERAGE to these deadly disorders...
LOVE that you spoke about Beauty and Health --redefining those labels. THANK YOU!
Apr 23, 2009
UPDATED POST! Miss Universe contestant "malnourished"??? How about ANOREXIC?!
***edit to this...The Today Show had another show on this topic today (Friday, April 24th) and did a really good job of highlighting the dangers of "too thin"... Thanks, Today, for not letting this fade into the background... Peace! ~K
I am not surprised, I suppose...but really, really disappointed in the comments regarding Miss Universe's contestant from Australia. Folks, at 5'11" and 108 pounds we're WONDERING IF SHE IS TOO SKINNY?? And doctors are calling her "malnourished"??? When I was 5'7" (and 1/2 if we're going to be talking about numbers here) and DYING from my eating disorders, I WEIGHED MORE THAN 108!!!! My doctor, my friends, my family ---EVERYONE thought I looked grossly thin (except for people like the one woman who I worked with who said, "I don't think you're too thin; you're model-like thin...it looks good." ...and for the random men and women whose image of "hot" was as mixed up as they were.) What in the world is this QUESTION of "too thin??"
Anyone interested in a (polite) letter-writing campaign to The Today Show? What I wouldn't give to go on air to educate them and their audience (especially Deborah Miller, pageant director) about the DEADLY SERIOUSNESS of "malnourishment"! If it's not OK for babies to be malnourished, then why in the world would ANYONE in their mind (Ms. Miller!!) think that it is OK to be malnourished as an adult woman (ok, teenage 'woman' --19)?? Who in the world ever thought that a woman who is emaciated is SEXY or HOT!?! Side note: Has anyone who thought that (super thin = sexy) ever been in a long-term relationship with a woman who starves herself to be this "hot"?? ---if they have, I'm guessing after a few romps they ran as fast as they could to find someone who was healthy...because starvation is ugly --mentally, physically, emotionally, and especially relationally.
Let's get active!! Letter-writing campaign here I come!
peace all...and make no mistake: Miss Australia is an anorexic weight --not simply 'malnourished'!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Seriously.
Miss Universe Australia model too skinny?
Australia's Miss Universe contest was thrown into controversy on Thursday with doctors and dieticians complaining a leading finalist was "skin and bones" and dangerously malnourished.
Sydney model Stephanie Naumoska, 19, was one of 32 contestants from more than 7,000 hopefuls to make the glittering final at an event promoting "healthy, proportioned, bodies."
"Bony or beautiful?" newspaper headlines said over photographs of a gaunt Naumoska posing in a red string bikini.
Health professionals said Naumoska, who is 1.8 m (5 ft 11 in) tall and weighs just 49 kg (108 lbs), had a body mass index of just 15.1, well under the official 18 benchmark for malnutrition.
"She would be categorized as underweight and I would certainly want to be doing an assessment of her diet to make sure she doesn't have some type of eating disorder," dietician Melanie McGrice told local newspapers.
"She needs blood tests, diet analysis and an overall assessment."
Pageant director Deborah Miller said brunette Naumoska, who was defeated in the final by 20-year-old television presenter and model Rachael Finch, had Macedonian heritage, which accounted for her extreme thinness.
"They have long, lithe bodies and small bones. It is their body type, just like Asian girls tend to be small," Miller said.
But Australian Medical Association president Rosanna Capolingua, whose organization represents Australian doctors, said the contest should impose a minimum BMI cut-off of 20.
"The most unhealthy part about it, though, is the image it is showing other young women who may view this as normal, when clearly it s not," Capolingua said.
While Naumoska refused to speak to media, nutritionist Susie Burrell told the Herald Sun newspaper there was no such thing as a Macedonian body type.
Eventual winner Finch will compete in the Miss Universe world finals in the Bahamas in August.
Horizon to Cover Eating Disorder Patients!!
Horizon to cover eating-disorder patients
A federal judge has approved a class-action settlement requiring New Jersey's largest health-insurance provider to cover claims for treatment of eating disorders.
The settlement calls for Horizon Blue Cross/Blue Shield of New Jersey to pay $1.2 million to about 500 patients whose payments for anorexia and bulimia treatments were denied, said Bruce Nagel, an attorney for the plaintiffs.
The agreement was approved Tuesday by U.S. District Court Judge Faith Hochberg. It requires Horizon Blue Cross to classify eating disorders as a biologically based mental illness, compelling the company to cover eating disorders in the same way it covers physical illnesses.
"It's huge," said Harriet Brown, a member of the Academy for Eating Disorders and an assistant professor at Syracuse University. "This is closing one of the loopholes that prevent people from getting treatment."
A spokesman for Horizon Blue Cross declined to comment.
The suit was filed in 2006 by parents of children with eating disorders. Ronald Drazin, of Fair Haven, was among the original plaintiffs and heralded the settlement yesterday.
"For parents, it means their kids can get treated and not be thrown out of hospitals or resident treatment facilities," said Drazin, whose daughter, now 18, was denied converge for treatment of anorexia.
Horizon also agreed to pay $2.45 million in legal fees, Nagel said.
In 2006, a woman from Wayne sued Horizon after her daughter was denied coverage for anorexia, drawing widespread support from eating disorder experts. The women, Dawn Beye, has since joined the class-action suit settled this week.
Last year, Hochberg approved a settlement in a similar case against Aetna.Joe Ryan may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (973) 622-3405.