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by Sunny Sea Gold, Woodhull Alumna
Originally posted to healthygirl.org on April 13th.
Part 3 of the excerpt from my book Food: The Good Girl’s Drug. Enjoy!
Are all binge eaters or emotional overeaters overweight? Not at all. This is a huge misperception that people have about emotional overeaters. I know people who have been reluctant to get help because they figure that if their body size is about right, their problem isn’t “bad” enough to need fixing. “Believing your size is an indication of your mental or physical health is incorrect,” said Dr. Nardozzi. “The extreme ends of eating disorders can lead to sizes that are way too small and too big. But what you really need to look at are your behaviors and your mind-set. Are you obsessing about food and your body? Is your mood affected by what you eat? Are you feeling bad about yourself for eating large amounts of food or are you restrictive with your eating after indulging? That’s a better indicator of whether you have an eating problem than your weight alone.”
Some emotional overeaters are overweight or obese from the time they’re children, but others yo-yo up and down, stay in a pretty normal range, or even become underweight because of things like overexercising or dieting. Kendra said she knows logically that her weight is normal, but she doesn’t feel like it. “I weigh 123 pounds and I’m five six, so technically I’m ‘healthy,’ but I don’t feel healthy,” she told me. “I don’t feel healthy unless I see definition in my abs and weigh 112.” (At 112 pounds, by the way, Kendra would be clinically underweight; just a few pounds from the official definition of anorexic.) Twenty-one-year-old Sarah, on the other hand, said she’s always been on the larger side. “You could say that I am morbidly obese, but I just say that I’m really overweight,” she explained. “I’m only five two and weigh about 260 pounds. I’m not comfortable in my body and always wear really baggy clothes.”
Originally posted to healthygirl.org on April 12th.
Today, part 2 of the condensed Chapter 1 excerpt from my new book, Food: The Good Girl’s Drug. (Tomorrow’s installment: Are all bingers overweight?)
There are literally millions of us out there who have struggled with emotional overeating and bingeing. It’s estimated that three-and-a-half percent of women and two percent of men in the United States have full-blown binge eating disorder. (And that doesn’t even count the people who don’t meet those criteria and who binge eat more occasionally or use other disordered behaviors!) Recent research has shown that binge eating is more common than anorexia and bulimia combined, and that kids as young as six years old can have problems with it. But bingeing isn’t talked about as much as anorexia and bulimia, and that means there aren’t nearly enough resources for those who need help, said Jennifer Nardozzi, Psy.D., national training manager for the Renfrew Center Foundation.
by Sunny Sea Gold, Woodhull AlumnaOriginally posted to healthygirl.org on April 11th.
Regular readers probably know that my book, Food: The Good Girl’s Drug, came out last Tuesday. For those of you who haven’t had a chance to have a look, I wanted to share an excerpt! So, for the next three days, I’ll be running condensed sections from the first part of the book, focused on understanding what’s going on between you and food.
I love to eat—always have, always will. But in my early teens, eating went from something fun, yummy, and nourishing to something that made me absolutely miserable. My parents had started fighting a lot, and ultimately talking divorce. I was freaking out. That’s when a really puzzling, frenzied pattern of eating started to emerge. I snuck food, stole food, hid food, obsessed about food, loved food, hated food, hated myself. I would shove more food into my belly than I would’ve thought was humanly possible.
What I call my first official binge happened in the ninth grade. Mom and Dad were yelling at each other one night, and I escaped outside and dragged a blanket with me, heading for the roof of our German shepherd’s doghouse so I wouldn’t have to listen to it. Before I scooted out the door, I grabbed a spoon and a can of frozen orange juice concentrate from the freezer. I perched on the roof of that doghouse and cried, scooping the syrupy stuff into my mouth until the can was almost empty. I was in so much pain—but the sweetness of the juice and the mechanical action of moving the spoon up to my mouth over and over again seemed to numb my feelings.
Who was one of the greatest female film and fashion icons of the 20th Century?
Audrey Hepburn, a native of Belgium, enchanted the public with her charm, wit and elegance throughout the number of films she starred in during her 15 year career. Born in 1929, Hepburn grew up in England and the Netherlands, attending boarding school in the former. Hepburn and her mother faced austere times after the Nazis invaded England, stirring Audrey’s interest in the resistance movement. After World War II, Hepburn studied ballet in Amsterdam and London, the latter where she starred in theater productions such as High Button Shoes. It was her performance in the Broadway production, Gigi, that catapulted Hepburn onto Hollywood’s radar screen.
Mary Wollstonecraft is most commonly referred to as “The first feminist” or “The mother of feminism” for her writings on feminism and philosophy. Her essay “A Vindication of the Rights of Woman” from 1792 is one of the earliest works of feminist thought, in which she argues that men and women should have equal education and treated both as rational human beings. This essay was in response to Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s “Emile” from 1762 in which he argued that woman should be educated for the pleasure and service of men.
“Women are systematically degraded by receiving the trivial attentions which men think it manly to pay to the sex, when, in fact, men are insultingly supporting their own superiority.”
A Vindication of the Rights of Woman was considered a radical text as Wollstonecraft was highly critical of the contemporary attitudes towards woman at the time.
Louise Nevelson, a Russian native, immigrated to Rockland, Maine as a young child and in her twenties, studied art in New York at the Art Students League. Inspired by a statue standing outside the Rockland Public Library, she decided to concentrate on sculpting and rejected the materials artists such as Alexander Calder and David Smith were using at the time: metal. Nevelson used wooden objects off the streets of New York as her point of inspiration in combination with monochromatic colors. Her style shifted in scale (small scale to outdoor pieces), color (black, white, gold) and imagery (personal, cultural and universal).
A major theme Nevelson seemed to incorporate into her work without directly alluding to is her own marriage troubles. Her sculpture came to reflect her marriage to art and her loss of connection to her husband, a well off businessman. Nevelson’s work has become synonymous with Cubism, Dadaism, Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, and Minimalism. Her work has been featured in illustrious locations such as the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum.
Lena Horne, a singer, actress and activist with talent, style and elegance, was born a few decades before Hollywood could fully appreciate her skills as a consummate performer. Horne had to contend with the dual obstacles of overcoming racial and social inequalities of society and those perceptions as portrayed on the big screen in Hollywood.
As an actress, Horne was able to break the mold of Hollywood’s racial stereotypes of maids and butlers and became a cultural icon of her own. Her performances in The Cabin in the Sky and Stormy Weather, catapulted her into the public’s imagination as well as those of entertainment executives. By the 1940’s, Horne was the highest paid black actor in America.
Babe Didrikson Zaharias was a pioneer in women’s athletics for the first half of the 20th Century, creating a foundation for a second generation of women to equalize the playing field of sport.
As the dominant basketball player, track and field athlete and golfer of her time, Zaharias earned AAU All American honors, an Olympic gold medal in the 80 meter hurdles and the javelin, an Olympic silver medal in the high jump and won the first US Women’s Open.
A woman of Zaharias athletic stature and muscular physique was uncommon during the first half of the 20th Century, as female athletes had not gained greater acceptance from the public at large. Critics such as Joe Williams from the New York World-Telegram, denounced her lack of femininity in attitude and appearance, as he suggests, “It would be much better if she and her ilk stayed home, got themselves prettied up and waited for the phone to ring.”
Despite not conforming to society’s cultural expectations of women at the time, Zaharias captivated others such as famed sportswriter, Grantland Rice, who encouraged her to take up golf. Impressed by her mental and physical fortitude Rice opines, “She is beyond all belief until you see her perform. Then you finally understand that you are looking at the most flawless section of muscle harmony, of complete mental and physical coordination, the world of sport has ever seen.”