Weigh This Instead!

Life After Emotional & Binge Eating

The Airplane is Overweight

A few weeks ago I flew to BEDA’s Binge Eating Disorder Conference in Philadelphia on a Delta Commuter Jet; a medium-sized jet with four seats across. I was flying from Cincinnati and was excited to see the The Xavier Women’s Basketball Team on board (March Madness!).

It was 9:00pm. Departure had already been delayed two hours (crew issues). The plane was packed. After everyone had boarded, a flight attendant made an announcement. “The plane is overweight.”

You could feel the tension. People started making awkward jokes. A man, whom I believe was the Xavier Women’s Team Coach, pointed to a man I think was an assistant coach and said, “OK, you, OFF the plane.” Everyone on the team laughed. Interestingly, though, I don’t think people were focused or concerned that the plane would crash. Based on the jokes, it appeared people’s minds went where my mind did. I immediately started thinking, “Is it me. Should I get off the plane? Do I weigh too much?”

For the next few minutes, there was a lot of awkward laughter.   In an attempt to lighten the load, the ground crew emptied some fuel. The gasoline truck came and went. Then there was another announcement. “Sorry folks. We’re still overweight. We need three people to volunteer to leave the plane”.

Travel Vouchers were offered. Only one man jumped up to accept. The attendant made the announcement again, and then again.  No takers. Minutes passed. Discomfort increased, so did the value of the Delta Vouchers…now up to $600. offered to anyone who would get off the plane.

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Message to Disney and BCBS; It’s NOT OK to Stigmatize Overweight Children

UPDATE: Disney has closed the attraction, as of 2/25/12, “until further notice.” Disney’s “Habit Heroes” website now says, “DOWN FOR MAINTENANCE”.  Today, Disney reached out to BEDA CEO Chevese Turner…said the exhibit closing is “temporary”. Seems they are seeking feedback from organizations that contacted Disney, in protest. Looks like the attraction will be reworked, with our feedback, we hope!  The outcry was loud!  We used our voices and we were heard!  This is a victory, for EVERY BODY!

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I’m trying to imagine myself as the overweight teenager I was, happy to be on a trip to Disney World and Epcot Center. Then, suddenly, I feel blindsided and shamed.

I’m standing in front of an exhibit about teens with bad habits (with names like “Lead Bottom” and “The Glutton”) vs. “Habit Heroes (“Will Power” and “Callie Stenics”).  So, if I’m an overweight teen, it’s assumed I am piggying out, “a glutton” , and the world has judged me innactice and worthy of ridicule?  Should I see myself  as unattractive and misshapen as “Lead Bottom”?

Shocked, Disillusioned, Dismayed, Disheartened, Disappointed, Saddened, Distressed, Disgusted, Heartbroken…It’s Horrifying, Offensive, Stigmatizing, Horrific, Will Promote Bullying of Overweight Kids…

These are just a few of the words my colleagues and I are using to describe our reaction to a joint Disney Corporation and Blue Cross Blue Shield Epcot Exhibit and Online Program called “Habit Heroes”.

BEDA; The Binge Eating Disorder Association (I serve as President this year), in conjunction with ANAD, has just released this Call to Action. Please read on, and if you are concerned, as we are, please choose to take one or more suggested actions. PLEASE!

*Photos included are from the Disney Website

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BEDA & ANAD

 CALL TO ACTION

 

Join BEDA and ANAD
to inform the Disney Corporation
that it is NOT okay to promote
weight stigmatization
through its harmful “Habit Heros”campaign

 

Disney Launches New On-line Program

and EPCOT Exhibit Stigmatizing Children & Adults-of-Size

 

Disney's Lead Bottom with Habit Heroes

 

 

This morning BEDA was made aware of a disturbing exhibit at Disney EPCOT and its on-line program (Habit Heros) that frankly, is horrifying. The program was developed with Blue Cross/Blue Shield. More information is provided in the full article, including a reference to the program’s superheros “Will Power” and “Callie Stenics,” from the Orlando Sentinel.
 
Disney is capitalizing on the “War on Obesity” to shame kids and then offer them every type of fast-food available in their parks. We do not believe food should be demonized, and if the program is going to show brocolli (good guys) shooting hotdogs (bad guys), perhaps some brocolli should be offered along with millions of hotdogs sold in the parks yearly. See the fast-food company affiliations of many of Disney’s board-of-directors

Read comments from a blog written by a family doctor specializing in weight management. Its difficult to fathom any professional who has dealt with individuals who are trying to make sense of their issues around weight and/or an eating disorder to see the benefit in this type of programming. This physician obviously sees the harm in weight stigma.
 
Read an article about a study on weightism showing it as more wide-spread than racism.

What Can You Do?


 
Let you voice be heard! Make phone calls, write letters, begin an on-line petition, or contribute your picture to I Stand Against Weight Bullying. See Disney contact information below.
 
We are providing links, phone numbers, and addresses for your convenience. Please also read Disney’s Harrassment & Discrimination Policies below:
 

 The following is directly from Disney’s Harrassment & Discrimination Policies

 
The Walt Disney Company’s policy prohibits employees from harassing any other employee, guest or other person in the course of the company’s business for any reason prohibited by law, including, but not limited to, race, religion, color, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age, marital status, covered veteran status, mental or physical disability, pregnancy, or any other basis prohibited by state or federal law.

 
• Email friends. If you have a blog, blog about this

• Post this call to action on Facebook and Twitter

• Reach out to professional organizations and others to ask them to join with us

• Reach out to reporters and news organizations you may have contacts within

 

 
Contact Information for Disney:

• Call Epcot Center: 407-824-2222 and register a complaint about Innovations at Epcot and specifically the Habit Heros Exhibit
• Call Disney Corporate Headquarters: 407-354-2754
• Write to:

 

Disney Corporate Headquarters: 

Attention: Kristin Nolt Wingard, Senior VP of Public Affair
1375 Buena Vista Drive

Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830

 
• Email Disney’s Communications Dept: TWDC.Corp.Communications@disney.com
 

Let Disney know in your communications that you are concerned about the stereotypes and weight stigmatization that this exhibit and online game promotes. Explain how it might make you feel to see this blatant discrimination that would never be tolerated around age, race, gender, or sexual orientation.
 
This is an opportunity to be heard! 

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BEDA; the Binge Eating Disorder Association, is the national organization focused on increasing prevention, diagnosis and treatment of BED and associated weight stigma. Through outreach, education and resources, BEDA is committed to facilitating awareness, excellence in care, and recovery for those who live with and those who treat binge eating disorder and its associated conditions.

 

Our Values

BEDA provides a community dedicated to helping those with BED and associated weight stigma through the following:

  1. Understanding and Hope
  2. Evidence-based research
  3. Clinically accepted practices
  4. Resources for individuals and families
  5. Educational opportunities for treatment professionals
  6. Advocacy
  7. Cooperation with and empowerment of individuals and organizations to enhance effectiveness
  8. Commitment to equitable treatment and elimination of discrimination in all its forms at all organizational levels and throughout all programs.
  9. Commitment to excellence and to maintaining the membership and public trust
  10. Transparency, integrity and honesty

Our Vision

To create a community where individuals, families, and treatment providers have access to resources to help them, their loved ones, or their clients overcome BED and live healthy, productive lives free from an eating disorder and weight stigma.

  

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Ellen Shuman is a Life Coach who specializes in empowering people who are working on emotional and binge eating recovery. She is the founder of A Weigh Out & Acoria Eating Disorder Treatment, President of the Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA), and Co-Chair of the Academy for Eating Disorders Special Interest Group on “Health at Every Size”, ellen@aweighout.com

Order the Chocolate Cake First?

Have you ever felt a pull to got to a particular restaurant, mainly because you wanted to eat a dessert that restaurant serves?  I have. All day long I’d think, “I really want that chocolate cake”.

Then, I wasn’t really honest with myself. I’d order and eat a whole meal, the whole time focused on that dessert that I’d get to have after the bread, and the salad, and the main course. Then, when the dishes were being cleared and the waiter would ask if anyone would like to see the dessert menu, I’d casually say, “Sure, I’ll take a look”, all the time knowing I was just a few minutes away from my coveted dessert….the one I had been thinking about all day long as a distraction from my life.

Here’s what I know today. If I have a hankering for a piece of chocolate cake, and acting on that desire is in line with healthy living for me today, then I should get a piece of chocolate cake. Because if I don’t address that desire, it’s a set up for a real binge. On the other hand, if I find myself thinking about chocolate cake because my underlying motivation is distraction from other things going on in my life; some stressor, some feeling or situation I’d rather avoid, then it’s in my best interest to get mindful, recognize without judgment why I’m focused on chocolate cake, and then figure out how to be more emotionally connected and effective in my life.

With either scenario…this question is for anyone who struggles with emotional eating or not. On those occasions when you REALLY want chocolate cake, what do you think would happen to the overall amount of food you consume at such a meal if you ordered and ate the chocolate cake first, since that’s what you really want? Then, after eating the cake, checked in to see if you want to order a whole meal?

Hmmm… honestly, I’ve not yet had the courage to do this in a restaurant when out with friends…I’m still a bit too self conscious. But I’m working toward it. What do you think it would be like to try that, just as an experiment?

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Ellen Shuman is a Life Coach who specializes in empowering people who are working on emotional and binge eating recovery. She is the founder of A Weigh Out & Acoria Eating Disorder Treatment, President of the Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA), and Co-Chair of the Academy for Eating Disorders Special Interest Group on “Health at Every Size”, ellen@aweighout.com

New Year’s “Intentions”

Tis the season. This is the time of year when we feel the pull, even the pressure, to set New Year’s Resolutions. Everyone else around us is talking about theirs.

Can we all agree that any 2011 New Year’s Resolutions about weight loss were a waste of time and only lead to more desperation?

This year, would you be willing to experiment with an alternative? 

What about going deeper; instead of focusing on weight loss and the fanatasy that it will solve every single problem you’ve ever had, consider exploring and getting clear about your true desires and intentions for your emotional health, your physical health, your nutritional health, and your spiritual health this coming year? 

If you could focus on those, instead of on weight loss, if you chose to practice healthier behaviors, just one sustainable small step at a time, could you just trust that to whatever degree your weight might change, it will or won’t happen naturally?

If you could stop obsessing about your weight, what could you dream about…and accomplish, instead?

Want to learn more about how to free yourself from food and weight obsession? Click here to Register for my Free Telephone Seminar about Freedom from Emotional and Binge Eating.

I wish you a joyful, healthier, mindful, calm New Year!  Now, you get to decide what you’re willing to do to create it!

A healthier life is yours to create!

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Ellen Shuman is a Life Coach who specializes in empowering people who are working on emotional and binge eating recovery. She is the founder of A Weigh Out & Acoria Eating Disorder Treatment, Vice President of the Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA), and Co-Chair of the Academy for Eating Disorders Special Interest Group on “Health at Every Size”, ellen@aweighout.com

Enough

Enough. These few words are enough.

If not these words, this breath.

If not this breath, this sitting here.

 

This opening to the life

we have refused

again and again

until now.

 

Until now.

“Enough” by David Whyte from Where Many Rivers Meet

 

For many of us, the losses and uncertainty we are experiencing as a result of the current economic downturn may be fueling our fears and a sense of “hungering.”

In our global communities, our neighborhoods, our families, and our guts, we worry about whether there will be “enough.” Will there be enough financial and earthly resources? Will we have enough courage, energy, and emotional resources to get through this?

How will we endure this “hungering” without allowing it to overcome or deplete us? Many of us will reach for food to soothe ourselves when we feel empty, to numb ourselves from our worries, and to assure ourselves that there is “enough.”

Our behaviors may offer us temporary relief. But what if we had instead a more enduring way to lessen our suffering and diminish our “hungering”?

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Rita’s Homemade Applesause and Fruit Rollups. Yum!

I love making homemade applesauce and fruit rollups/leather…better than any you can buy!

I just got a peck of apples – some were really nice, some had imperfections, but that doesn’t bother me at all. What’s important to me is that the fruit is NATURAL w/o sprays. So here’s how I do it.

Wash, core and cut 3-5 pounds fruit into chunks (apples and pears work well). Leave skin on because there is pectin in the peel and that pulls cholesterol out of your body.

Cooking options

Crockpot: Spray pot with a nonstick spray. Put fruit in. If you want, add up to 1 cup of water or apple juice. Cook on low or high until fruit is soft enough to mash – this can take anywhere from 4-8 hrs depending upon apples and amount.

Stovetop: Place in heavy or nonstick large pot. Add up to 1 cup water, cider or apple juice (to keep fruit from sticking), and simmer until fruit is soft. You may have to add a bit more liquid. Be careful here because the mixture tends to sputter up.

In the oven: Spray pan (use one with sides – I use a roasting pan) and put apples in. I cook mine at 325, covered, until they are soft enough to puree.

Tip from Rita’s Kitchen
When I cook fruit in the crockpot or oven, I usually don’t add much liquid – start with 1/2 cup and go from there. If it starts to stick, add more liquid. The less liquid you add when making fruit leathers/rollups, the better off you are as the liquid has to evaporate.

After fruit is cooked:

Mash by hand, run through food mill or sieve, a blender, food processor. If making applesauce, you can leave it chunky or smooth. If making leather, you need to puree it (see how to below). If desired, sweeten to taste with sugar, Stevia or Splenda. Add cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice to taste. Do this while fruit is still warm. Now you have the best tasting homemade applesauce!

To Make Fruit Rollups/Leather

To turn the applesauce into fruit leather, you need to puree it and dry it to let all the moisture evaporate out, and here’s how you do it:

Drying to make fruit rollups/leather:

In the sun: Cover cookie sheets with foil, dark side facing up so that the fruit absorbs the sun more. Spray and spread mixture on foil, about 1/4” thick. Place outside in the sun and bring in at night or if it rains. It will take 2 days to a week.

Oven: Dry in warm oven. It will take anywhere from 4-8 hours or more depending upon the kind of apples, etc.

How to tell if the fruit leather is done:

It should pull up from the pan in one sheet.

Fruit Leather-Day Two

 

Fruit Leather-Day Three-DONE!

 

Storing: In refrigerator, up to 6 months, and up to l year in freezer.

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Rita Nader Heikenfeld, CCP, CMH, is a Certified Culinary Professional and Certfied Modern Herbalist, educator, author, founding editor of www.Abouteating.com
a popular website that showcases her many interests in healthy living.

Becoming a Diet Survivor: Relief and Grief

(Based on The Diet Survivor’s Handbook)

We define a diet survivor as a person who has been on more than one diet, lost and regained the weight, and are becoming aware that the failure is not their fault.  By identifying yourself as a diet survivor, you’re in the process of making a transformation.  Rather than remaining in a damaging downward spiral, you can embark on a journey toward physical and psychological well-being. You’re reaching the conclusion that you cannot tolerate one more diet.  You’re saying “no” to deprivation and “no” to the overeating that inevitably follows.  You’re no longer willing to sacrifice your health and happiness to lose weight.  You’re tired of feeling depleted by your preoccupation with food and weight and of waiting for a number on the scale to give you permission to start living.

But saying no isn’t enough.  In order to make significant changes, you must

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Weight Stigma Awareness Week Starts Monday!

 

Change can start with each one of us!  We can change the world; one thought, one shift in attitude, one meaningful conversation at a time. Check out the Binge Eating Disorder Association’s “Healing Myself First”  CALL TO ACTION !

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Ellen Shuman is a Life Coach who specializes in empowering people who are working on emotional and binge eating recovery. She is the founder of A Weigh Out & Acoria Eating Disorder Treatment, Vice President of the Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA), and Co-Chair of the Academy for Eating Disorders Special Interest Group on “Health at Every Size”, ellen@aweighout.com

Diet Insanity!

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Ellen Shuman is a Life Coach who specializes in emotional and binge eating recovery. She is the founder of A Weigh Out & Acoria Eating Disorder Treatment, Vice President of the Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA), and Co-Chair of the Academy for Eating Disorders Special Interest Group on “Health at Every Size”, ellen@aweighout.com

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