After the craziness of traveling it was great to get back into my normal weekend routine, even if not much rest was had. There was meal prep, a looong run and a VERY exciting brunch. Ok and I watched a ton of House of Cards.. Sue me!
FYI, I’m going to do this recap a little backwards since the main point of today’s post is to discuss the amazing blogger’s brunch I attended on Saturday. (!!) FYI2, it’s a long one;)
RUN DAY! Ahh. I’d planned on going for a run by myself on Saturday afternoon, however, the trail I selected wasn’t quite groomed of all of the snow. I was pretty bummed but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise because I was able to run on Sunday with some of my pace group friends who also missed Saturday’s run! YAY.
Anyways, we met bright and early on the Capital Crescent Trail. We ran from the Barnes & Noble in Bethesda to Georgetown and back for a total of 14 miles. There was a little snow and freezing rain along the way that was suuuper fun! But we were determined and ran on.
14 miles now marks the longest distance I’ve ever run consecutively! How crazy is that? Being the running nerd I am, I now follow a lot of Ultra runners & BQ’ers who eat 14 miles for breakfast, but actually doing it on my own was incredible. It was extremely tough, the last few miles especially, but somehow my legs kept going despite them screaming at me.
It got me SO excited for Rock’n’Roll in less than two weeks!!
I’m still riding that high complaining about my legs today.
Thankfully I was able to spend the rest of the day relaxing & watching more House of Cards.. Not that I could do anything even if I wanted to!
SATURDAY: Rock Recovery’s Blogger Brunch
I had the pleasure of joining a Blogger’s Brunch on Saturday morning at a lovely little restaurant called Lavagna in Eastern Market. The event was hosted by Angelica Talan, founder of Clarendon Moms, a popular DC-area blog that discusses everything from fashion & style to fitness & mommy living. Angelica truly does it all and based on the giant success of the brunch she is a networking extraordinaire!
The purpose of brunch was to network with fellow bloggers & professionals in the health & fitness industries while discussing ways to make a more positive impact on body image issues. Falling on the last day of National Eating Disorder Week, the discussion was an eye-opening presentation on Media literacy and disordered eating 101 presented by Rock Recovery.
Rock Recovery is a DC-based non-profit dedicated to providing affordable recovery and education programs to individuals suffering from disordered eating. The organization provides mentors, therapies, etc. to patients and has a number of community outreach programs. Their goal is to help people overcome eating disorders without disrupting their daily lives.
Heather Baker, founder of Prosperity Eating Disorders and Wellness Center so graciously sponsored the brunch. Heather joined in on the conversation and spoke about her advanced out-patient treatment center. As a private practioner, Heather sought to create a place where persons suffering from eating disorders had every possible therapy and counseling they could possibly need in one central location.
Founder & CEO of Rock Recovery, Carylynn Larson along with Christie Dondero and Ashley Kula led the discussion. Over a course of two hours, all attendees introduced themselves, discussed eating disorders, their common misconceptions and how the media heavily promotes a thin [unrealistic] ideal.
I learned so much in such a short time. For one, I discovered that there is a distinct difference between disordered eating and an eating disorder. The two relate, but disordered eating is characterized as “a variety of abnormal eating behaviors” while an eating disorder is a clinically recognized medical condition. So someone may be displaying signs of disordered eating, say bingeing or compulsively eating, without being diagnosed with an eating disorder.
One of the more eye-opening topics discussed was how young people can develop these behaviors. Did you know that 42% of 1st-3rd grade girls want to be more thin? And that 80% of 10 year-olds fear becoming fat? Are those not some of the most heart breaking statistics you’ve ever heard? I don’t even remember being AWARE of body image at that age. Seriously? It really calls into question where children are learning this self-doubt. Is it the media? Or even picked up from their parents?
Another crazy statistic: 35% of “occasional dieters” progress into pathological dieters (i.e. they are habitually “on a diet”) and 25% of these people advance to having full blown eating disorders. Diets are clearly a very slippery slope. I know firsthand how stressful the word “diet” in itself can be. It’s a very restrictive and ominous word. We all agreed that those seeking to lose weight should take a more positive outlook and think about weight loss as a lifestyle change.
We also examined ways to break the stereotype of who exactly ails from eating disorders. It’s not a ‘rich white girl’ disease. Disordered eating and full-blown eating disorders plague people of every shape, size, race, ethnicity, gender, you name it. It stems from both biological and environmental factors. This quote was mentioned during the talk & it was so powerful: “Genetics load the gun; Lifestyle pulls the trigger.”
The culprit for 30 million Americans suffering from disordered eating is, in part, the media we are subjected to on a daily basis. It’s certainly not breaking news that the media is a huge stressor in disordered eating and body dissatisfaction. Television, movies and magazines consistently promote the thin ideal; an ideal that is naturally obtainable for less than 5% of women.
- Freaking. Percent?!
So…. you’re telling me that if 1000 women were shown a photo of how they “should look”, 950 of them would not fit that mold? There is something wrong when the majority of women viewing an ad of a model in a magazine cannot physically obtain the body type of said model. Shouldn’t we be seeing ads of people that actually look like us? The answer: no. How, then, would brands be able to sell if they didn’t push an ideal that made people strive for perfection? Simple: they wouldn’t.
Put blankly, industries thrive off making you feel like shit. (Sidenote: I feel the need to say not all advertising is bad and a lot of the time I think the ‘thin ideal’ message is sent unintentionally. Though it is the subject of some controversy, I *looove* Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty.)
What is the solution? That I don’t have an answer for. Several things could be a step in the right direction. I feel like, as women, we need to stop basing our entire worth on how attractive we are. We should be beautiful for characteristics other than our looks.
Personally, I’ve learned to accept the fact that I may never have the body of models in advertisements or actresses in movies; I arm myself with the knowledge that even the most beautiful celebrities are RIDICULOUSLY photo-shopped and airbrushed. (Freakin’ Beyonce is photoshopped… I mean.. Come on.) I also have learned to love my body for what it is; it breathes for me, it digests my peanut butter toast & banana and then carries me 14 miles. Most importantly it’s the only one I’ve got—so I better get used to it, huh?
Overall, I feel very fortunate to have been a part of such a great discussion. As someone who has struggled with disordered eating at one point in time, it gave me hope to see that there is help out there. There is a change happening and I can only describe it as conversation.
I loved being able to HAVE the conversation.
Eating disorders are very private problems and are difficult to talk about. Truthfully, the topic seems like a conversational taboo. I can’t stress how important it is to address these issues head on, seek help when you need it and start the conversation about recovery. The fact that there are places like Rock Recovery and Prosperity give hope that there are alternative resources to expensive in-patient care.
Thank you again to Angelica, Rock Recovery & Prosperity for organizing such a thought-provoking event!
Be sure to check the hashtags #NEDWeek and #ihadnoidea for some seriously incredible stories. If anyone is interested to know more about either of these programs:
I hope everyone has a fabulous Monday and if you take anything away from reading my post today, let it be this: please seek help if you need it. There is ALWAYS someone willing to listen & help.