Well hot dang! I was so delighted this morning when I woke up to find that a bunch of you ordered a FabFitFun box! I mentioned in last night’s recipe post that my sister-in-law and I were customizing my box, and I was getting so stinkin’ excited. It’s a quarterly box of over $250 worth of beauty and wellness products for only $39.99. And you can get $10 off if you use my code TENOFF at check out too 🙂
Anywho. I’m in Ohio. I booked a commercial for tomorrow, and so I’m getting to work and play. Lucky me! 🙂
So I don’t know if you’ve heard, but Weight Watchers has been in the news this past week…and not for good reason.
They’re actually in a bit of hot water.
You see, earlier this month, Weight Watchers announced that they would be offering free memberships to teens, ages 13-17.
And, rightfully so, this maneuver has been met with cries of outrage.
Hashtags like “#WakeUpWeightWatchers” and “#DoneWithDieting” have lit up social media like a firestorm, illuminating the harmful link between dieting and the development of eating disorders — particularly among teens — the most impressionable and susceptible to body image pressures.
And I do have a lot of thoughts about this. I can’t say that a diet caused my eating disorder, but I definitely remember seeing Weight Watchers cookbooks in our house, and internalizing what was “deemed” a good food or bad food based off of their point system, and then distorting those guidelines into hard and fast rules for my disordered restriction. So it definitely fueled the fire.
And it’s a tricky topic, because yes, our nation is batting obesity at a frightful level. And children too. According to the CDC, one in five American school-aged children is obese. That is concerning. And we need to creatively come up with healthy and positive ways to encourage a healthy lifestyle – like the “Play60” program — encouraging 60 minutes of play per day.
What’s not beneficial is pressuring teens into joining a diet program that obsesses over weigh-ins and exercise and low-calorie “zero point” foods. That is just recipe for disaster.
This whole Weight Watchers scandal is coming right on the brink of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week: February 26 – March 3. And frankly, I’ve always kind of been luke warm about the whole concept. It almost feels like glorifying the disease or as a platform for people to try and shock people with horrifying before-and-after photos as some sort of sick competition. And their “themes” — like “Let’s Talk About It” with a smiling, beautiful, thin, girl holding a slice of pizza — felt borderline insulting. I don’t know — Here are Two posts that sum up my thoughts.
But I realized that this Weight Watchers ordeal is a prime example of exactly why we actually, really do need to have a conversation. Because if we’re being really honest – given the concerning obesity statistics, sure — offering free WW memberships to teens sounds like a really positive and beneficial idea…on the surface. So I’m not here to bash WW on, what I feel, was an innocent – yet bone head – decision.
But it does highlight the need for understanding.
That’s the thing: Eating Disorder Awareness — sure…that’s great. Let’s share our stories. Wonderful.
But what’s actually going to make a difference, is understanding.
Sincerely seeking to understand this incredibly misunderstood disease, that is so often the butt end of insensitive jokes or blatant eye rolls — “Just eat a sandwich.” “Ugh, get over yourself.” “She must have daddy issues.” “How vain & superficial.” “Pssh, a rich white girl complex.” “Snap out of it, already.”
The fact is, an eating disorder is a mental illness.
That’s why I wrote my book, Bloom. That’s why I continue to write this blog.
I applaud the efforts of National Eating Disorder Awareness (NEDA) Week. And awareness is good. It’s a great start.
But understanding is better.
And so to honor NEDA Week, I wanted to foster understanding on this anorexia recovery blog. SO…
I will be answering any and all questions you send in about eating disorders, recovery, treatment, how to support. Nothing is off limits.
You can either ask your question in the comments section, my DM on Instagram, or you can always email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
And next Monday, I’ll answer them in either a video or a written post – I haven’t decided yet 🙂
So don’t be shy 🙂 I truly hope this can be a fruitful discussion that can help to create some positive understanding and change!
OK, that’s all for now! Wish me luck on the commercial tomorrow!
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