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Archive for October 31, 2013

Love Your Body

Submitted by TEPF Volunteer
I love my legs because I can move freely around with them. 

I love my eyes because they allow me to see the world.

I love my fingers because they allow me to hold objects.

I love my nose because it allows me to breathe.

I love my teeth because they allow me to chew yummy food.

I love my tongue because it allows me to taste yummy food.

I love my feet because they give me balance.

I love my ears because they allow me to hear.

I love my hair because I can flip it over my shoulder when I’m cocky…that’s a joke.

I love my torso because I can use it to lay down and sleep.

Media Monday – Denied Coverage for Not Purging Enough

Submitted by Christine Hanwick

A 19-year-old woman from Los Angeles was denied inpatient coverage for treatment because the insurance company claimed she was not “purging enough.” They actually denied her because she was not “purging enough.” I needed to repeat that twice because it seems too awful to believe. This young woman who had the courage to seek treatment was life-flighted to a hospital after having been sent away from an emergency room she was admitted to because of stomach pain–where she was actually told “to go home and deal with the consequences of [her] behavior.” She later passed away from septic shock induced by a ruptured stomach caused by binging and purging (bulimia). The insurance company paid for the emergency room visit–but they wouldn’t pay for treatment of the illness that caused her death (Source) (Source).

I think most people would agree that this is a tragic story that could have been avoided had she not been denied coverage. But she was, and unfortunately stories like this happen too often. I read about this story in the Hill Blog, which said that “the lack of access to quality mental health and addictions services is one of the most important and most neglected civil rights issues confronting the nation. Care of the mentally ill is one of our greatest and most enduring health disparities and one of the country’s most resounding failures” (Source).

Although we as a nation have failed to ensure “access to quality mental health and addiction services” (Source), we have finally implemented the Affordable Care Act, which is supposed to ensure that mental health and addiction treatments are covered. I’ve been reading about the Affordable Care Act, and trying to decipher whether or not it will have a big impact on improving coverage for the treatment of eating disorders. To tell you the truth, I’m not sure. Only time will tell. But there are some really beneficial inclusions, like enabling individuals to stay on their parents insurance until the age of 26. I do think it’s a huge step in the right direction. And I believe that in combination with the Mental Health Parity Act and hopefully soon the FREED Act–there will be continued progress for treatment and prevention.

We as individuals can help to make sure there is progress for treatment and prevention. We can read stories like the one mentioned in the Hill Blog, and it can deeply impact us. And the power of a story like this, is that if you are passionate about seeing progress for treatment and prevention, perhaps it moves you to write a letter or make a phone call to your legislator. If this is something you feel compelled to do, I’ve added two links below to sample letters you can easily add your name to, print out, and send to your legislator. One is about the FREED Act, the other is a sample letter for action.

“We must hold the government, insurers, and providers accountable until every person who is in need has access to affordable, quality mental health care. Only then will we have achieved a truly equitable system, and ended the historic discrimination in mental health care” (Source).

FREED Act sample letter:

http://www.eatingdisorderscoalition.org/documents/RepresentativeSampleLetter2012.docx

Sample letter for action:

http://www.anad.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Sample-Legislative-Letter.doc

Sources:

http://parityispersonal.org/sites/default/files/hearing%20report.pdf

http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/healthcare/327013-make-good-on-mental-health-parity

Image: Source

 

Love Your Body – Your Works are Wonderful

Submitted by TEPF Volunteer.

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” {Psalm 139:14}

Fitspo – the latest buzzword for the fitness/inspiration internet craze – is becoming an unhealthy addiction for many. Especially when you need an extra push in the mornings to get your run started, these pictures are hurting more than helping. But how so?

For a while, I thought it was great to see motivational posters and pictures of people working out next to sayings like, “Don’t Quit” and “Earned, Not Given”. Then I started to see fewer inspirational words and more models challenging others with words like “Are you really going to eat that?” An image of a woman looking in the mirror at her rock-hard abs and flowing long hair has now become the standard of beauty.

I know that I am beautiful in every way. The Lord made me in His image, His perfect image. In God’s eyes, we are righteous – take heart in that truth this week. Don’t let anything or anyone define you.

Hair. Is it What We See First?

Submitted by Kate Kaczor, Dietetic Intern

Like it or not, we are surrounded by the media. We pass billboard after billboard when driving along the highway, watch what can seem like never-ending commercials between our favorite television programming, and read more advertisements than articles from magazines such as Glamour and Vogue. All these advertisements have a common primary goal: profit. Companies do whatever they can to woo you in and get you to invest in their product. In doing this, they send out many more messages in addition to ‘buy our product.’ Often, these messages amplify the importance of physical appearance and these messages tend to stick with us whether we purchase the advertised product or not.

An ad for Axe Hair Gel takes some of these stereotypical messages to a new level. The commercial reduces the female in the story to disembodied breasts and the male in the story to an unruly tuft of hair. The storyline goes something like this: the male, with his unattractive hairdo, has a seemingly depressing life, his coworkers exclude him, the bus door slams in his face on a raining day, and the woman (the disembodied breasts) won’t give him the time of day. At the end of the commercial the tuft is transformed into an attractive gentleman with great hair (from the use of the Axe gel) and the set of breasts morphs into a full woman who now accepts the man’s romantic advances. The commercial ends with the phrase, “Hair. It’s What Girls See First,” implying that if one uses their product they too will have success in life.

This commercial reinforces messages telling people that appearance is a crucial factor in one’s success and happiness. From this commercial, consumers may feel that making changes to their appearance is the key to doing this. Additionally, placing such an emphasis on this can have detrimental effects on a teenage male and likely contributes to the increasing number of males with eating disorders.

Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NvX71ZbTk-E

Love Your Body – Look Beneath The Surface

Submitted by TEPF Volunteer – Mel Nes

We live in a society that promotes self-confidence, worth, and ownership of who we are as people – this is a wonderful thing.

But we still have a long way to go.

We talk all day long about how our significance should be based upon who we are and what we do, not what we look like. But somehow, we still manage to ostracize those who we consider to be “subpar” in the looks department.

You can try and point the finger and accuse those around you of doing this, but let’s be honest…we all do it.

I do it.

In an article from the Huffington Post on sitcom star Mindy Kaling, Kaling stated,”I always get asked, ‘Where do you get your confidence?’ I think people are well meaning, but it’s pretty insulting. Because what it means to me is, ‘You, Mindy Kaling, have all the trappings of a very marginalized person. You’re not skinny, you’re not white, you’re a woman. Why on earth would you feel like you’re worth anything?”

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/26/mindy-kaling-body-image-parade_n_3991509.html

I found this quote sad… and also very convicting.

The mouth of society delivers both praise and condemnation.

My mouth delivers both praise and condemnation.

“She is so gorgeous; I wonder what attracted her to that guy.”

“He isn’t very good looking at all, but he has a great personality.”

 

Sometimes we do it without even noticing.

But us not realizing what we say to people doesn’t make our words hurt any less.

Why is it that we directly correlate looks with power, success, and intelligence?

Why is it that we only want to “hang out” with the beautiful people?

Does their external beauty make them any more powerful, successful, or intelligent?

No.

Challenge yourself this week to look beneath the surface; I know I’m going to.