Carrie Underwood Engaged; Brittany Murphy Dead

Gone at 32 ... Engaged and smiling</i>Yup, two total extremes, I know.

But both these stories were in the news the past two days and the stark contrast between the two couldn’t be clearer.

Young women today have so much to grapple with, and when you read about yet another young Hollywood tragedy, it’s hard not to feel its reverberations.

Even if you don’t care about the celeb scene; even if you don’t care about Hollywood at all. Continue reading “Carrie Underwood Engaged; Brittany Murphy Dead”

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Obsessing About Health

orthoexia_topSpecialK shared a post she wrote with me this weekend that I just had to share here because it hit home so well.

Her post, Health Obsession, offered great insight into the world of food blogging/healthy living blogging.

Having been borderline orthorexic (a form of disordered eating characterized by going to extremes in pursuit of a so-called healthy diet) for a while not too long ago, I see many of those tendencies on other blogs I read.

And it’s scary just how widespread it is … and how influential these blogs can be. Continue reading “Obsessing About Health”

My Interview at Beautiful Without Consequence

Egg Beaten Angel, who blogs at Beautiful Without Consequence, recently contacted me about doing an interview on her recovery blog.

She is four months into her own recovery, and an inspiration to others fighting DE/ED/ED-NOS. I was flattered and honored to answer her questions; her blog’s motto is “I’m Still Fighting!” and I admire her strength.

You can read my interview and her and post-interview commentary here.

Thanks for the opportunity, Angel!!

After the jump is a transcript of my interview (for my own records) Continue reading “My Interview at Beautiful Without Consequence”

Dads and Daughters: An Ode to My Dad

Word_Jong_017I feel blessed to have amazing relationships with both my parents.

My parents were junior high sweethearts who came of age in the late ’60s, early ’70s.

Like most couples, they’ve weathered a ton over the years (including our house burning down when I was 8, the deaths of their parents as well as my beloved uncle Howie, to name a few challenges they have faced together).

And in the process, they’ve produced three pretty cool kids — or so they tell us 😉 Though all of us have long fled the nest, we’re still extremely close thanks to frequent flyer miles, cell phones, e-mail, and Skype.

(I’m in Michigan now; my brother lives in L.A. – but now he is teaching English in South Korea for the next year – and my sister lives in Manhattan where she’s a social worker at a NY Hospital).

Word_Jong_011But in many ways, no matter my age (I’m almost 30) or even the fact that I’m married now, I’m still Daddy’s Little Girl. I’m the eldest of three, and I swear, sometimes I think he still thinks I’m five, wearing pig-tails!

When people hear “daddy’s little girl” often they assume “spoiled.”

But my dad has never been the kind of dad to spoil me with physical objects the way some girls’ dads might. I don’t have a special pair of Tiffany earrings he gave me for graduation, or a car he bought me like a lot of the girls I went to college with (I’m not talking about my friends, just lots of girls I knew at American).

Instead, he’s spoiled me with his unconditional love, admiration, and devotion … something I wouldn’t trade for anything in this world. In that sense, I’m definitely a daddy’s girl.

My dad worked two jobs when we were small so my mom could stay home with us. I’m super-thankful for that. In spite of his crazy schedule (he was a printer), as a baby, we still always had our special time. He’d wake me when he got home at 3 in the morning from work so we could spend time together while my mom slept. He’d read to me, listen to me babble, and put me back to bed.

Word_Jong_016

Even though he worked so very hard to provide for us, he still managed to make it to every choir concert, karate tournament, dance recital, or cheerleading competition … and he rarely missed our family dinners. (The importance of family dinners reigned supreme in our house, and I hope to instill the same with our kids.)

Anyway, in case you can’t tell, in honor of Father’s Day, this entry today is devoted to my dad. Pardon me while I take a walk down memory lane today. Continue reading “Dads and Daughters: An Ode to My Dad”

Passing Judgment

gavel1Note: This post is all over the place and content-heavy, so … consider it a stream of consciousness and please bear with me.

My post last Friday about the evidently malnourished Australian Miss Universe contestant got me thinking about judgment … specifically, my unconsious (human?) tendency to pass judgment.

I called this woman out here on my blog — a disordered eating recovery blog — for being too skinny (at 5’11 and 108 lbs.) and for possibly having an eating disorder … in spite of her denial of it being true.

I called her out because in looking at her, I was concerned that this is the image our children see.

I called her out because I was both sickened and saddened — sickened that she looked so skeletal, and saddened that her figure personifies “beauty” to some … possibly even some of my own readers or followers of “thinspo” (the pro-ana movement).

The irony is, if I saw a morbidly obese person on the street, who might not be in the best health either, though I might make a superficial judgment in my head (as in, stating the fact that the person is morbidly obese) … would I devote a post about it?

No, I wouldn’t. Continue reading “Passing Judgment”

Is a Cookie Ever Just a Cookie?

cookie_13_largeThere’s a scene in the HBO documentary THIN where Polly, who is in treatment for anorexia and bulimia, can’t eat a piece of pizza. She just can’t do it.

It makes no sense to a rational person: it’s just food, why can’t she eat it? But to Polly, it’s not. It’s “poison.” It’s “fattening.” It’s “weakness.”

Her therapist asks her in a soft, soothing, low voice if she can’t maybe view it as, “A piece of bread, with some tomato sauce and cheese on top”?

Polly shudders. She can’t. She just can’t. And then she leaves the table.

I don’t understand this, personally. Unlike Polly, I can eat a slice of pizza or a cookie, and I do (ok, if the pizza is in NJ being the pizza snob that I am!).

I’m learning to ungroup/uncategorize foods to make life more enjoyable … it’s been a long process but I’m getting there. I don’t look at foods in such stark black and white terms anymore. Continue reading “Is a Cookie Ever Just a Cookie?”

THIN: The HBO Documentary

thin-posterA part of me fears the following post might be too sensitive or hit too close to home for some readers. I say this because I know my audience ranges from people without any eating disorders and weight issues; people with eating disorders and weight issues; people trying to lose weight; people who have lost weight and kept it off; disordered eaters … friends, family … my readership is all over the place and I love the variety.

I deeply respect and admire the women in this film who sought help, whether it was for the first time or the fifteenth time … and I wish everyone with an ED could do the same: get help. It takes a ton of courage to make that call or visit, and so I have utmost respect for these ladies. And so the readers I’m mostly concerned about in this post are those currently in the throes of their eating disorders; I don’t want to upset anyone — hence today’s pre-post note.

Personally, I don’t know what it’s like to starve myself, and I don’t know what it’s like to binge or purge … I don’t pretend to know what it’s like; for all my disordered eating behaviors, I’ve never dealt with anorexia or bulimia. Though I am coming at this film more as someone perpetually struggling with her weight/body acceptance more than as someone with a clinical eating disorder, I do realize just how serious these diseases are.

Please know I’m not judging anyone; I simply care. My blog is about transparency and being honest, and I can’t sugarcoat how I felt after seeing something so moving.

That said, here is my review of the HBO documentary THIN (2006) which I finally saw for the first time Wednesday night. Continue reading “THIN: The HBO Documentary”