First, the politics. It looks like Minnesota may get some new legislation on the books soon to address eating disorders in that state. Two senators from Minnesota, both Democrats, and a third from Iowa, have put forth The Federal Response to Eliminate Eating Disorders (FREED) Act, "the first comprehensive legislative effort introduced in the Senate to confront the seriousness of these diseases and to jump start research as well as improve the prevention, screening, diagnosis and treatment of eating disorders." I like the sound of that, I really do, as currently there are more people with anorexia and bulimia than there are breast cancer. Where's their Run for the Cure? Sorry, I can't help but feel a little feminist snark over all the pink bullshit that goes up for breast cancer and saving the boobies. If boobs weren't so pretty and desirable, we wouldnt' care so much about breast cancer. My 93 year old grandmother's boobs aren't the ones we think of when we think of breast cancer, but there they are and for the second time, she has cancer.
Getting back to the legislation, what it proposes to do is:
1) Expand research on the prevention of and effective treatment of eating disorders
2) Improve the training and education of health care providers and educators: Authorizes grants to medical, nursing, social work and other health
3) Improve surveillance and data collection systems for tracking the prevalence and severity of eating disorders:
4) Prevent eating disorders: Authorizes grants to develop evidence-based prevention programs and promote healthy eating behaviors and in schools, recreational sports programs and athletic training programs
5) Build on existing reform efforts to ensure that treatment is available and affordable.
Now all of those sound great and I hope that the bill is passed without problem and that other states will look at what Minnesota is doing and follow suit; however, number four irks me just a bit. Preventing eating disorders by promoting healthy eating behaviours in schools, recreational and athletic sports programs? Are they drinking the special kool-aid? Promoting healthy eating behaviour in schools means nothing good for kids or teens, it really doesn't. 'Healthy eating' is too often not enough calories, too expensive for many kids to have access too, water to mask hunger signals and other mixed up messages about what 'healthy' eating is. Some people can't even agree on the food pyramid anymore, how are they going to promote healthy eating for kids and teens that DOESN'T focus on "Dont' eat too much or you'll get fat!" and "Dont' eat too little or you'll get sick!" when there's an obesity epidemic!!11! going on?
Second peice of musing from me tonight is a lot more personal; during a surprise spring cleaning over at my sister's today I made the mistake of jumping on her scale. I knew there was a reason I'd never bought one all these years on my own. The number? Was higher than I was expecting. It was an immediate attack on my self confidence, my self esteem. I told my sister "I hate your scale" and she gave me a one eyebrow up sort of look like "Oh really? Why's that?" To elaborate I said something like "Well, that's what I get for sitting on my ass so much being a student." Thankfully, and I really am grateful if you're reading this, sister-o-mine, she never once said "Well why don't you go on a diet/lose some weight/etc/blah blah blah?"
I noticed recently, for the Vagina Monologues show, that my boobs and belly have outgrown some old favorites lately, and the jeans I got back from my sister no longer fit. She only had them for a few weeks! I don't know what's changed but holy hell I think I've put on 15lbs in like, a month, maybe a bit more. It's very weird as my weight's been stable for a while. To my credit, when that little voice in my head said "Maybe you should go on a diet..." I not so politely told it to STFU and thought about what else I could do instead. Over a certain number, a certain mental block, I am not comfortable (and neither are my clothes). This summer's goal has been to get out more, to be more active, to do fun things that my body really wants to do like swimming and dancing and I plan too. Now I'm just more motivated. Maybe I'll make a woman's health appt just to be sure nothing weird is going on as well.