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Netflix Nervosa

I tend to joke about it, I love to talk about it, but I'm starting to wonder if I should be concerned about it.  I'm talking about my relationship with Netflix.  After a long day or exhausting week, there is only one thought that can keep me intact like nothing else and that is the thought of curling up on the couch with my furry comforter and coffee while I binge on the latest AMAZING Netflix series.  Last week it was Broadchurch, the week before the Grace & Frankie.  Last year (about this time....) it was finally sitting down with Orange is the New Black (and I'm starting to get hopeful it's coming back).

If the marker for addiction is an increased tolerance (having to watch more for the same calming and euphoric effect) in addition to feelings of anxiety when forced to turn off the TV then I don't believe I have a problem.  If choosing Netflix over having to go out and face the world on the weekend is bad I don't want to be good. I mean, where do you dr…
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Teens and the Gym; Healthful or Harmful?

When I was working in the fitness industry, I seem to recall and age limit to participation in fitness classes and weight rooms.  I never saw a pre-teen or teenager under the age of 18 years working out with the free weights or in my spin classes.

But lately, I have been hearing stories of parents who have exposed (or in their words, invited) their teen to join them for the latest in HIIT training or pilates or yoga.  At first glance, and I am very sure the motivation behind the invitation, it is a good introduction to physical activity, but from my perspective, it's the equivalent of handing them a lit cigarette, or worse, an energy drink.

I have been very critical of my own perspective, wondering if I'm just done with the fitness industry but after some serious soul searching, I do believe we are asking for trouble when we take our teens into adult oriented fitness.  It's not so much the activity but the culture of fitness that I see as the health hazard.  We now know…

Where's the Line Between Eating Clean and Eating Disorder?

I had the most delightful conversation with someone this week who was all about the fitness training (muscle building) and whole foods "clean" eating.  She was in her teens and reported that a parent had gotten her interested in high intensity training when she was 13 (another post for another time).  Although she loved training she was finding that the more she focused on her nutrition, the less she ate (and the more she obsessed about it).

Her calorie counting was taking over her day while her fear of putting anything "bad" into her mouth was causing much anxiety and getting in the way of her living a normal life.  I was pretty impressed by the amount of self-awareness she had for such a young person (and one so immersed in the fitness culture).  When I had asked her to define what a "bad" food meant to her she listed all processed, high sugar, and refined carbohydrates; like any good health promoter.  Her list of "good" foods included whole…

Weight Watchers for Teens?

So last night I was driving home listening to the CBC.  It was late, I was tired, but I always appreciate listening to the hot topics presented by Anna-Maria Tremonti's "The Current" (OMG...I'm turning into my father). At any rate, I was woken up by a steady stream of cortisol mixed with the enhanced blood circulation anger can only promote.

Weight Watchers now offers a program for teens! 

I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Where have I been? I guess I was so far down the path of body acceptance, I failed to see we have gone back in time.  Since when is it okay to offer a weight / diet program to teens? What's worse, a child and family counsellor was weighing in on the debate in full support of this program.  Citing she, too, was in need of such a program as a teen.  Sick. I couldn't believe a counsellor said this...I was yelling for her license to practice as I sped down the highway (probably looking completely insane).

Thank God a pediatrician chim…

"Embrace" the Revolution...and Fuck the Rest!

It took a while, but I finally sat down to watch "Embrace", a fabulous and inspiring documentary on body image and acceptance by activist and social media celebrity, Taryn Brumfit.  You can find this doc on Netflix and follow her on Facebook.  Based upon my 25+ years of watching documentaries on eating disorders and body hate, I have come to expect the same old, same old. Yes, we know girls and women (not to mention boys and men) hate their bodies. Yes, we know the media has something to do with that. I wasn't expecting anything different from "Embrace".

I don't know if it was Brumfit's painfully honest, in your face, approach to this subject matter or I am at a place in my life where I am really ready to allow it to absorb into my DNA, but something happened.  I felt sad, angry, and above all united with so many others (women) in the world. At the end, I was committed to the revolution of body acceptance and appreciation and anything else was abruptly…

Are We Emotionally Attached to Weight Loss?

Does anyone else see the problem with this? I am (at this moment) sitting in the back of a large conference room in the middle of Ontario, Canada, with "my people" in the health promotion field.  Over the course of the day, I have been exposed to some of the most boring presentations of my lifetime (I will NEVER get that time back).  If this isn't a reason to quit my day job, I don't know what is.

During a break, a poster on the newest (and most amazing) weight loss program caught my attention. It boasted a proven and effected program for blasting off those unwanted pounds. My cohort around the table were celebrating this innovated idea and saving themselves copies to take to their own workplaces.  For me? As per usual, major bells rang in my head, my heart sank to a new level of disappointment and I proceeded to share why these programs are problematic, promote disordered eating and exercise, and shouldn't be offered.  When asked what I would put in its' pl…


I am at a loss at how I am to begin this blog post.  Since this twitter trend began I have been thinking about how I would address my own experiences.  It wasn't until I started teaching a workshop on sexual harassment and assault that my own story even started coming into my consciousness.  Up until that point, I never thought that my experiences could have any influence on my behaviour, attitudes, beliefs, or emotional health.

My first experience with sexual assault happened in a public pool when I was 11 or 12.  To put my story into perspective, this was at the end of the 1970s when, what I can remember, sexual assault was something families pushed under a rock in the backyard, at least mine did.

I was at a public swim with a childhood friend when we met a man in the pool who appeared friendly and kind (albeit his penis was dangling out of his speedos). We were curious kids and had no clue that we were in the presence of a sexual predator.  Instead we started rough housing wit…