Sunday, January 24, 2010

the eating disorder you should know about

While anorexia, bulimia, and binge-eating disorder are highly stigmatized, misunderstood, and largely ignored, I argue that, for the most part, most people are conceptually aware of these disorders.

But most people have no clue about EDNOS--eating disorder not otherwise specified.

While a person with obsessive, ritualistic, and restrictive eating behaviors may not be underweight enough to qualify as "anorexic," this person likely suffers from EDNOS. The same goes for an individual who under-eats/starves all day, and binges at night. Essentially, these are eating disorders that fall through the cracks because they do not fall within a few widely-accepted categories, although they still merit treatment.

If this confuses you, you are not alone. Many health care professionals either do not understand or do not legitimate EDNOS. Facing criticism of being vague to the point of non-existence, EDNOS is mostly ignored. So much so that I was impressed to see a recent NY Times piece on the disease. Here is a snippet:

Kris Shock, for example, used laxatives and restricted her food for years, but she never threw up or binged, and her weight was average. She did not seek psychiatric help for what she and her husband called her “eating problem” until age 31, when she became addicted to the diet pill ephedra, she said in a recent interview.

Now 37 and the director of a child care center in Atlanta, Ms. Shock said that when she finally got her diagnosis of Ednos, “it was like, ‘Ah, I am sick enough to get help and have the recovery experience.’ ”

In our culture, a disproportionate preoccupation with food is acceptable and even praised. In this context, the compulsive yo-yo dieter may never receive appropriate therapy to address underlying psychological, emotional, and/or chemical imbalances that prevent peace with self, others, and food.

When considering whether or not a loved one suffers from a disordered relationship with food, the most important factor to consider is that weight is not a reliable indicator in evaluating eating behaviors. In fact, the majority of bulimics are average to over-weight.

You may find that EDNOS over-extends and abuses an "eating disorder" diagnosis. Really, I don't care what you call it (although I recognize and legitimate EDNOS as a valid "eating disorder"). Perhaps it is fair to say that victims of EDNOS do not suffer the same health ramifications as anorectics, bulimics, or binge-eaters. But at the end of the day, regardless of the label you choose to apply, these behaviors are unhealthy, sad, counter-productive--and need to be addressed.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

oh snap--filter that tap

A big concern I hear about conservation is that it is just too much effort. This is a myth. There are tons of ways one can conserve without much difficulty. In fact, conservation conserves more than natural resources--it conserves your dollars. Case in point: bottled water.

Bottled water kills me. Sure, sure...getting a bottle here and there is no biggy. But keeping a filter at home and bringing a reusable water bottle around with you is the yellow brick road to less trash and more cash.

But what if I recycle my bottles? Recycling takes energy. Honestly, I'm not even convinced recyclables get recycled. The best ways to conserve are to reduce and re-use, and recycle what's left after that.

In you are concerned about transition from bottled water to filtered water, here is a great resource that can help: the FilterForGood campaign.

I particularly enjoyed the fact section, which I took directly from the site for your convenience (the best facts are at the bottom in red):

Why is bottled water waste a concern? Here are just a few reasons...

  • Americans used 50 billion water bottles in 2006 and sent 38 billion water bottles to landfills, the equivalent of 912 million gallons of oil.1, 2, 3, 4 If laid end to end, that’s enough bottles to travel from the Earth to the Moon and back 10 times.5 If placed in a landfill or littered, those bottles could take up to 1,000 years to biodegrade.2
  • In 2006, the average American used 167 disposable water bottles, but only recycled 38.1
  • Americans used about 50 billion plastic water bottles in 2006. However, the U.S.'s recycling rate for plastic is only 23 percent, which means 38 billion water bottles — more than $1 billion worth of plastic — are wasted each year.1

Ditching bottled water keeps Mother Earth and your wallet green.

  • One Brita pitcher filter can effectively replace as much as 300 standard 16.9-ounce bottles. So you can get great-tasting water without so much waste. Talk about refreshing.
  • The average Brita pitcher filters 240 gallons of water a year for about 19 cents a day.6 Put in perspective, to get the same amount of water from bottled water would require 1,818 16.9-ounce water bottles a year.6
  • For about $10 each, you can purchase a 16-ounce or 32-ounce Nalgene bottle, saving you hundreds of dollars a year on bottled water.
  • Hydration at its best — carry the water you need and reduce your impact on the environment — one Nalgene bottle can last for decades, making it easy to stop buying single-serve bottled water to fulfill your everyday hydration needs.

Many people drink bottled water because they believe it to be of a higher quality, cleaner and better-tasting, but that's not necessarily true.

  • In the United States, 24 percent of bottled water sold is either Pepsi's Aquafina (13 percent of the market) or Coke's Dasani (11 percent of the market). Both brands are bottled, purified municipal water.1
  • If you don't like the taste of your tap water, try Brita. Nine out of 10 consumers say "Brita clearly tastes better," according to an in-home usage study. They preferred the taste of Brita water — filtered through pitchers — to tap.8
  • Dr. Gina Solomon, a senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental advocacy group, told The New York Times that "there is no reason to believe that bottled water is safer than tap water."9
  • In the U.S., public water is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which requires multiple daily tests for bacteria and makes results available to the public. The Food and Drug Administration, which regulates bottled water, only requires weekly testing and does not share its findings with the EPA or the public.9

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

bt dubz

The ads that you see on The Colonic are banners of brands that I like and want to share. They are not paid advertising. It would sicken me to have ads on my blog and see diet pills pop up and who knows what else.

Cheers.

earliest and most distant galaxies ever seen

oooooohhhhhhh:
Astronomers announced in a series of papers over the fall and in a news conference last week that Hubble had recorded images of the earliest and most distant galaxies ever seen, blurry specks of light that burned brightly only 600 million to 800 million years after the Big Bang.

...The new galaxies, along with other recent discoveries like the violent supernova explosion of a star only 620 million years after the Big Bang, take astronomers deep into a period of cosmic history known as the dark ages, which has been little explored. It was then that stars and galaxies were starting to light up vigorously in larger and larger numbers and that a fog of hydrogen that had enveloped space after the Big Bang fires had cooled mysteriously dissipated.

...one of many astronomers who have been working with the observations, said, “We’re reaching the beginning where galaxies formed for the first time.”

...The most distant, he said, was about 600 million years after the Big Bang. The universe is about 13.7 billion years old, cosmologists agree, meaning that the light from these galaxies has been on its way to us for 13 billion years.
so juicy. keep reading.

monkey talk

While only some animals have a say in our culture (namely "pets"), the truth is, a lot of them are talking. Check out this great article on monkey communication.

The Campbell’s monkeys give a “krak” alarm call when they see a leopard. But adding an “-oo” changes it to a generic warning of predators. One context for the krak-oo sound is when they hear the leopard alarm calls of another species, the Diana monkey. The Campbell’s monkeys would evidently make good reporters since they distinguish between leopards they have observed directly (krak) and those they have heard others observe (krak-oo).

Even more remarkably, the Campbell’s monkeys can combine two calls to generate a third with a different meaning. The males have a “Boom boom” call, which means “I’m here, come to me.” When booms are followed by a series of krak-oos, the meaning is quite different, Dr. Zuberb├╝hler says. The sequence means “Timber! Falling tree!” full article



Happy Belated Birthday to The Colonic

Things have been pretty hectic as I begin my second semester of law school, so I wanted to wish The Colonic a belated happy birthday. The Colonic turned 3 on January 9th and, as a parent of a growing blog, I feel very proud.

The blogosphere is both a very big and a very small place. There are so many blogs out there, and so many readers--so I just want to say that I have been deeply moved by all of my readers who have taken the time to visit my blog, share their personal stories, follow me on Twitter, join The Colonic Facebook fan page, and even send me emails. I actually just got a lengthy and thoughtful comment on Fat Rolls and Roll Models that left me feeling so happy that my readers are able to connect to my posts--and that I even have readers at all.

If you've been a reader for a while, or have fiddled around in my archives, you probably notice what I do--that my writing style has slowly evolved and is (in my opinion) a lot better and more mature these days. Unfortunately, law school has taken a toll on my posting frequency, and I hope that I can champion a balanced schedule and work ethic to prevent The Colonic from suffering greatly. But, just an FYI, the more I hear back from my readers, the more I get giddy about posting.

Thanks again.

Much love,
The Colonic

Monday, January 4, 2010

the wing man, the grenade, and the fat friend

My blood recently started boiling while I was watching a show on MTV called Jersey Shore. I don't own a TV, but at the gym I have started to channel surf. The show is like a bad car accident--atrocious, but keeps you staring.

This was all fine and dandy until one of the male characters went on and on and on about "being the wing man"--perhaps he said "taking a grenade" or perhaps someone else told me that phrase--and repeatedly insisting that the "grenade" was "busted" and the like.

Scene 2. Enter Asher Roth. I'm having an awesome time bopping around to "She Don't Wanna Man" when after a while I finally start hearing the words:

"...ask him, yo can you take her fat friend? He laughs and then digs in hell yea ill be your wing man"

In this case, the weightist attitude is implied. "Taking" the fat friend does not explicitly mean that being fat is "undesireable," but it is the whole "taking one for the team" and getting with the "fat girl" to prove your brotherhood and then--what is the verb, bragging, exclaiming, excusing?--it afterward. Don't get me wrong: canoodling with someone you find unattractive so that your friend can interact with the unattractive person's friend is not what disgusts me.

A casual sexual exchange does not upset my ethical code. The fact that the Jersey Shore goof ball thinks he is getting it on with someone unattractive does not bother me. What bothers me is parading around and degrading a person's body--especially after two adults had some sort of consensual exchange. But the story doesn't end there.

The most mystifying part is how this degradation is somehow culturally praised. How is at all funny to degrade a person's body, and diminish a person's sexual being? What part of that could possibly be humorous, or warrant a high-five or whatever these people do?

My only answer is that behind this behavior is a desire to feel powerful and in control, and that a combination of insecurity to assert some sort of "ideal" self coupled with a superiority complex replaces any respect for boundaries and personhood. When you look at culturally praised constructions of hyper-masculinity, the whole scenario is not very surprising. (This is not to say that women don't exhibit this type of behavior. From my experience, it is more prevalent and pronounced among heterosexual males. Feel free to comment if you disagree).

Regardless of a gendered analysis, I still don't understand how this is fun or funny, so chime up if you have an answer.