A Devil Named ED

eating-disorder-blindfold

joshspurlock.com

Many men and women in this world know who ED is.  He is present is so many people’s lives.  He is relentless and evil.  He wants to take full control of your life.  He alienates you from your loved ones and friends.  He wants you to be lonely so that you are loyal to him and only him.

He wants you to stay home.  To eat the same things (if anything) and to maintain the routine that he sets for you.  He talks to you throughout the day to make sure you are obeying.  He wants you to leave your friends, school and work.  He is secretive about it and very condescending.  

He tells you that you are worthless.  Fat.  Ugly.  That you have no power over your life.  He then takes control and convinces you that he is the key to your happiness.  The one to listen to and the one to worship.  You become a victim of his lies and manipulation and can’t get him out of your life.  You are helpless, miserable and scared.  And it now becomes a matter of life or death.

  • It is estimated that 8 million Americans have an eating disorder (ED) – seven million women and one million men
  • One in 200 American women suffers from anorexia
  • Two to three in 100 American women suffers from bulimia
  • Nearly half of all Americans personally know someone with an eating disorder (Note: One in five Americans suffers from mental illnesses.)
  • An estimated 10 – 15% of people with anorexia or bulimia are males

MORTALITY RATES

  • Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness
  • A study by the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders reported that 5 – 10% of anorexics die within 10 years after contracting the disease; 18-20% of anorexics will be dead after 20 years and only 30 – 40% ever fully recover
  • The mortality rate associated with anorexia nervosa is 12 times higher than the death rate of ALL causes of death for females 15 – 24 years old.
  • 20% of people suffering from anorexia will prematurely die from complications related to their eating disorder, including suicide and heart problems

ACCESS TO TREATMENT

  • Only 1 in 10 people with eating disorders receive treatment
  • About 80% of the girls/women who have accessed care for their eating disorders do not get the intensity of treatment they need to stay in recovery – they are often sent home weeks earlier than the recommended stay
  • Treatment of an eating disorder in the US ranges from $500 per day to $2,000 per day. The average cost for a month of inpatient treatment is $30,000. It is estimated that individuals with eating disorders need anywhere from 3 – 6 months of inpatient care. Health insurance companies for several reasons do not typically cover the cost of treating eating disorders
  • The cost of outpatient treatment, including therapy and medical monitoring, can extend to $100,000 or more

ADOLESCENTS

  • Anorexia is the 3rd most common chronic illness among adolescents
  • 95% of those who have eating disorders are between the ages of 12 and 25
  • 50% of girls between the ages of 11 and 13 see themselves as overweight
  • 80% of 13-year-olds have attempted to lose weight

RACIAL AND ETHNIC MINORITIES

  • Rates of minorities with eating disorders are similar to those of white women
  • 74% of American Indian girls reported dieting and purging with diet pills
  • Essence magazine, in 1994, reported that 53.5% of their respondents, African-American females were at risk of an eating disorder
  • Eating disorders are one of the most common psychological problems facing young women in Japan.

CELEBRITIES WHO HAVE SUFFERED WITH EATING DISORDERS:

Paula Abdul
Justine Batemen
Karen Carpenter
Nadia Comaneci
Susan Dey
Jane Fonda
Tracey Gold
Elton John
If you know someone suffering from an eating disorder, please do everything possible and urge them to get help.  Getting help will make a difference.
I know of too many loved ones who are suffering everyday and I pray for them and their families that they can be helped and able to live successful healthy lives.
You will beat this. 

Weekend Getaway With My Husband And Many Of You

courtesy of brickhousechick's husband

Motif No.1 – Rockport, MA -Courtesy of brickhousechick’s husband

Ahhhh.  Who does not love summer getaways?  Even if you cannot go far away or take the whole week off, a weekend getaway can refresh your soul.  And that, it did.  

Child #1 was busy working and participating in a fishing tournament (yes, they exist – that’s for another post) and Child #2, is away for the week with her boyfriend and his family (Ay…).  He is actually a very nice young man and his family will take great care of her (my father is turning in his grave because I allowed her to go, something I would never have been allowed to do at the tender age of 17 – Sorry, Papi, she will be ok!)

I figured I would un-plug from the world for the most part, while away and focus solely on my wonderful husband who needed desperately to get out-of-town (being a town official, let’s just say he gets beaten up down often, since it is impossible to please everyone and it can be a thankless job.)

We “pricelined” our Saturday night stay, bidding low and having our bid accepted and headed out Saturday morning on our little getaway.  I love how relaxed we felt from the beginning.  No rush, no stress – just driving along with no real plan.

If you have not visited the coastal towns of Massachusetts before, it is something you must do.  We often vacation on Cape Cod (I was thinking of my buddy Joe @ http://joedegiorgio.com/ who got to go for two weeks this year) and love its beaches and sand dunes.  

We headed to the North Shore which is just as lovely.  My husband’s favorite beach is, Plum Island (named for the wild Beach Plum Shrubs that grow on the dunes) off of Newburyport.  He is an avid birder and loves the fact that some of the beach is sectioned off to protect the many nesting and endangered, Piping Plovers.

US Fish & Wildlife

US Fish & Wildlife

It is such a beautiful and pristine beach.  We took a little walk and ran into the incredible and only resort on the beach called, Blue The Inn On The Beach.

Blue Inn resort at  Plum Island

Courtesy of the Chamber of Commerce

Even though we had our non refundable Priceline reservation already, we checked out the rates for next time.  At $400/night we decided to turn back around and go sit in our great Rio Beach chairs which by the way, have built-in cup holders – so there!

While relaxing on the beach, my mind kept veering off into blogosphere.  Everything around me made me think of a post I had read, a particular blogger or a blog-worthy picture I could be taking.  Is this what happens when you have been blogging for a while? Your life is forever linked to your blog?

I kept telling myself to STOP.  Focus on your hubby and this beautiful day, brickhouse!  Forget about the blog! But, I looked at the cutest couple with their adorable little girls playing in the sand and I immediately thought of Andy ( aka father of the year) from http://ourlifein3d.com/ and his great vacation pics with his girls.

Then, as I looked in the water and saw a woman on a tube, I remembered the awesome tube the lovely Shannon at 

http://mrsugarbears.com/

got for her weekend getaway.  Shannon’s was a pumped up tube with mini fridge and all!

I kept coming back to my hubby and smiling at him.  At least he thought I was thinking about him!  We were soon hungry (when am I not soon hungry) and left the beach for an early dinner at the local Grille.

I looked at the menu and the only thing on my mind was, what would mama (my awesome friend the nutritionist) want me to order that is gluten-free?  Ay!  This place is famous for its fried clams but I knew this was not an option.  I was ok.  I ordered a lobster salad with avocado and cucumber along with mussels.  Pretty good, huh?  Except that the lobster salad was minuscule and did not even make a dent at my starvation and the mussels although in abundance…did not fill me up either.  PLUS, I could not dip the wonderful fresh smelling bread into the mussel sauce!  AY!  I filled up on the liquid variety on the menu and stayed strong.

Our overnight accommodations were…so so.  We had tried to get reservations at other more suitable places but everything was booked since our trip was last-minute.  The most interesting part about our hotel was that it was a stone’s throw from the infamous,http://www.thegoldenbanana.com/ a gentlemen’s club sort of place on Route 1.  Nothing good ever comes out of staying in a sprawl infested Route 1.  You know the kind.  But, as tempting and tantalizing as it was…we stayed away.

The next morning we headed to beautiful Rockport (and I thought about my friend’s husband who grew up there), a historic little village off of Cape Ann.  Such an eclectic and gorgeous place. An artist’s paradise.

20130804_143353 20130804_133433 20130804_130655 20130804_130223 20130804_123913 and home to

Motif No 1 20130804_141830 A fishing shack that is “the most often painted building in America”.

As we walked around, we saw many signs.

20130804_122504 20130804_142359

 I immediately thought of the inspiring Andra, who wrote a nice post about signs, 

http://andrawatkins.com/2013/08/02/i-start-in-the-middle-of-a-sentence-and-move-both-directions-at-once/.

Then I saw another sign for an Inn,

20130804_143239

and how could I NOT think about the talented Peg from

http://pegoleg.com/.  

Everywhere I turned, my blogging friends were there.

I enjoyed the gluten-free treats (and thought of my friend who is also just starting the g/f craziness with me) and did more walking than I probably should have.

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Sans the bread 😦

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Oh yea! Take that – gluten world!

It truly was a wonderful weekend.  And although y’all were not always on my mind during this getaway (wink,wink), I am glad you came along.

One Month From Today, I Could Drown or Be Eaten By A Shark

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I have been documenting the swim to my 50’s since March of this year.  So far so good.  A couple of leg cramps here and there and some swallowed salty water along the way but generally speaking, my strokes have been smooth.  I have stayed afloat (sort of) and continue to breathe rhythmically.  Phew!

 Exactly one month from today, the big day will come.  HOLY #%*@!!!  It’s almost here!  The big 5-0.  The day I could…drown or get eaten by a shark.  It’s true. 

The day that the swimming comes to a halt.  On that day, I will either drown and get swallowed up by the immense dark terrifying ocean of the 50’s, or get swallowed up by an immense terrifying Great White of the 50’s.  

There will be no escaping my fate.  If it is to be a shark, it will begin to circle around me a few days before planning its attack.  It might nudge me once or twice.  It will get bolder and take a chunk of my foot.  Then it will circle some more.  It will come back for my leg.  All of it.  Soon it will alert his friends and they will finish me up tugging and jerking me around like a rag doll.  Swallowed up.  The whole half century of my life, Gone.  Now, officially 50.

Or, I could just drown.  Let the ocean swallow me up alive drifting my body and soul towards the next half century of my life.  

But you know what?  I am thinking that I may ask for a life boat.  Even a small raft.  I may tread water, doggy paddle like crazy and stay above water.  Maybe I will take a break from my swim for a bit and party my ass off.  Yea.  That sounds better.  Maybe I will cheer and celebrate like crazy.  This brickhousechick is no quitter, damn it!  She never gives up and she will continue the long distance swim through her 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80′ and beyond.

I will reflect on the past 50 years.  I will remember the tidal waves, tsunamis and shark infested waters I have lived through.  Also the calm beautiful clear waters I encountered, that made my journey a joy.

I think I will play my <a href=”http:/

“>favorite song throughout the whole month and dance like nobody is watching (cervical stenosis or not).

Won’t you join me?