Are Eating Disorders Exacerbated by Religious Fasting?

"Step Off Your Altar" ©Kelsey Weaver

By Valerie Martin, LMSW Over the past several years, a number of controversial articles and research studies have explored the relationship between eating disorders and religious traditions. Several years ago, there was a significant focus on the Jewish tradition, in particular the Orthodox community. Some studies and health … [Read more...]

Not Just Your Daughter’s (or Granddaughter’s) Eating Disorder

Image by SalFalko

By Valerie Martin I work as an eating disorder (ED) therapist because I was lucky enough to experience recovery and get my life back, and I wanted to spread that possibility to other people struggling. Because of my background and profession, I sometimes underestimate the extent of misinformation (or total lack of information) … [Read more...]

Mirror, Mirror Off the Wall: A Review and Q&A with Author Kjerstin Gruys

MMOTW 300DPI

By Valerie Martin After body image activist and UCLA Sociology PhD candidate Kjerstin Gruys got engaged, she searched frantically for the perfect wedding dress – only to end up with not one, two, or three white dresses, but four. This was a wake-up call not only financially (given her graduate student income), but also at a … [Read more...]

Go Barefaced to Raise Awareness for Eating Disorders on Monday, Feb. 25th

Contributor, Valerie Kusler, rockin' a beautiful, bare face.

  By Valerie Martin In December 2011, The Renfrew Center Foundation – a non-profit charitable organization dedicated to advancing the education, prevention, research and treatment of eating disorders – commissioned a study of nearly 1,300 women ages 18 and up. Their goal was to capture women’s feelings about and … [Read more...]

Eating Disorder Treatment: Telling Ed to F-Off and Other Methods

Young woman by Dia™

Editor's Note: This post does not address all the various approaches and models when it comes to eating disorder treatment, but rather outlines a few methods. We plan on posting follow-up pieces that will further expand on other eating disorder treatment options. Please note that Adios Barbie does not endorse any specific approach … [Read more...]

“Push Girls”: Exploiting Disabilities or Promoting Inclusion?

© Sundance Channel

By Valerie Martin The Pitch: Another reality show about attractive women in Los Angeles hardly sounds like something we need…right? That’s what Sundance Channel executive Sarah Burnett thought during the first few moments of the pitch tape of Push Girls that producer Gay Rosenthal brought to her. But then the camera zoomed … [Read more...]

Go Barefaced to Raise Awareness for Eating Disorders on Feb. 27th

Me sans makeup. Ok, I bit the bullet on the internet... now can we do it for real on the 27th? You bet!

By Valerie Martin In December 2011, The Renfrew Center Foundation – a non-profit charitable organization dedicated to advancing the education, prevention, research and treatment of eating disorders – commissioned a study of nearly 1,300 women ages 18 and up. Their goal was to capture women’s feelings about and motivations behind … [Read more...]

No More Hunger Games: Unlearning a Lifetime of Habits and Societal Norms with Intuitive Eating

intuitive-eating-book-cover

By Valerie Martin Since I sat down 30 or 40 minutes ago to prepare for writing this post, I have been distracted not only by adorable cat pictures and Facebook, but also by my appetite. Twice, I’ve gotten up and made it as far as my bedroom door before deciding it’s not quite dinner time. (How apropos, given the topic at hand, … [Read more...]

Eating Disorders and LGBT: What’s the Connection?

Actress Portia de Rossi, shown here with wife, Ellen DeGeneres, struggled with near-fatal anorexia, which she attributed in large part to keeping her true sexuality a secret for so long. Photo credit YourCelebrityStuff.com

By Valerie Martin October is LGBT history month, and as the resident eating disorders geek here at Adios Barbie (perhaps I’ll upgrade myself to “specialist” after I finish my MSW), it got me thinking about how little I know about the connection between eating disorders and LGBT population. The default assumptions I’ve heard are … [Read more...]

For Spirit Junkie Gabrielle Bernstein, Body Acceptance is Essential for Self-Love

Spirit Junkie cover

By Valerie Martin “For twenty years, I kept a journal. I wrote about heartbreak, anxiety, and eating disorders. I wrote about trying to quit drugs while high on drugs. Pages and pages are filled with self-loathing and self-doubt. My journal was my only outlet from the turmoil and deep-rooted pain I felt every day. I’d release my … [Read more...]