Eating Disorders in Athletics

Having watched an old movie tonight, about a young gymnast with dreams of going to the Olympics, and falling prey to Anorexia Nervosa, Binge eating, and Bulimia I decided to learn about eating disorders. I’d like a base understanding of what causes such beautiful and gifted young people, to potentially deadly disorders.

“Sports such as gymnastics, figure skating, dancing and synchronized swimming have a higher percentage of athletes with eating disorders, than sports such as basketball, skiing and volleyball.” (http://www.mirror-mirror.org/athlete.htm)  Why is this? I do not know. Perhaps the higher incidence of EDs in athletes of the sports mentioned above, is because of the technical and artistic skill required. Though Anorexia Nervosa, and other eating disorders  are not only found in athletes. “The causes of eating disorders are complex and not yet fully understood.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eating_disorders)

The Wikipedia article on the subject of eating disorders, states about 40 percent of nine to ten year old girls are currently trying to lose weight. Females are not alone in these struggles. Males account for 5%-10% of anorexia nervosa cases and 10%-15% of bulimia nervosa cases. So why are so many dealing with eating disorders? Is it purely to lose weight and look model thin? Again I admit, I do not know the answer. Yet I wonder if it may have something to do with maintaining control of one’s life. Particularly in youth when much of their lives is predetermined by parents, teachers and other authority figures.

However a person develops any of the conditions mentioned in this article, it is in their best interests for those around them to give their support. These are lifelong struggles to overcome, and not to be taken lightly.

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Past two weeks in Review

I’ve experienced some rather interesting events the past two weeks. For starters, I went to the local gym last weekend wearing shoes that I wouldn’t let an animal wear. There is now a lovely patch of skin missing on my big toe, on my right foot. It is both very painful, and very irksome.

Brian McKeever won not one, but TWO gold medals in Cross Country skiing at the Paralympics. I was also published in the local newspaper for my first time.

As well, I went with my mother and brother to the local Tim Horton’s and was surprised, then slightly hurt when I won a free donut with Roll up the Rim to Win. Surprised because it was my first try in Roll Up, and hurt because I initially was refused my free donut.

The employee stated they could not take the winning cup for hygienic reasons, and I was instructed to tear off where it said I had won. Not the easiest task being that I have weakened wrists and hands from fifteen years of piano lessons where I did not give my wrists proper support.

Having done that, the cup was still not accepted as I had not ripped the “You have won” message completely and correctly.

My immediate reaction was one of “Okay it’s just a donut, no big deal” and I put the cup on the counter to be put in the trash, and I left. However when I got to my brother’s car, and my mother and he heard what had occurred, they took me back into the store and asked for the manager.

The manager, hearing the story, gave me my free donut.  In retrospect, while I do see my brother and mother’s point in the principle of honesty, for me personally it was just a donut and something I could have done without regardless. So for me it’s in the past, and no hard feelings of any kind from me.

Finally this past Wednesday, March 17 I was able to visit CTV Edmonton for my first time. My initial reaction was how big, open and spacious the inside seems. I was very impressed with the facility. I was especially impressed by the efficiency, and accessibility. The people I met were also very professional and personable which I also found nice.

That’s about it, beyond all that I’m still working away in English class. Blog again soon!

Equality Going too Far?

Stephen Harper what were you thinking? Considering our economy is still in recovery, and our health care, and education systems are both in dire need of TLC, you decided to focus your attentions on changing our national anthem? Why must I ask? Why? It’s anyone’s guess.

Let’s ponder for a moment, the subject of equality between the sexes. Today is International Women’s Day when women all over this country and beyond are celebrated. Not only for the political, and social struggles of women in history, but celebrated with overall respect for women. As a woman writing this, I admit being on the fence about International Woman’s Day.

I admit women have fought gallantly for the rights they now enjoy, in this country and others. I wonder just how far we have come in being true equals. What exactly is true equality of the two sexes? If we have a day set aside to give attentions on women, where is the International Men’s Day? This is exceedingly unfair to the gentlemen in the world. Just think for a moment. While women have their day, to “stick it to the man” men are sorely jilted in this. Where is the equality in this? Suffice it to say, I do not want to “stick it” to anyone whether man, child or any other sentient being. To me this is showing pure superiority. There is no equality in this.

So with all due respect Mr. Harper, no. This Canadian likes “all thy son’s command” just fine.

Boredom Post

So I’ve been trying to write about topics of interest, but I’m bored. So I’m going to write something totally non consequential. I’m going to write a survey about myself.

Name: Erin Solange Despas

Country of Origin: Canadian born, but proud of my mixed European heritage.

Mother tongue: I speak English, although do speak German fairly well, and bits and pieces of several other languages.

Favourite music genre: I’m eclectic. I will typically listen to anything from some jazz, pop, classic rock, contemporary (adult), Celtic music (particularly traditional Irish), swing, blue grass, etc.  I also like the odd song from the World Music genre (ex: Gayatri Mantra).

Favourite bands: Great Big Sea, Celtic Woman, Ennis, M.C. Hammer, Cher, Cyndi Lauper, Rammstein, Arrogant Worms, Méav Ní Mhaolchatha,etc.

Favourite Movies: Gone with the Wind, Lean on Me, John Q, Pursuit of Happyness, Cider House Rules, Dead Poet’s Society, etc.

Favourite TV shows: Judging Amy reruns, various Newscasts/channels, Say Yes to the Dress, W5, 16:9, etc.

Favourite subjects to study: English, Other Languages (German, Irish, Welsh, etc.), Psychology, Spina Bifida, and anything I hear on the news or in day to day conversations that peak my curiosity.

About Me: I’m twenty four years old. Born and raised in Western Canada. I have a birth defect called Spina Bifida but it’s only a minor part of my life. I am mobile, with only having to use a crutch to navigate buildings and other environments I am unfamiliar with. Also I have to use my crutch for balance in regards to snow and ice. Beyond that, I can pretty much live normally with minimal adaptations for activities I participate in.

Career Aspirations: I’ve had a lot of time to dream in my life. As a result, there were many jobs I thought of pursuing while I was a young girl. First it was ballerina, then veterinarian, author, teacher or teacher’s assistant, singer…. and finally I’m pursuing journalism. It’s dawned on me, I was always attracted to newspapers, watching news (and I admit not understanding 99 percent of it growing up). I’ve always liked to write, and pass on to people what I hear or read about, in regards to events in town, etc.

Pets I’ve had: I’ve had dogs in my life since I could remember. Except for two years when we had budgies (not at the same time). First was a German Shepard/Collie cross named Prince, then another mixed breed named Boots. Neither dog I remember as I was only 2 to 5 years old when we had either Prince or Boots. Budgies at seven and eight years old, named Tweetie and Eddie. Tweetie flew away, and Eddie sadly died of heat stroke before my eyes. I had just returned from a Girl Guide camp.