Wednesday, February 27, 2013

PEDAW Display


Our beautiful PEDAW committee member Nafiza put on a PEDAW awareness display at her school.  

What are YOU doing for PEDAW this year?





Not only did she put up this gorgeous display, but she also created a huge discussion with her class about body image and ways to accept our own bodies.  
Thank-you Nafiza! You are an excellent role model for us all!  

Monday, February 25, 2013

Giving hope to those with eating disorders: Kelowna Daily Courier

For Ashley Polson, the month of February holds special significance. As the province launched the Provincial Eating Disorders Awareness campaign, the Kelowna woman was reminded of the eating disorder that almost took her life.

"My struggle with eating disorders started when I was 16 after significant weight gain in a short amount of time due to side effects of medication," she said.

Polson was told to exercise and diet, but developed an eating disorder instead. She began restricting food and started overexercising. She lived in a constant state of anxiety.

That's when she turned to an online video blog to document her struggle.

"I started my online vlog because I felt it was a way I could reach out when I didn't know who else to talk to. I didn't expect to continue it, but after having so many responses from people thanking me for sharing my story, giving them insight into what their loved one struggled with, I felt like I was able to help others and make a difference in their lives," she said.

One of the followers of her online video blog, ultimately saved her life.

"On the day I decided to end my life, one of them was talking with me," she said.

"He talked me through things, got me to stop and go to the hospital, and offered to help me. As a result, my life was saved, and I was able to get treatment out of the country."

About 1,000 young people across the province currently suffer from eating disorders.

Amy Pezzente, a coordinator from PEDAW said that by Ashley sharing her story will help their campaign.

"Someone like Ashley sharing her story brings awareness to eating disorders, reduces the stigma of mental illness."

PEDAW began in 2003 and raises awareness around prevention and early intervention of eating disorders.

This year they've launched their Love Our Bodies, Love Ourselves movement and are hoping to create a DVD on eating disorders, self-esteem and body image to be sent across the province to different high schools and eating disorder programs.

Polson, who is now 29, has already shared her story in a psychology DVD and textbook used in universities across North America that helps educate people on eating disorders.

She is now in stable recovery from her eating disorder and says that she is proof that recovery from an eating disorder is possible.

"Because someone really heard me, believed in me, and gave me a chance, I am here today. Without that, I do not believe I would be where I am today."

For more info on PEDAW's Love Our Bodies, Love Ourselves campaign, visit their Facebook page: facebook.com/loveourbodiesloveourselves


This article was reblogged from the Kelowna Daily Courier. For more information about this article, please go to: www.kelownadailycourier.ca/local-news/giving-hope-to-those-with-eating-disorders-22513.html

Monday, February 18, 2013

Are you being Observed?


Are you being observed everyday? If you have a partner, children, coworkers, a family, etc., you likely are.

I know when I was in younger, I was an observer of my mother.  I would watch what she ate, how she spoke about her body, and her relationship with exercise. And it was during this time when I became trapped in an eating disorder.

Life with an eating disorder, if you can call it life, is similar to a puppet show. You are the dancing, smiling puppet, and your disorder is the puppeteer. It calls the shots and pulls the strings. It tells you when you’re going to eat and how much. It even writes the script, putting its own values where yours used to be. All of a sudden, you don’t care about your health, your friends or your dreams. All you care about is being thin, and you don’t even really know how it happened, when, or why. So there you go, smiling as your bony body bounces around onstage. Some clap at your slenderness, while most stare in horror at what you’ve become. They don’t know that you go backstage and cry because you’re tired, hungry and scared.

It started out so simple; in highschool with the desire to be thin, and ended up as a powerful, inner, self-loathing endless mental battle. I slowly began to lose not only my weight, but my reality, my mind, my friends as well as anything and everything that I cared and loved. Anorexia had 100% control of me and my life. I was no longer Amy. I was an eating disorder, a lying, destructive, conniving eating disorder. It was an out of body experience, a loss of control so intense that I can’t even imagine behaving that way now. The eating disorder was there for me, protecting me from this uncontrollable world. It was my coping mechanism for handling my emotional distress of feeling unloved and unworthy.  Asking me to just change my eating-disordered thinking would be about as successful as asking someone with a tumour to change their cancer cells back into healthy ones. Whenever I went to eat something, the eating disorder always had something to say, dictating what I was allowed to eat.

But I wanted my life back. I wanted friends, to get married one day, to not be controlled by food and exercise anymore. So with the help of my mom, I was admitted into an Inpatient Eating Disorder Program. At first, recovery felt like making a path through untamed woods. I had to keep going over and over the same original path to forge a trail and shift my thinking.  It has taken years, but slowly I’ve been able to reconnect with myself and push the eating disorder aside. One thing I had to remember throughout this journey was that this eating disorder required so much of my will power and discipline to get into, I knew I had that same power and strength to get myself out. And I can confidently say, for the past 4 years, that I did just that, and recovered.

My experience with an eating disorder led me into passionately coordinating the Provincial Eating Disorder Awareness (PEDAW) campaign, which is launched every February with activities and events taking place throughout the year.  Our ongoing theme is ‘Love Our Bodies, Love Ourselves’ with a new subtheme ‘Perfect is Boring.’ It is a Province wide effort to raise awareness around prevention and early intervention of eating disorders as well as media literacy, resiliency, building healthy body image and self-esteem. Our mission is to provide an eating disorder prevention approach and resiliency based system of services, workshops, education, and support to people of all ages in the Province of B.C.

So if you have an observer at home who you want to be healthy both physically, emotionally, and mentally – first look at yourself.  Are you serving well-rounded meals? Are you speaking only good things about your body and appearance? Are you exercising in a healthy and active manner? All of this starts with you. You are the role model, because there will be a day when the observer will leave and practice everything you have shown them. 

I hope you will take part in supporting PEDAW in encouraging everybody to love our bodies, love ourselves! And remember for this year, that ‘PERFECT IS BORING!’

~Amy

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

What Loving my Body Means to Me!



Many people might not know this about me, but I love marathons. And every race I enter I’m always delighted to see all the different shapes and sizes of people who run.  The best thing about races is that everyone is proud of who they are and what they’ve accomplished to get there. There is no judgment at all.  People are free, and you could feel it.  This had me thinking…why aren’t people like this every day? Why is it that people feel the need to judge our bodies and mask it with insecurities? Why do people feel unaccepted if they don’t have the ‘ideal’ shape?  Something’s not right!

That led me into coordinating the Provincial Eating Disorder Awareness (PEDAW) campaign, which is launched every February with activities and events taking place throughout the year.  Our ongoing theme is ‘Love Our Bodies, Love Ourselves’ with a new subtheme ‘Perfect is Boring.’ It is a Province wide effort to raise awareness around prevention and early intervention of eating disorders as well as media literacy, resiliency, building healthy body image and self-esteem. Our mission is to provide an eating disorder prevention approach and resiliency based system of services, workshops, education, and support to people of all ages in the Province of B.C.

I challenge you, starting today, to try taking off your mask. Show yourself to the world and start loving yourself mentally, physically, and emotionally. You have nothing to lose! Be that confident, fun-loving, awesome person that you are! Fill in the rest of “I am” with a positive thing about yourself. Things you love about who you are.  What’s the point of living this life without being able to love our own bodies?


To me, loving my body means:

  • Not allowing numbers like size or weight set my self-worth
  • Feeding it nutrients
  • Listening to when it’s hungry, full, tired, etc.
  • Moving it with fun physical activities that are either heart-pumping or relaxing
  • Pampering it!
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Putting it in clothes that feel good
  • Being grateful for what my body does for me on a regular basis
  • NEVER criticizing it
  • Seeing the doctor regularly

I hope you will take part in supporting PEDAW in encouraging everybody to love our bodies, love ourselves! And remember for this year, that ‘PERFECT IS BORING!’


Opportunities for you to get involved:

  • A speaker is available to schools in the lower mainland area presenting on eating disorders, disordered eating, self-esteem, resiliency and body image (for grades 6/7 - grade 12).
  • There are free 'Love our bodies, Love ourselves' wristbands for residents of BC (quantities are limited, first come, first served) 
  • 'Like' us on Facebook on the official Love Our Bodies, Love Ourselves page: every day we post positive messages, affirmations, quotes, articles, etc. promoting a positive body image and healthy self-esteem 
  • Participate in the flash mob contest and bring awareness to the public on how to Love Our Bodies, Love Ourselves. Entry deadline is May 1st, 2013. Prizes to be won!


To book a speaker/order wristband/find out more info about events/participate in the flashmob, email us: pedaw@mail.com


Friday, February 8, 2013

CTV News Interview

More PEDAW Exposure!  


Let's make this year a success in preventing the number of eating disorders, raising 
awareness, and reducing stigma!  Check out PEDAW's latest interview (at 1:40):


bc.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=860879&playlistId=1.1148019&binId=1.821980&playlistPageNum=1


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Kelowna woman raises eating disorder awareness


The effects of an eating disorder took Kelowna resident Ashley Polson down a rocky road that nearly ended in death.

When Polson was 16-years-old, she began to struggle with anorexia. She had gained a significant amount of weight in a short period of time due to the side effects of a medication.
The struggle lasted seven years and got to the point where Polson began to contemplate taking her own life.

She had started an online video blog to document her eating disorder struggle. One follower was able to convince her to change her mind.

"On the day I decided to end my life, one of them was talking with me," said Polson, in a release by the Provincial Eating Disorders Awareness campaign.

"He talked me through things, got me to stop and go to the hospital, and offered to help me. As a result, my life was saved, and I was able to get treatment out of the country."

According to Polson, the treatment was offered as a gift and has allowed her to carry on with life.

She has shared her story as part of a psychology DVD accompanying a textbook used in universities across North America to help educate others on eating disorders.

"That to me was one of the best things, to know that I could make a difference in someone else's life and potentially save a life."


The Provincial Eating Disorders Awareness campaign is launched the first full week in February with activities and events taking place throughout the year.  It is a province-wide effort to raise awareness around prevention and early intervention of eating disorders.

To learn more about the campaign, visit www.facebook.com/loveourbodiesloveourselves


By Kelowna Capital News - Kelowna Capital News
Published: February 04, 2013 10:00 AM 
http://www.kelownacapnews.com/news/189686651.html

Another PEDAW Radio Interview!




Want to hear a little bit of Amy Candido's struggle with an eating disorder?  Check out this Radio Interview done at the Jim Harrison Show!  

Simply go to the link below and click on the podcast labelled "Amy Candido"! 







Preview:  Amy Candido is a former TRU student who overcame anorexia and bulemia and now works with the Kelly Mental Health Resource Centre at BC Children's Hospital.  She popped by the Harrison Show on Tuesday, February 5th to share her personal journey with a serious eating disorder and emerging a healthy woman.






Monday, February 4, 2013

FLASHMOB!


PEDAW is launching 



FLASHMOB CONTEST!






Who: Open to students and the public.

What: Groups perform a flashmob dance (we have a choreographed video available upon registration) in a location of your choice, film yourselves, and help bring awareness to building healthy body image and self-esteem.

When: Contest opens Feb. 1 and closes May 1, 2013.

Registration: Register your class/group by emailing pedaw@mail.com with the subject “Flashmob Registration.” Indicate contact name, school/group name, city.

Maximum number of participants: 50 people per group.

Prizes: Winners receive our Love our Bodies, Love Ourselves wristbands, and Perfect is Boring t-shirts!

Share your progress: Show us the progress of your rehearsals:
Add photos to our 2013 Flashmob album on
Facebook: www.facebook.com/loveourbodiesloveourselves
Tweet us @loveourbodies and use the hashtag #pedaw.
Let us know when/where you plan to perform your flashmob so we can try to encourage media to snap some pics!










Background info:
PEDAW is a BC Province wide effort to raise awareness around prevention and early intervention of eating disorders as well as media literacy, resiliency, building healthy body image and self-esteem. Our mission is to provide an eating disorder prevention approach and resiliency based system of services, workshops, education, and support to people of all ages in BC. The initiative is led by Jessie’s Legacy Eating Disorders Prevention Program at Family Services of the North Shore in collaboration with Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre, Looking Glass Foundation, St. Paul’s Specialized Adult Eating Disorder Program, BC Children’s Hospital Eating Disorders Program, and Healthy Minds, Healthy Campuses. PEDAW is launched the first full week in February with activities and events taking place throughout the year.



For more information on PEDAW events:
http://www.familyservices.bc.ca/professionals-a-educators/jessies-legacy/provincial-eating-disorders-awareness

Contact us for more info or if you have further questions!



Provincial Eating Disorders Awareness campaign 2013

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/loveourbodiesloveourselves
TWITTER: @loveourbodies
BLOG: www.loveourbodiesloveourselves.blogspot.ca
YOUTUBE: www.youtube.com/user/loveourbodies



Friday, February 1, 2013

PEDAW Radio Interview!

Hey everyone!

Check out our radio interview done at People's First Radio set on Vancouver Island!  
Simply click on the links below and scroll down the page until you see the audio icon next to the play button:

ENJOY!