Tuesday, April 1, 2014

ANOREXIA ~ A to Z Challenge

WELCOME to my opening day of the A to Z Challenge 2014!!! 

For those who don't know me, here's a quick briefing on moi. 
But skip to the post if you don't care. I'm totally okay with that. 
  • mother of 4 
  • wife
  • dancer 
  • lover of rainstorms 
  • major ice hockey fanatic 
  • dog/cat lady
  • writer of the average tween/teen who's not so average, repped by the fabulous Paula Munier 
  • YA novel is currently on sub. MG novel almost ready to go.
  • Oh, and I fear car washes. But that's for later on this month.

My A to Z gig: OFF the CUFF

More Participants

Basically, I'll be keeping posts short and writing about whatever moves me~themes, inspirations, causes, and silliness. I'll stick to my normal posting of Mondays & Wednesdays (possibly an occasional other day), highlighting the appropriate letter for said day. But I will visit blogs throughout the week. I am looking forward to reading your words! : 


Anorexia is clinically defined by two characteristics:  
  • a lack or loss of appetite for food (as a medical condition)
  • an emotional disorder characterized by an obsessive desire to lose weight by refusing to eat 
I HAD NO IDEA is the theme NEDA-National Eating Disorder Awareness organization-adopted for 2014. Most people have no idea the truth threading that statement. 

Anorexia does not discriminate. There is not ethnic, religious, or economic barrier shielding one segment of the population from its potential destruction. Suffers are normal, average. They can be the popular guy at your high school, or the mother of your best friend. They can be the meek cashier at your local convenience store or the successful business woman at your state's capital. And they can be of any weight and body shape. Suffers are not just the bone-skinny type. Lots of times they wear a smile and involve themselves in activities. Some seem to have the world by the horns, appearing fully put together. 

The disorder begins in the mind, where a distorted image of self has developed. On some level, suffers see themselves as not good or whole enough. Sometimes the cause initiates with weight, but not always. And those weight issues are sometimes not weight issues at all. Lots of times deep seated pains and insecurities have been left to fester. Pains buried so deeply, the sufferer doesn't even realize there in lies the stem of their problem.  
Links - HERE & HERE | Click to enlarge

I know, because I'm a past sufferer - senior year of high school/freshman year in college. I wasn't overweight. On the contrary, I was thin and had a dancer's figure from dancing my entire life. But, at age seventeen, my life fell apart with my mom's diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. Whoa ... that's weird to type out loud. I've never told anyone that before. Guess I'm ready to share in a future post. 

My purpose for writing today is not about me. It's to raise essential AWARENESS, so the public can better understand these sufferers and know this is real. How many times since I've recovered have I heard, That's stupid. Just eat, already. 

Anorexia is not about eating. 
It's tangible. 
And dangerous. 

But there is help. 

More information: NEDAwareness - Twitter - Facebook | ANAD (National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders) - Twitter - Facebook | LINK to more organizations

I'd appreciate it if you'd help spread this important message by sharing via social media#NEDAwareness or #recovery. I don't have a gift or prize for you. Chalk it up to your Good Deed for the Day and that you brought an enormous smile to my face and those who've struggled with this disorder. Thank you. 

 photo Sheri2.png


  1. Anorexia is indeed a very serious mental disorder with devastating effects on people's lives. A little awareness goes a long way. Thanks for posting this.

    - Vero

  2. This is a great post, Sheri! Anorexia isn't something to just snap out of, it is a serious disorder, one that could require psychological or medical attention. And you're right, it doesn't discriminate. My nephew struggled with anorexia a few years ago (as a teenager), and it eventually landed him in the hospital. His body was on the verge of collapse. It's scary and dangerous. Thank you for raising this awareness and sharing something so personal.

    I wish we lived closer too--I would take you up on that cool autumn walk! :)

    1. Aw...You read my comment on your site! Yeah, it'd be nice. But we can always cyber walk.

  3. I can still remember the day the school principal called me in for a meeting and was surprised when she hit me with the accusation that my daughter had anorexia. I was a basket case, but turned out to be something else. A terrible disorder.

  4. A deadly disorder that took the life of Karen Carpenter at an early age. Very sad. Good luck on the A-Z trail!

  5. It is sad people are going through this. Always hard when our minds become an enemy. Nice to get to know you a bit in the the factoid at the beginning.

    Brandon Ax: Writer's Storm

  6. I've seen friends suffer through this not just in HS but in Junior High. I thought at first jr High years that maybe they just weren't hungry at lunch time, but they didn't just skip meals at lunch it was breakfast too. good post. and i'm sorry you went through this at one point in your life but glad you over came it. :) You're correct everyone needs to be aware.

  7. Anorexia is a dreadful disorder. I'm pleased you managed to overcome it. It must have been terrible being told about your mum's MS.

    1. Yes it was. But primarily for two reasons: she did not take it well, which lead to me giving up my dancing aspirations in NYC to stay home and help out. It took me a while to realize that I was grieving a loss of part of myself.

  8. I'm sorry about your mother and that you suffered through anorexia. I've heard it also has to do with a lack of control in one's life.

  9. Sheri, thank you for giving us this message to share and for being brave enough to tell us you know about this personally. With support and the right help, people can get a handle on the issue, but that support system is so very important!

  10. It is a devastating illness. Those who recover fully are fortunate as so many do not.

    1. Very true on all counts, Karen. I know a family member of one of my best high school friends who didn't make it. It was years later I discovered anorexia was what took her life. She was so, so young - early twenties. :(

  11. Such a dangerous disease. I've seen it up close and it's not pretty, either. Great that you're posting about it and building awareness.

  12. Wow, I had no idea about your private life, that you were a dancer or about the MS and anorexia. You're brave to share that with others, but I know it comes from a place of helpful, sympathetic kindness 'coz no one's kinder than you are. Great post, Sheri! :)

  13. I love that you coupled awareness with your post. Anorexia is a dangerous disease and not one people take seriously enough. I hate it when people joke about it like it's a silly little attention stunt - it's not.

    A-to-Z Challenge 2014
    Mighty Minion of Co-Host Nicole Ayers
    @Safireblade on Twitter

  14. Thank you for sharing such personal information here. It always helps those who share in your way of thinking. My mother had symptoms of this my whole life. I think she still suffers from it but not as bad...not since she passed out one night and the doctor told her she needed to eat more than one meal a day. I also have a blog where I am trying to show people they are not alone and offer some hope and awareness into the life of a caregiver for a veteran with invisible wounds. It's very difficult all the way around. But opening up also helps me. And hopefully helps someone else.

    Jamie Dement (LadyJai)
    My A to Z
    Caring for My Veteran

  15. Never dealt with anorexia, but I have faced insomnia. These disorders that pop up and alter your whole way of life can be so debilitating. I know what's behind my sleeplessness, and that makes it easier to combat, but I think it's when we can define the cause of our mental or emotional anxiety that we're in trouble. My heart goes out to those who are working through these kinds of issues.

  16. Hi Sheri .. I've seen anorexia at first hand .. but only for a short time. Any mental disease is just terrible in the way it can manifest itself .. I certainly feel for those who suffer, and those family members who are around to help ...

    It'd good you're highlighting it here .. cheers Hilary

  17. It seems teens are traumatized all to easily. It doesn't help that our bodies go through quite a bit change. I was a binge eater because off it seeking comfort.

    Good post!

    Hugs and chocolate!

  18. You are ABSOLUTELY right, Sheri.... eating disorder are EXTREMELY dangerous. I've always been a nervous eater. The first sign of upset, I'd head for the kitchen and shove anything sugary and fattening into my face. I always had a weight problem and still do, but it's been under control now for several years. BUT, I am always AWARE... this is the key!

    1. That is so TRUE! Being aware of your personal limitations and what can set you off is key. It's been, oh geez, at least 23+ years since I actually cut off food or binged/purged, but I know I have to be careful. Like I don't ever step on a scale. Sounds so stupid. I mean, I've always been considered underweight. But it's not about my weight. For some reason, my brain sees fluctuation of weight as a lack of control. I'm fortunate I was able to recognize that years ago.

      Thanks so much for your words and for sharing. It means a lot. :-)

  19. Hi Sheri, great post, thanks for highlighting this dangerous issue.

  20. I can think about pie and gain weight, but understand the illness behind any eating disorder. Is it any wonder with how much we're bombarded with that our wires can get crossed? Untethered Realms

    1. Gosh, you just said that perfectly. So true!

      (BTW - love the site - Untethered Realms. Just discovered it this morning. *slapsforehead*)

  21. Great post and good to see this issue being talked about.

  22. Tweeted. It's good to spread the word about things that affect us, but that we don't talk much about. Writing a bulimic young character in one of my novels so this is a good reminder for me of how eating disorders affect teens.

    J.L. Campbell writes at The Character Depot
    and the Jamaican Kid Lit Blog.

  23. Great post. And it's so important to spread awareness. Off to tweet.

  24. Thank you for sharing this, Sheri. I had no idea about NEDA, but it sounds like a really great cause. I'm sorry to hear about your mom and MS. That is difficult. My neighbor is struggling with MS right now, but luckily there's a lot of good treatments out there right now.

  25. Thanks for your piece on this. Have not suffered from this but isn't it maddening when ppl trivialize something e.g. the "just eat already" thing. It's the same with other problems like depression or whatever. If you could just get over it, you would. It's not usually so simple.

  26. Thanks for posting this, Sheri. Anorexia is such a serious, and often misunderstood, illness.

  27. So glad you pointed out that not all anorexics are skinny, some people may not have known that. I will tweet the message for you, no problem.

  28. I must commend you on your A to Z theme. There are so many taboo conditions out there, anorexia being one of them. We need to talk about them more, so as to both understand and help.

  29. I hope you can help someone out there with your posts. I've had three good friends with anorexia, and was so difficult to see them so unhappy and not know what to do or say.

    Random Musings from the KristenHead — A is for 'Almost Human' (and Action and Androids)


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