Red Riding Hood re-visited: a nightmare that must be stopped

Red Riding Hood re-visited: a nightmare that must be stopped

My mother and me. She 'lost' me after only 11 years, when I developed Anorexia. And I lost her. The weight cycling industry did not cause my illness, but it turned recovery from what could have been a hill climb into a mountain climb of Everest proportion - without a Sherpa in sight.

My three little grand daughters – the eldest is aged  two years – are my sweetest inspiration. They fuel my passion in raising awareness of eating

A Girl Called Tim - describes what living with an eating disorder is really like - I am so lucky to have survived but would not wish the struggle on anyone. Ever.

disorders. Forty-four years of my life, from the age of eleven, were scarred, marred and tortured by eating disorders – first Anorexia, then Bulimia. Forty-four years – lost. I don’t want my grand daughters to experience so much as one day with an eating disorder. I don’t want any child, girl or boy, anywhere in the world to experience one day with an eating disorder. I don’t want lives lost by eating disorders, I don’t want families torn apart by eating disorders, I don’t want relationships ruined by eating disorders.
Now, stand back, because I am going to SHOUT:
I don’t want our little children to grow up in a social environment dominated by the weight cycling industry.
It is like a wolf in grandma’s clothing. I’m the grandma and I want to kill that wolf. I’m aghast at what is happening in Australia today. I thought we knew better. I thought we were enlightened. ED advocates around the world are beating the drum to stir the conscience of those who should know better. Mothers and grandmothers and indeed all adults who care, it’s time to take a stand. No matter how it may disguise, camouflage, hide, manipulate, its intentions,  the weight cycling industry is something we will be healthier without. Dannielle Miller, co-founder of Enlighten Education explains:

I recently noted that the program for this year’s Alliance of Girls’ Schools Conference, to be held in Melbourne 25th-27th May, was to include Ms Amy Smith, the current CEO of Jenny Craig. As I believe a woman who represents the diet industry has no place at such a prestigious event aimed at educators of young women, I sent an initial email of concern to Jan Butler, the Executive Officer of the Alliance. On Tuesday I received a reply from Ms Catherine Misson, the Principal of Melbourne Girls Grammar, assuring me that Ms Smith is, amongst other things, “transforming the organisation (Jenny Craig) into a champion of women’s health.”
…  I responded with the letter below. With the aim of eliciting support for my stance, and initiating vital discussion on girls and dieting, I then shared this correspondence via Twitter and Facebook. I was incredibly heartened by the positive response and particularly encouraged to see Kate Ellis, amongst other prominent educators, women’s advocates and health practitioners, circulate it too. I have not received any response as of yet, other than a call from … the PR representative for Jenny Craig (who) asked “what my problem was” and said my letter was a “vicious attack” on Amy Smith. It clearly is not.

Read Dannielle’s letter here.

Susan Ringwood, CEO of beat, UK, writes:
“Young women across the globe get bombarded daily with dieting ‘advice’ from commercial companies with a vested interest in promoting the fallacy that their lives would be perfect if only they lost another 10 pounds. Every magazine they open, the billboards they pass, every time they turn on the TV. 
“School should be the place where their minds are enlightened and informed; where their hopes for the future are encouraged; and where their vulnerabilities are protected. It should not be the place that gives a platform to those commercial weight loss companies- no matter how eminent their CEO’s are.”

Selfless, indefatigable Charlotte Bevan, UK, writes from her heart – I encourage you to read her post, right to the final paragraph:
So Ms Catherine Misson of Melbourne Girls Grammar School, why don’t you line up a hundred of your girls in front of you and decide which 8 are going to be the ones who are going to suffer (and maybe die) from an eating disorder and which 8 are likely to be morbidly obese?  Once you have looked at those 15 faces, perhaps you will look at the other 85 pupils who will probably spend the rest of their lives feeling inadequate and overweight, whilst writing a cheque to Jenny Craig’s representative for all she is doing for their self-esteem?

Deb Burgard PhD, writes:
We have good research documenting the hazards of dieting for youth. The marketing departments of these companies are appropriating concerns about weight and health to insert themselves into workplaces, schools, and healthcare settings.
Lydia Jade Turner, head of BodyMatters asks that we emailboth Mrs Catherine Misson, principal of Melbourne Girls’ Grammar School – – and the organisers of the conference – – to voice our concerns

Let’s do it.

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