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March 31, 2005



man.. i love the hugo. hes suhWEET! yeah... my friends have really effed-up body image. i guess i do to to some extent. but it was sad last night because everybody left kinda bummed out. and i was still happy and was wishing that i could like transmit some okayness-with-myself-magic to them. sometimes i wish they had 12 steps to change their life like i do. no.. i wish that all the time. much love to the hugo-i-nator!

Shane Hunziker

As someone who was once married to a person with an eating disorder, I applaud you for your efforts to reach these kids and talk about the hard stuff. I believe that the more honest we all are about these issues, perhaps the less often they will occur. God bless you, Hugo.

Trish Wilson

Hugo, have you ever read "Sugar Blues"? It talks about the highs and lows you feel because of sugar's presence in our food (especially processed foods). I first read the book when I was pregnant. I forgot most of it (it's been 16 years), but the book urged readers to give up sugar. My doctor recommended it.


As a woman with lots of female friends, my reaction to the idea of getting everyone to say something negative about their body is -- how boring. I am willing to bet that most other young women in the room already knew what each other young women in the room would say. It's old news. And not only is it old news -- I think feeling BAD about your body is considered to be a standard way for women to bond. I *still* have lots of (highly accomplished educated) female friends who use this a standard bonding technique "Oh my gosh, my thighs are SO HUGE." "Oh, no they're not -- look at my stomach -- I'm so bloated." (I think there's a scene in the movie _Mean Girls_ that makes fun of this ritual -- when the new girl fails to chime in with a complaint about her body, suddenly she's the odd one out.) To this day, I often feel trapped and exasperated by the amount of body-talk I do with my female friends. My friends are reacting to very real cultural forces, but it just takes up so damn much space. But for me to not take part in it would be considered an insensitive breach of chick etiquette.

In saying this I don't mean to criticize the *spirit* of the activity, which I think is excellent -- I just wasn't sure if you knew how closely your approach aligned with the way female-bonding winds up tacitly endorsing body obsession.


Midwestmind, I hear you. And yet, I am concerned that most activities designed around body issues tend to paint the very real concerns of young women --AND young men -- as shallow. If all we did was leave it there, that would indeed be a problem. But we don't leave it there, we do push deeper -- and I'll blog more about that next week. Our group is also made up of lots of kids who don't know each other well, who come from very different high school "cliques" -- it's got a different feel than what might happen among peers.

Enyo Harlley

it's got a different feel than what might happen among peers.

I think you're right, Hugo. Among peers, we (young people) feel tremendous pressure to conform to what the majority is doing/saying. In a 'safe space' like your youth group, where there are caring adults around to guide the discussion, I think teens feel more able to be honest and open about their real feelings. And we can get the kind of positive affirmation that helps to overcome negative body image.


And -- as I thought to myself a few hours after making my post -- maybe there is also real value to having it be a co-ed exercise, rather than an all-female ritual.


Okay, I finally have to admit that I over indulged on Easter goodies too Hugo. I've been eating every leftover Easter treat around. I wonder what it is about peeps that makes them so irresistible ?....The really bad thing is that, I haven't exactly been working out any harder to make up for it.__Oh well, such is life...we are not perfect!


*i just found this blog like thing and i love it! fabulous thoughts!*
Anyways, i'm a teen girl who had an ED 2 years ago, luckily mine didn't last over a year because i went to a camp where there was no media and everyone was just happy. sadly that was my starting point to my weight gain. but my ED was caused by the media, not my peers. i started finding myself more and more obsessed with fashion magazines that had these anorexic models (which you don't see as much, but they're there) and watching shows about people who have had ED's trying to perfect my disorder. So i can say that if i personally didn't have the media of "what's perfect" then i would be much happier w/my body image.


Sugar can indeed cause mood swings. As a diabetic, I can tell you first hand how sugar and heavy carb loads can bring on tiredness and depression. I really got to watch it.
In my kids its actually the opposite, that is, it gives them that "sugar buzz" that makes them want to bounce off the walls.
Adult onset diabetes is a bummer. More people are getting it these days, and I would guess it is the increase in sugar,carbs and fat in all of our diets. Insufficient exercise just makes it worse.
Keep on eating all those peeps Hugo, and you might find yourself like me, poking yourself with an insulin needle several times a day... although personally I don't know how you'd find the extra time with all the various activities in your life..


One of the reasons why I exercise so much, Michael, is that fear -- my latest blood work at the docs was pretty good, I am pleased to say... but I do need to watch my intake.

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