Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Can You Save Someone from Dying of Anorexia ?

I saw a headline at the beginning of this year that got my attention because it involved the death of a young woman who shouldn't have died so young. There was nothing wrong with her physically that couldn't have been corrected if she had received proper treatment early. She was not attacked, murdered or in an accident. She died because she starved herself to death believing she was overweight.
Her name was Isabelle Caro and she was a French fashion model. She had suffered from anorexia nervosa from the age of 13 and was never told that she was killing herself. Instead, her employers encouraged her to continue to starve herself under the supposition that she may not be able to wear clothes or look good in them unless she kept her weight low. At the time of her death, she was 28 years old, weighing only 29 kilos, which is about 64 lbs. For a model, she was short- only 5'4". Before she died she started a campaign in 2007 in Europe, putting billboards up where major fashion shows were taking place, addressing the problem of anorexia and shocked the fashion world with her bold statement by showing her emaciated body and gaunt face.
While fashion and print modeling may be the strongest encouragement for someone with Caro's inherent problem there is a bigger concern staring society in the face which could become bigger with time if we don't all stop and look around us. While America may have a large percentage of people who are overweight and battling serious illnesses because of it there is a strong percentage of men, women and children like Caro who are silently killing themselves and no one will come forward and tell them they need help. It's an insidious disease because it's so difficult a subject to broach in public or in private. However, no one should sit idly by and watch someone they love slowly but surely starve themselves to death. Anyone who lives with someone with anorexia nervosa has an obligation, through love, to tell that person they need to get help and then make sure they get that help.
I consider myself a person who survived anorexia nervosa. I didn't do it alone even though I was so young that no one recognized the problem except one person. My mother noticed. She tried to encourage me to eat. She pulled me out of dance classes because she thought I was getting dangerously thin. She took photographs of me and showed me them. I thought I looked fat in the pictures even though I was one of the original lollipop girls. (I can look at those photos now and see what I couldn't at the time.) One day I remember my mother holding out a cookie in front of me and begging me to eat it. Something changed in that moment.
At the moment I heard my mother imploring me to eat something I realized it was just my desire to control something in my life. I felt powerless in every other aspect of my day to day life, so refusing to eat was my chance to take power back. I believe it is the same for all who suffer from anorexia. The power is an illusion aided by this feeling of euphoria which cannot be explained. Dopamine levels in the blood can become high so instead of eating they run or workout like a maniac just to feel like they can cope with life. Their bodies stop telling them it's hungry. They don't know they're hungry and they have a distorted view of what they look like. If you want to save someone from dying of anorexia tell them they are too thin and if they don't eat they are going to die. If you love them you'll do it.

Bon Courage,

The Castle Lady

This is the 100th entry on this blog.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

My secret blog...

Yes. I've been holding out a little. This is my Rock Blog for those of you who haven't been following real close. It's my rock-n-roll side so be ready for a different way of me looking at the world. The music world that is...

The Castle Lady rocks your world

with kisses !

Friday, March 04, 2011

The 100th Anniversary of International Women's Day ! ! March 8th

For those of you who have never heard of this international holiday which supports the independence, fortitude and ingenuity of women I wanted to supply a little bit of information. It is well worth supporting. In some of the 176 countries which recognize this day many activities are very supportive of women's causes. One organization which supports it is online at and you can find out more about it wherever you are at on this big blue marble we call earth.
March 8th is the day to mark on your calendar and possibly get involved in one or several activities. Those who live in the New York City area can attend the celebration at the Ramada Plaza New Yorker Hotel. There will be all manner of authors, journalists, artists and female entrepreneurs who will speak, teach and give all types of support for women's issues, rights and general support to the cause.
Finding online celebrations and information will be easy this year so go type in International Women's Day into your browser and go on a search. You're sure to find an activity just right for you.

With lots of support and care,
The Castle Lady

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Boy Wrestles Girl ?

     Did any of my readers see the recent story on TV news about the two teenagers of the opposite sex who were scheduled to wrestle in the first round of the Iowa state high school wrestling tournament? The 16-year-old boy, Joel Northrup, and a 14-year-old girl named Cassy Herkleman were set up to a match and the boy refused the match, walked off the mat and had to forfeit to her, losing his chance at a state title. It looked like a case of a win/win for feminists and non-feminists alike but if you look a little closer this is really becoming much more than a battle of the sexes. It seems to be a battle of keeping to your convictions and faith and being penalized for it.
     A popular ESPN columnist, Rick Reilly, jumped on the story and I guess it quickly became national news. Joel, who is home-schooled, is also a pastor's son. His father, Jamie, was quoted as saying, "We believe in the elevation and respect of women, and we don't think that wrestling a woman is the right thing to do. Body slamming and takedowns -- full contact sport is not how to do that," when he was questioned by the Des Moines Register about his son's decision.
     "As a matter of conscience and my faith," he wrote in a statement, "I do not believe that it is appropriate for a boy to engage a girl in this manner."
     It's too bad his decision was not recognized for an act of faith and that he be given another chance to compete against an opponent that he felt was a comfortable match. I think he should be rewarded for and commended for his ethics. How many teenagers make a stand for anything these days? If it happens we don't hear about it often enough. We'll hear about all the trouble they can and do get into but how often is it the other way around and made into national news?
     Unfortunately, Rick Reilly decided to humiliate Joel by saying he was wrong to refuse the match and wrote that,
          "If the Northrups really wanted to respect women, they should've encouraged their son to face her."
     Perhaps it never occurred to Rick Reilly that they were encouraging their son to think for himself and provided him with the best ideas of character for a man. That is especially true in these times when domestic violence is more rampant than ever and violence against women can be seen on TV sitcoms for several hours nearly every single night. There are several organizations which are gaining strength and momentum trying to help women in situations that have become life-threatening. I personally wonder how this idea that full contact sports, such as wrestling, would show any amount of respect for the person of a female.   
     That said, this story is really more about the distinctions surrounding gender than it is about these three individuals opinions– or wrestling itself. Coed sports is still largely not done especially on a professional level. The passage of mandate title IX in 1972 states that schools receiving federal funding should offer female athletes access to the same opportunities as the male athletes receive. I don't see any reason that this should be interpreted to mean that coed education should be encouraged or even made accessible. These same opportunities exist even if they are separated and it would certainly be more appropriate considering our current problems with violence and vice.
     I hope that what Joel's father had to say about his son's conviction, namely that he may not have wrestled Cassy but he did wrestle (and win) with his faith, will get more media attention than Rick Reilly's diatribe. That's a good and admirable thing and ought to be national news more often. Maybe everyone will finally understand why we keep to our convictions rather than go along with everything that is approved of by the world.
Keeping it light but with integrity,
The Castle Lady