Life in Balance

Through this online art blog/gallery we can encourage, inspire and share hope with one another…We invite who you to share your “NAPS” (News, Art ,Poetry, Songs) or inspirations. Email if you would like to share inspirations. Please note we can not post advice with regards to nutrition and exercise.

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Weekend & Self-Care

garden flowers

 So as the weekend is upon us, I wanted to remind you all to take a time-out for yourself. Create a little ritual – something you do every weekend and you do it only for yourself.

I know you are already asking: Where do I have time for a ‘time-out’?

There is no set-time for a time-out. It can be 10 minutes, it can be an hour.
My time-out is waking up early (yes early!) getting up, walking down the street, and taking the subway to get a coffee downtown and do some writing. Sometimes, my time to do this limited, but these moments are helpful to ourselves and I commit to it (even if laundry is behind).

Have a great weekend.

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Eat, Breath, Pause: Mindful Eating


During the week, EDOYR had the opportunity to listen to a webinar (online lecture) about ‘Mindful Eating’, which was presented by Ryann Smith, registered dietician from the Renfrew Center (treatment centres across the U. S.). They provided this brief handout that may be of some interest to you.
For further questions, feel free to email:
                                      Eat, Breath, Pause: Mindful Eating and Treatment

Ryann Smith, RD, LD/N

What is Mindful eating (ME)? 
ME is … 
• About being conscious of why you are hungry
• About developing a close relationship with your mind and body
• Knowing the exact moment you’re satisfied (not stuffed or starving)
• About being open to eating foods
• Developing a new relationship with food
• Overcoming predetermined thoughts
• NOT about the type of food, because food is neutral
• About the process of eating
ME Practices: 
> Observant
> Non-Judgmental
> Aware
> Present
> Let it go already!
> Acceptance
> Compassionate

ME tips to try: 
• Plate your food, sit and eat
• Spooning- its not what you think
• Switch it up- 1st 2 bites are best
• Pacing
• Catch your Z’s
• Shift your routine
                                 Mindful Eating Experience- try it at home with your loved ones! 
• Choose a food item

• Examine the shape, color, and texture

• Unwrap the food item if necessary

• Smell the food item, notice the aroma

• Is there any anticipatory salivation?

• Notice the taste, texture and temperature

• Notice the texture changes as you chew and swallow

• Be aware of feelings, sensation or memories

• Imagine the chocolate in your stomach

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My Voice versus Theirs



Some very interesting things have happened in the last week or so with regards to public perceptions of eating disorders.

Now,  I cannot deny the fact that I exercise a very critical perspective to political and media-based outlets of information that is dished out to us every second due to the increased accessibility of internet, wi-fi, and web-based entertainment. Our ideas, thoughts, and souls are essentially plastered up against ideals set before us by these figures.  What do we do when a public figure says something that bothers us? How do we feel? Do we let it go?  I want to share my own process whereby I was forced to hear something that bothered me and henceforth, feel restricted to even do anything about how I felt.

Last week, singer and reality star Jessica Simpson, was being interviewed by the magazine, “Lucky.” When asked about her clothing designs and how these designs were sized for ‘average women’ she was asked to further explain her choice to be inclusive of larger sized clothing. However, she reacted by saying the following:

                         “I got so much scrutiny for putting on extra pounds, but I think that the decision not to make myself anorexic was actually great for branding,” she says. “Because when you’re really, really skinny, not everybody can relate to you.”  (Lucky, November, 2011).

Upon reading these words, I felt myself become enraged. To hear a public figure state that “eating disorders are a choice” was difficult but also painful. Even though I knew she was incorrect about her statement, I felt defeated. If someone with millions of dollars could use such words haphazardly and have these words published and read by thousands and thousands of people, what hope did I have to change the way things were? To change the current perceptions of eating disorders?
In addition to this naive assertion, she continued to rub salt in the wound by saying those with Anorexia Nervosa have a lonely life simply because no one can relate to ‘them.’

I reacted strongly. I ranted to my office-mates and wanted to erase every part of this interview for fear that it would perpetuate further misunderstandings about Anorexia. As a result, I went directly on to Twitter and tweeted her information about EDOYR and told her (very kindly) that Eating Disorders were by no means a choice. I stated that her words might be hurtful to not just those who were suffering but also the friends, families, and companions of those who are struggling to overcome an eating disorder.  As time passed, I waited and wanted a response. Seething, waiting, ready to go, I wanted to talk this out with this person, say it as it was, and hopefully reach some plateau of understanding.

However, it never came.  Within 20 minutes, Jessica Simpson tweeted not that she was sorry for her comments that may have affected people who were struggling, but that she was farting 15 times more than an average woman per day.

I still don’t know whether to laugh at that (which I do sometimes) or to continue to feel upset. However, by reading her response, I felt upset not for me, or her, but the larger issue and the larger structures that have failed to inform this individual about disabilities, disorders, and exercising a compassionate heart around these issues.
I don’t think she is evil, but just as every person, whether you are a politician, famous singer, or a struggling student like myself, we have a voice and we also have responsibility. We have responsibility to inform ourselves, and learn from others. We have responsibility to disagree gently. We also have responsibility to be aware not just for ourselves, but our community.

I might not have caught the attention from a public figure in trying to change a public perception, but one thing in which I am grateful for was the ability to be able to type the words I typed and post them on her forum. Did she see them? or Why didn’t she respond? are irrelevant questions. What is relevant is the focus on our action to do something about it — that is the key. The spark that forced us to voice our opinion and defend ourselves amidst oppressive comments such as those from Ms. Simpson.

You have a voice. Use it. You will be very surprised by what you see.

Have a wonderful evening.


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Fundraiser Updates

Hi everyone,

Sorry for the delay!  It has been busy here at EDOYR as we are preparing for our annual fundraiser that is to take place on November 26, 2011 at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts.
Tickets will likely be gone by the 26th so get yours now!

There will be many silent auction items up for bid and every little bit helps!


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This is just a friendly reminder to get your tickets for ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ performed by Richmond Hill’s Steppin’ Out. Proceeds go to Eating Disorders of York Region and helping us fund group sessions and provide many other FREE services in York Region and beyond.

Tickets can be purchased at: 905-886-6632!
If you cannot make it, feel free to make a donation at:


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The ‘Culture of Cutting Back’

This week, I was given my sister’s ‘old’ iPhone. Being without a phone for a month was quite the feat but I wash happy to have access again to those who live far and near me.
Enamoured and fascinated by these different applications, games, time-wasters that come with the iPhone, I truly got lost in every little game and feature I could simply download in a matter of seconds.
Excitedly, I came across a category entitled: “Health & Wellness” apps. Assuming I would be able to download some nifty ‘meditation-on-the-go’ apps or positive quotes.  Although these options were indeed available, I came across some other apps. Calorie counters, ‘Cutting is back,’ ‘Losing it’ and the list could go on.  These apps were free, accessible, and had an otherwise, were marketed in a way that put a ‘positive’ and ‘productive’ spin on controlling one’s weight.  There was a notable absence on apps that encouraged personal well-being, acceptance, and personal development.
How is it that in such a materialized culture, we are encouraged to live big and own these elaborate devices, yet when it comes to our bodies, we must ‘cut back’?
Is this simply an expression of an increased value of our external surroundings over our own health, body, and happiness?