Wednesday, March 25, 2015


I came across this unfortunate article today: which got me thinking about society's epidemic of relentless, subconscious conditioning to pursue the 'ideal' body image.

The article and survey done by BLISS Magazine sites mothers being responsible for guiding their teenagers to being dissatisfied with their body image; in reality, the causation of ones dissatisfaction with body image comes from a multitude of factors.  Although I am partial to this survey, overall stats do paint a bleak picture regarding the prevalence of body image obsession in society.

This article hit home recently being an individual who is in her 30's, recovered for almost a decade from Anorexia and Bulimia Nervosa, and facing the truth that is being in her 30's (with a body no longer in her 20's) thinking about future generations and ageing gracefully, all the while shouldering a history with recovery from eating disorders.  I find myself having to create my own alternate path that is separate from convention.  For example, if I am feeling a bit sluggish and out of shape (hypothetically speaking), a simple statement such as; go join a fitness class or just go to the gym, is actually not that straight forward to someone like myself.  1+1 does not = 2 so to speak.  The MOTIVATION for such action needs to be taken into consideration, as for us it doesn't just mean 'I feel sluggish, therefor I should go work out', but 'what are my motives for this need to work out, and feeling sluggish', as the motives could be a detriment to our mentalities; such statements as 'I feel fat', or 'I want to look a certain way', 'achieve a certain number', 'burn off calories', are all 'trigger' happy phrases to a person who has had experience with eating disorders, that should not be acted upon as they may escalate further into unhealthy behaviours (especially if your purging behaviour was once over exercising, in this example).  This is so difficult to explain as it is such a fine fine balance.  I have had to reinvent an ulterior definition of what 'fitness' 'working out' 'health' means to me, regardless of the fact I am recovered, proud of, and am grateful for my body.  And to professionals I pose a question as to how you would guide your former RECOVERED eating disorder patients to traverse through the reality that is: society's obsession with body image, and a 'drug/substance' we've no choice but constantly face; in food, in media, in the many stages of life, in indirect messages, and masses? (fine tune all the way?)          

As I go about experiencing life, I am discovering many aspects I am having to redefine and create for myself that oppose societal, stereotypical, or 'usual' ways.  To operate on different, often invisible dimensions.  Having been touched with mental illness you are made to improvise and invent the ways that work best, at any given time, wherever you are at that moment.  It is at times a mind-f***, but one that keeps me on my toes and constantly adapting, flexible to change (which can be a benefit in this unpredictable uncertain journey we call life, as well as an added level of complexity).  One thing I do know for certain is how I would go about raising future generations to be best equipped to face the illusory challenges that society presents.  If I were to respond to the Bliss article, I'd say 'don't keep repeating history, but learn and recreate a better set of standards and practices that positively encourage future generations into healthier well rounded individuals', also 'to take responsibility for your own shortcomings and deal with them first before/or to not transplant them down generations', and 'have the courage and awareness to learn, change, and teach healthier patterns for the better'.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said: WE MUST BE OUR OWN BEFORE WE CAN BE ANOTHER'S

I am grateful for being.  I haven't owned a weighing scale for over ten years (I literally threw the lot out the window), I will never weigh myself, and will probably forever have a habit of getting on the scale at doctors offices backwards.  

Eating disorders such as Bulimia Nervosa and Anorexia Nervosa are the number one killers amongst psychiatric illnesses; more info at sites such as and support through organisations such as        

For a more comprehensive update on recent biological, scientific research regarding Eating Disorders, see such publications as which will have a whole issue dedicated to Eating Disorders coming in April, as well as major university publications, amongst many others.

Monday, March 16, 2015


Since I have been back in Detroit MI having said my farewells in Tokyo, and the best send off I've ever experienced, here I am, once again putting my mind/nose to the grind.
One of my greatest strengths is finding energy, heart, resources, and motivation where none would usually exist.  The same determination and discipline that made me walk out of my week long stay in the ICU (forget that the head of psychiatry was a complete jerk), the concentration it takes to overcome the pain of a broken foot while dancing as the lead in Swan Lake (hey the show had to go on), the hell that was, the fight of my life to live again; functioning, thriving, giving back, and embracing the exuberance of life.  My decision to move to Tokyo, and having done so, setting up, starting work, within a month of the job offer and interview.  Or deciding at age 12 to pursue a career in ballet, and actually doing so, recruited by a company in Tokyo at 16 whilst going to high school.  Making my visual art career happen from scratch, when my vehicle for self expression in dancing retired, completely self taught (  The same drive that pushed for a business trip from HK-NRT-SF-LAX-YYZ via Denver-back to NRT happen, starting from Art Basel HK, doing artist studio, and gallery visits throughout.  And now, I find myself much like a high performance athlete, restructuring my mindset to focus on that which needs progress, yet again.  I don't play or sit around, I make things happen in/for my life, unafraid to take calculated risks and achieve what I want and need.  I have to admit, I am relentless, and a bit abnormal in that sense...

I gave myself enough time to SLEEP (the dinners, events, parties, get togethers, up to literally the morning of my departure probably resulted in more all-nighters than I had since my high school/university days), returning back to healthy eating patterns (I'm a veggie lover, although I like my lean meats too, lots of fruit, fluids, and detox off all alcohol spare a few sips of wine here or there), quiet time and space to process EVERYTHING in my own way, to remember, to truly embrace memories significant to me, so that they shall remain forever, never forgotten or taken for grated.  I gave myself yesterday to grieve, miss, and cry about the temporary losses that come with any move/transition.  Halved the already halved dosage of sleepy meds I've been taking at night, put myself on a sleep schedule, with a little help from Clover who lets me know she's hungry and needs walkies:)  Jet lag is practically gone.

Ready to strategically plan out my next move to Toronto Canada (helps that I know the city somewhat) .  Finding a rental property; location/$/variables.  Finding work to support living costs.  Looking into transferring university credits, and options.  Creating social networks from scratch, where I am, now (who is at a completely different place than I was when I left for Tokyo 2 years ago).  Setting up medical supports, and plan a course as I see fit with professionals.  Those are just the major things, amongst the paperwork, logistics, and everything that needs updating/renewing.

And what am I listening to while I go about all this?
HAVE YOU EVER REALLY LOVED A WOMAN? (Don Juan DeMarco soundtrack version) by Bryan Adams
CONQUEROR by Estelle
ONLY ONE by Kanye West
BED OF LIES feat. Skylar Grey by Nicki Minaj
I CHOOSE YOU by Sara Bareilles
TOO LONG by Charlie Winston
are recent songs... all amongst the other oldie but goodies on my playlists:)

Right now, I'm feeling vulnerable; but strengthened by love and quiet knowing.

We'll see where this adventure takes us!