Cinnamon Raisin Challah and “Yes, I’m Aware”

Facebook, twitter, and blogs are all pimping out ED-awarness week. “Get aware people! Eating Disorders exist and they kill!”

Tell me something I don’t know.

And before I begin my little ED awareness spiel, please note cynicism is my middle name and if you can’t handle that, go read the dictionary or something.

Anyhow, here are my issues with “Eating Disorders Awareness Week”.

My first issue is:

Why a week?

Although the clinical diagnoses were only defined in the 1970’s. Deadly eating disorder have been around since the beginning of time! You know that whole Adam and Eve with the apple thing? I’m willing to bet money that snake offered Eve some chocolate but she probably declined (I mean, being naked 24/7, I’m sure she cared about her thighs). So he then chose to temp her with an apple thinking its less calories. My point is, eating disorders are not a new phenomena. They have been killing people for years. Why do we only get a week to recognize how serious they are? Can’t we always care about them?

My second issue:

Aware of what???

I tried to think back to when I was in grade school. Pre-disorder. I for sure knew what “anorexia” and “bulimia” were, but I thought they were silly diseases that I would never get since I loved good so much. Most adults know what eating disorders are just from reading tabloids and watching “Access Hollywood”. Having a vague understanding of what an eating disorder might be isn’t the same understanding what an eating disorder is.  My problem is that I’m not always sure that the information being published this week really makes any of this clearer. Even on “NEDA” websites, I don’t think they really give a good sense. Most people think ED’s are a “choice”. Like “choosing” to diet. Why dont need “awareness”. We are well aware. We need “understanding”. We need for employers to understand why we might need time off for treatment. We need insurance companies that aren’t a** holes for denying to help cover our treatment.

My Third Issue:

Does “awareness” = prevention???

As I’ve mentioned, eating disorder must have a good publicist. They might as well have  a twitter account. Its obvious “awareness” has increased in the past couple of decades, yet the numbers of eating disorder cases seem to be on the rise. Clearly, “awareness” does not equal prevention. Just like knowing what being an alcoholic is doesn’t mean you wont become one. All eating disorders are different; kind of like finger prints. Everyone one has a different issues, a different root cause, a different “fear food” or “trigger food”. And there isn’t a “cure” or a vaccine. What CAN help in prevention? How about teaching people to be honest? Providing coverage for treatment? Making it less about “celebrity” and trying to be more understanding than “aware”.

Look, I don’t really have any answers as far as how “cure” eating disorders. These are just my opinions and observations. I just had to write this because it was flooding the blogosphere and I just couldn’t take it anymore.

I’m beginning to think my questions in the end are lame, but I really care about what you say about this. What do you think? Am I totally off base?

Ok, now here are some carbs to get you by……..

2 tsp. granulated sugar
1  cup warm water
1 package  instant yeast or bread yeast
4-5 flour (or a mix of rice flour and tapioca flour for a gluten free version)
2 tbs cinnamon
1/4 cup honey
3 cup butter or margarine, melted (or 1/2 cup vegetable oil)
3 whole eggs
1/2 cup raisins

In a large mixing bowl, stir the  sugar into the warm water. Sprinkle in yeast and stir well; let stand until frothy or foamy, about 10 minutes.

Using a wooden spoon, stir in flour and cinnamon Add honey, and melted butter (or vegetable oil or melted margarine, if using), and eggs; stir until dough forms.

Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes, adding enough of the remaining 1 cup flour as necessary to prevent sticking (you may need to add more flour if your dough is still too sticky. Add in a little at a time until the dough is cohesive). Place dough in a greased glass or ceramic bowl, turning to grease dough all over. Cover bowl with greased plastic wrap or a warm damp kitchen towel and let it rise in warm  place until doubled in size Punch down dough, transfer dough to work surface, let rest for 10 minutes, then knead in raisins. Divide into eight pieces and roll out into logs. Then, swirl them in and tuck the end (it will kind of look like a snail). Bake a 350 degrees for about 20 minuets.


19 thoughts on “Cinnamon Raisin Challah and “Yes, I’m Aware”

  1. Dude. I was wondering the same thing.

    I felt a bit ashamed at first when I realized it was NEDA week and I didn’t even know that…and then I was like, what the heck. I participate in ED-awareness all the time. At least every weekend with my ED series, anyway.

    But yeah. Awareness of what? I just don’t really feel that the message is so effective. I wish there was a more DETAILED stance, you know? Like, Let’s fire all the emaciated models and bring more diversity in body shapes in the media. Or more ED-trained counselors in school. Or just fucking get rid of all the diet foods and diet messages already! It doesn’t help the emaciated, OR the overweight people.

    Anyway. Probably idealistic of me.

    But you know what? We’re both so well-versed with ED, that we forget also that the majority of the public is woefully unaware of what ED means. Take the Asian society, for example. I recently read a Singaporean article on ED, that quote, “is a recent disease affecting the upper middle-class female who wants to be thin.”

    Uh, WTF? Recent disease? Upper middle-class female? Wants to be thin?!

    I was just at Singapore. Like 80% of my friends had/have some sort of ED. The people who are diagnosed with ED has more than tripled, and those are the people who actually got DIAGNOSED. Imagine all the people (including GUYS!!!) who have not been diagnosed in fear of being stereotyped, or just plain ignorance.

    • Whoops. That was a rant. I apologize. Haha.

      I just get so frustrated by ED ignorance. Everyone knows ED exists. But they just don’t really know, or care to know, what it means. They picture some glorified Hollywood star with protruding bones, and they enjoy their scary pictures as entertainment. “Mary-Kate Olsen a shocking 89lbs!!!” and blah blah blah.

      I also hate how the Asian community dismisses the severity of ED. Countless of moms who tell their daughter to diet, that they are fat asses, etc. My uncle? He told me to share my “diet tricks” to my cousin, even though he knew I had an ED.

      Yes. Utter ignorance.

      • Sophia, I welcome your rants with open arms! I love it when I post something that tickles people enough to get all riled up! Yes, many people just dont know and have complete misunderstanding about eating disorders. But its SO difficult to understand them because there are so different for each person. I don’t understand some ED behaviors, while I totally “get” some. Its like the common cold. No cure, but theres treatment, and its possible to feel better.

      • Sorry I have to add to that 😉
        Sophia I love this!!
        haha Singapore is awesome when it comes to mental disorders.
        I guess they are just trying to sounds scientific here like they always try to 😉

  2. I agree and disagree at the same time. For me awareness is understanding. Understanding that eating disorders come in different shapes and sizes and they don’t necessarily fit the “anorexic type” you might have in mind. Aware is maybe, just maybe being able to recognize that a person you love is actually suffering from an ED before they do fit the “anorexic type”. Prevent? I am not really certain that this is even feasible given today’s impossible standards and exposure in combination with some people’s tendencies and inclinations. Sorry, I am in my pessimistic mood today. Maybe carbs would help cheering me up?

    • i don’t think your being pessimistic. I think thats the reality, sadly. Its very feasible to eradicate the disease for good and I think there is no sure fire way to raise a kid so that they won’t develop them. But I still think you should enjoy some carbs, pessimistic or not 😉

  3. I get where you’re coming from for sure. I work with kids with Autism, and so when April rolls around (a whole month!) I have to wonder… awareness? is that the right way to go? I’m with you- UNDERSTANDING is a lot more important. I don’t need every tom dick and harry asking me “why are there so many more kids with autism now?” I need them to understand the kids they see out in public, and to not judge parents or kids without knowing their story.

    This ties into a word I was reading about yesterday- “aliterate”
    as in, knows how to read but chooses not to.

  4. Your second issue is great. Because there’s only one week of being “aware”, no one really is “aware”– and I’ve heard of so many girls whose insurances don’t cover in-patient treatment…and generally their parents can’t afford it and they end up being without any help. Yes, not everyone needs to be in treatment for recovery — but some kind of medical help is usually needed at some point.
    Yep, awareness definitely doesn’t equal understanding. If it was understanding it wouldn’t just be referred to as “some girls wanting to be thin” so often.
    Ahhh well…

  5. I signed up for that free email alert thing and while I was registering it asked me what I wanted to do to spread the message. And that’s when the thoughts you put down here hit me. What’s the point of raising awareness like mad but not having proper treatment??
    I know I would have gotten better at recovering if my parents would have had all the money in the world and I would have been able to see how beautiful this life can be and not only see the depressing side of it. Maybe? I’m not too sure about that but it would have been a nice change 😉
    In the end the person itself needs to recover no matter what is around them
    Oh and those carbs look sexy!! did you mean 4-5 cups of flour??
    have a good day

  6. I think it’s annoying and agree with you, but I also think we’re hypersensitive to it (for obvious reasons.) Because I strongly dislike any association with the “stereotypical” perception of EDs, I feel like this week is one more chance for people uneducated in the subject to say, “Just eat a burger” or “Get over yourself.” The problem is exactly what was said above–there is a lack of understanding and knowledge about the subject and to be honest, I think there always will be.

    On some level, I don’t care. I wouldn’t expect everyone to want to try and understand this crap, just as I don’t understand the complexities of autism, cancer or any other disease I have never personally been diagnosed with. It’s impossible. However, I do have compassion for anyone suffering from anything, so I guess if a week of “awareness” can tip a few parents/family members off as to problematic behavior or ways to deal with loved ones suffering, then there’s no harm.

    It’s just really annoying though, in my opinion, as at times it seems like those around the “blogosphere” revel in the fact that they “understand” and that no one “gets it.” It’s almost as if they enjoy spending all their time talking about it instead of moving forward with their lives. Then again, I’m a snarky witch with these things 😉

  7. I participated in ED Awareness week last year, but this year I’ve pretty much decided to avoid the subject– since it’s being covered so many other places!

    Personally, talking about ED stuff can still be a trigger for me, and I think it is for a lot of other people, too! When I first realized that my eating behavior was “disordered” I was kinda shocked! And realizing that is was disordered, and trying to stop it, only made it worse for me. Catch-22 if I’ve ever had one.

    I’m glad that other people are addressing the issue, since it is a HUGE issue in our society, and it’s too bad there isn’t some easy “cure” out there!

  8. I think that most people don’t really know much about eating disorders. I actually didn’t know anything about them until I started blogging and met other bloggers who have suffered! And so I think the Awareness week is probably beneficial to those of us who need an education on the subject.

  9. Good questions … I think that the awareness week is to hopefully inform people that don’t know that eating disorders are more than a choice. Some people think you can just tell someone to smarten up and eat … but obviously it doesn’t work that way. I find that many students I teach (around 13/14 years) are very poorly informed about what eating disorders are and the dangers involved. They need to be taught to take care of themselves and love themselves sometimes.

  10. Sometimes I get scared that if I tell people what I am going through and my fears of getting fat, that it will some way make them think that way too…

  11. I don’t think awareness equals prevention. I don’t really know how to remedy that.

    I remember at the treatment center I went to, this counselor there was talking about how she did a speech for 5th graders on eating disorders, and a bunch of the girls had never heard of bulimia or what it really meant. That kind of made me feel afraid, like they were exposed to it too soon, what if they got ideas and started doing it? I don’t know what this has to do with anything, just interesting and disturbed me at the time.

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