Week strives for healthy awareness

Derrick Dickey, sophomore health promotion and wellness major, has his body traced by Lynn Fleishman, senior English major.

Brandi Boulware

Derrick Dickey, sophomore health promotion and wellness major, has his body traced by Lynn Fleishman, senior English major.

Eating Disorders Awareness Week brought activities and a guest speaker to Missouri Southern.

This year’s theme was “Listen to Your Body.”

Dale Voigt-Catlin, counselor/coordinator of Outreach, said this is the 15th year nationally for the Eating Disorders Awareness Week and the fifth year at Southern.

“There is an organization that helps provide materials and ideas to all the colleges because that is what the targeted area is,” Voigt-Catlin said. “So we get a lot of help from the National Eating Disorders Association.”

On Feb. 24, as part of the awareness week, Real Women Have Curves was shown in the television lounge of the Student Life Center. There was a follow-up discussion after the movie.

The movie, starring America Ferrera and George Lopez, deals with a Mexican-American teenager who is on her way to becoming a woman and must deal with the pressure from her parents in deciding her future.

“I loved it,” said Anna Baker, junior psychology major. “You see the change of Ana in the movie.”

“It led you into the culture,” said Kelly Wilson, director of student support services. “It showed independence, appreciation for the mother and the support you get. I think Ana stayed true to herself; she empowered the women in the sweatshop. She had a strong personality and encouraged others to say, ‘I like the way I am.'”

On March 1, more than 140 people saw Michelle Garb, comedienne and a recovered anorexic, present “Fat Brain/Skinny Body,” a lunch-and-learn program on the third floor of the Billingsly Student Center. She also spoke that night in Webster Hall Auditorium.

Garb talked about the problems that factor in with eating disorders.

“My goal is to have people realize they have an eating disorder early on,” Garb said. “And take care of it so they don’t ruin their whole lives battling with an eating disorder and not recognizing that they have this problem.”

Garb said it was difficult to overcome anorexia.

“I made really bad choices,” she said. “I lost out on a lot of things in my life because of it. I don’t remember a lot of my life because I was so busy worrying about my weight and food, and because I was starving myself, my brain was not working as it could have been.”

She said she is trying to bring awareness of eating disorders through her presentation.

“I am not trying to cure anybody,” Garb said.

Holley Goodnight, coordinator of new student programs and CHAMPS life skills, said other schools and the NCAA recommended Garb as a speaker.

“We liked her title “Fat Brain/Skinny Body,” Goodnight said. “We liked the fact her presentation was a little bit different than everyone else’s. She can approach a serious topic in a different manor.”

Voigt-Catlin said there was a good turnout for Garb.

“All the comments and feedback I heard from people afterward … thought she was a dynamic speaker,” she said. “They enjoyed how she presented.”

“I thought she was a great speaker,” said Meredith Shetley, junior chemistry major. “She was informative and very entertaining. I learned more of the clinical signs and symptoms. I would enjoy listening to her lecture again.”

Also on March 1, a fair was held on the second floor of the BSC. Booths addressed topics such as healthy eating, healthy exercise and eating disorder and disordered eating screenings.

“We [took] a holistic approach,” Voigt-Catlin said. “Not just eating disorders, but taking care of yourself with your diet, your sleep, your self-nurturing activities and your exercise.”

Eating Disorders Awareness Week is meant to bring awareness to the campus.

“I think a big problem is that people aren’t educated on it,” said Jeri Rinehart, sophomore secondary education major. “They don’t know enough about it, but it is very important, if not short-term effects, I mean definitely long-term effects that can affect you in the long run.”