Men Binge Eat Too!

1 in 10 Men Are Binge Eaters, Once a Women's Disorder

The first time Ron Saxen discovered the numbing effects of food, he was 11 and nervously anticipating a beating by his strict father -- a punishing military man who often burst into his son's bedroom to beat him after work. Terrified, the boy devoured a bag of chocolates that lay by his bedside.
"My mother used to keep a note pad if we did things wrong," said Saxen, now 48. "My father would come home late at night and I would wait with my sweaty feet and palms. I had 15 pounds of chocolate candy from a sale at school. I ate one and it took me away."
"I learned at an early age that food erases anxiety," said Saxon, a former model who wrote about how binge eating destroyed his career in his 2007 book, "The Good Eater."
Now, a new study reveals that men like Saxen are overlooked when it comes to diagnosing and treating binge eating, a disorder that affects 4 million Americans and has been historically associated with women.
The study, published today in the International Journal of Eating Disorders, reveals that the condition is just as damaging to men, and yet they seek treatment less often.
Saxen, now married and living in Berkeley, Calif., said after that incident, food was an escape. "If I ate a bunch of food, it would calm me down," he said. "It became the way I dealt with things."

Mystery Eating Disorders? Watch Video

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He'd go to McDonald's and order a couple of Big Macs, large fries, a cheeseburger and a chocolate shake, then go on to Taco Bell for more and follow that with several king-sized candy bars.
Afterwards, horrified by his out-of-control eating, Saxen would run 30 miles. But as he got fatter, he couldn't run and burn off the weight, and he permanently damaged his knees.
When 6-foot, 1-inch tall Saxen ballooned from 180 to nearly 300 pounds, he dodged his modeling agent out of embarrassment and sabotaged his career.
Saxen began to realize he had a problem, but it took years to get help, mostly because of the shame. That, say researchers is one of the reasons male binge eating is largely unrecognized.
"It doesn't surprise me -- it's thought of as a women's disease," said Keith Ayoob, a registered dietitian at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. "Guys are reluctant to seek help. Eating disorders of all types are socially less acceptable than other addictive behaviors. If you drink or smoke, it may be an addiction, but if it's an eating disorder, you are crazy in society's mind."
Binge eating disorder (BED) is defined as having at least one episode a month of overeating with "a sense of loss of control," according to the study's lead author Ruth Striegel, professor of psychology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn.
Her team used cross-sectional data from a sample of 21,743 men and 24,608 women who participated in a health risk self-assessment screening. They found that 1,630 men (about 7.5 percent) and 2,754 women (11 percent) binge eat.
"Anytime we exclude a population, we are not learning about them," she said. "In a way, we are inadvertently giving the message that men don't have the problem, and they do."
"Data suggests that the impairment is basically just as bad in men as it is in women. Yet we focus only on women."
She estimates anywhere from 5 to 10 percent of all men experience the symptoms of binge eating. "It's not a rare phenomenon."
More women than men, however, report psychiatric symptoms like the "purging" associated with bulimia, according to Striegel. 

Binge Eating Associated with Cardiac Disease

Binge eating takes an obvious toll on a man's physical health: obesity and associated cardiovascular disease. But it also has a psychiatric side -- depression, anxiety and sleep problems.
"The problem is they travel together as an expression of distress," said Striegel. "It's way of coping with highly averse emotional states."
She said she hopes doctors and employee assistance programs will recognize this behavioral risk factor in men so they can be properly treated.
Because BED is associated with women, men admit to Striegel anecdotally, "there is a double layer of shame."
Such was the case with Saxen.
"I kept telling myself to buck up and be strong -- to man up," he said. "I didn't want to be part of a therapy group because they would think I was crazy or weak. All I had ever seen were women with eating disorders."
By the time he was 18 or 19 Saxen's weight was beginning to pack on and he was still a virgin. Thinking he was undesirable to women triggered a roller coaster of binge eating and dieting.
"I had unrealistic expectations about being a Joe six-pack," he said.
At one point, he went on a 700-calorie a day diet and dropped 100 pounds. At 21, an agent noticed Saxen's physique and asked him to do some modeling.


Portia De Rossi: My Life Watch Video

"I was thinking I wasn't worthy of women, and the next thing you know I signed a contract on TV," he said.
But Saxen still hadn't dealt with his eating disorder and the "cognitive distortion" that goes with it.
"I thought through modeling, I would get the girl and get rid of the virginity problem," he said. But six months into the career, his eating went out of control again.
"I tried out for an underwear fashion show and all I had to do was lose five pounds," he said. But the anxiety paralyzed him.
"I had a large pizza, four or five king-size candy bars, ice cream -- 10,000 calories," he said. "Oh my God, I shot myself in the foot."
He called in sick to modeling gigs, refused to answer the phone calls and "basically ran away." For more than a decade he took itinerant jobs, had failed relationships and dabbled in drugs.
As his weight approached 300 pounds, Saxen happened across a book with a photo of his old, svelte body on the cover.
"What's wrong me me? Am I insane?" he said he thought, and knew something had to change.
He read books on the subject, learning that BED was not "gluttony," but a psychological condition listed in the DSM4. "All of a sudden I say, 'Wow, I have something with a name. I am not alone.'"
But his shame persisted, even following him into a therapist's office looking for help.
"I put on a sport coat, tie and carried a clipboard so if someone saw me in the waiting room they would think I was another therapist [and not a patient]," he said.
Through counseling, he learned to handle his stress and throughout recovery he decided to write his own book on the subject. Today, he is writing a novel that has elements of his own story.
"I am doing great now," he said at a healthier 210 pounds. "I am happy...My hope is that by telling my story, people will say, 'Here's a regular Joe.' An eating disorder took me out of modeling."


Vanguard Border Crossings, San Diego Renaissance Faire October 29, 30th

This week on Vanguard, Current tv  Border Crossing


This Weekend, October 29th and 30th.
Best Renaissance Fair in So. Cal!

Felicita County Park, 742 Clarence Lane, Escondido
Location: Twenty-five miles northeast of San Diego. Take I-15 north to Via Rancho Parkway exit. Go west 1 mile to Felicita Road, then north to the park entrance.
Faire hours: 10:00 A.M. to DUSK both days

Under 4 free - Parking $ 5.00
Admission includes all entertainment.
Parking is a short distance away and the site has many picnic tables and shaded areas. The faire site is handicap accessible. It is level and mostly grass covered. Leashed pets are welcome. No horses or large animals.
An extensive children's' play area is adjacent to the Village site.
Alcoholic beverages may not be brought in the event; however, visitors may bring food and soft drinks. All backpacks and coolers are subject to search.
Gold Coast Festivals Inc. (805) 496-6036
©Gold Coast Festivals Inc. 2010


Halloween Celebrations, Dia de los Muertos

11th Annual Dia de los Muertos
Sunday, October 30th, 2011
Oceanside, San Diego – Dia de los Muertos, or “Day of the Dead,” is a Mexican cultural celebration that will transform Old Mission San Luis Rey, “King of the Missions” into an all-day community event that will take place on Sunday, October 30th from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. This will be the third year that the mission plays host to this 11th annual event honoring of the deceased. Over twenty-thousand attendees will enjoy the largest festival of its kind in San Diego County. The mission will come alive with entertainment at this FREE family-friendly event including mariachi bands, local ballet folklorico dancing groups, Aztec entertainers, elaborate alters and much more. Your children will be entertained all day with a variety of interactive arts and crafts activities and an exciting mini-carnival. You won’t want to miss out on over 75 diverse vendors, traditional food, chalk alters, and a custom low-rider display from the Siempre Car Club, which will be showcasing traditional alters in their trunks commemorating their loved ones who have passed. Mark your calendars and come down to celebrate with your friends and family! 

Día de los Muertos 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011 from 6 – 9 p .m. 

Museum Sculpture Court & Education Studios

Presented by the California Center for the Arts, Escondido


Darrell Hammond and His Child Abuse

Common reasons men don't speak of their abuse:
  • What's the point?
  • It happened a long time ago
  • The abuser wasn't all bad
  • No one would believe me
  • Talking about it makes it worse
  • I should be over it by now
  • Others experience far worse things
Reasons to seek therapy:
  • Current relationships will improve
  • There is value in having another person hear your story
  • Unresolved trauma leads to poor choices and risky behavior
  • Feelings are valid
  • Physical health will improve with therapy



Stomach Pain, Distress, GERD, and IBS

An area of medicine that is receiving huge attention these days is stomach distress and gastrointestinal disorders. Factors that contribute to stomach distress include 1) personal upset 2) prior medications 3) viruses 4) diet and 5) hereditary conditions.
Most sufferers experience shame and embarrassment around their physical ailment, especially after their physicians have failed to find any "real problem." 
As more awareness, research, and funding has been allotted to this area (for both children and adults)  small breakthroughs are occurring.

Some common strategies to help the "gut" recover include:
  • probiotics (just be sure it's one that your system tolerates - not brands are equal)
  • soft diet
  • eating more bio-available foods (avoiding processed foods or harsh roughage)
  • prescription medications that target gastrointeritis
  • Nauli breathing (search out on youtube)
  • internal organ massage from a trusted practitioner

Here are some helpful sites:
IFFGD is putting together a taskforce of veterans affected by functional GI disorders to conduct coordinated advocacy activities. Congress is currently looking at bolstering medical research into these conditions and improving access to disability benefits. Affected veterans need to be heard so that lawmakers take appropriate action.
If you know a veteran please pass along this message. If you are an affected veteran please contact IFFGD. Your story needs to be heard by Members of Congress. We'll make sure it is. 
Contact IFFGD


Dispose of Your Unused Prescription Pills and Drugs

Prescription Drug
Take Back Day
Drop Off Your Unused Prescription Drugs

Saturday, October 29, 2011
10:00 AM to 2:00 PM

multiple locations in San Diego County


How to Comfort a Baby: Overcoming a Child's Fears

Free Parent Teleseminar

Hand in Hand Parenting, one of my favorite local agencies, is offering a free teleseminar. They have very good facilitators with excellent child development insight....

Overcoming Fears Through Play

We can help children with their fears in the play we do with them, and in how we handle the times when their fears overwhelm them. Helping our children release their fears can be difficult work. It's surprisingly hard to listen to the depth of their fears and griefs. This teleseminar will give you the framework and the tools you need to use everyday play to help your child with difficult issues and to loosen the grip of fear.

Date: Thursday, October 20, 2011
Time: 6:00-7:00 p.m. PST
Host: Parenting by Connection
Location: From Anywhere
CEU Credits: 1
Cost: Free!
Registration: Register early for call-in information.


Free Flu Shots & Dewey Bozella - What a Story!

Imagine Dewey Bozella's perseverance
Free Flu Shots at Tri City Medical Center
Tri-City Medical Center
Dates: Monday, Oct. 17 9AM - Noon
Wednesday, Oct. 19 1PM - 4PM
Location: Tri-City Medical Center Women's Center
4002 Vista Way, Oceanside, 92056


How to Talk to Your Kids About God and Spirituality

Here is a meaningful discussion about childhood development and our natural longing for spirituality. This is a Christian Perspective - I will post two additional religious  perspectives later this week.

[Adapted from Kathy Coffey, Baptism and Beyond:
Preparing for Baptism and Nurturing Your Child’s Spirituality
(Living the Good News, 2000).]

The Parent’s Role
Few parents would refuse to feed a hungry child. Yet
many parents are unsure how to nurture a child’s spiritual
hungers. Some may not even know what they are. One
way to tap into these desires is by remembering your
Did you have longings you could not voice, a desire for
something you could not explain even to those who were
closest? Perhaps you recall a snatch of music, the sound
of a certain voice, a glimpse of the night sky, a fascination
with a spider web or an affection for a certain blanket or
stuffed animal.
Maybe a particular smell or taste evoked an inexplicable
yearning—not for any food or toy or experience that a
parent could provide, but for something beyond all that,
not sold at any store.
Some theologians call this “desire for I know not what”
an echo of God’s desire that creates us and sustains us
in being. God brings us into existence and plants in our
hearts a deep thirst for the All, the great mystery, the
infinite love. God is the source of what we most desire
and the reason for our being.
How can we get in touch with a child’s spirituality
if we’re out of touch with our own? Just as a mother
protects the fetus during pregnancy by avoiding drugs or
alcohol, so too the birth of a child calls for many changes
in lifestyle.
Besides giving up sleep and adjusting schedules, one vital
change may be to find more quiet time for reflection.
Life gets busier with children, which is all the more
reason to slow down. Ask what can be eliminated from
your schedule to give the child (and yourselves!) more
time and peace. It isn’t necessary to enroll your growing
child in every imaginable activity. Quiet, empty time and
reflection are essential for the health of the souls of both
children and adults.
As with every other facet of child development, the
parent’s role changes as the child grows. Initially, the
child learns all he or she needs to know about God and
humanity from the parent: that mom or dad can be
trusted, that an expression of need will be answered, and
that someone will respond to the most basic attempts to
At a time when the child is immensely vulnerable, the
parent’s voice and touch reassure that she is not alone,
that someone will care for him. The parent who tires
of diaper changes or 2 a.m. feedings should know the
importance of these seemingly mundane tasks. They are
more than physical chores; they teach a child the most
basic lesson of trust, without which future growth is
difficult or impossible.
Encouraging the
Religious Imagination

Few parents would argue with the idea that young
children have vivid imaginations. Watch their eyes widen
at things adults ordinarily take for granted: lightning,
dew, the spiral of a cinnamon roll, the rainbow that dark
oil reflects in a puddle, bugs, feathers, pebbles and fur.
Sophisticated media are also aware of the child’s
imagination. They appeal to it through movies, television,
advertising, because the appeal can be direct and visceral.
It bypasses words and ideas to approach the child in a
vulnerable and easily impressionable place.
Listen to any preschooler hum the theme from the latest
television show or advertising slogan. Watch as they
model their favorite cartoon characters. Their T-shirts
often display the face or logo of a favorite athlete or
team. In later years, they fervently admire sports figures
or movie stars and are firmly convinced that they too can
become the stars of the playing field or screen.
This natural aptitude can be turned to the religious
imagination. Parents interested in encouraging a child’s
spirituality can appeal to the imagination on the same
grounds as the media—not necessarily with words and
ideas, but with symbols and stories.