I’m standing with a mic in front of girls age 12 to 23. We’re all here for the same reason: At some point in our lives we felt trapped. Some of us were bullied; some of us struggled with anxiety or depression; some of us had family problems. But one thing is the same for each of us. We never want to return to the dark places we’ve crawled out of, and we never want another woman to go there, either.
After struggling with severely disordered eating, Elizabeth Knowles found solace through an unsuspecting avenue. When her friends and family learned she planned to compete in a bikini competition, she was bombarded with disapproval.
“People told me this would only make things worse,” Knowles said. “Everyone said my obsession would get stronger and I’d spiral back into my old habits.”
Bodybuilding turned out to be thoroughfare to Knowles’ recovery. Since adolescence, she grappled with orthorexia nervosa, a term not even added to the popular lexicon until a few years ago. Orthorexia is an eating disorder not about thinness, but about a moral fixation on consuming “pure” foods.
The DASH Diet was originally designed to treat and prevent high blood pressure, but research continually proved it to be an effective, easy-to-follow eating pattern that promotes overall health and longevity. Many physicians and other health professionals recommend DASH to patients as preventative care.
Dr. Catherine Champagne recalls driving down Perkins Road in the 1980s while LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center was in its construction phase.
“I remember bringing my kids to kindergarten, thinking, ‘I’d really like to work there someday,’” she recalled.
Dr. Champagne is a registered dietitian nutritionist with a PhD in nutrition. Her expertise in dietary counseling, dietary intake assessment, and nutrition related to chronic disease led her to develop the DASH Diet in 1993.
About the F-Word
"Food" is the F-word. And the F-Word blog is all about helping you find your food-life balance. After battling an unhealthy relationship with food and body image for years, I'm dedicated to helping others avoid those misfortunes. Read on for nutrition guidance, lifestyle tips and stories from other bad-ass people who also overcame disordered eating.