Help fill my Big Fat Rolodex of media contacts

17th November 2009

Help fill my Big Fat Rolodex of media contacts

by Rachel

As the media contact for The Fat Rights Coalition and a personal blogger who writes on issues of eating disorders and body acceptance, I field lots of public relations requests from media outlets worldwide, from international luminaries like CNN and The New York Times to small town papers looking to make a local connection on a larger issue. I’ve participated in some of these public debates in the past, but because I am a journalist myself, I have made the decision to limit my involvement to helping my fellow journalists out behind-the-scenes and referring them to other activists who will speak on the record. And that’s where you come in. I’m making what I fondly call my Big Fat Rolodex so that I can easily and quickly refer future media requests to the right activist or field professional. While I am looking for professionals like social workers, doctors, researchers, professors, lawyers, health care workers, therapists/psychologists, nutritionists and fitness experts etc… I am also looking for anyone with personal experiences with eating disorders (who don’t mind sharing details of their disorder), weight-based discrimination and fat rights activism.  If the Fatosphere has taught us anything, it’s that the personal is indeed political.

If you’d like to be included as a potential media contact, please send the below information in an email to Rachel (at) the-f-word (dot) org with “Media Contact” as the subject.

  • Real name, first and last
  • E-mail address
  • Phone number (optional)
  • Region: state and country
  • Website address (if applicable)
  • Available for: Radio, TV, Print
  • Area(s) of interest: i.e. fat rights, eating disorders, health, nutrition and fitness, legal issues, fat studies
  • Relevant credentials: (certifications, degrees, affiliations, personal experience)

posted in Administrative | 6 Comments

9th November 2009

Open Post: What’s on your mind?

by Rachel

Posting will probably be lighter than usual in the next few weeks.  I’ve taken on some freelance web design jobs again in an attempt to help pay down our $5,700 vet bill from Grayson’s surgeries.  I also ended up deciding to foster Nigel, the chocolate point Himalayan who’s been traumatized by demon children and will need lots of love and attention in order to recover.  You can’t see his beautiful blue eyes in this pic, but you can see how absolutely gorgeous he is.

To top it off, both Brandon and I seem to be coming down with something.  He insists that his sore throat and stuffiness are just allergies, but I rarely suffer from them and I have the same congestion.  So, consider this an open post to discuss anything on your mind or offer links to related news or sites.  Here’s a few headlines to check out.

  • PsychCentral has introduced the new blog Weightless authored by new blogger Margarita Tartakovsky.  According to Tartakovsky, “Weightless is about well-being, not weight; about fostering body image, regardless of your size. It’s about exposing women’s magazines, other mediums and so-called experts, when they’re touting unhealthy tips and promoting restrictive standards.  The goal of Weightless is to help women develop a better body image and work toward accepting themselves as they are, while being healthy and happy (fad diets and skinny-mini standards prohibited!); and to become sharp consumers, who can pick apart a commercial or magazine article and know which advice is helpful or harmful.”
  • Lynn Harris at examines purging disorder, a “new” disorder discussed in an article in this month’s Archives of General Psychiatry.

posted in Administrative, Eating Disorders, Feminist Topics, Personal, Purging Disorder | 13 Comments

1st October 2009

Teeth ruined to bulimia? Enter the Smile Makeover contest

by Rachel

We’ve discussed here before how bulimia can literally (and metaphorically) rob sufferers of their smiles.  Now one organization hopes to give at least one lucky sufferer their smile back.  Jill from 1-800-DENTIST sent me a note about the organization’s Smile Makeover contest. Here’s how it works:

To help raise awareness about the importance of dental care, 1-800-DENTIST is offering a smile makeover contest. One lucky person will win a smile makeover valued up to $30,000. There’s no fee to enter the smile makeover contest; contestants need simply to upload a short video explaining their dental problems and how it affects their lives. Entries must be received by November 10.

Each contestant video will have its own page, including a brief personal summary. This is where friends, family and the rest of America can cast their vote! Ask friends and family to cast their vote from 11/10 noon – 12/1 noon PST. Only one vote per person per day allowed. The winner of My Smile Bites! will be announced on December 15, 2009* noon PST. Details can be found online here.

Jill also wrote an article on bulimia-related dental problems with some advice for people still struggling with the disorder.

Be sure not to brush your teeth after vomiting, as most bulimics feel compelled to do. The abrasive materials in toothpaste will further damage tooth enamel made sensitive by stomach acid. Eating or drinking anything acidic will have the same effect. Instead, wash your mouth out with water to neutralize the acid, and wait a few hours before you eat, drink or brush your teeth.

Practicing excellent oral hygiene will also help slow the process of tooth erosion. It’s extremely important to receive ongoing professional dental care. Although you may feel embarrassed by the condition of your teeth, visiting a caring dentist will relieve pain and restore your smile. As untreated bulimia effects can lead to large cavities, expensive dental treatment or even tooth loss, treatment should be sought as early as possible.

If you do enter the contest, be sure to let us know the link to your page so we can all vote for you!

posted in Bulimia, Contests, Rachel | 5 Comments

24th September 2009

Welcome, Charlynn!

by Rachel

One of the reasons I love blogging is that it has allowed me to meet so many wonderful, clever, witty, strange, eclectic and fascinating people — like Charlynn Schmiedt.  I’m not sure how I stumbled upon The Disordered Times, the blog Charlynn founded and I contributed to, but I’m sure it was by some act of googlefate that we met.  Not only do Charlynn and I share a history of eating disorders, but we soon found out that we both: were loner outcasts in high school; got married within weeks of each other (7/7/07 for Charlynn and 7/25/07 for me); work at newspapers; are vegetarians; and lefty liberals; and bleeding-heart animal lovers; are spiritual but not religious; love to bead; and have fat orange cats named Teddy whom we absolutely adore and hopelessly infantilize.

Charlynn shut down the The Disordered Times earlier this year, mostly because she felt that immersing herself in talk of eating disorders was keeping her rooted in her disordered past.  I’ve often felt like that before in writing about eating disorders, but the three F-words here allows me to detour into related issues that aren’t quite so, well, boring.  Charlynn recently returned to school, which eats up much of what she formerly knew as free time, but she’s agreed to contribute here as a sometimes co-blogger.  While the similarities between Charlynn and I are uncanny and frankly a bit eerie, she offers fresh and different perspective on eating disorders and related issues that I am sure will speak to and resonate with many readers.  Charlynn developed anorexia at 19 and although the now-late-twentysomething has been in recovery for three years, it’s still at times a struggle for her.  She has an academic background in psychology and addictions, helped found her community’s eating disorder task force and has been active in NEDA’s eating disorder awareness week.

So, without further adieu, please welcome Charlynn to The-F-Word.  Here she is, in her own words:

Charlynn Schmiedt currently lives in The Cultural Epicenter of Wyoming – Laramie, Wyoming – where she attends the entire state’s one and only university. She would someday like to move the hell out of Wyoming and live somewhere that doesn’t revolve around wildlife, cowboys, Republican dominance, endless wilderness and other things she isn’t interested in.

She is currently finishing work toward her BA in psychology and has AA degrees in psychology and addictionology. It’s been a long on-again, off-again relationship with her college education, but Charlynn is optimistic that someday she really will finish. After that, she’ll probably end up working at coffee shops for the rest of her life.

Charlynn is happily married to Patrick and they have a cat-kid named Teddy. She is a vegetarian, loves caffeine and is attracted to weird shit. She appreciates crude humor, warm weather and techy toys. Her birthday is July 20. Send presents.

Charlynn ran her own site about eating disorders, The Disordered Times, from 2006-2009, until school sucked away that fun thing called spare time. She still writes a personal blog called “Oh, the Profanity!” and sells awesome beaded jewelry at The Hand That Beads. Please buy something.

Charlynn doesn’t really like talking in the third person, but that’s how these “about the author” things work.

posted in Administrative | 8 Comments

15th September 2009

Guest bloggers? Of course!

by Rachel

I got an email this morning from someone asking if I accept guest bloggers, so I wanted to remind everyone that I absolutely welcome your contributions.  I love hosting and reading guest bloggers because it allows for an even greater perspective from diverse people with vastly different experiences and writing styles.  Suggested topics can range from anything that relates in some way to body acceptance, eating disorders, fat rights, food or the intersection of food with politics and/or gender.

If you’d like to write a guest post, please email me with your idea at Rachel (at) the-f-word (dot) org.

posted in Administrative | Comments Off

6th July 2009

The Beat Goes On

by Rachel

The axe will fall this week and I can only hope that my neck is not cleaved with it.  I’m talking lay-offs, of course, for those of you fortunate to be unfamiliar with such terms.  I’m cautiously semi-optimistic that my job won’t be among them, but in journalism these days, the axe swings wide and one must always be wary.  I’m busy making Plan Bs and Cs and will probably be a little on edge this week until the cuts are announced, so bear with me.  Good chi gladly accepted.

In other, more uplifting news, I’m going to be an aunt again!  And twice over to boot!  My brother and his wife are expecting in mid-December and we just learned over the weekend that my in-laws are expecting their third child in January.  This will be the first grandchild on my side of the family, so it’s an especially exciting time for us.  Neither couple have any definite names in mind, although my brother and his wife are tossing around Nevalee for a girl and Chase for a boy.  I’ve never really wanted children, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a slew of names ready in the event of a Contraceptive Oops. I like Olivia (Livvie for short) for a girl or Gillian.  Perhaps my most favorite girl’s name though is Ragen — for the favored daughter in King Lear, not the president, and it’s also a combination of mine and my sister’s names (Megan + Rachel).  I don’t have many boy’s names in mind namely because I can’t see us as ever having and raising a boy-child, but after our friend’s death last week, I think that Cary would be a fine name for a boy.  What are your favorite baby names?

The past week’s happenings remind me yet again of the give-and-take regenerative nature of life.  I absolutely love my job and am worried sick at the prospect of losing it, but past experience has taught me that losing my job isn’t the end of the world and that it may actually be an opportunity to explore something else I might find just as or even more fulfilling.  And while we learned last weekend of the death of a beloved friend, this past weekend we learned of the creation of new life, one we will cherish all the more because of our loss.  As Cary himself might say, the beat goes on.

posted in Administrative, Personal | 15 Comments

8th June 2009

Wanted: Site redesign ideas

by Rachel

Whew, I took a few days offline after basically being glued to my office chair for the last couple of weeks to spend with the hubby and in my garden.  It felt GREAT, only now it’s back to the daily grind and after being off work for more than a week, my voicemail is swamped and my inbox is, well, hopeless.  To give you an idea, I had more than 800 emails in my inbox before I took the furlough. I’ve got some in-depth blog posts in the works, but they’re on the backburner until I can make some kind of headway.  In the meantime, one of my summer projects is to redesign the site and include additional functionality to make it more than a blog.  So, I’m asking readers as to what kinds of things they’d like to see in the-F-word v. 3.0.  Post your ideas and suggestions in the comments below.

posted in Administrative | 5 Comments

1st June 2009

And the “disFIGURED” giveaway winner is…

by Rachel

Twistie of the blog Manolo for the Big Girl!  Congratulations, Twistie, on winning the disFIGURED giveaway.  Send me your mailing address at Rachel (at) the-f-word (dot) org and the DVD will be on its way.  Thanks again everyone for entering.  I hope to hold another giveaway soon.

posted in Contests | 5 Comments

29th May 2009

Win it: “disFIGURED”

by Rachel

Today is my first day of a weeklong furcation (this is what we journalists are calling our furloughs so as to ease the reality of a week off with no pay) and after Wednesday’s post about the trainwreck that is MeMe Roth, I feel the compelling need to light some virtual incense and salt the blog’s doors and windowsills.  And what better way to clear the air than with a giveaway!  Director Glenn Gers was kind enough to send me a copy of his new film disFigured after it came out.  He had previously sent me an advance review copy, so I’m offering the new still-shrinkwrapped copy to one lucky reader here.  You can read my review of disFIGURED here and an interview with Gers here.  Men-in-Full also has a great review here.

Interested?  Leave a comment to this post letting me know you’d like to win by midnight (EST) Sunday, May 31. The winner will be picked randomly and announced on Monday.  He/she must reside in the U.S. or Canada for free shipping — international folks can enter, but I’m asking that you subsidize shipping costs beyond what I would pay to ship to Canada — and needs to provide a mailing address by email.   Good luck!

posted in Anorexia, Arts and Music, Binge Eating Disorder, Contests | 85 Comments

22nd May 2009


by Rachel

The hubby and I are going out to celebrate the end of Hell Week tonight and then I plan on spending much of this direly-needed holiday weekend in my garden and cramming for the oral exam.  Have a great Memorial Day weekend, everyone!

posted in Administrative, Personal | 3 Comments

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