BFRB Awareness


Today is the last day of the BFRB Awareness week. BFRB stands for body focused repetitive behaviors and they effect 1 in 50 people. There are a variety of types of BFRBs but trichotillomania (hair-pulling) and dermatillomania (skin-picking) are the most common. For today’s post I wanted to compile some of the reviews and articles I’ve written about dermatillomania as well as some I’ve been featured in to get finalize the last day of this awareness week in hopes that they will reach someone struggling and to help  spread awareness.

In Februray 2015, I was interviewed for an article on skin-picking that was featured in a major newspaper. While there are some inconsistencies with the article, it has been widely and positively received and has helped to bring awareness to dermatillomania. Read more here.

A collaborative creation, Project Dermatillomania: The Stories Behind Our Scars is a book shares individual stories of different people who are dealing with dermatillomania. I contributed my own story and wrote a review to promote its publication. Learn more about this book. All proceeds from the book purchase go towards Canadian Body Focused Repetitive Behavior Support Network (CBSN).

One of the books I recommend to anyone dealing with dermaillomania is Skin Picking: The Freedom to Finally Stop by Annette Pasternak. It’s one of the most comprehensive books out there for skin picking and Annette herself is very familiar with the condition as she use to struggle herself. Read my review here.

Finally, I wrote a guest blog piece for the CBSN on relapsing with dermatillomania and covered some tips and tricks that help to get over this hurdle. Read more here.

For those who have a BFRB and are looking for more help and resources, CBSN has a tips & tricks page as well as page for general resources and information. CBSN also offers live and online peer support for those looking for help. Click here to learn more.

Those that deal with BFRBs often feel immense amounts of shame.  I speak so that those who are too afraid to, know that they’re not alone.




Leave a comment

Filed under General Post

The Complete Book of Running For Women by Claire Kowalchik

A throwback review from when I was still a newbie runner and this was one of the first running books I ever read.

4/5 stars.
Paperback, 416 pages.
Read from April 20 to June 26, 2013.

As someone who has been seriously running for almost two years I didn’t think that this books would have anything to offer me. I was thankfully mistaken!

This book provided helpful insight for runners of all levels and goals. What I found the most beneficial was the advice that was supplied in regards to maintaining running while staying busy with family and relationships. While I am not a married woman and I don’t have any children I strongly admire the woman who keep running involved in their lives. I struggle to keep up sometimes, so I don’t know how other women manage! Women who run are taking care of themselves and they understand the importance of taking the time for themselves, especially when juggling a career, family etc. Besides the physical benefits of running most women who stick with running, stay for the mental benefits. I know I do!

I also appreciated the scientific explanations that were provided on why men and women perform so differently. The most fascinating was how different our bodies carried oxygen to our muscles and differences in how we store glycogen.

As I mentioned, I’m no where near the married-with-kids sort of life but I actually really enjoyed the chapters in regards to running while pregnant. I wasn’t going to read the chapter as it doesn’t currently apply to me but maybe one day in the future it might. As long as a woman is active before becoming pregnant and cuts her activity levels in half the benefits of running and staying active while pregnant is remarkably impressive. I even appreciated that they stated that while it is beneficial it has to come down to the woman’s comfort level too. If you’re not comfortable exercising while pregnant, then don’t.

The chapter in regards to menopause was another one that I was going to skip but I’m glad I didn’t. My Mom is runner who is at this stage and reading this chapter gave me a good idea of what her body is going and just how important is it to continue to stay active.

The few annoyances I did find with this book was that some of the information was a bit out of date, as the book was published well over 10 years ago so that’s not overly surprising I guess. For example, some of the brands of supplements or clothing that they suggested no longer exist. The one that stood out the most for me was that they suggested that runners shouldn’t do yoga because runners needs some tension in their legs and even implied that their aren’t any professional runners that do yoga. While this may have been relevant when it was published it most certainly isn’t now! The other item that was a bit tedious was that all of race and reference information was for the USA only, which wasn’t helpful to me as a Canadian.

Overall I would still recommend this books for any woman looking to get into running or is already running.

Leave a comment

Filed under 4 Star, Fitness & Health, Non-Fiction, Throwback Review

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

3/5 stars.
Read from August 06 to September 01, 2015.
ebook, 678 pages.

Is this book still relevant to little women in modern day? Did I find this book enjoyable? Only slightly. What this book does have is extremely memorable characters that stick with you. However, does this book need to be 678 pages? Fuck no.

Margaret, Jo, Beth and Amy are young sisters living in a middle class family in the early 19th century and as a reader you follow the girls as each of them become women. The book opens with the girls at Christmas missing their father who is at war and wondering how they are going to get through the next year financially and emotionally. Mrs. March, their mother quickly notices the girl’s moping  and gets them to work be sending their breakfast over to some neighbours who are not as well off as they are.  The plot is full of moral lessons such as this one as Mrs. March is undoubtedly the mentor and teacher in story. Margaret, the family beauty, is always trying to do the right thing and not get too hung up on materialistic items, while Jo struggles to be a lady and harness her anger and tom boy ways while yearning to be a writer. Beth is shockingly shy but always so sweet, Amy is the youngest and is very impressionable in terms of society and popularity. The family learns to love, live and grieve without wealth and each young woman chooses different life paths, unique to their personality.

The plot has auto-biographical references to Alcott’s own childhood as each of her own sisters is represented in the book. Not surprisingly,  Alcott fashioned herself as Jo, the strong willed aspiring writer. Jo is by far the most intrinsic and interested character out of all the girls as her struggles seem to be the most prevalent and detailed in the book. Amy, I found was an unlikable character and I’m not sure if she was meant to be read as such but she is so wound up in money and society that she becomes a big put off.

I loved Alcott’s character work and  truly became attached to each of the girls, however, this book is just way too freaking long. I really felt that this novel could have ended after the first part, shortly after Margaret got married. While I would have missed the development of Jo’s character in the second half the book, it really should have been a whole separate novel that followed Jo. In the second part of the book, if the content wasn’t about Jo it was pretty uneventful. Additionally, I don’t know why Alcott felt the need to go into great detail on the songs and games that they played as it was really unnecessary to include half a chapter of the lyrics of the songs that they were singing, or even the lengths she went to describe some of the letters written back in forth between some characters.

One thing that irked me a bit was how much almost all of the girls complained. It felt like the girls remained ungrateful for ages! While not true, it seemed to come up a lot. Each of them learned, but it wasn’t until the end of the book that all four of them stopped complaining. Speaking of complaining, I also felt that Mrs. March was really under detailed. She is phenomenal character, mother and mentor to these four girls. She teaches them, and the reader a lot about life. I suppose as the mother figure, it’s not something that young readers really want to read about, so I guess that just makes me old?

Now for the big question, is this book still relevant to young girls? I have mixed feelings. I think that the ultimate message of the book is about being grateful for what you have, to understand the worth of your family and to be kind and generous, all items that are extremely relevant to teenage girls. However, the lifestyle that the March girls live is nothing like the way girls today live. We don’t marry as young and we have to work in order to sustain any sort of lifestyle, versus living off a family fortune or a husband’s work or wealth. I don’t even feel that this book gave a good depiction of grief, even though there was an opportune moment to teach young people about death.

Overall, I’m thankful I tackled this classic but I don’t have a desire to read any more Alcott for the time being. I’d recommend this book for girls between the ages of 14 and 16.

Leave a comment

Filed under 3 Star, Classic, Read 2015