Friday, September 21, 2012

The blog has MOVED!

Hello all!
Hope you are having a fantastic Friday afternoon.
Just to let you know, our blog has moved to a different site! Please follow us to our NEW BLOG!

Have a great weekend!

True story. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Buy a ticket, support a great cause and have a blast! Call EDOYR at 905-886-6632

Today is a wonderful day to start embracing yourself for who you are, where you are!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Positivity is the Way!

Thank you to Rae, our placement student, for creating this beautiful poster! For more of her art, please visit

Friday, August 31, 2012

Eating Addiction?

Good afternoon! Hope everyone is having a great Friday before the long weekend!
We thought we would share some interesting articles on eating disorders as a form of substance abuse, a topic that has been debated:

Are Eating Disorders a Form of Substance Abuse? by Ella Quittner (from

Are Eating Disorders Addictions? by Karen Jasper (from NEDIC's article database)
This article presents both sides of the issue: viewing food/eating disorders as a form of addiction vs. problems inherent in seeing this as an addiction.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall...

This segment from ABC's 20/20 show has recently been brought to our attention! What a fascinating project, please read the full story below. Source: ABC News

Kjerstin Gruys, a 29-year-old PhD student in sociology, has mastered the art of avoiding her own reflection. For months, her daily schedule began with the typical teeth brushing, but a curtain covered the bathroom mirror. She inserted her contact lenses and applied her makeup by touch, not sight. Driving to work required glances in the rear- and side-view mirrors, but Gruys avoided peeking at her own image.
It was part of a unique experiment that Gruys hopes will help boost her own self-esteem and inspire others to stop focusing on external perfection. In her blog "Mirror, Mirror Off the Wall", she documents her yearlong effort to live mirror-free.
 The project had its roots in Gruys' struggles with body image and her experience overcoming an eating disorder. In high school, Gruys said, she had insecurities about her appearance and suffered from anorexia.
"All my obsessing was kind of directed toward how much I weighed," she said. She restricted her food and liquid intake, resulting in serious health problems. "I had kidney stones five times ... and the lack of body fat started affecting my bone density."
PHOTO: Kjerstin Gruys
Courtesy Kjerstin Gruys
Kjerstin Gruys spent a year without looking at herself in the mirror, even on her wedding day.
Through years of therapy, Gruys finally overcame her eating disorder. Gruys began volunteering for About-Face, a San Francisco-based organization that seeks to help women and girls free themselves of body-image problems.

Gruys launched her no-mirrors project in March 2010, while planning her wedding to then fiancé Michael Ackermann. Wedding dress shopping was not the pleasure-filled experience that she had expected.
"I thought I was going to find a dress that somehow fulfilled every dream, and that I'd enjoy the process of shopping for dresses, I'd feel my most beautiful. I'd find this perfect dress that complimented my body."
But instead, Gruys says dress shopping was a source of stress.
"I saw myself in the mirror and was being critical," she says. "I thought, Well, maybe I should lose a little weight before the wedding, always a bad thing to focus on when you have a history of an eating disorder.... I wasn't afraid of relapsing into my eating disorder, but I felt like a hypocrite because of how far I'd come."
Then Gruys read a passage in the book "Birth of Venus," describing an order of nuns in Renaissance Italy who had severe restrictions against vanity. "They didn't have mirrors in their lives. They were forbidden to look at each other when undressing. They were actually forbidden to look at themselves while they undressed."
For the first time in her life, Gruys said she was tempted to follow suit.
"This idea of living your life experiencing the world for itself instead of constantly reflecting, you know, pun intended, on how you looked.... It was a life where you could get away from yourself," she said.
"I just kind of kept coming back to this pattern of perfectionism, and obsessing about my appearance, and I thought, If I can't think myself out of it, then maybe I need to change something about my environment to force me to change," Gruys explained. "The project was to get rid of mirrors with the intention of focusing on everything else in my life."

Gruy's mother, Julie Elmen, was supportive but initially surprised by the timing of Gruys' project.
"The first thing she said was, That's a great idea, it seems like the perfect experiment for you to do, but you're not going to do it until after the wedding, right?" Gruys recalled.
Elmen told "20/20" that, at first, she was just concerned about her daughter having a "normal wedding."
"I wanted her to be able to enjoy every part of it and be able to look at herself in the mirror and see how lovely she looked on her wedding day."
In the beginning of her mirror-free lifestyle, Gruys admits there were a few maintenance mishaps.
"The first month of the project ...when I was walking out the was maybe a 50-50 shot that I had mascara on my nose."
But quickly, she learned to adapt. Gruys says she trained herself to avoid eye contact with her own image in windows and other reflective surfaces, trusted friends to tell her what looks good instead of relying on the mirror in dressing rooms. And she put complete faith in her hair stylist.
To the surprise of many, Kjerstin says the wedding day was actually one of the easiest days to navigate mirror-free.
"I'm getting my focus back to thinking about the real meaning of the day, which isn't how I look but marrying the love of my life," she said.
Bridesmaids scurried to shield the mirrors from her view. Fittingly, she and Ackermann's first dance was to a song called "I'll Be Your Mirror." The lyrics included "I find it hard to believe you don't know/The beauty that you are."

In March 2012, the experiment came to an end. At an event surrounded by family and friends, Kjerstin Gruys finally looked at her own reflection.
"I had a little ambivalence, and at the same time, pleasure, because I was happy with what I saw," she said.
In attendance was fellow About-Face volunteer Aubrey Toole, who says she hopes people take inspiration from Gruys.
"So many things are important about her message," Toole said. "I think so much of being a female in our society today is seeing yourself from the outside. And her message is really to see yourself from within."
Gruys said she has learned to pay more attention to how she feels, rather than how she looks.
"There is nothing wrong with enjoying, um, looking at yourself in the mirror, ... but it's important for every woman, and man, I think, to really think for a few minutes about whether there is a point of diminishing returns," she said. "Because we have so much more to offer the world than just our looks."


Friday, August 17, 2012

Friday Inspiration!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Thank you Abbas Jahangiri!

"When words no longer express, music starts," wrote Abbas Jahangiri, former owner of the el Mocambo, 12 years ago.

Jahangiri purchased the elMo in 2001 and renovated both floors of Toronto's oldest and most historic music venue to prepare for a wide range of musical acts. 

EDOYR's ticket booth at Rock for Charity 2.0 at the el Mocambo in Toronto.
The elMo also became the number one booker for charity events and fund raisers, including EDOYR's very own Rock for Charity and Rock for Charity 2.0, concerts where all proceeds benefited our organization. With both of these benefit concerts, EDOYR raised over $4,000.00.

Other organizations like War Child, Amnesty International, Free the Children and World Vision have held fund raisers at the Spadina Ave. and College St. location. 

Jahangiri is also the founder of Serving Charity, a non-profit, charitable organization that has opened orphanages, women's shelters, Soup Kitchens, family homes schools and several other projects in eight countries around the world.

It was on July 25 that the former owner of the elMo e-mailed all his musical and charitable contacts to say he was closing this chapter of his life to start a new one: A life fully dedicated to Serving Charity.

Like its former owner, the elMo has also turned over a new leaf. The venue will remain open and all shows will continue, just this time under new ownership.

EDOYR thanks the el Mocambo and Abbas Jahangiri for their hospitality, willingness and support. With Rock for Charity and Rock for Charity 2.0, both held at the historic Toronto venue, we have been able to continue to provide support for people struggling with eating disorders as well as for their families and friends.

We wish Jahangiri all the best in his future endeavors. It was great working with you!

-- Leviana Coccia

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

EDOYR's first EVER benefit comedy night!

We arrived at! Second City Toronto shortly before the doors to the theatre opened for the night. 
Live comedy every night! That's right! Did you miss out on last night's event but would still like to support EDOYR? Donate online now:
Michelle (placement student) having a laugh even before we got into the theatre!
Leviana (Events and Communications Coodinator) getting ready for a good night.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

TONIGHT: Second City Comedy Night

Tonight's the night we've all been waiting for!

At 7:15pm the doors will open to Second City Toronto on 51 Mercer St. less than an hour away from the beginning of tonight's performance of the Fall Mainstainge '12 Revue.

Tickets for this show, a preview for a series of performances to start in the fall, are normally $24+hst.

Courtesy of Second City Toronto
EDOYR is lucky enough to host a fund-raiser at tonight's show and if you haven't already guessed, you're all invited.

When using our "Life in Balance" promo code at the Second City box office, $10 from every ticket will benefit EDOYR.

And the best part? You'll save $4 per ticket when using this code. So, instead of paying $24+hst, you'll only be paying $20+hst.

You can get your tickets online, by calling the Second City box office or at the door!

We're so excited for tonight and hope you are too. Don't forget about that "Life in Balance" promo code!

Monday, July 23, 2012

You're invited to the Neighbourhood Network Volunteer Celebration

To the friends, supporters and volunteers of Eating Disorders of York Region:

Join us for volunteer appreciation at the 2012 Neighbourhood Network Volunteer Celebration Event at Fairy Lake Park in Newmarket.

When: Thursday, August 23
Time: 5:30 to 7:30pm
RSVP: Lisbeth at or call 905-726-3737 by Friday, August 17

Neighbourhood Network is a non-profit community-based organization that brings together volunteers with local charities and organizations that assist Newmarket and Aurora residents in need.

Tom Taylor, former town councilor and Mayor of Newmarket, will emcee the event as we celebrate the amazing work of volunteers in the York Region  community.

There will be a free BBQ for Neighhbourhood Network partners and volunteers as well as live music by the ONYX Vocal Band!

Brooke Harrison, Neighbourhood Network's student Ambassador as well as Canada's "Top 20 Under 20" for 2012 will share her community experiences.

Thank you to all of EDOYR's helpers and friends!

Moksha Yoga Maple Karma Charity Classes - Date to be Rescheduled

EDOYR will be Moksha Yoga Maple's Karma Charity of Choice for an upcoming month!

Each Friday night during that specific month at 6:15pm for 75-minutes, a yoga class will take place. Anyone can attend with a minimum donation of five dollars, even if you are not a member of Moksha Yoga Maple.

We were originally scheduled for every Friday night in August, but this has been changed.

Please stay tuned to our Twitter and Facebook pages for more information.

Thank you Moksha Yoga Maple for the honour of being your karma charity sometime in the near future!

Richmond Hill Honda benefit car wash a huge success!

Michelle (placement student) and Leviana (Events and Communications Coordinator) go back out to Yonge St. Don't worry, we didn't let them leave without taking a photo (and dancing).

Thanks to everyone who made our car wash at Richmond Hill Honda a HUGE success! 
Natalia (Admin Assistant) and Michelle (placement student) get ready for our very first customer! 
Our very first customer gets their car washed!
Car wash tickets! We have some nonexpiry tickets left over for your convenience. Contact or phone 9058866632 if you'd like to purchase some! They're going quickly.
Natalia (Admin Assistant), Michelle (placement student) and Leviana (Events and Communications Coordinator) workin' at the car wash!
Our lovely hand-made sign! 
Leviana (Events and Communications Coordinator) and Natalia (Admin Assistant) show their signature dance moves before going over to Yonge St. to encourage drivers to get their cars washed! 
SNAP Richmond Hill came by our car wash and took a few photos for their publication. Thanks!
Some Honda + EDOYR staff!

Save on Second City Toronto tickets for Tues. July 24

You'll save four dollars when you use the promotional code "Life in Balance" when purchasing tickets to EDOYR's first ever benefit comedy night.

Normally, tickets for the Fall '12 Mainstage Revue show cost $24+hst. When using "Life in Balance," you'll only be paying $20+hst.

Also with the "Life in Balance" promo code, $10 from every ticket purchased will benefit our organization. For every 12 tickets purchased with the promo code, EDOYR will be able to host a Stages of Change workshop for people struggling with an eating disorder as well as for their families and friends. We'll also be able to continue with our successful outreach initiatives in hopes of lessening the stigma surrounding eating disorders and mental health.

The show will begin tomorrow at 8pm at the Second City in Toronto! Doors open at 7:15pm.

Get your tickets from the Second City box office before it's too late.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Do YOU know what today is?

It's Saturday, July 21.

It's beautiful outside.

It's a great day for getting your car washed.

Still not sure what today is? Find out here.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Second City Comedy Night: Tuesday, July 24 at 8pm

Eating Disorders of York Region is having our very first benefit comedy night at Second City Toronto. Come watch the Fall '12 Mainstage Revue on Tuesday, July 24 and experience non-stop laughter throughout the night.

Address: 51 Mercer Street, Toronto, Ontario

Cost: Tickets are $20+hst. Ten dollars from every ticket will benefit EDOYR when purchased with the promo code, "Life in Balance."

Where to get tickets: The Second City box office.

Tomorrow: EDOYR's Richmond Hill Honda Benefit Car Wash

We were on CP24 Breakfast this morning promoting our Richmond Hill Honda Benefit Car Wash, taking place tomorrow at the Yonge St. and 16th Ave. dealership.

Each car wash is five dollars. Three dollars from every wash will benefit EDOYR.

Can't come out tomorrow? Purchase our non-expiry car wash tickets for the same price. Call 9058866632 or e-mail for more info.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Tune in to CP24 Breakfast tomorrow morning to see your EDOYR staff on TV!

Tune in to CP24 Breakfast tomorrow morning between 7 and 7:30am to see Leviana (Events and Communications Coordinator) and Michelle (placement student) on the air promoting our benefit car wash!

Our Richmond Hill Honda Car Wash is only two days away! Be sure to come to the 16th Ave. and Yonge St. dealership's service department between 10am and 1pm to get your car washed for only $5.

Is Saturday looking busy for you? No problem. We have car wash tickets that you can use any time at Richmond Hill Honda for the same price. Contact us for more details.

Don't forget to purchase your Second City Comedy Night tickets for Tuesday's 8:00pm show. When you use the promo code, "LIFE IN BALANCE," $10 from every ticket will benefit EDOYR. Get those tickets before it's too late!

Together, we can change the world.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Two friend-raisers within the next SIX days!

On Saturday, EDOYR will be at Richmond Hill Honda for our very first benefit car wash. Come and get your car washed for five dollars. Three dollars from every wash will benefit EDOYR.

Busy on Saturday? Not to worry! You can still get your car washed and benefit EDOYR by buying some car wash tickets that don't expire! We have about 166 tickets left (they're going pretty fast). Get yours today for five dollars each. Three dollars from each will benefit EDOYR.


On Tuesday, July 24,  join us at Second City Toronto for our first comedy night friend-raiser, ever! The Fall '12 Mainstage Revue will begin at 8pm, doors open at 7:15pm.

Tickets are $20 + hst each. When you get your ticket from the Second City box office, use the promo code, "Life in Balance," so $10 from every ticket will benefit EDOYR! 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Have you got YOUR tickets yet?

EDOYR has two awesome friend-raisers quickly approaching: Our Richmond Hill Honda Benefit Car Wash and our Second City Toronto Comedy Night.

Have you got your tickets yet?

EDOYR is everywhere. This morning, we made it onto CP24 Breakfast  with our Richmond Hill Honda Car Wash with host Mika Midolo on the segment, "For Goodness Sake."

Check that out, here.

Michelle De Faria, placement student, and Leviana Coccia, Events and Communications Coordinator, will be at CP24 bright and early on Friday to film another segment promoting the event. Details on timing to come.

Until then, here are some details about our amazing up and coming events:

In four days, EDOYR will be at Richmond Hill Honda for our very first benefit car wash. Come and get your car washed for five dollars. Three dollars from every wash will benefit EDOYR.

Can't come out on Saturday, July 21st from 10am - 1pm? No problem! We have 176 car wash tickets for Richmond Hill Honda that do not expire.

If you want to get your car washed in two weeks time, you can! If you prefer to get all clean after this summer's adventures, you can do that, too. Just call us at 905 886 6632 or e-mail Car washes make great gifts!

In one week (that's Tuesday, July 24, everyone), join us at Second City Toronto for our first comedy night friend-raiser, ever! 

The Fall '12 Mainstage Revue will begin at 8pm, doors open at 7:15pm.

Tickets are $20 + hst each. When you get your ticket from the Second City box office, be sure to use the promo code, "Life in Balance," so $10 from every ticket will benefit EDOYR! 

A Part of Holistic Health: Holistic Nutrition

Jacqueline Marie, Holistic Nutrition student
“Before we begin to discuss how nutrition, chemicals, deficiencies or imbalances relate to depression, mood and anxiety disorders, it is important to know that every person is biochemically unique,” says Jacqueline Marie (right), Holistic Nutrition student, soon to be a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, at the very start of our conversation, making it clear that not only are we all different on the outside, but on the inside, too.

There is more than one natural remedy, Jacqueline continues, adding that seeing a Holistic Nutritionist or an Orthomolecular Practitioner for a thorough analysis before starting any new health routine or program is recommended.

Seeing a Holistic Nutritionist or an Orthomolecular Practitioner could help an individual determine what kind of natural remedy would best benefit their body, since every body is different.
Allison Jorgens, author.

Allison Jorgens (left), author of Read it With a Grain of Salt, says at the age of 17, when she was a competitive figure skater, her parents found out she was struggling with Bulimia Nervosa. “They were concerned most with nutrition in terms of my physical health, so they sent me to a dietitian.”

“The dietitian went through what I was eating, how my eating disorder affected me, [considering] when I was binging, purging and what I was taking in,” Jorgens says. “[The dietitian] gave me a meal plan that was suited for someone dealing with a condition like Bulimia [Nervosa].”

Now with a BSc in Nutritional Sciences, Jorgens is studying at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition towards the designation of Registered Holistic Nutritionist.

Jorgens says she wrote her first book, Read it With a Grain of Salt, not to provide advice or suggestions, but to educate her readers on holistic facts.

The young author enrolled in the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition to learn about optimal eating.

“My entire book is about processed foods, but I wanted to take the course to educate on alternative natural foods as well as for personal interest,” Jorgens says.

Jorgens advises that anyone looking for nutrition information can look to both dietitians and holistic nutritionists, as they are both credible and can help, but in different ways. “It is really important for each individual to research which professional is right for them.”

A Holistic Nutritionist will be able to first determine deficiencies or toxicity in the body and then suggest modifications or a supplement accordingly, Jacqueline says.

A Holistic Nutritionist or an Orthomolecular Practitioner could determine what may be the best possible natural remedy to ensure an individual’s body is no longer deficient. For example, if I was experiencing fatigue and a lack of energy, I could meet with a professional to understand why I had been feeling so tired.

If the Holistic Nutritionist or Orthomolecular Practitioner determined that my body was low in iron, they would suggest the best possible natural remedy and also discern how my body was absorbing the nutrients, to determine whether the issue was the actual vitamin or mineral or if it had more to do with what my body was doing with the nutrients.

“We would also be able to correct and help the person better absorb nutrients from food or supplement,” Jacqueline says. “A full assessment is needed for this.”

The Gut Brain Connection

 “The digestive system contains 100-million neurons and produces equal amount of neurotransmitters as the brain,” Jacqueline says.

A neurotransmitter is a messenger. It is a chemical released from a nerve cell, which transmits an impulse from one nerve to cell to another nerve, muscle, organ or other tissue.

The gut, however, produces about 66 per cent of the happy hormone, Serotonin, for the body, Jacqueline adds. “That’s why the right foods can make you happy or the wrong foods can leave you feeling anxious or depressed.”

Every body is different when it comes to processing nutrients. “Every one has a different speed of digestion and the quality and quantity of enzymes, which directly impacts absorbality,” Jacqueline says.

Alternative Medicine and Mental Illness

“The alternative medicine approach encompasses the mind, body and spirit of the individual,” Jaqueline says. “They are all interrelated and affect one’s overall well-being.”

Jorgens says she has dealt with unexplained infertility, which may have been related to stress. “I dealt with it holistically,” Jorgens says. “I went for massage therapy, to see a nutritionist…I did the whole thing and it was so helpful for me.”

Some options of holistic treatments for mental illness include acupuncture, chiropractic care, nutritional assessments, massage and reflexology, yoga and many more.

“More people are using natural remedies because they may not want to be dependent on synthetic drugs,” Jacqueline says. “They can be addictive and can alter one’s biochemical traits, which can directly affect one’s brain.”

Natural remedies are less addictive. “They may become addictive if the person over uses them,” Jacqueline says, “but [there] is less of a chance due to [their] potency.”

What are Amino Acids?

Jacqueline describes Amino Acids as “building blocks of proteins needed for growth, development and hormone signaling in our bodies, as well as cell repair…”

The human body naturally produces 10 of the 20 Amino Acids. Those remaining 10 that the body doesn’t naturally produce are known as Essential Amino Acids, those we must ingest from food.

“When we do not consume these Essential Amino Acids, the body breaks down proteins found in muscle, skin and hair in search of them,” Jacqueline says.


Deficiencies in the body can lead to anxiety and panic attacks, addiction, obsessive thoughts, phobias (like a fear of snakes, heights, foods, etc.), depression, negativity, low self-esteem, difficulty making decisions, violence, suicidal thoughts, etc., Jacqueline says.

She advises not to supplement without discussing health with a holistic health care practitioner.

If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please contact Jacqueline at

To speak to Jorgens about her experiences and studies, e-mail her at

Disclaimer: Thank you Jacqueline Marie and Allison Jorgens for taking the time to speak with Eating Disorders of York Region about Holistic Nutrition. This blog post expresses some perspectives that our readers may find insightful. The opinions expressed are those of Jacqueline and Jorgens.

-- Leviana Coccia

Know Drugs, 2nd Ed.

Michelle De Faria started her placement with Eating Disorders of York Region earlier this summer. Her passion is to encourage men and women to take control of their mental health.

"Know Drugs" is the byproduct of De Faria's inspiration to create a campaign to promote pharmaceutical alternatives, since medicine may not always be the only way to be healthy and happy. 

The original, all-English, video was produced on June 28, 2012. See it here.

 This multilingual edition promotes pharmaceutical alternatives and encourages people from all over the world to take control and have a voice when it comes to their mental health.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Just over one week until EDOYR takes over Second City Toronto!

Are you ready to laugh?
In eight days, we'll be at the Second City watching Toronto's famous cast perform the Fall '12 Mainstage Revue, and so will you.

Each ticket for the show at 8pm on July 24 is $20+hst. When you use the promo code, "LIFE IN BALANCE," $10 from every ticket purchased will benefit EDOYR. Get your ticket today.

180 car wash tickets left!

When do you prefer to wash your car? Are you a winter washer or do you like the fall? No matter your cup of tea, you can purchase car wash tickets for you, your friends and your family from Eating Disorders of York Region.

Last week, I picked up 200 car wash tickets from Richmond Hill Honda for your convenience. Not one of these tickets expire, but they are going fast. We have 180 of these tickets left.

As you're already aware, EDOYR is hosting our very first benefit car wash on in five days (on Saturday, July 21) at Richmond Hill Honda, where friendly Honda employees will work their car-cleaning magic from 10am until 1pm at the Yonge St. and 16th Ave. location. Each car wash is five dollars. Three dollars from every wash will benefit EDOYR.

If you can't make it on Saturday, or even if you can, you can still purchase some of our non-expiry car wash tickets for five dollars each. Three dollars from every ticket you buy will benefit EDOYR.

Call us at 9058866632 or e-mail for more.

-- Leviana Coccia

Friday, July 13, 2012

On the eleventh day of laughter...

...You could be at Second City Toronto's preview of the Fall '12 Mainstage Revue, which will benefit Eating Disorders of York Region.

On Tuesday, July 24, come support your local charity! Doors open at 7:15pm and the show will begin at 8pm. Ten dollars from every ticket purchased from the Second City box office with the promo code, "Life in Balance,"will benefit EDOYR.

If you don't wash your car, it won't go very far...

...That's why you should come to the Richmond Hill Honda Car Wash on July 21 from 10am until 1pm. Each ticket costs five dollars. Three dollars per wash will benefit Eating Disorders of York Region.

Can't make it on the 21st? EDOYR has got your back!

We have 180 car wash tickets for anytime use at Richmond Hill Honda's Service Department! These tickets are also five dollars, and three dollars from each will benefit EDOYR.

This could be your car on July 21st between 10am and 1pm at Richmond Hill Honda.
Pick yours up today! Call 9058866632 or e-mail for more information.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Twelve more days until you'll laugh so hard, you'll cry!

Where will you be sitting on Tuesday July 24 at EDOYR's Second City Comedy Night in Toronto?
What would you do if you had 12 days left to purchase tickets to Eating Disorders of York Region's Second City Comedy Night in Toronto?

Well, I know what I'd do: I'd get my tickets to the show, that's what!

For $20+hst, I'll be admitted into one of the most hilarious nights of the summer. And, $10 from every ticket I buy (because I do plan on bringing friends and family) will benefit EDOYR when I use the promo code, "LIFE IN BALANCE" on the Second City box office.

Come out and see the Fall '12 Mainstage Revue at Second City Toronto on July 24. Doors open at 7:15pm and the show will begin at 8pm. Bring your friends, your family and everyone you know.

Don't forget the promo code, "LIFE IN BALANCE."

See you all in twelve days.

-- Leviana Coccia

Nine days until our benefit car wash!

On Saturday, July 21 from 10am until 1pm, join Eating Disorders of York Region at Richmond Hill Honda for their benefit car wash.

It costs $5 per car wash. Thee dollars from each will benefit EDOYR.

Now, car washes aren't only great in the summer. So, that's why you should come pick up more car wash tickets, today.

We have 200 car wash tickets that can be used at anytime as long as the Service Department at Richmond Hill Honda is open. That's right, even after a muddy trip home from soccer or a slushy car ride back from hockey practice, your car can stay nice and clean for nice and cheap.

Tickets are $5 each and $3 from each will benefit EDOYR ,just like on the actual car wash day.

Those 200 tickets will allow EDOYR to host five Stages of Change workshops, sessions that help identify the changes, opportunities and challenges an individual (male or female) struggling from an eating disorder could experience. Anyone and everyone can attend these workshops for free!

Richmond Hill Honda is located at Yonge St. and 16th Ave. in Richmond Hill, just behind the Play it Again Sports.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

We have 200 car wash tickets (that don't expire)!

Leviana Coccia, Events and Communications Coordinator, holds 200 car wash tickets. If EDOYR sells every single one, we can provide five Stages of Change workshops. Have you gotten yours yet?
Who doesn't love a clean car? The shiny metal glistening on a hot summer day, no bug guts on the windshield, no streaks left behind...I can keep going, but I'll spare you.

I picked up 200 car wash tickets this morning from Richmond Hill Honda for your convenience. These tickets do not expire!

Will you pick up pumpkins in October or a Holiday tree in December? Will your car need a wash in the middle of winter? Will you roll through some mud or a big nasty puddle in the spring?

No matter how your car got dirty, you can use your car wash tickets at Richmond Hill Honda whenever the Service Department is open.

You can come on over to the EDOYR office in Aurora, purchase as many tickets as you'd like and use them at any time. The tickets are five dollars and three from each will benefit EDOYR.

If we sell each of the 200 tickets, we'll be able to provide five Stages of Change workshops: Sessions that explore the possibility of change. Attendees discover where they are in their journey of recovery as they expore the changes they are seeking. The costs and benefits of changing eating disorder behaviours will be presented as well as barriers and healthy coping strategies.

Since everyone loves a car wash, you're all invited to EDOYR's benefit car wash at Richmond Hill Honda where friendly Honda employees will wash your car (and your friends' and family members' cars) in the Service Department! Like those tickets we're selling, a car wash is five dollars and three dollars from each will benefit EDOYR.

E-mail or call us at 905 886 6632 for more information.

Second City in THIRTEEN days!

On July 24, you will get to experience laugh-out-loud-funny comedy at Second City Comedy Club in Toronto. Each ticket is $20+hst. When you buy your ticket on the Second City website and use the promo code, "LIFE IN BALANCE," $10 from every ticket will benefit Eating Disorders of York Region.

Second City tickets make great gifts and treats. Surprise your friends and family by taking them out for a good laugh. 

Talking from personal experience here: I went to a show at Second City in March and had tears in my eyes from laughing so hard.

Doors open at 7:15pm and the show will begin at 8pm.

Don't forget to use the "LIFE IN BALANCE" promo code.

See you there!

-- Leviana Coccia

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Get your car wash tickets in ADVANCE!

On Wednesday morning, EDOYR will have advance tickets for our Richmond Hill Honda Car Wash. The car wash is set for Satuday, July 21 from 10am until 1pm.

How to get your tickets early? Just call us at 905 886 6632, e-mail or come into our office in Aurora after 10am on July 11.

Each ticket sells for five dollars. Three dollars from each will benefit EDOYR.

The best part? The tickets don't expire. So, if you can't make our car wash on July 21, you can buy the tickets in advance and use them whenever is most convenient for you.

Because car wash tickets are so cheap, it'd be a great idea to get a bunch of them for your friends and family.

Get your tickets tomorrow!

Fourteen days until EDOYR's Second City Comedy Night

Get your tickets for the July 24th show now by visiting the Second City website. Doors open at 7:15pm and the show starts at 8! Don't forget to use EDOYR's special promo code, "Life in Balance."

Monday, July 9, 2012

Twelve days until our Benefit Car Wash at Richmond Hill Honda

In twelve days, you can beat the heat. In twelve days, you can give your car a treat.

In twelve days, come on out to Richmond Hill Honda at Yonge St. and 16th Ave. to get your car washed by friendly Honda employees for only five dollars.

The rate's so good that you might want to consider coming by the dealership multiple times with all your cars.

Three dollars from every wash will benefit Eating Disorders of York Region.

The event will begin at 10am and end at 1pm. See you there!

Fifteen Days until Second City Comedy Night

There are 15-days until Eating Disorders of York Region's Second City Comedy Night at Second City Toronto.

Second City's 2012 mainstage cast will preview the Fall '12 Mainstage Revue as they perform their "boundary-breaking, cutting edge comedy." The show will be filled with hilarious original sketches and songs performed by Toronto's legendary comedy troupe.

Doors will open at 7:15pm and the show will begin at 8. Tickets are $20 + hst and $10 from every ticket with the promo code, "Life in Balance" will go to EDOYR. You can get your tickets here.

Faces of Recovery: Allison Jorgens

Jorgens signed a copy of her latest book, Read it With a Grain of Salt.
Remember Allison Jorgens, the author of Read it With a Grain of Salt who donated a signed copy of the book to Eating Disorders of York Region at the Richmond Hill Public Library's Health Fair?

Jorgens also recently participated in our "Faces of Recovery" campaign, an initiatve that encourages men and women of all ages who have struggled with eating disorders to share their story of recovery and survival.

You can read Jorgen's story, here.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

We can give away more Life in Balance cards, together!

Eating Disorders of York Region has given away over 9,000 Life in Balance cards. Your donation will enable us to give away more. Visit and click the "DONATE" button.

A tax receipt will be issued automatically.

Contact for more information.

Q&A with Michelle De Faria: Family Therapy

Michelle De Faria is doing her placement at Eating Disorders of York Region.
Michelle De Faria (above) studied in the postgraduate Addictions and Mental Health program at Durham College and is completing her placement at Eating Disorders of York Region.

Until August 10, she will routinely answer different questions pertaining to family dynamics (in other words, how a family works) in relation to mental health.

Today, Michelle talks about what makes a family and family therapy.

Question: What makes a family?

Answer: The textbook definition of a family is two or more people involved in an important relationship.

In laymen’s terms, a family is a team or a unit of support and love. They provide guidance. This group of people could be anyone, from a team to a group of friends to coworkers to classmates. A family is anyone you find comfort with, and isn’t limited to relatives or people on your family tree.

Question: What is family therapy?

Answer: Family therapy is professional guidance to help solve family struggles. A family can meet whenever it is convenient for them to discuss issues that may have come up. It is beneficial for all members of the family to attend and participate.

Eating Disorders of York Region’s Guidance for Family and Friends support group, for example, strives to improve understanding within the family and self-care. This model also emphasizes that family members are not each other’s therapists but instead can benefit from expert guidance (even if all family members are not present). This group is led by a psychotherapist.

Question: What are the benefits of family therapy?

Answer: Family therapy allows for an objective, outside opinion that invites all issues, emotions and thoughts into a safe space. For example, if a mother and daughter are in a dispute, but the daughter feels her mother is misunderstanding the root of the problem, family therapy could allow for an objective voice to see the dispute in a new light, perhaps giving a new perspective to both parties.

In family therapy, groups work as a team towards a specific goal. Using the earlier example, the goal for the mother and daughter could be to understand why both parties are upset and to find a compromise and/or a solution.

Family therapy also resets the various roles in a family (parent, sibling, child, etc.) to reestablish boundaries and rules. If the daughter in the example used prior is acting more as a parent than the mother is, then the therapy can attempt to reestablish roles.

Question: How can a family be replenished?

Answer: As the family grows together, schedules change and lives get busy. It is important to still spend time together, even when there is limited time. Here are some fun activities a family can do together:
  • Family vacations (even weekend trips are enjoyable) 
  • Family dinners (fewer and fewer families spend dinner together. Dinner may be the best time to ask about someone’s day)
  • Family outings (day or night trips)
  • Preparing meals together 
  • Weekly recreational activities (walks, board games, movie nights, etc.)

For more information on family therapy, please visit the National Eating Disorder Information Centre.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Know Drugs

Michelle De Faria started her placement with Eating Disorders of York Region (EDOYR) earlier this summer. Her passion is to encourage men and women to take control of their mental health.

"Know Drugs" is the byproduct of De Faria's inspiration to create a campaign to promote pharmaceutical alternatives, since medicine may not always be the only way to be healthy and happy.

Yoga: A wonderful tool

Megan Jacobs is a certified iyengar yoga teacher.
"Yoga has helped me a lot in my life," says Megan Jacobs, a certified iyengar yoga teacher who works out of her studio, Dove Tail Yoga, in Aurora. "It' a wonderful tool."

Jacobs came to visit us at Eating Disorders of York Region Monday where we had a wonderful conversation about the benefits of yoga.

Iyengar yoga, that which Jacobs teaches at her home studio, is a detail oriented practice. Iyengar is very physical, Jacobs says, and uses a lot of props, like blocks, blankets and belts.

"We are all built differently. [We all have different] heights and confidence levels. Props help everyone do the poses," Jacobs says, adding that though the technical term for the blocks, blankets and belts is props, she prefers the word "tool."

These "tools" teach the poses to the body and then the body eventually gets more comfortable with the various movements and stretches.

When a yoga class begins, the movements are very general. Throughout the class and after numerous sessions, a stronger foundation is built, both physically and spiritually, where participants begin to sink deeper into each position.

"You then go deeper and deeper into yourself," Jacobs says. "And your mind is calmed and then you begin to learn about your body."

Iyengar yoga doesn't teach a lot of breath work, but, as Jacobs refers to it, "is meditation in action."

"Endorphins in yoga can get addicting," Jacobs says. "As a teacher, I teach balance and how to find that connection between your heart, body and mind. Yoga can be harmful if, like anything else, it is abused."

One of the main practices of yoga is awareness. When we are aware, "the contentment and peace we find is not in our environment but in ourselves," Jacobs says. "We lose the attachment to sensory things when we practice."

This objectiveness connects an individual to his or her inner voice, where there is a need for sensitivity and thought about how much we let the rest of the world affect us.

-- Leviana Coccia

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Girls Circle Body Image and Self-Esteem Building Workshops start on July 11

Laura Connell, Girls Circle facilitator.
Starting Wed. July 11, Girls Circle comes to York Region with new workshops illustrating a research-based model that encourages girls to stay true to themselves.

“Through the research-based model of Girls Circle groups, I hope to empower girls by helping them see their true value which is more than skin deep. Girls deserve to celebrate and love themselves for who they are rather than what they look like,” says Laura Connell (right), Girls Circle facilitator in Richmond hill.

Each week at the Richmond Hill Central Library (located at Yonge St. and Major Mackenize Dr.), Connell will meet with and lead the six to 10 girls through a structured format. Girls will take turns talking and listening to one another about concerns and interests, Connell says.

Connell visited Eating Disorders of York Region last week to talk about expressionism, a style of art where the artist seeks to express emotional experience. Expressionism at Girls Circle will expand further with creative or focused activities like journaling, drawing, poetry collaging and the use of drama.

Guest speakers, in the fields of body image and self-esteem, are also welcome.

Girls Circle Body Image and Self-Esteem Building Workshops are for girls ages 11 to 14. For an early bird rate of $99, registrants will attend eight two-hour sessions every Wednesday from July 11 to August 29 from 6:30 to 8:30p.m. at the Richmond Hill Central Library.

For more information please visit To register call Connell at 4169039714 or e-mail her at