The name of the personal blog I began in 2007 is Juggling Life and that’s also my two-word autobiography. My current, and largely joy-filled, juggle consists of: my full-time job as Allied Health Program Director for a vocational school (I love counseling and supporting students in the pursuit of their career goals), my almost-full-time work as an advocate and activist in the eating disorder world, overseeing my sometimes full and sometimes empty nest (my oldest two children are fully on their own, my younger two are still in college), finding time to enjoy the post-24-hr/day parenting phase of our marriage with my high school sweetheart husband, and self-care like bike riding, kayaking and book group with the steadfast and amazing women I have as friends.
As a blogger, tweeter and Facebook user and once one of Nielsen Online’s Top 50 Power Moms, I consider social media to be an unparalleled tool for activism. Arguably the most important work I have done to date is to drag many of my compatriots—middle-aged women—onto Twitter to take their activism to the next level. Our first successful campaign was to get sunglass designer Thierry Lasry to change the name of a sunglass line from “anorexxxy.” As I said in this interview, if people think anorexia is a fashion choice, they won’t also think it’s a deadly disease.
I enjoy advocacy on both the macro and micro levels and my involvement in Mothers Against Eating Disorders Support, Mothers Against Eating Disorders Advocacy and Activism, International Eating Disorders Action, Families Empowered and Supporting Treatment of Eating Disorders, and the University of California at San Diego Eating Disorder Center Parent Advisory Committee gives me a variety of avenues to pursue my advocacy work and directly support mothers and families.
Combining my passion for writing with my activism is one of my most rewarding pursuits and I am proud to write a parent column for the UCSD Eating Disorder Program. My favorite and most important post to date is Ten Things Parent Wish Educators Knew About Eating Disorders; I encourage you to print it and share it at your school and with teacher friends.
I am on the social media committee for the inaugural Mothers and Others March to be held in Washington D.C. on 9/30/14. Our purpose is to have moms, families and advocates unite in the fight against eating disorders. On 10/1/14, many of us will lobby our legislators at Eating Disorder Coalition Lobby Day. The Federal Response to Eliminate Eating Disorders (FREED Act) is an important piece of legislation and is needed to address gross inequities in the distribution of funding dollars. Did you know that in 2011 the United States spent about $90 per sufferer on Alzheimer’s Research and $0.93 per sufferer on eating disorders? This is despite the fact that eating disorders affect six times as many people as Alzheimer’s does.
I am a long-time daily practitioner of “the attitude of gratitude” and I am thankful for my wonderful friends and family and for the energy and passion I have to bring to the pursuits that give my life happiness and meaning.
For More from Jennifer:
Personal Blog: Juggling Life
Additional Blog: UCSD Parent Perspectives Tumblr
Facebook: Jennifer Denise Taunton Ouellette
Twitter: Menopausal Hen Jenn @JugglingJenn
LinkedIn: Jennifer Denise Ouellette