Sunday, August 19, 2012

A colleague of mine sent out an email recently which included a fantastic quote regarding one perspective we might take concerning our bodies. I wanted to share it, as I think you might appreciate it. 

Taken from Anna Quindlen's new book Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake

"I've fully recognized my body for what it is: a personality-delivery system, designed expressly to carry my character from place to place, now and in the years to come. It's like a car, and while I like a red convertible or even a Bentley as well as the next person, what I really need are four tires and an engine."

Monday, July 2, 2012

Happy July and Happy Monday! Hope everyone had a great weekend! 

The Huffington Post is one of my favorite sites for reading different opinion pieces, especially articles related to body image and eating disorders. I tend to post links fairly often to articles that I read over there- and today, I thought I'd post some really good ones below that I've read recently! Hope you enjoy :) 

Beating The Body Image Blues by Andrea Wachter

Why You Should Think Twice Before You Praise Someone for Losing Weight by Yashar Ali

Fat Chat is No Light Matter by Andrea Wachter

"Fitspiration": Why It Isn't So Inspirational by Lexie Kite

Why Do We 'Self-Bully' Ourselves About Weight? by Kristen Houghton

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Eating Disorders Common For Those Over 50??

One common myth about eating disorders is that they only occur amongst teenagers. Recent research has continued to indicate otherwise! Eating disorders do not discriminate, and people of all ages develop eating disorders. There has been a lot of attention in the news this past week about a study published in the latest issue of the International Journal of Eating Disorders. This study, conducted by the University of North Carolina's Eating Disorder Program, found that 62% of women over the age of 50 reported that their weight had a negative impact upon their life. 70% reported that they were trying to lose weight and many reported eating disordered behaviors. Many believe that just because they are no longer an adolescent, they must not really have an eating disorder. This research serves to validate that this is not the case. For those of you- of any age- who are struggling, you are not alone. The study concluded that more research needs to be done, which will help to equip health professionals and doctors in order that eating disorders can be diagnosed and addressed sooner for those who are suffering. 

For more info on this study, you can check out the following articles:

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Happy Sunday! Hope everyone has had a great weekend. Below you can find the links to some great articles that have surfaced in the last few weeks- enjoy!!

Body Image: I Love How I Look-- In a World That Doesn't by Jenni Schaefer via the Huffington Post
*a must-read for anyone struggling with body image!!!

Families Don't Cause Eating Disorders, But Can Be Critical to Lasting Eating Disorders Recovery by Kenneth L. Weiner via the Huffington Post
*a great read for parents and family members of those suffering.

More Women Using Social Networking Site Pinterest to Feed Eating Disorders via CBS News
*be mindful of potentially triggering images in video attached to the story...

*another good one on body image!

The Skinny by Scarlett Johansson via the Huffington Post
*for whatever reason, this article has been circulating lately but it was written 3 years ago- still a great read!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Self-Care Revisited

I've gotten a few questions recently about whether or not I've quit blogging, about whether I've lost interest in it, or if I have finally just run out of things to say about body image (the answer on that last one would be no- haha). Since January, life has just gotten (even) busier, and I have been working hard at trying to maintain some sense of balance. One thing that I am constantly emphasizing to my clients is the necessity of practicing self-care. My lack of consistent blogging lately has been a result of trying to practice self-care, and taking more time for other things! While I love (LOVE) to blog, I have been investing more time with my practice than ever before, as well as making more time in my life for other things that are important to me. I am learning that saying 'no' to good things is often difficult, but is important and needs to happen from time to time.

I wrote a post awhile back about self-care, and thought I would link to it here. Below are some great definitions of self-care.

Personal health maintenance- via Wikipedia.

Choosing behaviors that balance the effects of emotional and physical stressors- via Psychology Today

Decisions and actions that an individual can take to cope with a health problem or to improve his or her health- via Answers

One really important thing that I want to highlight about self-care (as noted in the article above linked to Psychology Today) is that it is NOT about pampering, or indulging one's self. I think we often view 'self-care' as a luxury, and while it can feel that way, self-care is about taking care of the basic needs that allow us to remain or maintain physical and mental health. Sometimes we can experience guilt in taking the time to care for ourselves, but it is crucial to do so if we want to be the best versions of ourselves!

And as a side note, while I have been busy, I have not quit blogging. I miss blogging and plan to blog just a little bit more regularly than I have been lately. Check back soon for more posts!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The American Psychological Association has named May 16th a Mental Health Blogging Party in an effort to raise awareness about mental health! I have blogged to raise awareness about mental health in the past (here, and here) and am doing so again today, because I believe it is extremely important!

If you read my blog occasionally, you know that I talk a lot about eating disorders and body image, as well as the role of the media and its impact on beauty ideals. The diet industry is notorious for distorting what true physical health looks like. As a result, there are countless books, programs, plans, etc that are designed to promote physical health. While I am all for being healthy, I think that it is important to define what true health really looks like. True physical health is not about dieting, it's not about restricting, it's not about fitting into your skinny jeans. I believe that health goes beyond the physical. Spiritual health, emotional health and mental health are all part of the equation.

What promotes positive mental health?
  • Social Support- friendships, being involved in a community..
  • Sleep!! 7-9 hours a night!
  • Vitamin D- getting a little bit of sunlight can do the trick. Just don't forget to wear sunscreen!
  • Moving around and being active can reduce stress and boost your mood!
  • Participation in random (and not so random) acts of kindness. Being kind to others and having a positive impact on other people can increase self-esteem and make you feel good!
  • Reducing stress, worries and negative thinking.
  • Fostering your spiritual health!!
  • Laugh! Have fun. Do things that make you smile.
If you find that you are practicing many of these things, and you are having difficulty getting a handle on your mental health or mood, then counseling might be a good option for you! Counseling is a great opportunity to talk to an objective person, who can help you sort out some of your feelings and thoughts, and who can provide some tools to help you manage and alleviate some of the stress that you are experiencing. Many people have a misconception about counseling- which is that you have to be really, really out of sorts in order to pursue it. While feeling out of sorts is a good motivation to pursue counseling, you might be surprised to find that some people who are very healthy pursue it in order to sort out different feelings, thoughts, and experiences! Just like sick and well people visit the doctor, the same goes for therapy! Maintaining your mental health is a crucial part of your overall health, and is something to consider at different stages in life! In honor of the APA's Mental Health Blogging Party, consider today how you might work to improve your mental health!

Mental Health Blog Party Badge

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Happy Wednesday!! My posts have been short and sweet lately because I've been one busy girl. I wanted to highlight Project Heal in the Wall Street Journal recently- follow this link to check it out. For those of you unfamiliar with Project Heal, learn more about this organization here and here.

For more headlines and news about eating disorders recently, check out some of these stories:
One last thing-  saw this today and thought it was worth sharing- it's a quick 2 minute video- watch and be inspired!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Odds and Ends!

Today is a very special day! Click here to find out why.

In other news, below are a few books that I have been meaning to mention here- these are all books that I recommend to clients and would encourage you to check out!

  • 8 Keys to Recovery From an Eating Disorder by Carolyn Costin and Gwen Schubert Grabb
  • Healing Your Hungry Heart by Joanna Poppink
  • Beyond the Looking Glass- Daily Devotions for Overcoming Anorexia and Bulimia- a compilation published by Remuda Ranch

Lastly, the Raleigh NEDA Walk is this Sunday, April 15th at Meredith College, at 2p! Come out and support the National Eating Disorders Association, enjoy the sunshine, and mingle and meet some new friends, all in the name of a great cause. Follow this link for last year's first ever Raleigh NEDA Walk re-cap.