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.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Happy Wednesday, y'all. It's difficult to believe that this is the last week in March! I've taken a bit of a hiatus since my last post, but have a few articles I wanted to link to real quick. Today I have a blog post featured on Know Your Value, the official blog of Wonderfully Made, which is a Christian organization that is "dedicated to helping today's modern young women discover, strengthen, and reclaim their true value and worth." I just love that. The post is entitled Discerning True Beauty, and you can check it out here.  

Also, is doing a series on perceptions of beauty, and the articles have been pretty thought provoking. You can check them out below.

Facebook: The Encyclopedia of Beauty

Fat is the New Ugly on the Playground

Beholding Beauty: How It's Been Studied

Dieting Companies Targeting Men

One last link for today! I mentioned last month that Ellen Morrison and I had a chance to visit a local radio station during National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, and I wanted to link to the podcast if you are interested in our conversation on body image! I was a little nervous, so ignore the awkward laughter that pops up. :-) You can listen here.

Hope everyone is having a great week!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

I have something fun to share today! A few years ago, I met Cristina Roman when I was living next door to her sister, Sara. Recently, we have connected through a group that Cristina organized for Raleigh bloggers. It's been a fun way to connect with other local bloggers, and we've done some cool things!- more on that in another post! Anyways- Cristina is a really neat girl. She is co-owner of a local business (she and Sara launched The Raleigh Forum), a recruiter for Living Social, and overall great person. Her blog, Scintillating Simplicity, is a fun one- you should check it out! She posts recipes, random tips, fun stories, and is passionate about volunteering and social enterprise. She recently came up with an idea to feature local bloggers, and you can read her interview with me here

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Emperor's New Clothes and Body Image

If you are a woman (or a man!) that lives in America, you probably think about your body and what it looks like. It's pretty difficult not to when you your everyday tasks encourage it- for example, you go grocery shopping and see magazine covers that boast about quick fix weight loss solutions, or how to snag that killer bikini body in three simple steps. Or maybe you just watch TV and pick up on the relatively homogenous body types represented. Or maybe you interact with people at home, or work, that say things like, "Ohhh man my thighs", "I was so bad today", "Did you see so-and-so? She looks so thin!" This is known as 'fat talk.'  I have numerous conversations a day about body image, the media, 'fat talk'-- and I spend a lot of time trying to help people challenge the negative beliefs that they have about themselves and their bodies. Changing our body beliefs is not an easy task- we are bombarded by soo many messages each day, both explicit and implicit, about how we should look. It is difficult not to absorb and internalize these messages.  

I was recently reading about a study (in this book that I often use with clients) that was conducted back in 1980 that has some pretty interesting implications about the power of perception and the thoughts that we have about ourselves, especially as it relates to body image. Psychologists at Dartmouth University (Kleck and Strenta 1980) had make-up artists create facial scars on a group of participants before they were to spend time talking with a stranger. Said stranger, unbeknownst to the group of participants, had been specifically trained by the research team on how to respond neutrally to each participant. Also unbeknownst to the participants? The make-up artists had actually removed the scars before the group members talked with this stranger. After the conversations, the researchers asked the participants about their experiences and how the stranger had interacted with each of them. 

"Compared to the control group, who had not been given a 'scar,' the participants who believed they had the facial scar 'witnessed' more discomfort in the stranger's behavior- such as staring at them or avoiding looking at them at all. They reported experiencing the self-conscious and adverse effects of their facial 'flaw' even though no flaw existed. Obviously, since there was no actual scar, these people created their own reality. Their experiences reflected what they believed about their looks, not the objective facts of the situation. This fascinating experiment demonstrates a profoundly important truth: The most influential dictators of negative body image emotions are your own ways of judging and thinking about your looks."

This kind of reminds me of the Emperor's New Clothes!!- minus the vain emperor part. This idea that our own judgments and thoughts about ourselves, our bodies, etc. predict our experience is important! Why? Our beliefs and judgments typically impact our emotions and likewise, our actions. The beliefs we hold are crucial in how we experience the world, and play a major role in our confidence, our relationships, and our health! When we have negative thoughts and beliefs about ourselves, we perceive the world in ways that reinforce our beliefs. Why not try replacing your negative thoughts with some positive ones today? Our thoughts don't simply change over night-- our thoughts are automatic, but when we regularly practice replacing negative thoughts with positive ones, this becomes a habit. When it comes to having a healthy body image, the ways that we think about ourselves is key. Consider practicing positive thinking!

Monday, March 12, 2012

This weekend, I noticed an interesting article on about how women in the media are portrayed- lots of conversation about beauty ideals included. It's a lengthy article but has some interesting things to say. You can check it out here

Hope everyone is having a great Monday!! 

Monday, March 5, 2012

International Women's Day

This Thursday, March 8, is International Women's Day! I have posted about this before (here) because I think this is a special day. In fact, 32 countries all over the world celebrate International Women's Day as a national holiday! (It is also known as The UN Day for Women's Rights and International Peace.)

Someone sponsoring this event reached out to me to let me know about this celebration, and I wanted to be sure to pass it on. The event is from 2p-6p, this Thursday downtown, and the details are below! Be sure to check it out! It sounds like there will be things to see, things to do, and refreshments. You will likely meet some new people, gain some new ideas, learn about opportunities for women, and even become involved in projects, if you choose!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

This week, one of my friends posted a link to an article on her Facebook page that I really wanted to share. I was just mentioning in my last post how difficult it can be to report on eating disorders or share recovery stories without triggering others, or providing 'how-to's' and new ideas for people to engage in eating disordered behaviors. This particular article was written by a Duke student who struggled with an eating disorder- and she does such an amazing job of sharing her recovery journey in such a sensitive way. You can read it here. It is also posted below for your convenience.  

If you or someone that you know is struggling with an eating disorder, consider seeking help. It might feel like a scary step, but like this student shares below, keeping your eating disorder a secret will not help you heal. For more information on eating disorders, you can check out the National Eating Disorders Awareness website (here), or to find eating disorder professionals in your area, you can check out this link.

A Duke Student Shares Her Story – National Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2012

So I’m your typical premed student right? I follow doctors around, do research, volunteer at my favorite nonprofit weekly, have taken 10 times the required NS courses, and watch House religiously.
Well, wrong. I have life experience that you won’t find on any resume- I recently overcame an eating disorder.
It began for me in 10th grade, for reasons I can’t explain. I started taking a higher interest in how my body looked and began to experiment with how I could change it. My mom also noticed this and would bring it up when we were alone, but of course I told her she was just overanalyzing things as usual. I just wanted a “beach body” in time for summer, like the magazines promised, that was all. In my head, I told myself, once you look toned, you can stop. Just for bikini season…Bikini season lasted much longer than I had planned.
Teachers and coaches commented that I was looking thinner than usual- but that wasn’t saying much. My teacher’s own daughter was on the heavier side and my coach wanted me to move into the post position, so I thought they were just biased. I ignored them… Then, that summer I hit my lowest weight since 6th grade.
Sure, I noticed that I would get tired quickly in basketball games, but just attributed it to the summer heat. And that’s how it went for another year- if someone commented on my weight; I would just brush it off.  After a car accident, I gained a lot of it back and became very unhappy. My mom took a big interest in what I ate, and started to make me sit down with the family for dinner since I could no longer go to practice. It’s funny how if you told me to do one thing, I would do the opposite. I had to get in shape!! I was going to college in a matter of months- and you know, freshman gain a whole bunch of weight. The harder she pushed, the harder I pushed back. And that brings me to Duke.
I’ve never been one to care what other people think. It was all about what I thought of myself really, and that was my biggest problem. For me it was never about a number or a size, it was some idea in my head that I just had to keep pushing towards. You could say that’s what got me into Duke in the first place- I always did what I set out to do. Now that I lived in the same room as another person, got even better at hiding my secret- so good I had even convinced myself that nothing was wrong…I probably would never have stopped, but I dove right into rock bottom. One day I found myself hiding in the last bathroom stall with a lap full of junk-food, hating myself and my habit. That was the day that I decided there was, indeed, something very wrong and I needed help.
It wasn’t just what food I ate, it was how rarely I would eat in public, how much time I put into working out, how much I had to lie to keep my secret. I was isolating myself, while still being surrounded by people. I began to see a psychologist, nutritionist, and physician to help address every aspect of my disorder- how I felt about myself and food, and what had done to my body. After building these connections for almost 4 years, it was hard to just let them go. It’s like any abusive relationship- despite the tears and pain, this is what I had grown close to. But I knew if I wanted to have a true relationship with someone, if I wanted to have faith in myself, if I wanted to serve others, if I wanted to live out my life, I had to stop.
It took a lot of courage and pep talks in my head before I could my friends, but what came next was shocking. After telling my story, I heard a string of quiet “me too’s”. Some of my best memories are at Duke, but so are some of my worst ones. My biggest mistake was thinking that I was alone. I was never alone in my struggles; my friends gave me strength without even trying, and some even carried the same battle with them. Everyone knows somebody like me. And if you don’t think you do, you probably just aren’t paying close enough attention. If you are that somebody, please, please don’t ever feel like you are alone. Talk to your friends, talk to CAPS, talk to anyone. But believe me, keeping it a secret will not help you heal. What defines us is how we rise after falling.
I no longer check out my belly in the mirror every time I walk out of a bathroom.
I no longer do math in my head to figure out what I can and cannot eat.
I no longer see pictures of other women and think “I wish I looked like that”
I no longer feel guilty about specific foods, nor do I battle with cravings.
I have forgiven myself and have healed mind and body. I was only able to do this because I finally admitted that I had a problem and asked for help.

Something that has stuck with me is the ability to pick up mannerisms and attitudes like my own. Duke is no stranger to eating disorders and something needs to be done about it. Don’t be afraid to raise your hand and say, “me too”.

Monday, February 27, 2012

In honor of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, I wanted to draw your attention to just some of the articles that might be helpful to you this week in raising awareness for yourself, or for others! I always encourage people when trying to educate or raise awareness that they be mindful of potentially triggering information out there- articles that outline eating disorder behaviors in very specific detail, height and weight info, etc. can be especially triggering to people. These articles below are void of such details.

One helpful hint: Using social media to create awareness is a great (and easy!) way to spread the word about eating disorders this week- whether you use facebook, twitter, etc. Consider how you might influence people in your social networks!

You can click on the items below to be taken to the website or article...

5 Ways to Honor National Eating Disorder Association Week by Dr. Susan Albers

Eating Disorders Awareness Week (an article published 2 years ago- very good!)

NEDAwareness- Information about the Week, FAQ, etc.

National Eating Disorders Awareness Week: How Empathy Plays a Part in the Healing Process for Those with Eating Disorders by Judy Scheel

Support for your Partner During National Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2012 by Kate Thieda

Saturday, February 25, 2012

National Eating Disorder Awareness Week!!!

Tomorrow- Sunday, February 26th- marks the beginning of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. On Sunday morning, at 730am, G105, 93.9 KISS FM and 100.7 The River will all be broadcasting a segment on body image that Ellen Morrison (a dietician and eating disorder specialist) and I recorded a few weeks back. It will also be airing at 6p Sunday evening on 106.1. Once it airs, I will try to post a link to the segment. In addition, there are events going on locally if you are interested in being involved. All events will be held at Meredith College, and are free and open to the public. See below for details! If you are interested in attending an event in your neighborhood, check out this link to find events near you!

This year's theme is "Everybody Knows Somebody." I think this communicates the growing awareness that eating disorders touch the lives of everyone on some level. To learn more, consider attending an event in your area, or follow this link for more resources to learn more about eating disorders.

Tuesday, February 28th: "There is No Such Thing as Fattening Food: Debunking Dieting Myths" by Ellen Morrison, MS, RD, CEDS. 7p in Kresge Auditorium in Cate Center

Wednesday, February 29th: Body Image Discussion by Renee Avis, LPC, 6p in Ledford Hall, Room 101

Thursday, March 1st: Scale Smashing Event- bring your own scale! 3:30-5p on the back lawn of the Gaddy-Hammrick Art Center.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Rainy Day Reading

I hope everyone is having a great week!! It's a rainy Thursday, and I'm plugging away, catching up on work and preparing for the rest of my clients that I will be seeing this afternoon and evening. I thought I would pop in real quick to share some articles that I have read recently that may be of interest. Most of them (with the exception of two!) have been published on the Huffington Post in the last few weeks. Hope you enjoy them!! Have a great day!

The Eating Disorder Time Suck

Children Dieting at Age 7 to Ward Off Bullies

Karl Lagerfield Calls Adele Fat and Insults Us All

Plus Size Magazine 'Reveals' Low Weight Among Models

Health Risks Due to Performance Pressures on Athletes

Like Mother, Like Daughter: Eating Disorders Run in Families

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Geneen Roth has written many books on women and food- Feeding the Hungry HeartWhen Food is Love, Breaking Free From Emotional Eating, When You Eat at the Refrigerator Pull Up A Chair, Women, Food and God, etc. Roth writes about her personal experiences with dieting, weight loss and weight gain (both healthy and unhealthy), self-love and acceptance, gaining confidence, and feeling beautiful. No matter how you might characterize your relationship with food- restrictive, binging and/or purging, some combination of the three- there are helpful pieces of wisdom in her books for everyone. 

Roth does a great job of promoting healthy body image, especially in light of our culture's unrealistic beauty ideals. Recently, I had the opportunity to speak to parents of young girls about promoting positive body image in their daughters. One of the key points that I made was that in order to foster positive body image in girls, you must model a positive, healthy body image yourself. Whether you have daughters or not, you probably have a sister, a friend, a cousin, etc. who is female- so this applies to all of us. :) It is important that as women, we work to encourage and model healthy self-esteem and body image for ourselves, but also for the women in our lives. That is one challenging task these days. I want to share a few lines from Roth's book Breaking Free From Emotional Eating that addresses this subject-

"Living in a woman's body is not easy. Especially if you happen to look like a woman and not like an adolescent boy. We've spent years trying to slice away what makes our bodies womanly: the roundness, the lushness, and we've sliced our spirits instead. We've listened for so long to what they- our parents, our fashion moguls, our Hollywood directors- decide is attractive that we've lost our own voices. We don't know who we are anymore.

Power is born when we stop trying to unzip ourselves out of our bodies, when we stop trying to lose so much weight we look like boys or gain so much weight we can't be seen. Power is born with the willingness to be seen."

That last line is particularly powerful, and may hold a clue to body image struggles that we all experience at one time or another-- and for some, are more chronic and pervasive. Being seen and using our voices are both directly tied to our view of ourselves and our worth. Examining our worth as people, knowing where our true value comes from and claiming that can be powerful in having a healthy and appropriate view of ourselves. For more on emotional eating and body image, check out Geneen Roth's books.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Butterfly Circus

Happy Groundhog's Day! For whatever reason, I'm a big fan of Groundhog's Day. I think it's such a funny, silly tradition for a groundhog to determine how many more weeks of Winter we have. And who can forget this classic??

So, my friend Ryan sent me a video the other day that I was really moved by. It is a short film that won Clint Eastwood's Filmmaker Award in 2010 and has won many other independent film awards along the way. The video (below) called the Butterfly Circus is set in the Depression era and displays the beauty that can blossom when someone learns to believe in himself. The message of restored hope is powerful in this film. The main character, Will, has no arms and no legs; it is touching to watch the transformation that takes place in his life as a result of someone believing in him. I love watching the progression of change that occurs as he learns to value himself and see the beauty that he possesses. I think everyone should watch this!!!

In real life, Will is played by Nick Vujicic, who started an organization called Life Without Limbs after struggling as a youngster as a result of being born without arms or legs. I heard him speak a few years ago in Arizona and was completely amazed by his testimony. And I have to be honest- I was really impressed with his acting abilities in this movie. I would really encourage you to watch it- it is 20 minutes, and you might want to grab some kleenex... you just might shed some happy tears.

My favorite line in this film: "The greater the struggle, the more glorious the triumph." This is so true. No matter how tough the challenge before you, have faith- there is hope! 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Weight and Social Identity

Psychology Today blogger, Dr. Pattie Thomas, wrote a very interesting article a few weeks ago that I wanted to be sure to mention. She examines the social identity of weight, in light of new research, and does so by conducting an interview with Dr. Mary Beth Asbury, a professor of Organizational Communication at Middle Tennessee State University who has been studying this! You can check out the original post here.
My favorite part of this article doesn't have as much to do with the central subject matter (even though its great) as it does with some suggestions that Dr. Asbury gives about 'fat talk.' See below.  

DR. THOMAS: If you were to give suggestions to people about how to speak of bodies, what would you suggest?
DR. ASBURY: Everything can be summed up in one sentence: "Be nice to everyone at all times." But, more specifically, do not talk about weight or food. You should not label foods as "good" or "bad," nor should you label weights as "good" or "bad." The more emphasis we put on weight and food, the more likely we are to build up the importance of these items in our lives. This leads to us seeing food and weight as "battles" that we feel we can never overcome.

I think Dr. Asbury has it right. I like her summary: "be nice to everyone at all times!" While it is unrealistic to think that we would never talk about food, I think that there are better ways to talk about it than others. Trying not to be judgmental about food, and not making it a focus really helps food and weight not become more important than they are. Someone once told me that food should be neutral- like a toothbrush. A toothbrush isn't good or bad, it just is. Same with food! Of course its not that simple or easy in a culture saturated with messages about weight as connected to beauty and self-worth. [Or if you struggle with an eating disorder.] But as Dr. Asbury said, when we don't place as much importance on food, we limit its capacity to become a battle. 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Much to the chagrin of most people I know, I have not jumped on the Pinterest bandwagon (yet). I keep hearing 1) how great it is, and 2) that it is a major time suck. Soo, I'm trying to avoid it for now- with one mini exception. I have been a little under the weather today, so I've spent the majority of my day/night sidelined; and among catching up on other things (Friday Night Lights marathon and lots of Words with Friends included), I perused through some of the inspirational quotes on Pinterest. Apparently you can see some of the images just by doing a google search without actually joining ;).

Anyways- I thought these particular quotes below were particularly encouraging for one reason or another- and I hope you do too! Hope everyone is having a great weekend!


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Happy 2012 :)

Hi friends. Happy New Year!! I have been a little MIA lately on my little blog! I will get back to more regular blogging soon- I have been juggling a lot so far in 2012- and am very excited about this year! In the meantime, I thought I would post a few links to some recent articles that might be of interest! The third article below is a great one for this time of year!! Happy reading :)

The Truth Behind Common Eating Disorder Myths by Kenneth L. Weiner 

New National Report Looks at Disparity Between Sizes of Models and Real Women 

The Fat on Dieting in the New Year by Jane Shure

COLORed Folks-- Share Your Shame, Fight the Stigma

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

National Human Trafficking Awareness Day

Not too long ago, I read a book that impacted me more than any book I've read in a really long time- in fact, maybe ever (with just a few exceptions). Rachel Lloyd's Girls Like Us is a book that explores the commercial sexual exploitation of young girls and teenagers domestically. While I have read about and learned about the trafficking that happens abroad, I had no idea how prevalent it was in the US. This book really opened my eyes, broke my heart, and made it clear to me that we have a responsibility to do something, no matter how big or small.

If you are interested, I have attached a preview of her book below so that you can check it out yourself.

Browse Inside this book
Get this for your site

In honor of today being National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, I would encourage you to engage with this issue in some way.

Here are a few ideas:
  • Pick up a copy of one of the following books (or find one on that interests you- there are many!) and start reading-
    • Girls Like Us by Rachel Lloyd
    • Not For Sale: The Return of the Global Slave Trade--and How We Can Fight it by David Batstone
    • God in a Brothel: An Undercover Journey into Sex Trafficking and Rescue by Daniel Walker
  • Consider raising or donating funds to an organization that works to rescue people from slavery- International Justice Mission, Not for Sale, World Relief, GEMS (Girls Educational and Mentoring Services)... to name a few.
  • Watch the documentary Very Young Girls, which documents the buying and selling of young girls. I have not seen this, but can only imagine how powerful and tough it would be to watch.
  • If you live locally in Raleigh or the surrounding areas, you can sign up to attend a workshop to learn more about the trafficking industry- with the Salvation Army of Wake County on January 20th &21st. For more information, follow this link.
  • Another local opportunity happening March 24- World Relief Stop Human Trafficking Walk/Run. This will be happening in Durham- for more info, follow this link (scroll down and you'll see it!).