The desire to lose weight is actually pretty normal due to the fact that we all live in a very weight focused and fatphobic society. The pressure to make our bodies look a certain way seems to have become our main purpose as humans. We are not born believing there is something wrong with our bodies, but overtime are conditioned to think that way. Certain industries capitalize on these beliefs. We latch onto superficial cultural goals- like having a “good body”- to feel as though we have achieved something important. If we fail to achieve this ideal it tends to become more of a personal failure rather than a fault of the damaging message itself. These industries and messages promise us that once the “ideal body” is reached, that “everything will be better”.
Eating Disorders- about the food or not about the food?
Eating disorders are both about the food and not about the food.
Exercise can be a difficult thing to navigate during eating disorder recovery. I often find that clients struggle to differentiate between whether they are truly exercising for enjoyment or if they are exercising with eating disorder motives. There are a few ways to first identify if you have a dysfunctional relationship with exercise, and several steps to take in order to find balance and make peace with it once more.
Eating disorder recovery coaches assist clients in reaching their treatment goals in real life situations by providing ongoing support, challenges, and serving as both a role model and a guide. Coaching is an important aspect of treatment by accompanying clients in everyday situations as well as providing exposure and response prevention. Coaches are trained in how to best support a client in making day-to-day behavior changes necessary for recovery.
One of my favorite things to tell my therapy clients is this: starting to date individuals who are healthy for you is kind of like getting used to adding more vegetables to your diet. At first, it may seem a little bit boring. After all, you are used to eating “fast food”; it’s addictive, tasty, quick, and convenient. Fast food is much like relationships where there is a high amount of chemistry. However, just in the way that we know fast food is not good for us, we also know that those addictive relationships are not good for us either. Why is it that some of us are most attracted to those chaotic, “fast food” relationships, while others seem to have no problem loving “vegetables”?
In yoga there is this concept of full range of motion. It is why we push ourselves to be able to reach certain poses and lean in a little bit further. Many people never get to their full range of bodily motion because it takes years of dedicated practice, and the willingness to be constantly be leaning into your physical pain. Not to mention attending trainings and buying the equipment needed can be costly—ouch! However, with dedication, consistency, willingness to learn, and maybe spend a little, people can get close—if not completely—reach their full range of motion. Little by little, if you stick with your daily practice, you will begin to notice more ease in your daily movements. This is a place I have gotten to with yoga before; however, many barriers came up along the way, and eventually I lost the dedication and inspiration. Needless to say, I am back to having back pain and general discomfort as I move about.
The worldwide pandemic itself is certainly reason enough to fire up our internal alarm bells, and certainly can and should motivate
taking reasonable actions to protect ourselves, our loved ones, neighbors, friends, and even strangers (friends we have not yet met). Continue Reading
Many couples who come to see me for marital counseling say “we can’t communicate”, or “we argue about everything.” In fact, it’s not unusual for them to say both! Whether it’s what to do on the weekend, who does what chores, or how one partner looks at someone of the opposite sex, conflicts seem to spring up all over the place, never resolved. While conflict is normal in marriages, it can also lead to much pain if not handled in a healthy way.
Do you want to participate in New Years’ Eve parties and family gatherings during the holidays, but the thought of being yourself around other people stresses you out? Do you clam up or feel unsure of what to say during social situations? Do your negative thoughts about yourself and how you are perceived run wild? Or–perhaps this is a familiar scenario: you go to family gatherings and friend get-togethers, but feel as if you have to put on a false front in order to fit in. At the end of the day, you are exhausted and you don’t feel any more connected to the people you just spent time with. You feel as if you are on the outside looking in. Everyone else but you seems to connect. For those of us who struggle in the social realm, the holidays have a way of highlighting this perceived deficiency. In fact, social anxiety is the highest diagnosed form of anxiety disorders, so there are probably many of us walking around feeling socially defective at this time of year.
Thankfully, the dawning of the new year can also spark hope. At this time of year, we are driven to reflect on our past and make resolutions for a better future. Perhaps you have not been as involved as you have wanted to be in your social life. Or perhaps you have not wanted to be involved socially, but something in your life seems to be amiss. If you are looking for a New Years’ Resolution, here are the top 5 ways to tackle social exclusion and anxiety in 2020:
Simply put, “schemas” can be referred to as “life traps”. Life traps are self-defeating patterns of thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that keep us stuck. Do we all have life traps? Yes, and here is why: none of us get out of childhood unscathed. Try as they may have, none of our parents ever peaked at perfection. We have all experienced trauma in our lives, believe it or not. Whether that be “trauma” with a lowercase “t”, “Trauma” with a capital “T”, or all caps “TRAUMA”, we have all had our needs neglected at some point or another, or terrible things have happened to us in varying degrees. The bottom line is, life traps are unfortunately easy to develop.