A Path to Body Neutrality

It is freaking hard to like our bodies. We see so many images of people with “beautiful” bodies and body parts. We see so many advertisements for how to change our body to look more like their bodies. Our mothers and friends, who look like us, say mean things about their bodies. We are told, directly and indirectly, that our bodies are not acceptable, sexy, or loveable as they are. And we believe it. It’s hard not to, with the onslaught of Body Negativity that bombards us on an hourly basis from peers and media. Body Negativity teaches us that

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Getting Comfortable with Discomfort

 “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.” -Flip Rodriguez, American Ninja Warrior Somehow, we have gotten a very dangerous idea in our heads. We, as a society, believe that discomfort and pain are a problem. We see them as an indication that there has been a mistake, that something must have gone wrong. Possibly that we are “wrong.” The aftermath of this kind of thinking is more discomfort and pain. We all know, theoretically, that life has its ups and downs. We all know that life can’t always be smooth sailing, can’t always be butterflies and rainbows. You know that, right? Of

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The COVID Rollercoaster

When I first got on this ride, I had no idea how long it would last or how many twists and turns there would be. I am so glad that I was clueless. If someone had told me in March that my kids would not return to in-person school for over a year, I very well might have spontaneously combusted. I am not a roll-with-the-punches kind of gal. It was helpful that they first said it would be two weeks before the kids returned to school (I laugh now at how unmanageable that felt). Then it was a month, then

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The COVID Marathon

It’s the beginning of Week 5 for most of us.* Most of us started hitting our wall last week. I heard it from patient after patient last week, and still into this week: It is feeling so much harder. Here’s how it’s gone so far: Week 1: Lots of confusion about the virus; concern for what is happening and what may happen; lots of pictures of new “home offices” and cute “office mates” (i.e., pets and kids) on social media; and countless memes about social distancing. Weeks 2-3: Increased confusion; increased concern for our own health, for the health of

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Perfectionists and Perspective Shifts

“Someone once asked me, ‘Why do you always insist on taking the hard road?’ I replied, ‘Why do you assume I see two roads?’” – Author Unknown Perfectionists will identify with this quote. We often see only one road. On this road, there is one valid way to move through the world – perfectly. Anything less is failure and is therefore unacceptable. Period. For those of us who travel this road, it can be challenging – to say the least – to shift perspectives. But if we don’t, we are stuck in a worldview that promotes feelings of failure, shame,

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Intentional Holidays: How to Build a Connected Intention

[This is from a talk I gave earlier this week for Eating Disorders Round Table, so it is longer than my usual articles.] I have two issues with New Year’s resolutions: the first is that it has become tradition for New Year’s resolutions to be about being “healthier” in some respect. And being “healthier” is usually code for “losing weight.” This is a time of year when people become even more focused on their bodies as problematic and in need of alteration. This focus is harmful in and of itself, and it generally sets people up to look for a

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Surviving Thanksgiving

For people who have a difficult relationship with food and/or their bodies, Thanksgiving can be a miserable nightmare of a holiday. It is a day completely centered around food and eating. For many people, these are pleasant or even pleasurable topics. However, for anyone dealing with disordered eating, these topics range from very uncomfortable to terrifying. Thoughts about food and weight are always front and center for a person with disordered eating. But in a very private way. For them, food and weight must be closely monitored and controlled or “the worst” could happen. Given these very high stakes, their

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An Overview: Life in Four Easy Steps

My blog is intended to be a bit of a How-To in living a meaningful and easier life. It addresses topics such as managing painful thoughts and emotions, increasing self-acceptance, and living with more intention. This article is an overview, compiled into four easy (you know, like “taking-home-Olympic-gold easy”) steps. If you’d like the more in-depth how-to’s, I invite you to look through my other articles. Step 1: Identify what really matters to you Get clear about what is important to you. What lights you up? What is worth fighting for? What is worth making peace with? What is worth

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Strategies for Intentional Days: The Mason Jar Challenge

Imagine a mason jar. The jar represents your day today. Next to it are a pile of big rocks, a pile of pebbles, and a pile of sand. The rocks represent the most important bits of your day, the pebbles are the medium important bits, and sand is the smaller, daily bits that generally get accomplished (e.g., brushing your teeth, cleaning up after dinner, scrolling through social media). The rocks, pebbles, and sand are whatever you decide to focus on or put effort into – they could be things like today’s work tasks, spending time with your partner, or cleaning

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