Archive for December, 2019

Out with the Old: Revolutionizing Resolutions

City scene with fireworks at night

Lose weight. Exercise more. Eat “healthy.”

These resolutions seem as synonymous with the New Year as the midnight ball drop and fireworks display. Amid popping corks and clinking glasses, we hear the same tired promises each turn of the calendar year, as if they’re verses in “Auld Lang Syne” themselves.

As New Year’s marks the passage of time, so too it shows our sociocultural pressures and values. In the most popular resolutions, we see society’s expectations—the “goods” and goals worth pursuing in the name of personal betterment.

In a culture preoccupied with weight and food, it is no surprise that New Year’s resolutions frequently reflect these obsessions. Striving to lose weight—arguably the most popular resolution each year—is to affirm our cultural fixation on thinness and view of weight loss as a universal good. And while exercise and eating patterns can indeed influence health, many resolve to make these changes with the primary or sole goal of losing weight. Weight is mistaken as a proxy for health.

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Running Free Now: Living Authentically in Eating Disorder Recovery

Emily Sigrist, Photo by Kendra K Photo / kenrdakphoto.com.

Photo by Kendra K Photo / kenrdakphoto.com

**Content warning: Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors, and symptoms. Please use your discretion when reading and speak with your support system as needed.

Emily Sigrist is a graduate student in Seattle, Washington, pursuing her Master’s in Counseling Psychology. She is a psychotherapist in training focusing her work on the need for an interdisciplinary approach to understanding, healing, and preventing eating disorders. She hosts a podcast called “Get Together,” writes music with her partner, and shares words on emilykei.com and on Instagram @emily.sigrist.

When I was in middle school, I started running, and then, I couldn’t stop. What began as my first exercise routine quickly turned into an eating disorder that would follow me for nearly a decade.

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Coping with Triggers in Eating Disorder Recovery

A woman reading a book

To those in eating disorder recovery, it can often feel like triggers are all around. It seems they can’t be escaped and they can’t be ignored—they come, unasked and unannounced, in the sounds and sights of everyday life.

You overhear one in the mall dressing room: “You look great – have you lost weight?” You see another on your coworker’s plate, a conspicuously small serving of the company lunch. You find yet another on your favorite restaurant menu, calorie counts in bold black font on every page.

For many, triggers are even louder and more glaring during the holidays. They may come in the form of a family get-together, where a difficult relative sidles up alongside you, or a fear food is passed around the dinner table. They may come when Grandma prepares your favorite dish differently this year, or your schedule is thrown off by holiday travel. Triggers can turn the most “wonderful” time of the year into the most overwhelming.

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How to Recognize Eating Disorders in Your Patients Over the Holidays

A doctor's desk with a laptop, notebooks, and stethoscope

The busy season is here.

In holiday calendars full of shopping, baking, decorating, and wrapping, many people are also squeezing in routine check-ups and impromptu visits to the doctor. Clinic lobbies and waiting rooms are hosting college students home on winter break, workers using holiday PTO, and insurance holders maximizing healthcare benefits before the year’s end.

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Empowering Music for Eating Disorder Recovery

Woman listening to headphones in the sun

Music has long been recognized as a tool for healing.

Well before Spotify playlists of empowering recovery songs and Pinterest boards of inspiring lyric tattoos, music was celebrated as curative in mythology, religion, and philosophy. Apollo, the Greek god of both music and medicine, used his songs to heal and prevent disease. In the Old Testament, David played his harp to soothe Saul, and in Aristotle’s writings, music was hailed as emotionally cathartic and healing.

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What is Intermittent Fasting?

Hand wearing watch and holding mug

Intermittent fasting is having its moment.

Silicon Valley executives have considered it a type of biohacking, a productivity hack that may optimize human performance. Today hosts Jenna Bush Hager and Hoda Kotb have publicly committed to a month-long trial of it. And for many people admonishing themselves for the holiday cookies and candy they’re enjoying this season, it’s sure to be a 2020 New Year’s resolution.

Yet, despite the many entertainment news segments, celebrities, and water-cooler chats about intermittent fasting, there remains much to learn about the increasingly popular “health” trend.

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