Veteran healthcare executive Doug Foote joined The Emily Program in early May as our Chief Operating Officer. In this newly created leadership role, Doug has direct accountability for business operations, information technology, and change management.
At The Emily Program, we believe that people of all shapes and sizes deserve respect, and that everyone has the right to inhabit a body that is comfortable and healthy for them, regardless of cultural expectations. While we recognize that the body positivity movement has flaws, including an underrepresentation of diverse voices, we firmly believe that we should honor and appreciate how our bodies help us move through the world.
A recent survey found that 1/3 of all US adults reported being on a diet or following a specific eating pattern in the past year. The most frequently mentioned diets were intermittent fasting, restricting carbohydrate intake, paleo, low-carbohydrate, Whole30, high-protein and ketogenic/high-fat diets.
Summer SAD: A lesser-known condition
Most of us understand what it’s like to get the winter blues, where the only thing we want to do is cuddle up and watch Netflix for hours on end. However, for some of us, these blues are serious enough to be classified as a condition called Seasonal Affective Disorder, commonly referred to as SAD. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, SAD is a type of depression that’s directly related to the change of seasons and affects people at the same time every year. Symptoms may include: depression, loss of interest, low energy, sleep disturbances, changes in appetite or weight, negative thoughts, and/or thoughts of suicide (if you are having suicidal thoughts or ideations, talk to your therapist or call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-274-8255. Chat is available here for those who are deaf or hard of hearing). While most people think SAD only appears in the winter, summer SAD is surprisingly common and starts in late spring and lasts until early fall. The most common symptoms of summer SAD are insomnia, poor appetite, weight loss, and anxiety (Mayo Clinic, 2017).
This is one person's story; everyone will have unique experiences on their own path to recovery and beyond. Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors or symptom use. Please use your own discretion. And speak with your therapist when needed.
Lisa Whalen, a former Emily Program client, has a Ph.D. in postsecondary and adult education, and an M.A. in creative and critical writing. She teaches writing and literature at North Hennepin Community College in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. Her essays have been featured in An Introvert in an Extrovert World, WorkingUSA: The Journal of Labor and Society, and MotherShould? Whalen is working on publishing her memoir, Taking the Reins. In the meantime, she is a regular contributor to The Feisty Writer and maintains a blog called Writing Unbridled.
“Who’s your best friend?” my Emily Program therapist asked.
I paused mid-story, blinked, and stared at her with what I’m sure was a baffled expression.
The answer was a no-brainer, but I couldn’t imagine why she’d interrupted me (something she never did) to ask a question that had nothing to do with our current topic: a mistake I’d made at work.
“My sister, Julie.” I replied. “Why?”
Her response sparked an insight crucial to my eating disorder recovery: “What would you say to Julie if she’d made your mistake?”