Archive for January, 2010

Why It’s Time to Change Our Thinking About Weight: A Q&A with Linda Bacon

Friday, January 29th, 2010

Fat is vilified in our culture. That, unfortunately, is a fact. We think that weight loss will lead to many a splendid thing, including health and success. We think diet and lots of exercise will help us lose weight and maintain it. We’re always on the lookout for the next secret to weight loss, some pill, supplement, new workout craze, anything that’ll bring us closer to reaching our goal.


Q&A on Eating Disorder Recovery with Kendra, A Voice in Recovery, Part 2

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

I’ve already had the great opportunity to speak with many women about their recovery from eating disorders and emotional eating (you can find the interviews here). I hope to regularly feature Q&As with individuals who’ve recovered from eating disorders, binge eating, negative body image or any kind of disordered eating. If you’d like to share your story of recovery, I’d love to hear from you! You can email me at mtartakovsky@gmail.com.

In part two of my interview with eating disorder survivor and advocate Kendra Sebelius (see her fantastic Facebook page and Twitter account here), she talks about media misconceptions, why she became an advocate and specific ways families can help. You’ll also find a long list of recommended resources – and much more.


Eating Disorder Recovery: Q&A with Kendra Sebelius, A Voice in Recovery

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

I’ve already had the great opportunity to speak with several women about their recovery from eating disorders and emotional eating (you can find the interviews here). I hope to regularly feature Q&As with individuals who’ve recovered from eating disorders, binge eating, negative body image or any kind of disordered eating. If you’d like to share your story of recovery, I’d love to hear from you! You can email me at mtartakovsky@gmail.com.

I’m really excited to present this interview with Kendra Sebelius, also known as A Voice in Recovery. Kendra is a very active eating disorder advocate. She has both a fantastic Facebook page and Twitter account, where she posts relevant news, research, articles, blog posts and discussions. I think she does an amazing job. Being an eating disorder advocate is a full-time job and Kendra already has a demanding full-time job as an accountant.


A Positive Body Image, One Thought at a Time

Monday, January 25th, 2010

Every Monday features a tip, exercise, inspiring quote or other tid-bit to help boost your body image. For many of us, Mondays are tough. We may feel anxious and stressed out, anticipating an arduous week, especially if we didn’t get much rest and relaxation during the weekend. These kinds of feelings don’t create the best environment for improving one’s body image. In fact, you might be harder on yourself and easily frustrated. You might even feel like you’re walking on egg shells – with yourself! With these posts, I hope you’ll have a healthier and happier body image day, that’ll last throughout the week.

Got a tip for improving body image? Email me at mtartakovsky@gmail.com, and I’ll be happy to feature it. It can be anything you do that’s healthy and helps boost your body image. I’d love to hear from you!

All of us, at some point in our lives, have bashed our bodies. And for some of us, it’s as routine as brushing our teeth:  In the morning, as we crack open one eye and catch our reflection in the mirror,  we instantly notice how fat our arms are. We say some snide remark to ourselves about their pitiful shape. After lunch, we comment to ourselves about the thickness of our thighs. After dinner, we think about our bulging bellies. At night, we do a full body scan in the mirror and just say “Ugh” before collapsing into bed, falling asleep to a litany of negative thoughts.


Do Your Friends Dictate Your Body Image? (And 8 Tips To Help)

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

Remember when we were younger: We dressed like our friends, listened to the same music, were involved in the same activities and had many similar habits. If our friends said something about our looks, teased us about our weight or made a snide remark about our outfit, we’d take notice and those comments would likely stay with us for a long time.

Maybe we’d throw that outfit in the back of our closet, so we’d never ever wear that ugly thing again. Maybe we started paying more attention to our looks, wondering why we had to look a certain way to elicit negative comments. Maybe we became much more self-conscious.

We also might’ve adopted our friends’ habits…If your friends starting dieting, did you? If your friends wanted a greasy meal at lunch, did you want it, too? If they refused to eat dessert, did you also sign the petition? If they started some silly (read: potentially dangerous) crash diet, did you? If your friends started exercising, did you get on the treadmill, too? One study found that adolescent girls influenced each other’s unhealthy habits, including dieting and extreme weight-loss behaviors.

But is it all that different now?

Do your friends still influence how you eat and exercise and how you feel about your body?


Q&A on Eating Disorder Recovery with Dr. Bjorndal, Part 2

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

I’ve already had the great opportunity to speak with several women about their recovery from eating disorders and emotional eating (you can find the interviews here). I hope to regularly feature Q&As with individuals who’ve recovered from eating disorders, binge eating, negative body image or any kind of disordered eating. If you’d like to share your story of recovery, I’d love to hear from you! You can email me at mtartakovsky@gmail.com.

Here is part two of my interview with naturopathic doctor Christina Bjorndal about her struggles with an eating disorder. Below, she talks more about the resources that helped her recovery,  how family members can help and much more.

If you didn’t get a chance to read part one, check it out here.

8. What are some misconceptions about eating disorders, particularly how they’re portrayed in the media?

Ah, the media – best to avoid them all together!! I am not a big media fan as I believe that many magazines, in their advertising efforts, actually PROMOTE eating disorders.  Recent campaigns by Dove have been helpful at bringing reality back; however, many businesses have a LONG way to go in changing the marketing and advertising messages they have used for decades. I actually quit my job as Head of Marketing in two organizations as I felt that marketing was a creative way to “play with people’s minds.” I didn’t feel good about doing that, despite the fact that I was selling financial freedom in one company and health in another.

Interestingly enough, as I am answering these questions, there was a snippet on the radio that said “a new study shows that curvaceous figures are in favor (i.e. Beyonce or Kate Winslet ) versus the thin, wafer look (i.e. Kate Moss).”


Eating Disorder Recovery: Q&A with Dr. Christina Bjorndal

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

I’ve already had the great opportunity to speak with several women about their recovery from eating disorders and emotional eating (you can find the interviews here). I hope to regularly feature Q&As with individuals who’ve recovered from eating disorders, binge eating, negative body image or any kind of disordered eating. If you’d like to share your story of recovery, I’d love to hear from you! You can email me at mtartakovsky@gmail.com.

Today, I’m happy to feature another interview on eating disorder recovery with Dr. Christina Bjorndal, a naturopathic doctor. In Part 1 of her interview, Christina recounts her struggles with an eating disorder, depression and anxiety and lays out what has helped her recovery.

1. Please tell us a bit about yourself.

In my mid-30s I made a career change to become a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine. The reason I became a Naturopathic Doctor (ND) is simple: I was sick and tired of being tired and sick. I had a high profile job reporting to a high profile CEO in the investment management industry and had been diagnosed with several health challenges: cancer, depression, anxiety, and high blood pressure due to stress.

In addition, I was recovering from an eating disorder and an addiction to exercise given my talent as a track competitor at the National level and Ironman triathlete background. When I was 33 years old, I passed up an incredible job opportunity after asking myself one question: “If money didn’t matter, what would I be doing with my life, career-wise?” The answer came immediately to me: Become a Naturopathic Doctor and help people recover from the same illnesses you have dealt with using a balanced approach that involves more than simply suppressing symptoms with pharmaceuticals.

2. How and when did your eating disorder start? What do you think contributed to it?

My eating disorder started very innocently and I remember it distinctly. It was the spring of 1981 and I was finishing the 9th grade. My family had recently moved from Nanaimo to Richmond and I was over at a friend’s house from my new school. After eating an after-school snack of junk food and watching the …


Uncovering The Shape of Your Past

Monday, January 18th, 2010

Every Monday features a tip, exercise, inspiring quote or other tid-bit to help boost your body image. For many of us, Mondays are tough. We may feel anxious and stressed out, anticipating an arduous week, especially if we didn’t get much rest and relaxation during the weekend.

These kinds of feelings don’t create the best environment for improving one’s body image. In fact, you might be harder on yourself and easily frustrated. You might even feel like you’re walking on egg shells – with yourself! With these posts, I hope you’ll have a healthier and happier body image day, that’ll last throughout the week.

I am a combination of my mom and dad in the looks department. I have my father’s nose, his ears and his smile. I have my mom’s eyes, and, according to many people, we look like sisters, especially when I’m wearing makeup.


Friday's Food for Thought

Friday, January 15th, 2010

How many calories, carbs and fat grams does this food have?

How much do I need to work out to work it off?

I should probably be exercising more, shouldn’t I?

My arms are looking really flabby lately. Don’t get me started on my stomach.

Do I really need that jelly donut, cookie, piece of cake, pasta or slice of pizza? But it looks soooo good…

Does your brain sorta sound like the above more often than not? Many of us spend minutes or even hours a day with thoughts of food and fitness ping-ponging in our heads. Sometimes, the thoughts seem to have a life of their own, coming in and going as they please, often flooding our minds any time we catch our reflections in the mirror or the car. They may seem to be all-consuming, eating up any positive thoughts.

So here’s a simple question: If you weren’t constantly thinking about calories, diets, exercise and your weight, what would you be thinking about?

That’s what Constance Rhodes of FindingBalance asks in an excellent one-minute video. As someone who struggled with disordered eating, she realized that she wanted to dedicate her time, energy, money and resources to other pursuits. What about you? What would you dedicate your time and energy to? Try to sit with this question for a few minutes. And if you’d like, even make a list of possible thoughts.

Maybe you’d be thinking about a hilarious family memory, what fun things you’d like to do that week, a book you’d like to read, a thank-you card you’d like to send to a friend, an inner trait you’d like to work on, a gift to get for your mom. Maybe you’d be thinking about absolutely nothing, enjoying the silence and relaxation of your mind…your list of potential thoughts may be endless and probably more satisfying.

The next time food and fitness thoughts bombard your brain, take out that list and remember that there are other more interesting, challenging, enjoyable and even fun things you can be thinking about.

Guest post!

By the way, please check out my guest post on the validity of using the Body Mass Index (BMI) over at …


When Your Self-Worth is Wrapped Around Your Weight (and 7 Ways to Unwrap It)

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

Does how you look make you feel unworthy of love, satisfying relationships, a good job or true happiness?

Most of us can list at least five things that would change for the “better” if we were trim and toned. For instance:

  1. I’d be happier
  2. I’d be prettier
  3. I’d be popular
  4. I’d be more confident
  5. I’d finally like myself

For most of my life, I wanted to look different, and that different included being thin. Even when I got there my sophomore year of college, I was so afraid of losing my almost stick-thin status that I restricted and then overate and tried to exercise not for health’s sake but because I wanted to shed more pounds. I’d wake up to a pitch-black morning, drag myself out of my warm bed, and run from my apartment to the one-room gym a few minutes away. I was miserable. And, not surprisingly, that lasted all of one week.

Yet, I was terrified of gaining weight, because that meant that I’d be back to wishing that I looked different and I’d be less attractive, less desirable and all the happiness I supposedly gained would go away. I had created a slew of positive assumptions about being thin, similar to the above. And I’d lose all that, I thought, as the pounds returned.

You see my physical appearance ruled how I felt about myself as a person, how confident I was and what I believed I deserved in relationships, among other things. My self-worth and my silhouette had become intertwined. And that self-worth was oh-so fickle, and my self-confidence conditional, based on others’ compliments and whether an attractive, thinner girl walked through the door.

Being thin meant I was happy with myself and my self-worth was A-OK for the most part. Gaining weight meant I was a failure and accomplishments like great grades were only briefly acknowledged. I’d feel proud but it did’t do much for creating a stable and positive self-worth. More accurately, my self-worth would easily bend and fold to the wind and shake like a leaf.

Does your’s shake violently with the changing tide of your weight? Does it shudder slightly as you step off the scale, hear a …


Weightless


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  • Alexis Cherelle: I understand that Claire. When I first started trying to get more rest I would set my alarm for 15...
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