Archives for September, 2010
Here's part two of my interview with psychologist Michelle Cororve Fingeret, Ph.D, an assistant professor at the Department of Behavioral Science at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Michelle helps cancer patients improve their body image at the Body Image Therapy Program at MD Anderson, a program that she launched. You can check out part one of our interview here, where Michelle talks about her research on cancer and body image and her work at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Below, Michelle talks in greater detail about overcoming body image issues and building a positive body image when you have or had cancer.
There's no doubt about it: Cancer can ravage a person's body. It can make you more self-conscious about your looks. It can make you view your body as the enemy. It can make it so that you don't really recognize your own reflection. My grandmother had cancer for many years. When we came to America in 1989, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Since we lived together, I witnessed her daily struggles. I was only seven but I still remember. The one thing that many of us, though, forget is that after the grueling treatments, there's also the body image aspects to consider. But I won't even begin to try to understand what someone who has or had cancer is experiencing, but I do want to focus on how you can work to improve your body image if you're fighting a condition like cancer (or a lifelong illness).
Every Monday features a tip, exercise, inspiring quote or other tidbit 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 [email protected], 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! Health for the Whole Self, a healthy living blog written by Katie, is one of my favorite daily stops. Her posts are thought-provoking, well-written and helpful. Recently, I came across a post from her archives about writing a six-word memoir, which I had to share with Weightless readers. What's a six-word memoir?
For me, a negative body image ran much deeper than simply wanting to be thin. Disordered eating did, too. For so many of us, part of our body image or eating issues stems from the inability to process our emotions and experiences. We might stuff down painful emotions with food or blame our bodies for our lack of happiness. If you do this, the good news is that you can learn to identify and process your emotions and experiences in healthy ways. It's simply a skill that takes practice. So as promised, I'm happy to be able to publish Susan Kleinman's worksheet entitled, "Cognitive Markers: A Guide to Process Experiences," with her permission. So take out your journal or a piece of paper and work through the below steps when you can. Feel free to share your experience doing the activity below. By the way, if you haven't checked out Susan's interview yet, please do. You can read part one about dance/movement therapy and part two about reconnecting with yourself. Use the Cognitive markers as a guide to process your experiences. Keep your descriptions simple and remember that these are YOUR feelings and thoughts and you cannot make a mistake. Imagine that you are a detective, collecting clues to solve a mystery- the mystery of your experiences (one at a time). Good luck!!
Here's part two of my interview with Susan Kleinman, the dance/movement therapist for The Renfrew Center of Florida, which specializes in eating disorders and other mental health issues in women. If you didn't read it yet, check out part one of our interview, where Susan offers her insight into dance/movement therapy (DMT) for eating disorders. She also lists several great techniques inspired by DMT for readers to try at home. Below, she talks about dealing with emotions, seeing your body and yourself positively and much more.
Today, I'm very pleased to present my interview with Susan Kleinman, the dance/movement therapist for The Renfrew Center of Florida, a women's mental health center that specializes in eating disorders, depression, anxiety and trauma. According to the American Dance Therapy Association, dance/movement therapy (DMT) "is the psychotherapeutic use of movement to promote emotional, cognitive, physical, and social integration of individuals." Below, Susan talks about DMT, its benefits and how readers can try some of the techniques at home.
Every Monday features a tip, exercise, inspiring quote or other tidbit 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 [email protected], 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! Sometimes, we get so caught up in the weight game - desperate to look a certain way so that our existence can finally be validated - that we forget about our own substance. We start looking for "substance" in the superficial. In the bodies of others. We might think "oh, I'd love to have her legs." Or "wow, her arms are so muscular; she's totally my inspiration for going to the gym so often." Or "I wish I looked like her; I'd be so happy."
Here's the last part of my interview with family doctor and feeding expert Katja Rowell, M.D. Dr. Rowell writes the incredibly helpful blog Feeding Family Dynamics, named after her company. If you haven't yet, check out part one of our interview about her feeding approach and part two, where she discusses how to handle picky eating and her thoughts on the war on obesity.
Here's part two of my interview with family doctor and childhood feeding expert Katja Rowell, M.D., who owns and operates Family Feeding Dynamics. She also writes a fantastic blog by the same name. I truly admire Dr. Rowell, and I think she's doing amazing work! I'm really honored to be able to share her insight with Weightless readers. If you haven't already, please read part one of our interview about Dr. Rowell's feeding approach and why she believes that we have a feeding crisis on our hands - not an obesity crisis.
Today and for the rest of this week, I'm beyond thrilled to present my 3-part interview with feeding expert Katja Rowell, M.D. With the raging hysteria over the obesity epidemic and tons of misinformation about healthful eating, most parents are at a loss about how to feed their kids. In fact, our entire culture is. That's where Dr. Rowell comes in. Dr. Rowell is a graduate of the University of Michigan medical school and served as a family physician in urban and rural clinics and at a university student health service. Struck by the prevalence of disordered eating and feeding and related health problems, Dr. Rowell founded Family Feeding Dynamics and teaches the importance of a healthy feeding relationship to health care providers, family therapists and childcare staff. She helps parents through workshops and provides personalized solutions and support for families struggling with feeding. She also consults with corporate clients, nutrition education and public health projects. And she's a member of the clinical faculty with the Ellyn Satter Institute.