Posts Tagged “Physical Health”
The Health Benefits of Loving Yourself
Valentine’s Day may be commercialized and over-hyped. For some it’s an obligatory gift-giving day, for others it’s a reminder of a broken heart or an unclear relationship status. But for those who do choose to celebrate, the holiday is an occasion to recognize love in all its forms.
This Valentine’s week, we’re exploring love in the context of the relationships we have with ourselves. Like other types of love, self-love is an action we practice and develop, one cultivated through self-compassion. And self-compassion bestows physical and mental health benefits worth celebrating in this season of love and beyond.
How to Identify Eating Disorders This Holiday Season
The holiday season is upon us, and while it often brings joy and celebration, it also presents challenges for individuals with eating disorders. With food-centric gatherings, disrupted eating routines, and a surge in diet conversations, it’s no wonder this time of year can be particularly tough for those struggling with food.
As a provider, you have the power to recognize the symptoms of disordered eating and eating disorders and connect them with the care they need. In this blog, we’ll explore the challenges faced by those with eating disorders during the holidays and discuss ways providers can offer support to those struggling.
The Impact of Eating Disorders on Athletic Performance
The benefits of athletics are well-established. Participating in organized sports can help you build self-esteem, recognize the value of teamwork, set the foundation for a lifelong physical activity practice, improve mental health, promote social connections, open the doorway for scholarships or even a career, and teach important life skills, such as goal-setting and leadership.
However, these positive outcomes come with an important caveat. The pressures of athletic competition and the emphasis many sports place on body weight, shape, and size can contribute to psychological and physical stress. For individuals naturally predisposed to eating disorders, these stressors can be a tipping point into disordered territory.
Athletes frequently experience diminishing returns from disordered habits like restrictive dieting and over-training. Although it can be difficult for an athlete to step away from their sport, pursuing treatment increases their likelihood of safely returning—and can be lifesaving. Coaches, parents, teammates, and providers have a critical role in ensuring athletes are prioritized over the sport. Understanding the risks athletes face is key to providing preventative support.
Rethinking Exercise: Joyful Movement Is Possible in Eating Disorder Recovery
In our appearance-obsessed culture, exercise is often portrayed as a means to attain the “perfect” body, rather than a practice that can nourish your mind and body in ways unrelated to weight, shape, or size. As a result, societal pressures often distort the true value and potential benefits of physical activity, leading to unhealthy attitudes and behaviors related to exercise.
When exercise becomes excessive, compulsive, or compensatory, your relationship with it has likely become disordered. In fact, overexercise is a common symptom in those with anorexia, bulimia, and other eating disorders. It can be a challenging process to rebuild a healthy relationship with activity once you’re in recovery.
Learn how you might shift your mindset toward exercise and begin to embrace mindful movement instead.
Debunking Diet Culture
The New Year’s Trap
January is meant to usher in a fresh start, but it seems stuck on a perpetual loop, playing the same tired track year after year. It is nearly impossible to avoid the month’s barrage of messaging taking aim at our waistlines and metabolism, reducing our worth to our outer appearance and the number on the scale. We’re aggressively encouraged to “fix” ourselves with detoxes, cleanses, and 30-day transformation workout plans. We’re told that efforts toward “self-improvement” should be strictly in the pursuit of a “new” body—one that requires constant vigilance, control, and scrutiny to ensure it doesn’t slip back into a previous year’s iteration.
Eating Disorder Signs to Watch for in Your Patients Over the Holidays
For those living with an eating disorder, the holidays may be the toughest time of the year. Holidays are often synonymous with large amounts of food, increased stress, and extended periods of time with family—all factors that can exacerbate eating disorder symptoms. Because eating disorder thoughts and behaviors can increase during the holidays, it’s important to be especially vigilant of your patients this time of year.
There are many common signs and symptoms healthcare providers should look for that signal the presence of an eating disorder. During the holidays, certain symptoms may become more noticeable, such as: