Thursday thoughts 8.22.19
You may have noticed that it has been awhile since I’ve written a new blog post - it wasn’t until I came to write this that I realized it’s been almost 3 months! I didn’t intend to take so much time off but suffice it to say I’ve had a lot going on in the last few months. If you follow me on Instagram, you may know that I was working a few days a week at a children’s hospital working on their inpatient psychiatric unit and doing general outpatient nutrition counseling. Without boring you with all the details, some major shifts happened there and I chose to leave that job which meant my whole June/July felt massively in flux. At the end of July, I left that job which means more room for working in private practice and I also started a per diem position at an eating disorder treatment center - something that feels so aligned with the work I already do.
The reason I’m telling you all this (besides explaining where I’ve been!) is to talk about how bodies react to change. During the month of June, I felt wholly exhausted. Usually I try to catch up on some work in the evenings when I get home from my other jobs but this felt totally unreasonable for most of June and part of July (I also ended up with a sinus infection which, I’m sure, was not unrelated to the exhaustion and strain my body was carrying).
I left that position at the end of July and had a week mostly off - and instead of feeling excited and light like I had expected, I had a couple days of anxiety - what if this wasn’t the right decision? What are my finances going to look like? What if I regret it? What if, what if, what if. I went to therapy early that week and essentially sobbed through the entire hour and it really wasn’t until then that I realized how much I had to release.
One of my favorite yoga teachers is always reminding us during class not to throw away the transition. The way we get from one position to another matters. I have the tendency to go, go, go. Next place, next thing, next pose, next job. After that therapy session, I intentionally tried to slow down and show myself some self-compassion. Change is hard. Change has always been hard for me and I’m allowed to be gentle with myself. So I let my anxiety hang out with me for a few days and invited self-compassion in too - at the beach, with friends, when I was trying to read. It is normal to feel this way, but I am safe and I am going to be okay. And guess what? Eventually it dissipated. After the first week, I started to have more energy and more clarity. I’ve felt more inspired to work on things like this blog and my website as well as throughly clean every room of my house and do errands that have been stacking up for months. Not to get too cliche with the yoga metaphors here but when you slow down a pose, you generally find spots where you need to create space and breathe into. Sounds familiar.
2. WEIGHT WATCHERS
If you hang out in the non-diet space online, you’ve probably heard about WW’s (formerly Weight Watchers) new weight loss app for children. It is truly appalling and so, so harmful. My heart breaks for the children who use it and are almost certainly headed for a lifetime of body dissatisfaction, weight cycling, and shame if not a full-blown eating disorder. I wanted to say a couple things here:
I am not a parent but I have so much compassion for parents who want to do the best for their kids. And if there’s one thing Weight Watchers is good at, it’s marketing and making you believe that it is the best option - that’s why it’s a multi-million dollar company. But the bottom line is that there are so many ways to cultivate a healthy relationship with food without using this app that is almost guaranteed to cause harm - some of my favorite dietitians who focus on feeding families are Ellyn Satter, Nicole Cruz, and Crystal Karges.
I also wanted to coalesce some of the resources that have been floating around into one spot if that’s helpful: Christy Harrison wrote an amazing op-ed in the NYT this week. This article by Alexis Conason in Psychology Today. This incredible piece by Amy McCarthy. And this piece on Huffington Post. I shared some of my own thoughts on Instagram and Anna Sweeney and Dr. Maria Parades have been killing it on Instagram with their own thoughts about the app. And if you search the hashtag #wakeupweightwatchers on both Instagram and Twitter, you’re sure to find more amazing input from concerned professionals.
I’ve heard from so many people over the last week that are feeling a combination of anger, pain, sadness, and outrage. Reminder to take care of yourselves and log off social media when you have to. Fighting diet culture is a marathon not a sprint and we need to be taking care of ourselves out here.
3. CLUE APP
Uterus-owning friends, I have been loving the app Clue for tracking my period. This is not a paid sponsorship but I started using it about 6 months ago and I find it super helpful as person who is not trying to conceive and doesn’t need to get super specific about body temp, cervical fluid, etc. Tracking my symptoms throughout the month has helped me recognize a few things - like on one particular day of my cycle, I’m probably going to feel a little more sad/irritable than usual and on day 4 of my period I’m almost certainly going to have a headache that nothing helps. You can take or leave this recommendation, I’ve just personally found it to be a helpful way to stay connected to my body in a different way.
4. BOOKS I LOVE
I’ve been spending more time reading for pleasure recently (hooray!) I’ve already shared this on Instagram but wanted to create a little space for it here. The book Educated was phenomenal and had me thinking about it for weeks after. Typically, the book recommendations I give my mom, my dad, and my friends vary but I’ve recommended it to all three. Everyone should read it. I mean Oprah and Obama have both endorsed it so I don’t think there’s much I could do to further convince you that you should read it…but you should probably get on it. Note: content warning for domestic violence and abuse.
Talk to you soon, my friends! If you’re not already, be sure to sign up for my monthly email newsletter which will be coming out in the next few days.