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Fad Diets 101- What You Need To Know

Fad Diets 101- What You Need To Know

Fad Diets 101- What You Need To Know: 

It’s a conversation you can probably relate to: 

– “I’m doing [insert fad diet here], have you heard of it?”

– “I can’t have that, I’m on [some wonky food plan an influencer shared] Haven’t you heard? [Completely normal food item] is causing us all to ruin our gut health.”  

– “Ugh! I am starving, I’m doing [newest diet craze] and I can’t eat for another four hours.” 

Fad dieting is rampant in our day and age- leaving you faced with the temptation to follow popular diets that promise quick weight loss or other health benefits, yet are often based on shady scientific “evidence” or unsustainable eating patterns. While these diets may in fact yield quick results, they pose significant risk to your health.   

Here are a few risks to consider the next time your coworker or loved one starts up again and has you contemplating joining in on the latest fad diet:  

  • Nutrient deficiencies: Fad diets often restrict certain food groups or severely limit calorie intake, leading to potential nutrient deficiencies. Such imbalances can cause health problems, including weakness, fatigue, impaired immune function, and potential reproductive health complications.
  • Unsustainability: Fad diets are typically difficult to sustain over the long term due to their restrictive nature or the elimination of entire food groups. This can lead to feelings of deprivation, frustration, and a higher likelihood of binge-eating or rebound weight gain once the diet is discontinued.  The net result? Often it’s patterns of yo-yo weight adjustments as you deprive and then recover during dysfunctional dieting patterns.  
  • Muscle loss: Many fad diets focus primarily on rapid weight loss, which often includes a loss of muscle mass. Losing muscle can slow down your metabolism and make it challenging to maintain the new number on the scale in the long run.
  • Disordered eating patterns: Fad dieting practices contribute to the development of disordered eating patterns.  These conditions have serious physical and psychological consequences.
  • Lack of evidence-based research: Fad diets lack scientific evidence to support their claims. They often rely on anecdotal success stories or cherry-picked research, which can be misleading and potentially harmful.
  • Impact on mental health: Fad dieting can lead to an unhealthy preoccupation with food, body image issues, and a negative relationship with eating. This can contribute to increased stress, anxiety, and a reduced quality of life.

It’s important to remember that beyond fueling our bodies, food provides ways for us to connect with a loved one over a shared meal, bring joy into our lives in times of celebration, and offer comfort when we face hard days. Our overall health goals are best achieved through a balanced- not rigid or experimental– approach to nutrition and lifestyle. 

Mute Notifications From Your ED

Mute Notifications From Your ED

I’ve recently been trying to be more intentional about how much time I spend on my phone. I don’t think I’m alone in feeling like I find myself wasting time on social media, online shopping, or reading the news on my phone when I could be doing things that feel more valuable to me. One thing that has helped me is turning off notifications on many of the apps that tend to distract me. Apps are designed to get us to spend more time on them, especially by sending us notifications about new posts, new discounts, new products, etc. Without the notifications pulling me in, I get to be the one to choose when I engage with those apps.

Can you sense an eating disorder recovery metaphor coming? Mmhmm.

What if you could “turn off notifications” from your eating disorder? What if you could somehow mute some of the things that draw you toward putting more time, energy, thought, and worry into disordered patterns? Here are a few ways you can mute those “notifications” that draw your attention toward an unhealthy way of relating to food, exercise, or your body.

  1. Get rid of apps that serve your eating disorder. I can confidently say that, for the most part, apps that track calories are inherently unhelpful to your eating disorder recovery. Calorie tracking apps may be literally sending you notifications that make recovery more difficult. Too much focus on calories disrupts your ability to listen to your body and fuels deprivation and shame about eating. Unless your dietitian is asking you to track your intake in favor of your recovery, get rid of tracking apps. MyFitnessPal is NOT your pal.
  2. Throw out your scale. Every time you see that scale in the corner of your bathroom or peeking out from under your bed, it’s like getting a *ding* notification from an app. If weighing yourself is part of your eating disorder, even having the scale around can be an intrusive reminder that you “should” (according to your eating disorder) be worrying about your weight. Getting the scale out of your environment is a powerful way to mute those unnecessary reminders.
  3. Get rid of clothing items that serve your eating disorder. If you’re hanging on to clothing that is serving as a “goal” for changing your body, having those items is like getting notifications from your eating disorder every time you open your closet. Cleaning your closet and donating or selling items that don’t work for your body right now is a way of reducing chatter from your eating disorder when you get dressed each day.

Of course, I’m not saying you should be expected to be able to “turn off” all thoughts from your eating disorder. (I, at least, have yet to figure out how that might be done!) However, remember that there are ways you can be proactive in reducing the frequency of “notifications” popping up from your eating disorder. Just like a phone app, eating disorder patterns are designed to take increasing amounts of your attention, leaving you with less attention for other things. This is part of why an eating disorder might have been a form of coping with difficulty in life, and it’s also part of why an eating disorder can end up becoming so damaging. By actively removing opportunities for your eating disorder to grab your attention, you increase the mental space in which other parts of your life can flourish.

Even though it’s not always easy, you can decide to push “mute” on some of the things your eating disorder uses to take up space in your life. Making an empowered choice to put less energy into your eating disorder and more energy into the rest of your life can feel scary at first, but will ultimately be freeing.

Third Options

Third Options

Let’s call her “Amy.” Amy had come a long way in reclaiming a healthy relationship with her body. In this place, Amy actively sought for balance with healthy movement and living her life values. She navigated this space well. Until she signed up for a race. 

If you are familiar with eating disorders and vulnerability, you might think Amy lost her sense of balance at this point in her journey. You may wonder if her pursuit of a rigorous fitness goal led to a relapse in her eating disorder. Sometimes, this is what happens.  

That is not what happened for Amy. In her ongoing pursuit of balance, living her values, and protecting her recovery, she found herself in a unique situation that was a sharp contrast to her rigid and perfectionistic background. 

As race day approached, Amy found herself under-prepared and under-trained. She also found herself actively struggling with some intense body image concerns as she felt her body didn’t look like the runner she aspired to be. 

In our session, the week of the race, Amy shared her distress and debated her options. “I can either run the race, feel terrible about my time and performance, and feel disgusting in my body, or I can just skip it.”

As we discussed this situation together, we explored, “Is there a third option?”

Amy’s face broke into a smile, and she exclaimed, “I could start the race, and if I hate it, I can simply stop for coffee and walk the rest of the way!” She loved the idea of simply walking off the racecourse and into a nearby coffee shop if she concluded her body or her mind weren’t up for the task of completing the race. 

This third option allowed her to pursue her value around commitment and movement while holding these ideals with flexibility. It also allowed her to challenge her negative body image and show up for herself with compassion in the face of a grueling physical event where comparisons run rampant.    

So often, we trap ourselves in dichotomies, black-and-white thinking, and either/or options. These patterns are limiting and rigid. They diminish our ability to pursue our needs and growth with creativity and flexibility.

Asking ourselves about possible “Third Options” allows for expansion. It allows us to pursue what matters to us while releasing the shackles of perfectionism and rigidity. Sometimes we feel if we can’t do something perfectly, it’s not worth doing at all. Third, options are a way to give ourselves permission to be messy, imperfect, and actively choose growth. I’m a big fan of jumping into the growth that really is only found in the messiness of the pursuit of what matters.

Amy ended up finishing her race. She walked a lot of it and had a fun experience. She did not achieve any time goals, but she pursued her values and challenged herself. She felt good about the result and herself in the process. 

While not the “point” of third options, I also suspect that, more often than not, when we pursue what matters with compassion and flexibility, we succeed better than we anticipate. And regardless of the outcomes, Third Options invite our own self-advocacy and growth. When faced with a dichotomy where neither option is satisfactory, let’s ask ourselves, “Is there a third option?” 

Challenging The Narrative About Your Body

Challenging The Narrative About Your Body

As women, we are taught not to trust in our bodies. We are taught that there is more value in the way that we show up physically than anything that we could ever contribute otherwise. We are taught that taking up space in a room full of people should be vulnerable because of our lack of perfectionism and that we will never be good enough regardless of what our bodies do or don’t look like. But instead of always trying to change our bodies to fit the ever changing idealism, what if we dove into our abilities to accept our bodies without limitation?

There is a quote that reads, “It is not a dream body if it is a nightmare to maintain.” And as I think about this quote, I consider so many parts of the holistic being that are dismissed when we focus solely on our physical bodies. We substitute connection, joy, and so many other meaningful life experiences, in effort to move through life in a body that is valued by the outside world. What if instead of allowing societal expectations to influence our ability to find body acceptance, we worked to challenge our own definition of worthiness and approval?

Challenging the narrative you have about your body may not be easy, but it is possible. Being able to identify negative dialogue and then reframing it to something more neutral will help improve your mood or mindset about your body. 

Here is an example of a way to do this:

Trigger: Relapsing 

Negative thought- “I always mess up; I can’t even do recovery right. What’s the point? I am not capable of making positive changes.”

Neutral thought- “Recovery is not linear; I am allowed to make mistakes. I am going to work through this and move forward like I always do.”

Working towards body neutrality may feel painful, vulnerable, or unnatural. It may go against your initial instinct of changing your body to feel deserving of happiness. But instead of the vulnerability being a sign of weakness, what if instead, it is a token of bravery? Lean into the vulnerability that comes with challenging your current thought patterns concerning your body. 

You do not have to change your body to be worthy of love, acceptance, and unity. Give yourself permission to live a life that you love in the body that you were given. 

Social Media and Body Image: A Quick Checkup

Social Media and Body Image: A Quick Checkup

In today’s world, social media is a big part of connecting and communicating with others.  While it can be a helpful tool for those purposes, when left unchecked, social media can become problematic to our well-being.  Here are a few areas to quickly check-in and determine how healthy your relationship is with your social media platforms! 


Do you often find yourself thinking about how you compare or measure up to what you are viewing on social media?

Social media platforms often present an idealized and curated version of other people’s lives, including their appearance. This can create a sense of pressure to measure up to these standards, leading to negative feelings about your own body. Constantly comparing yourself to others on social media can create a wide range of challenges- from fostering feelings of envy, inadequacy, and low self-esteem to inspiring disordered eating. 

Filters and editing: 

Do you feel comfortable posting unedited, unfiltered images of yourself online? Why or why not?  

When viewing images of others, are you allowing yourself to consider how those images may have been edited and filtered? 

Social media provides access to numerous filters and editing tools that allow people to alter their appearance, often beyond recognition. Seeing others post photos that have been heavily edited or filtered can create unrealistic beauty standards and make people feel like they need to change their own appearance to be more attractive or desirable. 

Body shaming and criticism: 

Are the communities you are interacting with online full of kindness and support, or are they critical and aggressive? 

What is your reaction when you see comments shaming bodies? 

Unfortunately, social media can also be a breeding ground for negative comments about people’s bodies. This can come in the form of direct criticism, such as fat shaming or body shaming, or more subtle comments that still perpetuate harmful beauty standards. These comments can be hurtful and contribute to negative feelings about your own body.


After you have been online for a little bit, bring your awareness to how judgemental you are feeling about yourself.  Do you find yourself feeling inadequate? Like you are not good enough? 

Have you noticed an increase in perfectionistic tendencies as your time on social media increases? 

Social media can also promote a culture of perfectionism, where people feel like they need to present a flawless version of themselves to the world. This can lead to a focus on appearance as a key part of your identity and self-worth, which can be damaging to your relationship with their body.

It’s important to be mindful of how social media affects your own relationship with your body and to take steps to protect your mental health and well-being.

How to Love Your Body

How to Love Your Body

You’ve probably heard the phrase, “Love is a verb.” In other words, if you love someone, you show that love through your actions. Your love is more than just a feeling; it’s a set of choices and behaviors that helps your relationship grow. Here’s a hot take: your relationship with your body can thrive off of loving actions instead of loving feelings.

What if the phrase “I love my body” referred to your actions instead of to your feelings?

Chasing the feeling of “loving your body” is likely to lead to a whole lot of dissatisfaction, thanks to the toxic messages we are constantly fed by the media, social media, the diet industry, etc., about what makes a body lovable. Even if you are in a place where you can challenge harmful messaging about your body’s worth, feelings of love for your body are likely to come and go, just like any other feeling. For pretty much all of us, feeling “in love” with your body, especially its appearance, is likely to be a fleeting experience.

That’s the power of body love as an action: It can be a consistent choice, no matter how you’re feeling. You can commit to love your body in actions on a good body image day or a bad body image day. You can treat your body lovingly even if you’re not feeling the love.

None of this is easy all the time, and if body love (in action or in feeling) is hard for you right now, I am holding SO MUCH compassion for you. ⁣

This might take practice and courage.⁣

It might take healing. ⁣

It might take accountability and support from others.

Some ways to love your body:⁣

  • Nourish it consistently.⁣
  • Let it have fun with movement.⁣
  • Allow it to rest.
  • Say an out-loud “thank you” for one of its functions.⁣
  • Take pleasure in one of your senses. Let your body ENJOY.⁣

What other actions help you make loving your body a verb?

We’re All Trying to Figure Life Out

We’re All Trying to Figure Life Out

I honestly believe it’s one of the bravest acts to pursue therapy and confront ways in which you want to grow and change. In the therapeutic space, I hope to offer my clients a safe place to feel seen, learn about themselves, and navigate growth. I honestly love my position as “support staff” to your life work. 

In my position, I share limited personal information. There’s value in this as therapy is about you, not me. I wouldn’t have it any other way. But what I fear sometimes gets lost in this lopsided relationship is the shared common humanity between us. I think the nature of a therapeutic relationship can create a dissonant experience of feeling understood but also alone on your journey, as if I am a witness to your growth while I have already achieved self-mastery. 

I really want you to know that you are not alone. We are all trying to “figure it out.” I have expertise, and I am also very human. We are all humans together, in this messy, complicated experience that is life. 

I am not above you on the trail. I am not ahead of you on the same mountain. I am across the valley from you, climbing my very own mountain. As I climb my mountain, I can see you climbing yours. From my vantage point, I can offer support and guidance as I see perspectives that you may not yet see on your path.

I do not sit in judgment as some “wise guru” but rather as a fellow traveler. I am honored to be included and trusted to your internal worlds and hold seriously your trust in me and my ability to help you. 

When you sit on my couch, I do not want you to think there is some final destination for wisdom and growth or that I’ve found it. 

That said, I want to simultaneously hold that you and I, both, have worked hard for the wisdom we have earned. Wherever we each are, we need to remember how far we have come. I am no different from you. And if you find that I am helpful to you, I want you to know and understand that you, as you, have so much to contribute right now. We need to know that as rough, unfinished products, we are value added to this world. We can all be, “a masterpiece and a work in progress at the same time.” 

And the world needs you now. Not some polished version of you, but you in all your beautiful, messy humanity. And I’m right here with you. 


Finding the Balance Between Rigidity and Flexibility

Finding the Balance Between Rigidity and Flexibility

Throughout my life, many people have described me as a “go-getter” type of person. Although that may sound like a positive personality trait, I realized that my “go-getter” personality was infused with other, less helpful, habits such as being overbooked, overstretched, with high expectations for myself that were both overwhelming and unrealistic. I realized that the rigid thinking patterns that I was being praised for created patterns of avoidance and feeling inadequate regardless of what I had accomplished. I realized that although my intention behind the rigidity was to be the best version of myself, those same rigid patterns had inherently impacted my ability to grow as an individual and allow myself to live in the present moment.

As I reflected on my current thought patterns, I also explored the concept of flexibility. Flexible thinking embodies the ability to change direction and adjust to unanticipated circumstances. And although my rigidity served me in many ways, I knew that balance was what I needed to embrace the unpredictability and chaos that life throws at me. 

My experience in incorporating both rigid and flexible thinking patterns into my life got me thinking about how both rigidity and flexibility serve a purpose in recovery. The ability to balance the two incorporates the idea of a recovery mindset that is not possible when falling too close to one extreme. Being able to balance the two means having clear expectations and goals, while also being able to adapt when faced with unforeseeable circumstances. 

Here are 5 journal prompts that you can use to explore balance within your own life:

  1. How do I define success?
  2. What is the difference between feeling panicked and feeling prepared? 
  3. What is the first sign that I have become imbalanced? 
  4. What do I need to let go of that is out of my control today?
  5. What would my day look like if I were more present? 

Regardless of where you fall between rigidity and flexibility, there is always room for continuous growth towards where you want to be.