Category Archives: destructively fit

eating disorders, fitness, thinspo, fitspo and the lesson i learned talking about all of it

I’ve been lecturing and teaching for the past 15 years and aside from a healthy dose of nervous energy that quickly passes, I couldn’t be more comfortable in those roles. Being interviewed, however, is an entirely different story. I get incredibly nervous nearly every time and while I can calm myself down for the most part, the live and/or recorded interviews get me every time! Most notably (and I can’t even believe I’m drawing attention to it) was my television appearance. As soon as the camera began to roll, my brain fell out of my head and I felt like a deer in headlights – completely stunned and trying to remember what I wanted to say and how I wanted to say it.

Most recently, I did my very first podcast with Kaila Prins for her Finding Our Hunger podcast series. When she asked me to do this podcast I desperately wanted to say “no.” But I said “yes” because I knew it was the right thing to do. I wanted to get the word out about Destructively Fit and saying “no” to an opportunity just seemed counterintuitive.

My podcast date was set and as it got closer, my anxiety grew and grew and grew. I made sure to tell Kaila how nervous I was, that this was my first podcast, and that I needed her help to keep the conversation going. Obviously Kaila was a pro and this was her plan anyway. So if I’m being completely honest with you (and myself), I think I was also telling her how nervous I was so that it could be my excuse if i completely blew it!

The dreaded day arrived and there I was, headphones on in the comfort of my own home. I was so nervous that I couldn’t sit down! I watched the clock and it seemed it was going backwards – this podcast was going to take forever! But we began and Kaila kicked off the podcast. She had a little (read: a lot) of an edge since this was her gig but I have to hand it to her, she was a natural! She was interested, interesting and spontaneous. I was even able to sit down! The podcast was easy, fun and the time flew. Wow! In fact, I’ve gotten lots of (unsolicited) feedback about it and I’m told that it’s my best, most natural and engaging interview yet!

I’m actually very proud of myself for saying “yes” to this opportunity but even more so for being open, vulnerable and compassionate with myself.

It’s funny, as soon as I got out of my own way things were great! I shut down that negative self-talk reminding me that I froze on television and that I have to choose my words carefully so that I sound intelligent enough. I just allowed myself to be present and engaged and that was all I needed to do! What a great reminder for me to trust myself!

I hope that you can learn from my experience, even reflect upon your own past experiences, and realize that your best self is your most authentic self!

Oh… and if you want to listen to my podcast, I’d love you to! Any and all feedback is welcome 🙂
Here it is http://findingourhunger.com/2014/07/30/undestructive/

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National Eating Disorder Awareness Week

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If you live in New York City, you may have noticed that the Empire State Building was aglow in green and blue yesterday, February 25th. Why?

It’s National Eating Disorder Awareness Week (February 23 – March 1)!

Organized by the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), the aim of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week is to raise awareness and educate about eating disorders and body image issues, prevent eating disorders and to reduce stigmas surrounding these issues.

This week has been full of events to celebrate eating disorder awareness. To name a few, there have been NEDA walks, Art Projects, Art Exhibits, Scale Smashing, Support Groups, Eating Disorder Screenings, Film Screenings, Fundraisers, Recovery Forums. Love Your Body Zumba Parties + Yoga Classes! Visit the the National Eating Disorder Awareness website for events in your area.

Last year I created Destructively Fit in order to address eating disorders within the fitness world. It’s been a pure love-project for me and I’m grateful for all of the support that I have received. But… I would love your help to spread the word and to effect some serious change within the fitness industry as a whole. In honor of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, please spread the word about Destructively Fit and get connected on Facebook and Twitter!

Help spread awareness and help make a difference with this ubiquitous and dangerous issue. Here are some stats for you:

  • 25 million American women are struggling with eating disorders
  • 7 million American men are struggling with eating disorders
  • 81% of 10 year old girls are afraid of being fat (Dove Self Esteem Fund Initiative)
  • 51% of 9-10 year old girls feel better about themselves when they are dieting
  • 45% of boys are unhappy with their bodies
  • 67% of women 15-64 withdraw from life-engaging activities, like giving an opinion and going to the doctor, because they feel badly about their looks (Dove Self Esteem Fund Initiative)
  • An estimated 90-95% of college students diagnosed with an eating disorder are members of fitness centers (McLean Hospital, 2004)
  • Of American elementary school girls who read magazines, 69% say that the pictures influence their concept of the ideal body shape. 47% say the pictures make them want to lose weight (Martin, J. B. (2010). The Development of Ideal Body Image Perceptions in the United States. Nutrition Today, 45(3), 98-100.)
  • Over one-half of teenage girls and nearly one-third of teenage boys use unhealthy weight control behaviors such as skipping meals, fasting, smoking cigarettes, vomiting, and taking laxatives. (Neumark-Sztainer, D. (2005). I’m, Like, SO Fat! New York: Guilford)

If you or someone you know is struggling, get help now! Eating disorders are treatable and early intervention is critical! Remember, you are not alone and you can feel better!!!

To find resources in your area:
National Eating Disorder Association: 1-800-931-2237
EDReferral.com


Destructively Fit is a TOP PICK!

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Exciting news! Destructively Fit is one of Body Local‘s TOP PICKS for fitness professional continuing education! Click here for their newsletter!

And why is Destructively Fit so important for fitness professionals?

  • An estimated 90-95% of all college students (both men AND women) diagnosed with an eating disorder belong to fitness facilities (McLean Hospital). I strongly believe that this statistic transfers to those post-college!
  • Studies estimate that up to 42% of all gym-goers struggle with a destructive relationship with exercise!

Fitness professionals are in a unique position to begin addressing these issues with their clients and even help them get connected to the support they need in order to feel better about themselves – body + soul!

Please help spread the word about this critical training necessary for everyone in the world of fitness!


the Destructively Fit Online Course is ready for you!

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I want to first thank you for all of your support and encouragement with my love project, Destructively Fit.

I’m so EXCITED to share the news that the ONLINE video version is now available and endorsed for continuing education by the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)!

This means that anyone, any time and anywhere can learn about how to identify and address the ubiquitous issue of eating disorders within the fitness world!

The online course can be reached from the “Courses” page on the Destructively Fit website (www.destructivelyfit.com)!

And please, take a moment to help me share the exciting news on your social media outlets and anyone you know who is interested in fitness, eating disorders and overall health + wellness!

Many, many thanks,
Jodi


no pain, no gain?

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The idea of “fitspo” (short for fitspiration / fitness inspiration) has been on my radar for a while and I’m glad that it has received increased attention over the past few months! A huge part of my attempt to address this issue, and the issue of destructive behavior in the fitness world has been the creation of Destructively Fit®. Check out the recent press and more articles about Fitspo!

For me, it’s difficult to discuss “Fitspo” without first saying something about “Thinspo” (short for thinspiration / thin inspiration). Thinspo was first found on pro-ana and pro-mia (pro-anorexia and pro-bulimia) websites that shared eating disorder tips and tricks, blogs, journals and photos of emaciated women and men reinforcing destructive ideals and behaviors, particularly eating disorders. Oftentimes, the men and women who were engaged in these websites were those with an incredibly strong link between their identity and their eating disorder and demonstrated a significant denial of self.
(note: due to the efforts of media watchdogs, most of these websites have been removed from the internet)

While some Fitspo is truly healthy and inspiring, plenty of it is unhealthy and hauntingly similar to Thinspo, offering unrealistic and damaging expectations and fitness ideals. Many of the photos are of uber-cut scantily clad men and women.

Just to give you an idea, I’ve seen many messages like these:
“do it for the thigh gap”
“eat wise, drop a size”
“do it so you don’t have to untag yourself in pictures because you look fat”

I’ve seen an abundance of these types of Fitspo tweets:
“you can’t be small if you eat it all”
lists of foods that make you less hungry
how to have a “flatter stomach”
“diet mistakes”
lots of tips + tricks that have nothing to do with fitness – at least in my opinion!

No pain, no gain? Healthy exercise is not about getting hurt. It’s about paying attention to your body. While it has always been important to maintain a balance and groundedness in your own self and your own personal health and fitness goals, it seems more important than ever to keep these things in mind and also, to manage your expectations!

Learn to recognize healthy and unhealthy messages and ALWAYS #HonorYourBody!


Destructively Fit: exciting news!

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The response to Destructively Fit has been incredible. I am beyond grateful for the support I have received and extraordinarily excited to continue bringing my Destructively Fit training to fitness facilities and individual trainers across the nation!

Here’s a recent piece published by Well + Good NYC. For more goodies, check out Destructively Fit In The News!

In other exciting news, Destructively Fit® will be offered at the March 2014 ECA World Fitness Conference, so mark your calendars!

Keep up to date on trainings and informed about fitness and eating disorders (or just show a little love + support!) by connecting with Destructively Fit® on Twitter and Facebook! Hope to see you there!


at long last… twitter + facebook!

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I’ve made it to Twitter! I’d love for you to follow me via “Destructively Fit®” @DestructivelyFT

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And if you want to show your support even more, you can help me out with a “like” on Facebook!

!!! THANK YOU !!!


fitness professionals can help those struggling with eating disorders

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Eating disorders have always been my passion. They have been my specialty since I began my LCSW private practice more than a decade ago. Over the years, I’ve directed a program for eating disorders, created the eating disorder curriculum for NYU’s Graduate School of Social Work, and have done a few other things. Yet, I have not found a way to connect my love of healthy fitness and honoring one’s body with my passion for helping those struggling with eating disorders.

The issue of eating disorders within fitness centers is a ubiquitous one. I’ve seen people spending hours on the treadmill, heard countless patients recounting their obsessiveness with the gym, and others seeming as though their self-esteem became immediately deflated if they couldn’t work out hard enough, fast enough or long enough. The research I have done has revealed that the presence of eating disorders within fitness centers is “sticky” and “complicated” and gets very little attention. Through no fault of anyone in particular, if people aren’t given the education and tools, then how can anyone feel knowledgable and confident enough to address this sensitive issue?

I went directly to fitness professionals to see what they thought about eating disorders within the fitness industry. As I suspected, it was clear that there was not a lack of interest in this issue. Quite the contrary. Most, if not all, of those with whom I spoke were eager and excited to finally have a forum in which they could learn about eating disorders and how to approach the issue. That’s when DESTRUCTIVELY FIT®: demystifying eating disorders for fitness professionals® was born. I created this 3-hour training with the goal of educating those within the fitness industry about what eating disorders are and what to do if they notice that someone may be struggling. It has since been endorsed for continuing education by both the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and The American Council on Exercise (ACE) and has sparked the interest of variety of fitness clubs. Destructively Fit™ was also recently featured on RateYourBurn. Check out their blog for the interview!

Some stats for you…
• 25 million American women are struggling with eating disorders
• 7 million American men are struggling with eating disorders
• 81% of 10 year old girls are afraid of being fat
• 51% of 9-10 year old girls feel better about themselves when they are dieting
• 45% of boys are unhappy with their bodies
• 67% of women 15-64 withdraw from life-engaging activities, like giving an opinion and going to the doctor, because they feel badly about their looks
• An estimated 90-95% of college students diagnosed with eating disorders are members of fitness centers

Read more about Destructively Fit® on destructivelyfit.com. You can also follow Destructively Fit® on Facebook and Twitter. Help spread the word and be a part of affecting change!