Category Archives: fitness

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!


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!


roll your body!

Whatever the time, whatever the weather, your body needs some love! I posted about foam rolling this past winter but it’s so amazing, I felt it deserved another moment in the spotlight!

One thing that I love to do all year round, but particularly in the wintertime, is foam rolling. Unless you’ve gone out of your way to foster a delicious relationship with this item, you’ve probably avoided it at all costs. Many describe the experience as excruciatingly painful. I was one of those people but stuck with it. Now I love that hurts-so-good feeling and have moved on to the rumble roller (which I can’t say enough about).

Here’s the rundown:
Myofascial release: fascia is a complex web of soft connective tissue located just below your skin. Muscle and fascia make up the myofascial system. This system can become tight for a variety of reasons and what you’re left with is pain, tightness and a restricted range of motion.

Foam roller: a very dense foam cylinder that can be used to massage the body, particularly on areas of tightness and on trigger points.

Put them both together: using a foam roller to roll out your fascia is just like getting a massage. What happens is this: imagine a sponge. Now imagine ringing it out so much that it becomes completely flat. When you add water, the sponge becomes thick and spongey again. That’s what foam rolling does. It compresses the fascia and rehydrates this connective tissue.

There are lots of ways to use a foam roller (disclaimer: if you have injuries or any concerns about engaging in this practice, you should consult with the appropriate professionals before doing anything). But if you’re ready and willing to give it a go, you can find a plethora of exercises on the internet. Also, Sue Hitzmann created the MELT Method® that can help guide you.

Consider it. And if not with foam rolling, find a way to open your body and joints. You can even take this moment, right now, to allow your shoulder blades to melt down your back, breathe deeply into your lungs, fill them with oxygen from the bottom, up and breathe out in one slow and controlled breath. Let go. Now repeat.


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!


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!