Tag Archives: jodi rubin

How has my work with eating disorders impacted me personally?

About 7 years ago I created the curriculum on Eating Disorders for New York University’s Graduate School of Social Work. I LOVE teaching this course and feel a tremendous amount of gratitude for the opportunity to teach such eager men and women something that I feel so passionately about.

Someone in this past class asked me something that no one has asked me yet – How has my work with eating disorders affected my own relationship with food, my body and myself? I didn’t have a quick answer. I really had to think about it. Am I negatively affected in some ways? Am I positively affected in some ways? Do I eat more, as many people describe as a common “side effect” of working with eating disorders?

I gave it some thought and then very genuinely talked my way through my answer. It’s true that on days when the topic of actual food arises, I tend to leave craving foods I wasn’t otherwise thinking about. But I can generally get back in touch with what I really want and satisfy myself. Sometimes that doesn’t happen and the craving is really strong. I’m okay with that, too!

Regarding my body, I spend a lot of time with my patients discussing and exploring body acceptance, honoring ones body and doing all of this in the face of familial and societal pressures. I truly feel that body dissatisfaction, to some degree, has become almost a rite of passage for everyone, both men and women. Doing this work has offered me a daily reminder of the choice I have (we all have) to either reject or to succumb to these pressures and fall into the “I’m not good enough” thinking that lives in tandem with the “thin ideal.” Even in moments when I have a tinge of “not good enough,” I quickly find myself automatically catapulted into some sort of anger or frustration about being told that I have to look a certain way in order to be acceptable.

I shared the above and then continued, “Overall, it has made me more empowered! I never feel so healthy and empowered as I do when I leave my office at the end of the day – most of the time.” WOW! I was a little surprised to hear myself say this with such gusto but it’s true! Working with both men and women struggling with eating disorders has empowered me! Of course, it can be difficult, frustrating, devastating and many other things but what I feel the most is EMPOWERED! Why? I think it’s quite simple. Life in general, as well as doing this work genuinely and authentically, as I hold myself accountable to do, has forced me to develop my own personal ethos and it is from there that I try every day to live both personally and professionally. My ethos includes things like empowerment, authenticity, direct communication, vulnerability and compassion for myself and others.

Today I would like to invite you to consciously consider your own personal ethos and if it matches how you are living most of the time (and let’s face it, none of us are perfect – that’s not what this is about). If you don’t have a personal ethos, then I’d like to invite you to create one for yourself!

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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!


whoopsie! i fell victim to photoshop.

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I was speaking with a friend recently about the impact of the media on self-esteem, etc. and I told her the story of my own experience with edited photos. Her response, “you should write about that for your blog!” So, here’s my confession…

In addition to teaching at New York University (who incidentally just last week requested a head-shot), I do many lectures and workshops in and around NYC. Prior to these engagements I am frequently asked for my bio and head-shot. For years I have provided a bio but never got around to getting a head-shot, in addition to feeling it was entirely unnecessary. Finally, for whatever reason, I decided to give in.

I was given oodles of advice about make-up, clothing, colors, hair, background, etc. by many friends within the entertainment industry. This head-shot project was turning into a bit of a monster. Being true to myself, I did my own hair, threw on a pair of jeans, my favorite boots and the minimalist bit of make-up that I wear. The day was one of the windiest days in March 2011 and, being that it was outside, the entire photo shoot was hilarious. Most of the time the focus was on making things look as though they weren’t windblown.

I finally received my photos and without thought, I sent out the edited one (see above) to someone who had requested it, in addition to uploading it to the “about Jodi Rubin” section of this blog. Until it occurred to me, a few weeks later, that I had used the edited photo without any thought. Somehow, I assumed that it was the photo that should be used. Taking another look, I realized that I actually didn’t like the edited photo. It didn’t look like me. I have more wrinkles and grey hair than is shown. My face is also a slightly different shape than the carved away version would have you believe. Lastly, my edited photo completely undermines my opinions about the impact of media on self-esteem. I immediately deleted the photo and uploaded a raw image. I feel more comfortable and I actually like it better. And… if you know me, you may also be of the opinion that it actually looks more like me!

That’s my story. I feel proud to have realized my error in judgment, actually my complete lack of thought, and am happy to show off my imperfections. After all, I earned every wrinkle and grey hair! So I encourage you to embrace every wrinkle and grey hair you’ve got because you’ve earned them, too!


tunes that move me

As human beings, we are all but hard-wired to respond to music. Studies reveal the incredible impact of music on the brain. Its effects are profound, deep and emotional. The results stretch from lowering blood pressure to enhancing the ability to learn to shifting ones state of consciousness.

Music moves my soul. Here are a few of my favorite positive & inspiring tunes that I hope will move yours…

Christina Aguilera: Beautiful 

P!nk: Fu*kin Perfect

India Arie: Video

Helen Reddy: I Am Woman

Sly & The Family Stone: Everyday People

Christina Aguilera: Soar

Irene Cara: What A Feeling

Fleetwood Mac: Don’t Stop

Beyoncé: Run The World (Girls)

Lady Gaga: Born This Way

Eminem: Not Afraid

Eddie Vedder: Rise

Tragically Hip: Ahead By A Century

Lee Ann Womack: I Hope You Dance

Shania Twain: Man! I Feel Like A Woman

Jennifer Lopez: Alive

Lady Gaga: Hair

Madonna: Shanti/Ashtangi

En Vogue: This Is Your Life http://www.vh1.com/artists/az/en_vogue/albums.jhtml?albumId=39052

Morcheeba: Be Yourself

What moves you? What awakens your mind? Your body? Your spirit? Share below (in “comments”)


operation beautiful

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I found this website, Operation Beautiful, last year and I LOVE it. Why? Because it’s all about treating yourself kindly, generously, compassionately and CONSCIOUSLY. In their words, it’s about “transforming the way you see yourself one post-it note at a time.” Their goal: to end negative self-talk, or fat-talk. I spend much of my time each week talking about and exploring exactly this. Let’s all get active and get involved in eliminating negative self-talk and becoming healthy role models for everyone whose lives we touch! What’s your note?


YO! (plait)

Bravo to Yoplait, who pulled a television advertisement illustrative of what many may recognize as an inner conflict in the mind of someone struggling with an eating disorder. However, what this ad also highlights is the ubiquity of this inner dialogue outside of the world of eating disorders. Many women AND men consistently have a negative inner commentary running in the background and are so accustomed to these thoughts and feelings that it becomes the status quo. Take a look at the ad and then tune in to your own inner commentary. What do you say to yourself? Would you speak to others the way you speak to yourself? Which is louder, the positive or negative self-evaluation? How would you like to speak to yourself? You have the power to change this… with consciousness and with intention.


perfecting vs. accepting

The New York Times published this article on getting bikini-ready in their May 25, 2011 Style section http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/26/fashion/the-bikini-as-a-badge-of-fitness.html.

Which do you believe in and why… financially investing in the ever-changing notion of “perfecting” your body or emotionally investing in loving your ever-changing body?


honor your body – part 2

Then I asked the same people to send me what they say, think about, do and believe that is honoring of their authentic selves and their bodies. Here is what they said…

I just think about all the amazing things it does that other people’s bodies struggle to do (everything from heart/lungs working to having limbs that work to being able to grow a baby). When I’m feeling crappy when I look in the mirror, listing these things off make me appreciate what I’ve got!

I like to think of the movie real women have curves, esp when the mom is giving her a hard time about eating flan and she takes a defiant bite in her face. Makes me think of saying FU to all the diet crap/ED voices out there!!

Mantra– my body is my templeActions — certain yoga poses; e.g. goddess, the warriors, dancer, standing squat

I stopped focusing on how much I wanted to lose weight and changed my thinking to ‘I want to be healthy and strong’…..PRESTO! success! I used to say I have such fat thighs…now I say I have strong thighs that carry me through this world! I don’t focus on weight when working with my clients. Healthy eating, safe smart workouts and positive mind and spirit is what gets results. Oh and consistency!

A smile is the best face-lift” – said a 67-year-old in response to an acquaintance who had told her “you should keep out of the sun – you look so much older than when I saw you last”

Not keeping “skinny clothes” and buying clothes that fit my body the way that it is today.

my daily belief: enjoy each and every day because no one else will do it for you!

eating ice cream cones, looking people in the eyes and greeting them with “how are you” versus “you look good,” using my butt to shimmy up mountains hiking, sharing chocolate cake with pistachio ice cream with my daughter, singing in the car, allowing myself to feel big, live big, never ever being small again (in relationships, to myself, to my beliefs), and giving every woman I meet the regard that we all deserve.  Being in healing big wonderful relationships, not starving ones.  This is how I honor my soul, my body then follows suit.

When I am doing something strenuous I often think “thank  you God for making my body work so well.  I can’t believe that at 50 years old, I can make my body move the way I want it to and to have so much fun.  I am so grateful for having a strong, healthy body to go through life with. I honor my body and I take care of it because it does so much for me.”

When I was in 10th grade I read my mother’s book by Leo Buscaglia “Living, Loving, Learning” at one point he says, “If you have fat thighs, celebrate those fat thighs and you’ll find a fat thigh lover.” I applied that mantra to the parts of my teenage body that were unacceptable to me. I am 45 now and those words I have remembered after all these years.

I used to have nice legs. That’s one thing that happens as we age, even the good stuff withers. After 4 children I now have varicose veins and it would really bum me out. My stepfather had his leg amputated from diabetes and it really made me think. He bought a prosthetic with flames running up the side and would laugh loudly as the kids stood in awe of it. I figured I was lucky to have 2 legs and if this man could still be joyful after his loss then the least I could do was accept mine.

I honor my body by…..dancing Zumba!…getting good sleep…swimming, a therapeutic and relaxing workout…eating organic fruit & salad…knowing when to stop drinking (alcoholic beverages)…stretching after workouts…being conscious of my posture esp. when I’m sitting at the computer for a while…taking power naps

Every time I put eye cream on and see a wrinkle, I tell myself…gosh, I’m glad I have so much laughter in my life
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With time, women gain weight because we accumulate so much information and wisdom in our heads that when there is no more room, it distributes out to the rest of our bodies. So we aren’t heavy, we are enormously cultured, educated and happy. Beginning today, when I look at my butt in the mirror I will think, Good grief, look how smart I am! Must be where ‘Smart Ass’ came from! -from a forwarded email

I have an limited sense of color… so each day, I make it a point to notice how other women appreciate their body in color and I reach out to at least one. I smile and say something nice about the color, pattern or flow of what they are wearing. It’s so nice to see the ladies react and smile. It always lifts my day, how I feel about my own body, and how I can also dress myself. It’s especially nice when I am with my son and he adds his two cents and say something nice to the lady too.  

When my daughter was born, it changed how I thought about my body. I realized that what my body is capable of is powerful and profound — so much more than the superficial components we usually focus on. My body literally nurtured and grew her heart, brain, lungs, limbs and being into maturity. When I pushed her into the world, I was so proud of my body’s power and endurance. It is simply amazing!

In almost 73 years I am more awake now to appreciating the wisdom of the body. It informs me how I feel, how thoughts develop and where my soul has a home. I am learning that the universe is in me. Guiding others to their body wisdom through awareness of their true sensations while knowing and having compassion for those perceptions and beliefs formed by past conditioning heals me as well.

I thought my body betrayed me when I learned I had osteoporosis, but learned my body was doing the best it could and was asking for my attention and care. That is my daily intention. And so the story goes that I and my body are moving along more together than ever before listening to each other. We are all listening to each other. 

Today I challenge YOU to think about the messages you take in, the mantras you march to and the judgments you wield. I challenge you to consciously discard them and replace them with conscious loving kindness, self-acceptance and self-honoring. Encourage your friends, your family, your children, anyone and everyone in your life to do the same. Be intentional.