Mind Body Well Director Janet Lowndes recently attended the Academy for Eating Disorders international conference in Chicago, USA, along with almost 1400 delegates from around the world, and she shares this summary.
An Advanced Sports Dietitian has expertise helping athletes and very active people to utilise nutrition to enhance physical performance. This might mean assisting a marathon runner to figure out the fluid and carbohydrates they need to consume during a race, to helping a young gymnast figure out what food energises her before a morning training session, to assisting a busy mum to come up with quick breakfast ideas to allow her muscles to recover after an early morning exercise class.
I was speaking with a client recently about some concerns she has with mindfulness. She told me she had attended a course on mindfulness, and during the program she had been repeatedly instructed by the teacher to ‘feel into her body’ – a common enough instruction used in meditation practice. She had some significant problems with this instruction though, and felt that the practice of mindfulness was just not for her - “Telling me to feel into my body, is like asking a blind man to have a look”, she said.
It seems everyone these days has something to say about nutrition. Eat this, don’t eat that, eat this with that in order to blah, blah, blah…..
With such a saturation of ‘advice’ about what to eat it can be difficult to find voices of wisdom amidst SO MUCH NOISE!
Sometimes he or she who speaks the loudest about nutrition is the one we’d be best not to listen to at all.
Let me set the scene… there I am, pants off, hot wax hovering just above my legs… when the inevitable question comes from the beautician.
“So, what do you do?”
Honestly, sometimes I lie when I’m asked this question. If I’m not in the mood for a difficult conversation in my off-duty hours, sometimes I say I’m a teacher. After all I figure that’s only partly untrue.
But today I’m feeling ready for a conversation so I tell her… “I’m a Psychologist”.
Until recently meditation was considered a practice exclusive to gurus in caves and swamis on mountain tops. Now more mainstream than alternative, you’ll see meditation mentioned in even the most conservative of medical and psychological journals. Academics and researchers are increasingly interested in how meditation effects our thoughts, our behaviours, and even the very structure and function of our brains.
The language of ‘body image’ is common in our culture of attention to appearance, and lately, conversation about body image seems to everywhere. Body image is a factor commonly related to mental health for young people, and is similarly a concern for many people as they age and come to terms with their changing bodies.
When you think about it, it’s pretty strange that we give so much attention to the image of our bodies.
I used to cringe at the phrase ‘Love Your Body’.
Every anti-narcissism bone in my body reacted to this as a statement I thought of as ego-based and overtly focused on appearance.
But I’ve been thinking about what it might mean to really love your body and I’ve changed my mind. Love after all, is about care. It’s about kindness, respect, and a deep affection and appreciation.