National Eating Disorders Association

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what it means to take up space - literally and figuratively.

I am a therapist, and I specialize in women’s issues; therefore, this topic leads me to think about women and the cultural messages we receive about claiming space in the world. I use female pronouns and refer to women as a result, but rest assured that anyone could relate to this concept. 

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A picture is worth a thousand words, but what about the words themselves? For people who have struggled with an eating disorder, words can play a huge role in whether or not they engage in ED behaviors. Words and language are such critical elements of our relationships and interactions, and it sucks when they continually chip away at our psyches. 

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“Monthly Matters with Melody” is a monthly advice column by Dr. Melody Moore, a clinical psychologist, yoga instructor and the founder of the Embody Love Movement Foundation. Her foundation is a non-profit whose mission is to empower girls and women to celebrate their inner beauty, commit to kindness and contribute to meaningful change in the world. Dr. Moore is a social entrepreneur who trains facilitators on how to teach programs to prevent negative body image and remind girls and women of their inherent worth.

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Five years ago, my body image was terrible. I was in the midst of completing my undergraduate degree, living in Canada and eating out or ordering in a LOT. I wasn’t doing any self-care; I didn’t even know what self-care was back then. 

My life was so full of drama and I was going through a pretty significant depression. I lacked the energy to cook, so I ate out three to four times a week. School ended, seasons changed and I was doing a little better emotionally, and by summer of 2011, I launched into full diet mode. I was obsessively counting points and calories. 

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For the holidays this year, some parents may be buying their kids the Gabba Goods fitness tracker. It’s one of several wearable fitness devices geared toward kids to promote exercise and combat childhood obesity. It seems like a thoughtful idea at first glance, but I can think of plenty of other things for kids to keep track of. They can count the things they are grateful for, or the stars in the sky; they can keep track of their dreams and the days until Christmas and the candles on their birthday cake. Things kid don’t need to track? Steps walked and calories burned.

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Happy Friday, everyone! This week, we congratulate congress and President Obama on finalizing the 21st Century Cures Act, the first-ever piece of legislation directly addressing the prevention and treatment of eating disorders. 

Below are some other news headlines worth celebrating! 

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This week's top news headlines include Prince William’s encouraging talk about raising mental health awareness in the workplace and the announcement of a new Barbie movie starring Amy Schumer, with the aim of challenging impossible mainstream body ideals.

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It’s a social media phenomenon. It’s in our faces every day. But for those of us with body image struggles, does it help or hinder? “Love your body!” So cries social media, preaching a shiny gospel of body positivity to all of us. At first glance, this seems a welcome oasis amid the onslaught of shaming advertisements and fitness and diet posts.

The “body-posi” movement can be beneficial in so many ways, but we need to have a bigger conversation about it—which aspects of the movement are actually beneficial, and which parts can, themselves, be triggering and harmful? 

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Hello, everyone! Self-care has been a major theme across the web these past few weeks and the topic doesn’t show any signs of stopping as we delve into this week's eye-catching news headlines.

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Little bunnies, robust lions and occasional sloths—all is par for the course in Disney’s latest animated hit, Zootopia. I won’t spoil it for you, promise, but for those of you who haven’t seen it, it’s not just about cute animals. 

Themes like racism make Zootopia more an adult movie than a kids’ cartoon, but it’s the fleshed-out characters that really make it shine. This is depicted best in thick-skinned male co-protagonist Nick Wilde, who at one pivotal moment says, “I promised myself I would never let anyone know that they got to me.”

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