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What we read: January 17, 2020

This week, I’m determined to share positive news and kudos. Mostly. I’ll start with Heather Hannsman’s piece from Outside magazine. In sum, at the macro level, it’s not okay, and, sometimes it isn’t okay at the micro level in my day-to-day life either. So, I’m trying to by grateful for the positive and focus on those things that I can work on to make better, because I’m qualified to speak to those things and/or progress from my effort is accessible. At least, that is my goal. My emotional and mental health require it. And there is reason for hope (Virginia finally ratified the ERA).

Speaking of burnout, I appreciated this article from Yoga Journal on tips to avoid burnout. Our newest writer, Jaymee, wrote about self care through meditation this week, and linked to some great resources, namely the Calm app.

Continuing the conversation about (under)fueling in women athletes, I appreciated this article from Fast Running. I’ll be the first to admit that this issue of unrealistic body standards is always on my mind, but I am glad that we are talking about it. Competitive running is a place where the harms of underfueling are most apparent, and awareness of the culture that perpetuates their myth of the ideal women runner is important. On that note, this post from Fast Women about how the author, as a coach, could have handled RED-S (formerly known as the Female Athlete Triad) better as a coach is a great read. We can all do better but coaches certainly are a big part of the solution.

Initially, I was excited to see this article from Allure magazine on disordered eating, contrasting disordered with eating disorders. Indeed, the premise of my (much mentioned) book is that there is not a clear differentiation between an eating disorder as pathological and so-called healthy eating, which everyone falls into. Instead, eating patterns happen on a continuum of disorder that is largely influenced by cultural and social issues. Yet, the Allure article pathologizes disordered eating too, which I don’t see as necessary or helpful. I argue that, for the most part, our body’s appearance especially as it relates to size is never pathological. Same with eating. The pathologization of eating habits is one catalyst of the shame that exacerbates societal pressures on people to eat a certain way. However, the “healthy” way to eat cannot be standardized because everyone’s fueling needs are different (and, when one standardizes their own eating, that becomes a disorder too–they call it orthorexia!). The instinct to classify how women eat is not only unnecessary, it is harmful. Food simply is, no judgment or intervention necessary.

ICYMI, the Olympic Committee banned political statements from athletes in the 2020 Olympics. One wonders what they are afraid of, exactly, aside from the fear the athletes will protest injustice and be seen as more than docile bodies.

Ah. Got it.

Finally, from Yes! Magazine, a reminder that while Australia is still burning, there are valuable sources of knowledge and solutions from indigenous communities.

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