Five Reasons Top Athletes Work with a Sport Psychologist

Five Reasons Top Athletes Work With a Sport Psychologist by Sari Shepphird, Ph.D. It was a surprising moment. After winning the NBA title with the L.A. Lakers, forward Ron Artest (now known as Metta World Peace) made it a point to thank his doctor for the psychological help that raised his game and kept him focused despite tremendous pressure. Yet this revelation came as no surprise to athletes around the…

Top 10 Facts You Need to Know about Eating Disorders

We are hearing a lot more about eating disorders these days, and much of what we learn on the subject comes via celebrity news stories and popular media. So how can we know if what we hear is true? Keep reading, because below you will find the top ten things that everyone should know about eating disorders. Some of the information derives from my book, 100 Questions and Answers about…

Top Ten Obesity Myths

Of all the socially descriptive categories in our society — tall/short, quiet/loud, outgoing/shy, pretty/plain, dark/fair, funny/serious – there is only one that causes continued and increasing levels of shame, embarrassment, self-loathing, and even disgust: thin/fat. F-A-T. For many, it is the most terrifying three-letter word in our language. You would think there are worse things that someone could be, but in our society, to be fat is to be a…

Top Exercise and Sport Performance Nutrition Myths

If you like this post, see my post on the ”Top 10 Diet and Food Myths.” This information derives from my book 100 Questions and Answers about Anorexia Nervosa. Myth #1: The leaner you are, the better athlete you will be. While a drop in weight may initially increase performance speed in sports, lack of adequate nutrition depletes the body’s system, resulting in decreased performance overall. Myth #2: Being thinner…

Male Eating Disorders, Part 4: Media Influence

I am sure that few of you escaped the recent headlines about Kate Moss and her stated motto, “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”, an oft-repeated slogan by those in the Pro-Ana and Pro-Mia movements. Experts and non-experts alike have long debated the media’s influence on eating disorders. Recent research has highlighted the affect that media can have on body image and disordered eating behaviors. However, the focus on…

Male Eating Disorders Part II: Male Subgroups and Eating Disorder Risk

Just as is true of females with eating disorders, there appear to be certain subgroups who are at higher risk for developing eating disorders. For example, athletes whose weight is a factor in their performance are an especially vulnerable group. Wrestlers, jockeys, runners, male gymnasts, and male dancers have a higher reported rate of eating disordered behavior than in the general population, due in part to beliefs and practices that…

Males and Eating Disorders Part 3: Gender stereotyping?

Are eating disorders “just a female problem?” Studies say “no”, and eating disorder professionals know that to be true, but many factors nevertheless leave many cases of eating disorders undiagnosed in many males. Factor One: Diagnostic Criteria While eating disorder professionals believe that anorexia is under-diagnosed in both genders, certain diagnostic considerations may make this of particular concern for males. For example, the DSM-IV-TR diagnostic criteria for anorexia includes amenorrhea,…

Male Eating Disorders – Do Boys and Men Get Eating Disorders?

It is still surprising to me the degree to which eating disorders are considered solely a female issue. Yes, most cases of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are in females, but to consider eating disorders a “female issue” is to deny appropriate attention (and in some cases access to treatment!) to tens of thousands, and upward, of males. So, I begin today a series of posts about male eating disorders.…

Identifying feelings for recovery

Having trouble connecting to your feelings? Do you find it difficult to identify what you feel? Maybe you know that you are upset, but you can’t say why – is it anger, fear, or anxiety? If so, you are not alone. Studies and clinical data show that people with eating disorders often have difficulty identifying and expressing their feelings. Sometimes it’s for fear of the feelings being too intense of…

Body Fat Basics

How much body fat is the right amount of body fat? Does everyone have the same amount of body fat? What determines how much fat a person stores on their body? These are some “body fat basics” that might be helpful in understanding why it is that we find such a variety of body types when we think of our friends and family. First, it is important to know that…