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I had the idea for this blog a few weeks ago when I was running around Sedona, listening to audiobooks and indulging in severe alone time. I re-listened to a section of David Goggin’s book Can’t Hurt Me, which is one of the best memoirs I’ve read to-date. Goggins popularized the phrase “stay hard” and he’s become a popular dude. People want to be like him: athletic, mentally tough, a “savage.” As an ultra endurance athlete, I concur. I do need to stay hard. But there is equal value, I think, in staying soft. …


[Listen to an audio version of this blog here.]

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I was reading a study the other day about the benefits of elderly persons interacting with young children on a consistent basis. The study basically shows that inter-generational interaction is meaningful for both children and the elderly. It decreases social isolation in older adults and improves the social and emotional skills of children. I was lucky to grow up surrounded by grandparents and my great grandmother. My great-grandmothers house sat yards from my own, and I was free to see her anytime I wanted. …


[Listen to an audio version of this blog here.]

This will only be interesting to you if you care about food and/or enjoy thinking about food. But I used to be vegan and now I’m not and I’m tired of explaining myself, so here we are.

I gave up veganism last January, but I didn’t tell anyone. I didn’t tell anyone because I was embarrassed and ashamed that I couldn’t make veganism work for me. Veganism isn’t just a diet, it’s a “lifestyle,” as you’ll hear many vegans say. Luckily, I wasn’t too deep in the vegan community or culture so I didn’t suffer the backlash that some former vegans, like Alyse Parker or Yovana Mendoza have. …


[Listen to an audio version of this blog here.]

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“This is fucked,” I thought.

Then, “we’re fucked.”

Then, “well, we’re not all fucked but those mother fuckers are fucked.”

I dislike politics more and more every day. I dislike domestic terrorism and blind faith to dogmatic belief systems and close-mindedness and hatred. I dislike unfairness. I dislike immorality. I dislike people (i.e. Trump) who promote hatred and ignorance and call it “strength” and “patriotism.” I dislike the people who like Trump because he’s funny or brash or white enough to erase all his failures. I dislike that he was ever elected president. I dislike that my friends overseas make fun of the country I’m supposed to be proud of. I was relieved when Biden won, and not really because I adore Biden. He is no saving grace. But he is, at the very least, principled. …


[Listen to an audio version of this blog HERE.]

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Having a poor body image is the amalgamation of so many factors. Cultural, societal, or familial pressures; psychological distress; emotional hardships; everyday life. How physically active you are, how much you weigh, how much body fat you carry, how large or small you are compared to who you are around, how your clothes fit and the sizes of those clothes, what you ate and how you feel about what you ate. The media and the Photoshop inherent in the media. Diet talk and weight loss programs and…everything, really.

I have weighed the same weight for over four years without really trying all that hard. I try to eat when I’m hungry and stop when I’m full and mostly eat foods that I know are healthful. Sometimes I eat too many sweets or drink too much wine, feel like shit, and course-correct but for the most part, I have the diet bit dialed in. And even though I weigh the same and pretty much look the same, my perception of myself can swing from amazing to terrible in a matter of hours. Isn’t that fucked up? Because I’ve been in therapy so long, I’ve learned that when I focus too much on my body there is normally a larger, underlying issue. And, even though I’ve been in therapy a long time and worked pretty hard on cultivating a healthy body image, I still fall into moments of disliking my body for how it looks or what I perceive that it lacks. The other night, I was feeling particularly puffy and gross and hating my body. The next morning I walked by the mirror and literally thought to myself, “wow, I look great.” Nothing really changed in those few hours of sleep, except I was maybe a bit dehydrated when I woke up. My body was still my body and it was largely unchanged. …


[Listen to an audio version of this blog here.]

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At the end of every year, I write a poem for the year that is coming to a close. 2020 was unlike any year, but any year is unlike any year. And a year is nothing more than an arbitrary measure of time, anyway. May all your years be filled with enough joy to make them worthwhile and enough pain to keep you humble. As we turn the page to 2021, let’s remember that our problems are “sitting shotgun” and there is no good way to outrun them. Let’s be kind to ourselves and everyone else. Let’s put our phones down and laugh with the people who matter. Let’s be grateful for small things while also striving toward bigger ones. Let’s shun complacency and embrace gratitude. Let’s hold ourselves accountable and give second chances. Let’s all be and do better. …


[Listen to an audio version of this blog HERE.]

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When people think of eating disorders, they usually think of Anorexia Nervosa (extreme restriction) or Bulimia Nervosa (binging and purging). More than likely, someone with a long history of disordered eating may experience both. My eating disorder started as restriction and grew into purging via vomiting and excessive exercise. Purging is a behavior to induce weight loss or manipulate body shape. Purging can mean a number of things, including: self-induced vomiting, misuse of laxatives or medications, or excessive exercise.

I’ve been beating the dead horse of eating disorders for years now. I’m passionate about raising awareness not only because I suffered but because eating disorders are among the deadliest mental health conditions, with someone in the U.S. dying every 52 minutes due to an eating disorder. In a world that is focused on food, body size, diet, and pleasure, it is no wonder that eating disorders are not uncommon. We are both a nation obsessed with and fearful of food. …


[Listen to an audio version of this blog here.]

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It’s Christmas Eve, and instead of curling up on my parent’s sofa as snow falls outside, with a tree lighting up their enormous living room window, I’m taking a solo road trip to Sedona, AZ to play in the mountains and pat a horses’ nose.

Weird year, weird holiday season.

My family decided to socially distance this Christmas because we don’t want to inadvertently kill each other. Isn’t that nice?

Normally, my family would be congregating and eating; laughing and avoiding politics or religion. We would be cooking a ham and mashing potatoes and rolling lefse into sugary, buttery logs. Lefe, by the way, is a traditional soft Norwegian flatbread, usually made with potatoes and cooked on a large, flat griddle. We cover the bread with butter and sugar and ignore the impending heart attack. …


[Listen to an audio version of this blog HERE.]

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“It’s great that therapy has helped you,” he said. “I just don’t think I need it.”

“Have you ever tried?” I asked.

“No, I just know it won’t help me,” he answered.

I wanted to roll my eyes but I didn’t because, as my therapist has told me, visibly rolling one’s eyes is rude, and sure to incite negative feelings. …


[Listen to an audio version of this blog HERE.]

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Shortly after the presidential election, I stopped watching the news. It was all so insincere and contradictory and exhausting. Not watching the news, though, is not a popular thing to do. There has been much discussion around the inherent privilege of ignoring the news and disconnecting from media. One author, in a piece entitled, “The White Privilege of Ignoring the News” went so far as to write, “If there is evidence of privilege, that’s it: to feel so insulated from adversity, so inoculated from suffering, so immune from struggle, so unaffected by reality — that you could simply turn off the news, because the act feels inconsequential to your existence. It reveals that not only do you feel the events of the day have no tangible or lasting effect on you, but you’re blissfully ignorant to the way those events are painful, invasive, and even deadly to less fortunate people who lack the luxury of being oblivious..” …

About

Sarah McMahon

Eating Disorder Activist | Poet | Freelancer |Blogger IG: @the_prosiest email: sarahrose.writer@gmail.com

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