On Sept. 25, Dr. Lenka Glassman (PsyD), Rachel Engelhart (RD, LPC), and Kaitlyn Wozniak (NASM) talked to St. John’s in-season female athletes about how to find a balance as student-athletes. More specifically, they discussed building better relationships with their bodies, food, and exercise.
Glassman discussed red flags that signal a need to change your relationship with food and exercise. She said an example of an emotional red flag is spending an hour or more in a day thinking about what types of food will be served at an event. Examples of red flags for attitudes toward food include skipping meals and eating in secret. Some exercise red flags are having a rigid exercise regime, intense anxiety, depression, or feeling distressed if you can’t exercise a certain day. She emphasized that your ideal body weight is one that lets you feel strong and lead a healthy life. She said that charts and data are generalized and can therefore be misleading.
Englehart discussed how women have to shift their thinking, because how you think about an event impacts your feelings, which can in turn impact your actions. She gave an example about eating at an event. If you look at it as a bad thing, then that will make you feel ashamed and not want to eat around people anymore. In contrast, if you shift your mindset to one where everyone has to eat, then you will feel satisfied and not mind eating around people. She summed up by saying that we should never feel judged for eating because our bodies need so much energy, even if we are just lounging around on a lazy Sunday.
Wozniak discussed how supplements should not be your go-to for nutrients. First, you should try and obtain nutrients by eating all the colors of the rainbow. If you are still lacking some nutrients, taking a multivitamin is ok. However, she cautioned against taking supplements that sound too good to be true. She then discussed how it is recommended that we get around 30 minutes of exercise per day, but it doesn’t have to be the same regimen every day. You can choose to go hiking, do yoga, or even walk your dog, demonstrating how exercise is for all body types. Furthermore, she discussed the mental and emotional benefits of fitness, like decreased stress, social interaction, improved sleep quality, and time for yourself.
Finally, they discussed how to get help, whether calling the NEDA helpline (1800-931-2237), confiding in a trusted adult, or reaching out to any of the speakers. They wanted to demonstrate that everyone has options if they need help. In addition to everything discussed during the meeting, they also handed out a sheet about eating disorders. It defines the most common eating disorders; describes biological, psychological, and social risk factors; and the emotional, social, and physical impacts it has on your body.