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Mental Health



Roy and Lynn Roden Prepare to Cycle 4,500 Miles Cross-Country for Parkinson’s Disease Awareness

In one month I am leaving on a cross-country journey from Seattle to Miami – via bicycle – with my husband and my two dogs, Oliver and Samantha. I am 40-years old and a recent empty nester. My name is Lynn Roden. This is my story.

Ten years ago I was a successful web designer/graphic artist and although I loved my job, I woke up one day to discover I was not the size I remembered. How come my size 6 pants were now starting to feel tight? Some may say “Only a size 6!” but you have to take into consideration that I was thin my whole life leaning between a size 0 and a size 2 – going up to a size 8 would have been the equivalent of going from a size 6 to a size 14 to me, a big difference.

I started with a personal trainer at Olympia Gym in Aventura, FL. working out two times a week. I started watching my nutrition and added cardio into my workout routine. Two days a week gradually became three. I loved this new more confident, stronger me and decided to become a personal trainer myself.

At the gym there was a front desk manager who took his job very seriously. It seemed that every time I came in this man would come out of nowhere to make sure I had signed in. It became a game and I would start coming in just to buy a bottle of water at the juice bar just to defy the need for me to sign in upon entering Olympia. He had a Harley Davidson motorcycle and I had been wanting to ride. One day my trainer hooked us up, we went to lunch, and were married six months later.

On our first year anniversary my husband, Roy, was diagnosed with YOPD – Young Onset Parkinson’s Disease. I entered my first triathlon. Somehow becoming stronger physically was akin to being strong emotionally. In addition, my two teenage daughters were grown and independent enough to want to leave home. I found myself 40, an empty-nester, and with a new husband with a degenerative neurological disease.
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The Perils of Food Porn: How Lustful Food Photos Affect Our Appetites

We’ve all been there: It’s late, you’re scrolling through Pinterest and you see a sexy photo of an ice cream-topped brownie with a thick drizzle of fudge running down the side. On top? A hefty mound of fresh whipped cream and plenty of strawberries. Immediately, you’re sucked in: You need that brownie.

Whether this has happened to you or not, you’ve likely heard of the phenomenon that’s now commonly known as “food porn.”

As a food blogger and food gawker myself, food porn has affected me over and over again. Just this summer while visiting friends in Portland, I stumbled across a photo on Pinterest of a chocolate chip skillet cookie. In that moment, I decided I absolutely had to have some for myself. Hours later I was happy as a pig, mindlessly eating my own thick slice of ice cream-topped cookie pie.

Pinterest isn’t the only website pimping out its tantilizing food photos. In fact, it’s just the beginning. Dozens of other food sites like Foodgawker, Tastespotting and Dessert Stalking host a wide array of tempting food photos, with the cheesiest, gooey-est and most comforting shots often gaining the most attention. 
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Mindfully Eat Your Way to Weight Loss This Fall

In many parts of the country, fall is one of the most beautiful times of the year. Other bonuses of the season including being able to exercise outdoors without fear of heat stroke and the holidays are quickly bringing family an friends together. However, that’s also a downside. With the holidays comes the lure of many enticing foods that will quickly pack on the pounds. Fad diets that promise quick weight loss may show results at first, but many times lost weight is regained as soon as the holiday decor is taken down.

Before this holiday season gives you even more reasons to overeat, change your bad eating habits in favor of ones with lasting weight loss.

We spoke with Susan Albers, PsyD., a clinical psychologist and author of Eating Mindfully, to hear her advice on how to achieve weight loss goals through permanent changes in eating habits.

“Seventy-five percent of overeating is caused by emotions, yet most of our diets focus on food, which is why they fail,” she said. “They don’t teach what to do for cravings or slip ups.”

Instead of another diet failing, focus on what she calls mindful eating. It’s not a diet with menus or recipes, instead it’s about changing psychological habits. “It’s more about how you eat than what you eat,” Dr. Albers said.
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When Common Life Problems Turn into Mental Health Diagnoses

I was pretty excited to watch “Diagnostic & Statistical Manual: Psychiatry’s Deadliest Scam,” a production of Citizen’s Commission on Human Rights. Most people in the mental health field are anxiously awaiting the official reveal of the updated Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) – the book that outlines and defines all known mental health disorders. 

There are even debates about the potential changes. Whether you love it or you hate it, this book does make a big impact on our field. As a practitioner I am not a big fan of diagnosis, but I believe insurance is to blame for this more than the DSM.

Most people want their insurance to pay for treatment, even when simply dealing with the normal grief of losing a loved one, stress regarding life changes, or marital problems. However, for insurance to fund treatment, a diagnosis is required.

These kinds of situations, in my opinion, have led to the exaggeration of common life problems into diagnoses more so than the DSM itself. Most people, even when given the choice, choose diagnosis for the benefit of insurance-funded treatment. While this might save money and stress immediately, there are many longterm consequences of mental health diagnoses.
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Regular Yoga Practice May Increase Productivity at Work

Most of us are familiar with the benefits of having a wellness center at the workplace. While some of these centers offer treadmills, free weights and a scattering of fitness mats for stretching or core work, others provide classes for yoga and meditation.

It is almost impossible to ignore the headlines that boast how a regular yoga practice promotes health. From improved digestion to a peaceful state of mind, the benefits of yoga seem endless.

One of the lesser known perks of yoga is that it yields a higher level of productivity at work. While you might gain a fit body and a calm mind as a result of your efforts on the mat – whether at your workplace wellness center or your local yoga studio – your boss benefits from a more engaged and active worker. It is a win-win situation that might just lead to a raise, a promotion, or an opportunity to switch careers and find your dream job.

The following are three ways yoga might help increase your productivity and boost your mood at work.
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