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Ashley Solomon, Psy.D is a psychologist who specializes in the treatment of eating disorders, body image, trauma, and serious mental illness.

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Tag: Girls on the Run

03 Dec

Five for Friday :: 3 December 2010

Five for Friday 6 Comments by Ashley @ Nourishing the Soul

sunset Photo Credit :: Anne Ruthman

The holidays are now in full swing and merriment is ensuring… right…? For some of us, the holidays can be a difficult time – one that brings challenges around eating, saying no, family, and self-esteem.  Not to mention the stress that can be induced by needing to find the perfect gift for the 18-year-old brother who wears pink sunglasses and studies biomedical engineering (ahem…). I say all this to remind you that holidays don’t necessitate happy. If you’re feeling stressed, tired, depressed, anxious, or even angry this season, then feel those things. It’s okay to skip a holiday party or decline a gift exchange or even (gasp!) take some time for yourself amid the chaos.  Do what you need to do to get through the season and do it with confidence. And eggnog.


  • The first of my Five for Friday picks is tangible (if you touch your monitor I guess…) evidence of what I bang my head on the wall reminding everyone during the season of pumpkin pie and glazed ham: You will not get fat from eating holiday food. The chairman of the Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine says so (and he says it on NPR), so you have to believe it now. End of discussion.
  • Molly Barker, the brilliant and dynamic founder of Girls on the Run, shared a letter to her younger self this week. The post also made me aware of a really phenomenal initiative and book series, Letters to My Younger Self, in which women are asked to consider what they would tell themselves as a young girl. What would you say to your younger self?
  • Speaking of awesome women exposing me to awesome organizations (and who says you can’t learn anything valuable on the internet?…), Sarah Wilson brought to my attention to Because I Am A Girl, Plan International’s global campaign to fight gender inequality, promote girls’ rights and lift millions of girls out of poverty. Be sure to check out the website and find out how you can get involved this holiday season.
  • And continuing on with the trend of having discovered amazing new sites this week, I somehow stumbled upon (though not through StumbleUpon… weird.) the site, Brave Girls Club and a post by Melody that will knock your socks off. She talks about seeing past what things seem. You will tear up and then you will marvel at the images. Really.
  • Are you a foodie? A gourmet? None of the above? For a person with a history of disordered eating, this can be a complicated matter. Read more on the lovely Thighs and Offerings.


Reader Comment of the Week ::  Michele on What if your therapist had an eating disorder?

I think that any disclosures tend to help the therapeutic relationship. Clients/patients tend to look toward the therapist for an example of how to handle difficult situations, learn healthy rather than self-destructive/harming coping skills, and more. Client knowledge that the therapist has suffered with and is successfully dealing with their issues is something that can provide hope and encouragement to someone still struggling.

Clearly, the therapist should only disclose if the proper time arises when it seems like it would help. But I think a little disclosure can go a long way in helping the client open up more. Thinking your therapist “truly” understands from experience is a very big deal.


Have a lovely weekend. And just for kicks, let us know in the comments what you would say to your younger self.


15 Oct

Five for Friday :: 15 October 2010

Five for Friday 11 Comments by Ashley @ Nourishing the Soul

Yesterday, Justin and I traveled about nine hours to run in the Baltimore Running Festival tomorrow morning. This has been many (many……!) months in the making and we are so thrilled for the weekend to finally be upon us. To me there’s nothing like a marathon. The excitement of the city is palpable, with thousands upon thousands of people collected in one place for a common purpose – to fulfill a dream. Whether it be walking in his first 5k or completing her tenth marathon to qualify for Boston, it’s incredible to see thousands of eager participants gearing up to accomplish something they never thought they could.

As I’ve mentioned, I’m running tomorrow to support Girls on the Run, an incredible organization dedicated to promoting the health and happiness of young girls in our communities. I’ll be proudly sporting my GOTR shirt and reminding myself of the thousands of young girls who are inspired daily by the programming they are offered. Watch this inspiring video and tell me you don’t want to support this program?

Meanwhile, Justin will be running the full marathon and trying to do it under three hours – a bit ridiculous, if you ask me! We’ll both be running with passion, and I ask for your thoughts tomorrow morning!

One more article of business before the Friday picks… Please don’t forget that both bloggers and non-bloggers are invited to participate in the new Self-Discovery, Word by Word series. You can check out the introductory post to get all the details, but all you have to do is share your thoughts on gratitude and then send me a link or paragraph to include in the round-up next week! I’ve adored getting to read everyone’s beautiful expressions of gratitude over the past ten days. Thank you all for participating!

Now, on to all the amazing things around the internet. The theme for me this week seemed to be empowering daughters and young girls in our lives (which was ironically not a conscious effort) I hope that you’ll check out my top five and leave lots of comment love for the writers. Just as I am doing through running for GOTR, these writers are striving to make a difference in the health and well-being of others. So support them and, of course, enjoy!


  • This post technically wasn’t this week, but it really resonated with me. And since I make the rules on my own Five for Friday, I’m including it! So what is it? Sarah Wilson talked about the simple act of asking the question, “Are you okay?” I can recall so many points in my own life when that short phrase meant the world to me.
  • Marianne Schnall on Adios Barbie, a fantastic body image site, let down her hair in a post about battles with her mane. She talks about loving yourself for you who you are and teaching your daughters to do the same.
  • Over on Pigtail Pails, a blog and store that empowers girls to “redefine girly,” Melissa talked about fat talk, sharing some startling statistics and featuring a moving video based on Dr. Robyn Silverman’s book, Good Girls Don’t Get Fat.
  • Empowering Girls is a blog and resource that “empowers girls to fly high!” Read this awesome post about how our beliefs impact our girls’ identities. This is great information for both parents and those considering how thei own identities might have been shaped.
  • Michelle from Eating Journey celebrated the one year anniversary of Exposed, a movement she started to inspire others to reveal themselves fully and put aside body-shame. Here’s a quote I loved from her post:

What I can say is that being Exposed is about being raw with who you are, letting your spirit be at peace and marinading in the beauty of what body you have been given.


Reader Comment of the Week :: Margarita on The meaning of food choices

…I love asking all those questions to get at the deeper meanings that food has for us (not always, but oftentimes). And your example of associating ice cream with safety and comfort is so familiar to me. For me, there are many foods that evoke past memories. For instance, when I eat certain Russian foods, memories just flood into my mind. Some foods remind me of my grandma (like potatoes made on the skillet with mushrooms) or of my dad (shrimp with spaghetti). It’s really neat to think about!

As always, make sure to share what great things you’ve been reading or writing this week! Have a great weekend!


05 Aug

Girls on the Run!

Advocacy 17 Comments by Ashley @ Nourishing the Soul

This is a “bonus” blog post for this week because I just couldn’t wait to let you all know about something that has been making me smile all week!

Last week I stumbled upon a post by Caitlin (same chick I mentioned earlier this week who developed Operation Beautiful) about Girls on the Run. When I began reading, I had the sense that this initiative was something I had heard about before, but I wasn’t quite sure. So I kept reading…

What I learned was that Girls on the Run does some truly amazing things. GOTR is an experiential learning program designed for girls ages eight to thirteen. For the past fifteen years, GOTR has been offering education and empowerment to girls as a means of not only preventing risky behaviors, but also encouraging healthy development in all areas of life – academic, social, mental, spiritual, moral, and physical. It works by offering girls a running program combined with a curriculum focused on building self-esteem and great health habits. The girls in the program follow a ten- to twelve-week curriculum in which they get to know themselves and each other, focus on team-building and communication, and develop an understanding of their local and global community. They even have lessons on media literacy!! At the end of the program, the girls complete a 5k race, an achievement that gives them an incredible sense of accomplishment and confidence.

Program evaluations have demonstrated that girls that participate in GOTR show statistically significant improvements in body image, eating attitudes, and self-esteem. The analytical side of me loves this! And the emotional side of me was brought to smiles and tears in reading some of the essays written by participants.

Check out this one written by a third-grader who learned to stand up for what she believes in. I loved how it shows the program has ripple effects – the girl became more confident in her beliefs and the boy also gained acceptance. What could be better?

So, why am I telling you all about Girls on the Run? Well, it’s a great organization worthy of attention in its own right… but I also wanted to share my “exciting news” that I have decided to join SoleMates, a program designed to support Girls on the Run. The idea is that athletes (weird to call myself an athlete, but I’ll go with it) sign up to meet individual goals, such as running, walking, or biking in a particular event, in order to raise money for local GOTR councils.

While I have discussed running on this blog, I haven’t mentioned what I’m training for specifically. I am currently training to run the 5k at the Baltimore Running Festival on October 16th. While a 5k might not seem like a big deal, particularly after having run a half-marathon, I’m running to beat a specific time that a few months ago was only a pipe dream for me. I’ve been kicking my own butt training for this event, and I decided that all of this time and energy should really have a purpose bigger than me saying I was simply able to do it. Thus, when I heard about SoleMates to support GOTR, I knew this was meant for me to get involved.

I know that there are a number of you reading who are walkers, runners, and bikers, and plenty more who could be if you wanted to, so I am encouraging you to check out this program. There are also other ways to get involved in Girls on the Run, so check out their website for details.

If you’re not in a position to join yourself, feel free :-) to support me in my fundraising efforts.

It’s pretty amazing when something that you’re already dedicating yourself to can help make a difference in the lives of others. Thanks for your support!


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