Introduction to the Series
Happy New Year (albeit half a month into 2024 at the time of writing this post) from your friendly librarians at MML!
This year we are partnering with Community Services (CS) and Aging in Place (AIP) to launch a year-long Wellness Series of programs geared towards our community elders while appealing to adults of all ages. In addition to programs hosted by the library and/or CS, the library will be providing bimonthly bibliographies and displays pertaining to:
- Physical Wellness in JANUARY/FEBRUARY
- Spiritual Wellness in MARCH/APRIL
- Emotional Wellness in MAY/JUN
- Social/Communal Wellness in JULY/AUGUST
- Financial, Occupational & Intellectual Wellness in SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER
- Tying up loose ends & finding an all-encompassing *Sense of Purpose* in NOVEMBER/DECEMBER
First up, if you are looking for some specific recommendations for books, audiobooks, and movies (documentaries, exercise videos, etc.) pertaining to the topic of physical wellness, I’ve compiled this interactive spreadsheet with suggested titles on numerous topics inside the broader discussion of physical wellness.
Physical Wellness programs (sponsored by Community Services):
Below are the January-February programs on Physical Wellness hosted by Community Services. If you have any questions, reach out to Lisa Stragliotto (firstname.lastname@example.org) at Community Services.
- Thursday, January 18th (10-11am): Use It or Lose It presentation on Brain Health as part of CS’s recurring “Coffee with Community” series
- TBA (February “Coffee with Community” program about nutrition)
Stay tuned for more information about upcoming programs in this series in the coming year!
Body Image & New Year’s Resolutions
Post-holiday season is when almost everyone is talking about their New Year’s resolutions which often involve losing weight or “getting (back) in shape.” While this can be a good idea and/or medically necessary plan of action, certified nutritionists like Christy Harrison warn us that in many cases dieting leads to disordered eating and low(er) self esteem.
If you truly want/need to lose weight, go for it! There’s also nothing at all bad about watching your diet and exercising as long as you don’t take it to an unhealthy extreme. You may end up rebounding and going on a series of donut binges. Considering how delicious Holy Donut goodies are, it is very tempting. 😉
All joking aside, is the reason you want to lose weight because you are feeling pressured to do so thanks to Western culture’s beauty standards of thinness? If so, consider this question raised by many contemporary feminist writers (including certified nutritionists): how can we love and respect ourselves as we are in our current shapes and sizes? This applies to people of all genders, women, men, trans folx, non binary individuals, etc. Unfortunately the vast majority of the current literature pertaining to body positivity is from a very gendered, namely women’s, perspective. Regardless, these writers, especially Sonya Renee Taylor, consider embracing your body as it is to be a radical act in the pursuit of both physical and emotional wellness. If you are on a quest to lose weight, how can you still love and respect your body throughout the process regardless of how successful you end up being in shedding the pounds you’re trying to lose?
Just some food for thought and my own musing on the topic – you do you! Here are two more titles that really stood out for me personally:
To start your own journey, be sure to checkout our bibliographies for book recommendations on the topic of body image found both at the library and in the Minerva network, as well as this list of relevant podcasts and documentaries below.
- The BodyLove Project Podcast (hosted by dietitian & personal trainer, Jessi Haggerty)
- Eat the Rules with Summer Innanen (hosted by Summer Innanen, a body image coach)
- Generation Body Positive (hosted by Cate Navarette, founder of the student-run Body Positive Alliance)
If you have access to Netflix, consider checking out this recent streaming series, Survival of the Thickest (2023-ongoing), dramatizing the same topic of the recent influx of plus-sized models in the fashion industry explored in A Perfect 14 (2018).
Finally, whatever your physical (and/or emotional) wellness goals are for 2024, whether or not they involve weight loss, try to be gentle and compassionate with yourself (and your body) along the way.
Adult Services Librarian