Posts Tagged ‘Body Image’

Debunking Diet Culture

A fork and knife sit on a plate, with a tape measure wrapped around them.

The New Year’s Trap

January is meant to usher in a fresh start, but it seems stuck on a perpetual loop, playing the same tired track year after year. It is nearly impossible to avoid the month’s barrage of messaging taking aim at our waistlines and metabolism, reducing our worth to our outer appearance and the number on the scale. We’re aggressively encouraged to “fix” ourselves with detoxes, cleanses, and 30-day transformation workout plans. We’re told that efforts toward “self-improvement” should be strictly in the pursuit of a “new” body—one that requires constant vigilance, control, and scrutiny to ensure it doesn’t slip back into a previous year’s iteration.  

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How to Navigate Unwanted Food and Body Comments During the Holidays

Young people talking beside a holiday tree

Eating disorders can make the holidays especially stressful. The increased focus on eating this time of year often comes with unwelcome comments about food, body, and weight. When in recovery from an eating disorder, you are already battling disordered thoughts, and oftentimes people’s comments on food and body can confirm your judgments of yourself—no matter how well-intentioned. Remarks on these subjects can even trigger eating disorder behaviors. 

Before attending a holiday event in eating disorder recovery, we encourage you to prepare for comments you may receive about food or your body. You may feel comfortable challenging the person asking or commenting something inappropriate or you may prefer to set the boundary that certain topics are off-limits around you. If you don’t have the energy for those options, it may be better for your recovery to simply change the subject or excuse yourself instead. Learn more below about how to navigate unwanted comments during the holidays. 

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Preventing and Combating Body Shaming

A woman sits at a table resting her arm on the table with her hand on her forehead looking distressed

Eating disorders are complex brain-based illnesses influenced by a variety of biological, psychological, and environmental factors. Body shaming—that is, shaming or humiliating an individual for the size or shape of their body—is one environmental factor that can contribute to the development of an eating disorder. It is a risk factor we can work together to prevent and combat. 

In this article, learn what body shaming entails, how it relates to eating disorders, and what you can do to combat it in your everyday life.

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Episode 69: Mindful Self-Compassion with Erin Werner

Erin W

Episode description: 

Erin Werner is a mental health administrator, student, makeup artist, and ordained minister who enjoys being present with her family, cooking, and baking. In this episode of Peace Meal, she shares her eating disorder experience, including the factors that contributed to her illness, her process of seeking help, and the power of mindful self-compassion in her recovery.

Erin recounts her struggle with multiple eating disorders, illnesses that were characterized by bingeing, restricting, and purging throughout her adolescence and into her 20s. She then explains how, with the help of her parents, she started therapy and learned to identify the factors and co-occurring issues that were masking and influencing these conditions. Over time and with professional help, she learned the skill of mindful self-compassion, which was critical to her recovery. She shares how she has developed better coping mechanisms through the practice of self-compassion and overall feels more at peace with herself, her body, and food. In addition to finding a passion for cooking, she can now see food for what it is, fuel for the body. 

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The Impacts of Bullying on Body Image

Bullying-School

October is World Bullying Prevention Month. In recognition of this, we want to address the impact of bullying on body image due to weight stigma/weight bias and how these factors relate to eating disorders. 

It has been reported that school-age students are most commonly bullied about physical appearance, race or ethnicity, gender, disability, religion, or sexual orientation. One type of “physical appearance” bullying is weight-based bullying. When someone is bullied about their weight, it can have a major effect on their body image and overall self-esteem. In this blog, we will describe what bullying is, the different types of bullying, and how it can relate to eating disorders. 

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Episode 61: The Intersection of Faith and Mental Health with Kelsey

Kelsey

Episode description: 

Kelsey is a pediatric registered nurse working on her master’s degree in psychiatric nursing. In this episode of Peace Meal, she shares her eating disorder and recovery story, including the impact of her faith and her college environment on her experiences of illness and recovery. 

Though Kelsey had seen many medical providers growing up, she says her relationship with food long went unquestioned. She had concerns about her eating but struggled in silence for years. She didn’t yet have the language to name her disordered eating, often describing her anxiety and stress more generally instead. She faced barriers getting help in college—a stressful environment already—but only found lasting support after an interaction at church. A person of faith, Kelsey turned to her pastor, who told her that her illness required professional support. Prayers alone would not heal her. After being connected with new resources, she says she became honest with her secrets with her family and made a “no more lying” rule with her parents. Her sister and niece were also strong motivations to help her recover and to model and practice body positivity. Kelsey leaves us with insight and hope for college students, people of faith, or anyone struggling with an eating disorder. 

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