Posts Tagged ‘Body Image’

Body Checking and Body Avoidance

A person checks appearance in the mirror

Eating disorders are often tied to a preoccupation with shape and weight. This preoccupation commonly manifests itself in distorted thoughts and beliefs, as well as in unusual behaviors around food and eating. Rigid food rules, denying hunger, hiding or stockpiling food, and eating in secret are among the key behavioral signs that may indicate the presence of an eating disorder.

Less-discussed behavioral signs are body checking and body avoidance. While these behaviors are not unique to eating disorders—and not experienced by everyone with an eating disorder—they are common in people with these illnesses. Checking involves the repeated checking of one’s shape or weight, and the other involves the complete avoidance of that behavior.

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Coping with Video Call Anxiety

A woman sitting on a couch with a laptop in her lap

What were “unprecedented times” in March are now a “new normal.” Many of us have taken our lives almost entirely to our screens, relying on video calls for everything from work meetings to happy hours to telehealth appointments. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to touch nearly every aspect of daily life.

Though now ubiquitous, video calls are still uncomfortable for many and downright distressing for others. Those who struggle with anxiety or body image disturbance may find themselves filled with worry, dread, or self-consciousness upon clicking “Accept” to such a call. The idea or reality of being on camera can trigger distorted thoughts and urges to engage in disordered behaviors.

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Navigating Summer in Eating Disorder Recovery

A family picnic

Many travel and event plans have changed, but the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t stopped summer from coming. It’s officially here—and with it, so are socially distant picnics, cookouts, and barbecues. For those struggling with eating disorders, summertime eating and dressing can be stressful and anxiety-provoking. Warm-weather celebrations often exacerbate worries about food and our bodies, making recovery challenging and complex. But it’s not impossible.

With a commitment to yourself and continued healing, you can maintain eating disorder recovery and participate in this season’s celebrations. Here are some tips for surviving summer with an eating disorder.

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The Danger of Talking about Lizzo’s and Adele’s Bodies

Lizzo and Adele

Love your body. Accept yourself. Feel good in your skin.

The body positivity community promotes self-love and self-acceptance. It encourages us to treat our bodies gently, with compassion and care, and to avoid criticizing, shaming, or punishing them for any perceived flaws. We define body positivity in many ways, but our definitions are often similar in the body they describe: our own. Our body image is the focus.

As we work to develop a positive body image, it is important that we practice extending the same respect, acceptance, and compassion to other bodies as well. This includes all bodies—the bodies of our friends and family members, of strangers, peers, and acquaintances, and of celebrities and public figures we’ll never see in everyday life. We need to see beyond these appearances and question the way we view and talk about them.

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Giving Thanks for What Our Bodies Allow Us to Do

A man extends his arms in gratitude.

Thanksgiving is more than turkey and trimmings. At The Emily Program, we’re celebrating the holiday by thanking our bodies for all the ways they protect, defend, and care for us.

We hope these quotes and poems help inspire gratitude for your body as well.

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How Do I Develop a Positive Body Image?

person using smartphone

Eating disorders are complex mental illnesses, caused by a combination of environmental, biological, and psychological factors. While our environment is only a part of the equation, it is important to look at the ways it does contribute, and what we can do to change it.

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