Posts Tagged ‘School’

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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How to Support Your Child Returning to School With An Eating Disorder

3 students in school

As a parent, you just want the best for your child. You would do anything for them. And when they are struggling or in pain, it is likely that what you want to do most is to simply make the problem go away.

While parents and families cannot “fix” an eating disorder any more than they can fix another illness, they can take an active role in a child’s recovery. In fact, support from loved ones is integral to the healing process. As your family transitions back to school this year, there are several things you, as a parent, can do to support your child’s recovery. In this blog, we’ll cover some challenges commonly experienced by students with eating disorders and provide strategies for parents supporting them in recovery.

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Navigating Campus with an Eating Disorder

School campus

College can be a particularly triggering time when you’re living with an eating disorder, and navigating school with the illness can be incredibly challenging. With school comes freedom, new experiences, homework, stress, group meals, and more. All of these can cause additional strain on recovery, which is why it’s important to be mindful of your recovery. Despite these challenges, there are certain things you can do to prevent relapse and encourage recovery.

How to Successfully Navigate Campus in Recovery

Start Treatment

Living with an untreated eating disorder is extremely dangerous and stressful. Unfortunately, if left untreated, the illnesses often progress over time. Due to their worsening nature, it’s essential to get eating disorder treatment as soon as possible. We know that starting treatment, especially in the midst of school, is extremely challenging. However, some eating disorder treatment centers are able to provide a treatment plan to fit into your life. If you are concerned about the time commitment, know that treatment centers like The Emily Program can work with your schedule to ensure you get the care you deserve. By starting treatment, you can ensure a successful school year where you can focus on school instead of food, body, or image. 

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How can Gyms and Coaches Recognize an Eating Disorder?

Student Athletes

Eating disorders are brain-based illnesses involving food and body that are severe and can become life-threatening. These illnesses typically involve food restriction or overconsumption, body image issues, and altered food behaviors like eating in secret or skipping meals. Eating disorders also frequently include compensatory behaviors like overexercising, which puts gym and coaches in a unique spot to catch eating disorders. In order for gyms and coaches to successfully recognize and address eating disorders, they must first be aware of their common signs and symptoms.

Eating Disorder Signs and Symptoms

Eating disorders are serious illnesses that affect eating habits and desires and cause severe distress about food, weight, size, and shape. Eating disorders can affect anyone, regardless of their gender, race, age, or any other demographic categorization. The five types of eating disorders include anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, OSFED, and ARFID. Signs and symptoms of eating disorders that gyms and coaches may be able to spot include:

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Getting Ready to go Back to School with Confidence

Teen with school books

Getting ready to go back to school is a stressful time for everyone, but for those struggling with eating disorders, it can be anxiety-inducing, hectic, and overwhelming. From new schedules to managing meal plans in a new environment, the change from summer to school can pose new challenges. By planning, practicing, and getting support, those in eating disorder recovery can get back to school with confidence.

Back to School Planning

Being prepared for key situations at school can be extremely beneficial in eating disorder recovery. Situations that are helpful to plan for include snack breaks, lunch, dormitory meals, and stressful moments like tests or debates. For food-related moments during school, the most important thing for those in eating disorder recovery is to stick to their meal plan.

In elementary, middle, or high school, those in recovery can pack lunches that work for their meal plan or they can look at the lunch menu the day before to plan what they will eat the following day. Knowing what meals will come at school can alleviate stress and allow individuals to plan for their meals and stick to recovery. For those in college, dormitory food and eating food in a large cafeteria can be a source of stress. Before going to college, it may be helpful to think of what your meals will look like. Some colleges even allow non-students to eat at their dormitories and cafeterias–if your college offers this, it may be helpful to eat a meal there prior to the start of school.  That way, you can start school knowing what to expect.

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Former Clients Reflect on Adolescent Programming

East Metro, The Emily Program

We wanted to share former clients’ reflections on their time in The Emily Program’s adolescent programs.

  • “The Emily Program has helped me a lot mostly because I am a kid and usually these (things) don’t make a whole lot of sense. Thank you.” – Adolescent client
  • “Our family is more open—not just about food, but with feelings. It’s amazing to see how much everything has changed and how willing they are to say how they feel.” – Adolescent client
  • “I feel surrounded and protected—something I didn’t have for many years. It’s nice to have that, finally.” – Adolescent client
  • “Sometimes, you feel like you’re doing the battle alone. Being with the other parents definitely made me feel more supported. There’s a whole bunch of other people going through the same thing with their kids.” – Parent of an adolescent client
  • “I’m here with my daughter. She’s only been in the program for 2 months but I see changes in her already. So it’s nice to know I still have hope.” – Parent of an adolescent client
  • “I want to thank my daughter for being strong enough to face her own issues with her eating disorder. She came to The Emily Program to take back her life and she helped me realize I can do the same.” – Parent of an adolescent client

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