Sometimes it feels like it is impossible to be happy with our bodies. Health magazines tell you “Lose 10 lbs in 5 Days” media broadcasts unnatural photo-shopped models and even health insurance billboards show unrealistic expectations.
Every time we turn around someone or something is telling us that we do not look fit enough, thin enough, beautiful enough and therefore we are not good enough. Sadly, when told this repeatedly, we start to believe it.
Internalizing all of the messages and expectations from our culture can be very detrimental to our self-esteem and drive us to “improve” ourselves. However, with unattainable goals to increase our self-worth, we can fall into the trap of unhealthy behaviors.
It doesn’t take long for calorie counting, excessive exercising and food rules to take over our lives. Quickly, we realize our efforts are still not improving our self-esteem and we push ourselves harder and sometimes to the point of doing things we never thought we would such as hiding our food behaviors, lying about eating or purging.
Take a look at this list of eating disorder signs and symptoms and if you identify with any of them then it is time to speak with a professional about it.
• Preoccupation with weight, food, calories, carbohydrates, fat grams, and dieting
• Intense guilt around eating certain foods or not exercising
• Become uncomfortable eating around others
• Frequent checking in the mirror for perceived flaws in appearance
• Skipping meals or over-eating
• Extreme body dissatisfaction
By working with a qualified mental health professional and nutritionist you can figure out if you are struggling with an eating disorder, gain an understanding of what it means, get support from someone who understand your struggle and learn recovery skills and ways to cope.
I know it’s hard to believe right now but you can be happy with your body AND be healthy!