With eating awareness week here, and nice weather around the corner, we have the opportunity to celebrate Body Positivity. If each of us could take one small step forward during this week to support ourselves or someone we love in achieving body serenity and freedom from eating problems, and/or educate someone in our community about these problems, it will be a meaningful achievement.
Rather than beating yourself up for not being thinner this Spring, it is helpful to remember that most people weigh seven pounds in the winter than in the summer. With the nice weather, we all tend to naturally move more. And summer foods, especially fruits and vegetables, tend to be leaner and more low-calorie.
Make a commitment to enjoy the body you're in, and not the body you see in social media and wish you were in. It is helpful to have gratitude for the many blessings of the body that we too often take for granted, such as vision, hearing, the ability to walk/run and support us in our ability to partake in daily activities.
If you happen to have a friend or an appointment with a dentist or other allied health professional, ask them if they treat bulimia. It is important to remind people to ask patients if that is a problem because many people tend to not divulge that and other eating issues out of shame. The other group that is often useful to remind to have an awareness of eating disorders are physical education teachers and coaches. Many students, especially in sports like wrestling where weight is critical, exercise obsessively and that, too, is a form of bulimia.
Treat yourself with compassion and kindness. When we are gentle with ourselves we have the best chance of achieving permanent change. Harsh, critical self-berating only discourages us and leaves less energy and opportunity for lasting, positive change.
Remember that achieving a healthy relationship with food and a comfortable relationship with our bodies is challenging in a culture that is filled with food celebrations and festivities. We are expected to go out to eat, share holidays and parties filled with food, and somehow magically be thin. A challenging dilemma that sets people up for Eating and Weight problems.
Openly discussing struggles with Eating and Body Image difficulties helps to eradicate the shame that often keeps people 8-80 who are struggling from getting the help they need. Let’s lift the veil of secrecy and open the door to healing!