Posts Tagged “Body Image”
Understanding the Connection Between Eating Disorders & Body Dysmorphic Disorder
You look in the mirror for what feels like all hours of the day. You cannot stop fixating on your perceived “flaws,” frequently examining your face for blemishes and picking at your skin to try to make it look “smooth.” These near-constant thoughts about your appearance are taking over your life, affecting your relationships, passions, school, and work.
You may be experiencing more than commonplace appearance insecurities. Symptoms like yours could indicate an eating disorder, body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), or both. There are ways in which BDD and eating disorders overlap, but they are two distinct mental health conditions.
The Relationship Between Eating Disorders and Social Media
Social media is an inescapable part of our lives. It has an enormous impact on how we see ourselves, others, and the world around us.
Social platforms often shape and mirror trends in music, fitness, fashion, marketing, and more. Unfortunately, some of these trends can contribute to comparison culture, reinforcing unrealistic beauty standards and even encouraging disordered eating.
For individuals already vulnerable to eating disorders, navigating social media can present both risks and benefits.
Improving Body Image in Eating Disorder Recovery
Dr. Charlotte Markey (she/her) is a psychologist and professor at Rutgers University. She is the author of The Body Image Book series, and her next book Adultish: The Body Image Book for Life comes out in 2024. You can find more of her writing at Psychology Today and on Substack.
For many people, an important part of eating disorder recovery is learning to reframe how they think about their bodies and the importance of caring for them. Understanding your body as a vehicle that moves you through your life and not tying your worth to your appearance can be essential to recovery.
As a professional who writes about body image and eating disorders, I always want to set a good example and “practice what I preach.” Like many people who work in this field, I also have a history of disordered eating, maladaptive dieting, and overvaluation of physical appearance. Fortunately, those experiences are now 30 years in my past, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have bad days where those disordered thoughts and feelings come back.
5 Tips for Navigating Summer in Eating Disorder Recovery
Summer is in full swing. It’s a time for picnics, cookouts, and barbecues, and while these events are enjoyable for many, they can also bring added stress and anxiety for those struggling with eating disorders. Warm-weather celebrations often exacerbate worries about food and body, 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 activities. Here are some tips for surviving summer with an eating disorder.
Debunking Diet Culture
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.
How to Navigate Unwanted Food and Body Comments During the Holidays
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.