How to Help a Friend with Eating and Body Image Issues
I think all of the strategies outlined by the National Eating Disorder Association are spot on. Let me just briefly touch on two. Though these plans are aimed at helping someone who is already struggling with an eating disorder or body image issue, I think some of these strategies can be used as a preventative measure as well.
Words are powerful, and I do not know anyone who doesn't enjoy words of affirmation. It seems to me though that compliments disproportionally relate to physical appearance. On social media and in the media, we judge and esteem one another on physical appearances. What if instead, we focused on complimenting one another, not just physical appearance, but more so on our abilities, character, and achievements? Our true beauty and worth are much more than skin deep.
On my Pinterest board Awareness + Recovery + Healing, I saved a powerful pin of a little girl standing on a scale with the words "Don't let her think like this." We have all heard it before, "actions speak louder than words," and this is so true concerning countering and helping those with body image and eating disorders. Are we a good role model? Are we exhibiting healthy eating habits, healthy exercise habits, and self-love and confidence? Or are we avoiding certain foods that will make us "fat," exercising just to lose weight, and modeling self-loathing?
Don't forget to read the full list of strategies. We can make a difference; knowledge is key!
Yours Truly, LeNae
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National Eating Disorders Association. 2012. “How to Help a Friend with Eating and Body Image Issues.” http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/how-help-friend-eating-and-body-image-issues
Rega Photography. 2010. “stop the starvation: eating disorders… why didn’t they stop me?”Digital Image. 3216X4288. Accessed April 29 From Flickr. https://flic.kr/p/boqzPp. Copied with permission from Creative Commons License.
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