• Macy Cooper

National Eating Disorder Awareness Week


An unfortunate division of being a beautiful woman in our society is that there are constant unrealistic expectations about body appearance (for men too). The fitness world, in particular, is littered with images of bodies that can be due mostly to genetic predispositions to have a more petite figure than others. These standards infiltrate even the strongest of beautiful minds, and manipulate thinking that if we do not look exactly like this person on Instagram “I am not beautiful,” which just couldn’t be further from the truth! Growing up as a dancer, I was overwhelmed by my distorted body image, but simply did not fully understand it as a teen. In hindsight, my environment, which is notorious for eating disorders, make me feel inferior and inadequate if I was not this perfect figurine of a beautiful ballerina. I want to share some tips and resources today with all of you beautiful people so that we can all love our bodies. This week is national eating disorder awareness week, and I want to share some awareness and tips for your beautiful souls and others that you may be interested in standing behind.


{First of all…}


We are all built and designed to look different…and that is why YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!


{So don’t ever forget it!}


For those seeking refuge:


  • You are not alone! It sounds incredibly cliche, but why reinvent the wheel when there are many other beautiful people just like you, that have powered through their struggle, and come out on the other side a more positive and empowered person.

  • If you suffer from an eating disorder, please know that there are many different options and you are more than enough to overcome this obstacle! At the end of this post, I will insert a link that can help you find some resources near you, as well as support groups.

  • There are many support groups, online as well as in person that can help!

  • If social media or a specific stimulus makes you feel poorly about yourself or your body image, try to limit time spent on this futile outlet, and alternatively put it towards something that makes you feel adequate more and more each time you do it. This might be journalling or painting, whatever ignite your inner flame!

  • Straying away from obsessive tasks or negative impulses, for example, if you weigh yourself every time after your shower, maybe remove the scale from the bathroom, or changing up your schedule, so your day no longer revolves around an obsessive duty that makes you feel poorly about yourself.

  • NEVER use exercise as a punishment for your body! Activity can significantly reduce stress when relied on appropriately. If you find yourself obsessing over calories burned and calories consumed, maybe take a day off of agonizing about numbers and tailor your energy and consciousness on how YOU feel!

  • Most importantly, tell someone about what you are going through and how you feel. We all want to help you and make sure you know you are as beautiful as the person you are. If you ever need any extra help or connective options in your community, please feel free to email me, and I would love to assist in your connection with the support you deserve.


For those that may know someone seeking refuge:


  • Do not tell anyone how to feel… colossal pet peeve of mine because the only person that knows how I am feeling is me. Allow someone to feel comfortable by coming to you as a compassionate and caring listener.

  • Truly listen without judgment. This can be very challenging. It is incredibly easy to judge someone, but it is more difficult to empathize and listen to a person. Active listening is its topic on its own, but moral of the story is, care about them and what they are saying wholeheartedly.

  • Turn off the distractions and stimuli, and let them talk. It could be the first time they have put words to their feelings and experiences, so be receptive!

  • Do not tell them you look better than me/you are skinnier than me why do you think you are fat, etc. This is because this is not your experience to justify, and a distorted body image does not translate to everyone; merely that person sees their need to look a specific way on themselves.

  • Know some of your local options (link below)

  • Help them confide in a healthy outlet for their fears and impulses, possibly by starting to get into a hobby together. Maybe you set up a weekly coffee date to stay connected in each your lives, and it helps make sure your loved one is staying on track.

  • Check in on them, especially when you know they are stressed.

  • Know that it is not your job to diagnosis and “fix” anyone. Every single person has their struggles, and we are better as supporters and cheerleaders than coaches in our role as a loved one.


I hope you were able to become exceedingly aware of the stigmas and distortions in body images, which can even surround a seemingly healthy outlet such as fitness. I genuinely mean it when I say that anyone can reach out to me via email (see contact tab as well) for more specific info or if you would like to seek additional help, and just do not know where to start.


Stay Beautiful!

-MM


Link for more info/resources:

https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/get-involved/nedawareness

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