I haven't posted on this blog for quite awhile. Back when I regularly added to the site, I had only recently begun my recovery from an eating disorder. I've been free of an eating disorder for about 5 years now, thanks in part to a great counselor who I didn't appreciate nearly enough at the time. Anyway, when I wrote more often, eating disorders were more prominent in my mind. I still considered eating disorder prevention a passion, and healthy eating remains one of my interests, but the desire to write about the topic did fade for awhile. I hope that I've gained knowledge in the time I took off that will help me to have a fresh outlook on the same topic. I hope that college students have still found my blog to be helpful in the time I took off.
In the time I've took off of writing this blog, my own struggles with body image have not completely disappeared. While it's no longer tempting to me to binge and purge or starve myself, I still at times find fault with my body. I occasionally refer to myself as "fat." I'm not proud of that. I think if I'd kept up with this blog, I might be more focused on maintaining a better body image. Still, I work every day to improve it.
I recently came upon "this post" on the blog "Weightless" by Margarita Tartakovsky, MS.
The post contains 9 ways to help others improve their body image. It's a subject that's been on my mind a lot lately. I recently re-watched Mean Girls (for the gazillionth time!). Remember that scene when the girls are in Regina's bedroom, disparaging various features of their bodies? How familiar is that? Very, right? The Weightloss post gives the following tip:
"1. Avoid engaging in fat talk and discourage them from doing it, too. If someone you know fat talks regularly, help her break the cycle. Many people don’t even notice how much and how often they fat talk, and might not realize how powerful fat talking is at damaging their self-image. This can be as subtle as steering the conversation to another subject or telling the person why fat talking is terrible."
Recently, my boyfriend and I made a deal to quit calling ourselves "fat." We both do it, and it's not true about either one of us. Having another person call you out on your behavior is helpful because you have accountability. If you make it clear that's it not acceptable, the behavior will stop. People act because of reactions they get. So they call themselves "fat" because of the reaction. It's reassuring to hear "no, you're not." But it's also damaging because it makes it acceptable to judge yourself by your body. This tip is important because it makes it clear that judging ourselves by our bodies is not OK. Why don't you make a pledge to avoid "fat talk" in your life? I'll let you know how my own pledge goes.
Let me know if you come across any great posts on other blogs and I'll be sure to link and talk about them if I think they'll be helpful.
9 Ways to Help Others Improve Their Body Image"