Body Image

Eating Disorders and Excessive Exercising

Body Image

Body Image is defined as the way you see yourself and how you look. It is good to have a positive body image, because it can affect your mental and physical health. Everyone deserves to feel happy in their own skin, because each body type, shape, or size is beautiful in its own way.

Eating Disorders

- Eating disorder represents extremes in eating behavior and ways of thinking about eating.

- Eating disorders are common in America, occuring in 1-2 out of 100 people, and it is common to the ages of 13-17.

- The most common are anorexia and bulimia nervosa.

- Others like binge eating or body image disorders are becoming more common.

Anorexia Nervosa - What is it? Signs?

What is it?

More commonly known as anorexia, anorexia nervosa is when one develops a fear of gaining weight. Due to this, they restrict to a diet consisting of small calorie intakes, which causes them to become dangerously underweight. Aside from a restricted diet, they may come to excessive exercising or taking medication.

Signs:

- change in weight/figure (becomes very thin)

- becomes obsessed with eating, food, weight control

- avoids social events/activities involving food

- lack of energy

- becomes depressed

Bulimia Nervosa - What is it? Signs?

What is it?

Commonly known as bulimia, bulimia nervosa is when one binge eats, which is where they eat an excess amount of food, then purge to prevent gaining weight. This act can cause them to go extreme measures of preventing them from eating. While it is very similar to anorexia, those with bulimia can be at a normal weight or are overweight.

Signs:

- fear of gaining weight

- regularly buys laxatives, diuretics, or enemas

Causes and Effects of Eating Disorders

Causes:

Most with an eating disorder start with the hope to loose weight, but this becomes an addiction.

- stress

- puberty, with girls gaining body fat

- pressure from partaking in a sport

- could be obtained from genetics

Effects:

- severe malnutrition

- possible death, in some severe cases

- possible heart conditions

- possible kidney failure

(anorexia)

- anemia

- hair loss

- drop in blood pressure

- lightheadedness/loss of concentration

- loss of menstruation

(bulimia)

- constant stomach pain

- stomach/kidney damage

- loss of menstruation

- tooth decay

- risk of diabetes

Treatment

For treatment, one may visit a health professional or dietitian, to start off on reaching a healthy lifestyle. Having the support of loved ones is a major key factor during treatment. One may seek a therapist or counselor for further support. Remember, it IS possible to recover, and it will just take courage and willingnesss to learn new, healthy behaviors.

Excessive Exercising

Excessive exercise can be caused by the goal of losing weight, hope that it will benefit them in the sports that they partake in, or to fit the "perfect body" standards. Along with excessive exercising, one may also develop an eating disorder.

Signs (Excessive Exercising)

- force of exercissing, even if one does not feel well

- puts exercising above being with loved ones

- becomes upset if they miss one, single workout

- worries about weight gain from missing a workout one day

- cannot function while being unmobile, due to not burning calories

Treatment

- take breaks

- focus on the positive qualities of exercising

- keep moderate portions of healthy foods, while also exercising, to control weight

- tell an adult you can trust, to gain help, to avoid further health problems

- seeks organizations that can help give nutritional advice

- schedule to meet with a health professional

Sources