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How To Avoid A Thinness Obsession In Today’s World.

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Presentation on theme: "How To Avoid A Thinness Obsession In Today’s World."— Presentation transcript:

1 How To Avoid A Thinness Obsession In Today’s World

2 Prevention # 1: Question and Fight Media Images Am I really supposed to look like that?

3 Influence of the Media Central to the development of eating disorders Powerful messages to girls & young women that certain physical attributes are unacceptable Ultra-slender ideal-body image portrayed in the media has contributed significantly to the increase of eating disorders APA (2007)

4 Be a Critical Consumer Most fashion models are thinner than 98% of American women (Smolak, 1996) The average American woman is 5’4” tall and weighs 154 The average American model is 5’11” tall and weighs 117 pounds ( All media images and messages are constructions; they are NOT reflections of reality Advertisements and other media messages have been carefully crafted with an intent to send a very specific message To convince you to buy a specific product or service, advertisers will often construct an emotional experience that looks like reality

5 Models Can’t Even Match Up Majority of images presented in the media have been airbrushed or manipulated Average magazine cover costs $60,000 to produce & 6 months of airbrushing 56% of girls believe models have “perfect bodies” 40% of girls only see their flaws when they look in the mirror Teen Ideal- 5’7” and 100 lbs, size 2, blonde hair and blue eyes Dove Self-Esteem/Seventeen Survey

6 The Truth about Modeling Typically 15% below the average weight of women Unrealistic standard of thinness tall, with narrow hips, long legs, and thin thighs Slimness, youth and androgyny Biogenetically difficult, if not impossible, for the majority of women

7 Fiji Study (Becker) 1995- Intro of TV: 3% of girls reported vomiting to control weight 1998- 38 months post TV, 15% reported vomiting to control weight 50% of girls that watched TV 3 or more nights per week described themselves as “too fat” compared to non TV watchers

8 French Parliament France launches aggressive assault on the ultra-thinness by fashion industry, advertisers, web sites 2 year prison/$47,000 fines 40,000 French people suffer from anorexia “It may mean that we won’t be able to publish anything; I wonder how this bill will be implemented and interpreted. If they decide to strictly implement it, it could mean that every fashion show and magazine will be banned or charged.” (Isabelle Maury, editor of France’s Elle magazine)


10 Dove Initiative Evolution

11 Prevention #2 Own your own body

12 Healthy Body Image Body image is constant and does not fluctuate with mood or external events Body image is realistic and consistent with the perceptions of others Body image owns and accepts all parts. Body is seen as a unified whole Body image is based on realistic expectations, not unrealistic ideals. Biological inheritance is understood and accepted Beauty can be recognized in multiple body types

13 Negative Body Image Distorted perception of body shape perceiving parts of body unlike they really are Convinced that only other people are attractive & that your body size or shape is a sign of personal failure Feeling ashamed, self-conscious, and anxious about body Feeling uncomfortable & awkward in body

14 10 Appearance Assumptions Physically attractive people have it all The first thing that people will notice about me is what’s wrong with my appearance One’s outward physical appearance is a sign of the inner person If I could look just as I wish, my life would be much happier If people knew how I really look, they would like me less By controlling my appearance, I can control my social and emotional life My appearance is responsible for much of what has happened to me in my life I should always do whatever I can to look my best The media’s messages make it impossible for me to be satisfied with my appearance The only way I would ever like my looks would be to change them

15 Size Acceptance Educate yourself on your biases Do you make jokes about your own fatness Admire or approve of someone for losing weight Admire rigidly controlled eating Talk about being good/bad in reference to eating behaviors Say or assume someone is looking good because they have lost weight

16 Ways to Love Your Body Don’t compare Focus on your accomplishments Learn to take a compliment Think of your body as a tool/instrument, not as an ornament Affirmations—“I’m beautiful inside & out” Watch infants enjoying their bodies Focus on the positives Look at family photos If you had one year to live, how important would your appearance be? Enjoy your body: stretch, dance, sing, get a massage, take a bubble bath

17 The Uniqueness of You Take less time to look in the mirror; obsess less about the body Appreciate the part of the body for what it does, not how it looks Body awareness- explore the qualities of your body; which parts are ticklish, soft, firm

18 Prevention #3 Develop Your Identity

19 Improving Self-Esteem Celebrate You! Reward yourself for accomplishments Surround yourself with positive people Challenge yourself to try new things Be good to your body. Sleep, eat & exercise Find and express the real you Positive attitude- it is contagious

20 Improving Self-Esteem Identity from inner strengths Affirmations for body “My body has the strength to heal me” Focus on passions- de-junk the inappropriate media Use meditation/spirituality daily

21 Self-Esteem & Identity Internal Characteristics Know your heart Develop your inner qualities Honor your uniqueness Accomplishments What you are capable of Don’t compare Don’t judge what you can’t do

22 You Are More than What You Weigh Separate your identity from your body size Danger of Comparing: “Compare and Despair” If you believe your identity comes from your body size you could struggle with aging, pregnancy, injury, or illness Spend time being your own best friend, identify what your interests are, what are your preferences for movies, arts, music, dance, etc

23 Prevention #4 Strengthen Spirituality

24 Spirituality Meditate Find your meaning Understand strengths Don’t judge weaknesses Pray Ask for help with struggles Pray for guidance Understand your relationship/worth Service Focus on others less fortunate Know your needs and ask for help Help others who need you

25 The Body And The Soul “Your body really is the instrument of your mind and the foundation of your character” (Packer, 2001) “Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Cor 6: 19-20) “Happiness comes from accepting the bodies we have been given as divine gifts and enhancing our natural attributes, not from remaking our bodies after the image of the world. The Lord wants us to be made over—but in His image, not in the image of the world, by receiving His image in our countenances” (Tanner, 2005) “For the dead had looked upon the long absence of their spirits from their bodies as a bondage” (D&C 138:50)

26 To Each Part A Purpose For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or be Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him (1 Corinthians 12)

27 Spirituality Eating Disorders are not “cured” with just a spiritual approach. It takes more than prayer and scripture reading to understand and deal with the complex issues of an eating disorder

28 Prevention #5 Practice Positive Coping Skills

29 Understanding Emotions Are Skin Deep Discover the emotions and feelings that underlie negative body image and negative self-talk The statement “I feel fat” is never about “fat” even if you are overweight The statement really says “There is something wrong with me or with what I’m feeling” When we don’t know how to deal with our emotions we blame our bodies This is a betrayal to our bodies and our emotional well-being “Fat” is not a feeling, seek the real issue and ask yourself, what can I do to deal with this

30 Emotional Regulation Find ways to cope with emotions without using food or extreme exercise Go on a walk Take a bubble bath Call a friend Write in your journal Hit the batting cages Listen to music Read your scriptures Look at photos of friends and family Meditate Cry

31 Cultivate Positive Self-Talk I don’t need to prove myself to anyone—not even to myself—for I know that I am perfectly fine as I am I make my own decisions and assume responsibility for any mistakes. However, I refuse to feel shame or guilt about them. I do the best I can, and that is 100% good enough I am not my actions. I am the actor. My actions may be good or bad. That doesn’t make me good or bad Whenever I am tempted to punish myself, I remember to be kind and gentle instead. I know that in order to be the best I can be, I need forgiveness and understanding

32 Cultivate Positive Self-Talk (cont.) I know that it is okay to need. I try to keep in touch with my needs so that I can respond to them I know that others cannot be expected to read my mind or to guess my needs. In fairness to them and me, I ask for what I need I deserve to be appreciated. When others show their appreciation, I embrace it with open arms. I never try to deny or diminish my value I live one day at a time and do first things first

33 Prevention #6 Cultivate a Healthy Relationship with Food

34 Diets, Diets, everywhere… We are surrounded by fad diets Low-carb diets (Atkins, South Beach, Zone) Low- fat diets Liquid Diets Grapefruit diet Detox Diet Cabbage Soup Diet Macrobiotic Diet The juice diet


36 The Dieting Myth 90% of women diet regularly 90% of diets fail after 1 year 98% of diets fail after 5 years Dieters regain all weight lost, plus another 10% Diets Don’t Work!

37 Overview of Intuitive Eating No “good” or “bad” foods; all foods can be part of healthy eating All foods must be seen as equals Learn to honor your hunger and your fullness Eat when hungry, stop when satisfied Satisfaction Eat what looks good, smells good, etc. Emotions Learn to cope with emotions without using food

38 Make Peace With Food Write down your food rules/fear foods The KEY is giving yourself unconditional permission to eat Allowing ALL foods in your diet No one food has the power to make you fat or help you become slim Eat what you really want. Don’t eat what you don’t want. No thinking “I’ll eat this today and diet tomorrow”

39 Tips for Emotional Eating Ask “Am I biologically hungry, or just eating because food is here?” Plan times for meals and snacks (don’t get too hungry) Don’t use food as a “pick me up” When you feel anxious or nervous, do something nice for yourself Rely on people, not food for companionship Celebrate without food Be prepared. Stock cupboards with a variety of food choices

40 Normal Eating Normal eating is going to the table hungry and eating until you are satisfied. It is being able to choose food you like and eat it and truly get enough of it—not just stop eating because you think you should.truly get enough of it being able to give some thought to your food selection so you get nutritious food, but not being so wary and restrictive that you miss out on enjoyable food giving yourself permission to eat sometimes because you are happy, sad or bored, or just because it feels good mostly three meals a day, or four or five, or it can be choosing to munch along the way. mostly three meals a day

41 Normal Eating Normal eating is trusting your body to make up for your mistakes in eating. Normal eating takes up some of your time and attention, but keeps its place as only one important area of your life In short, normal eating is flexible. It varies in response to your hunger, your schedule, your proximity to food and your feelings.

42 Prevention #7 Be Moderate with Exercise

43 Signs of Compulsive Exercise Scheduling life around exercise Missing class, work, parties or other appointments to exercise Working out with an injury or while sick Significant guilt or depression if unable to exercise Working out for hours at a time each day No rest or recovery days Lack of enjoyment in exercise

44 Danger of Excessive Exercise Injuries such as stress fractures, strains and sprains Low body fat Amenorrhea Fatigue Dehydration Osteoporosis Arthritis Reproductive problems Heart problems

45 Exercise as Eating Disorder Behavior Exercise as form of purging Exercise to compensate for calories consumed Exercise to relieve guilt from eating Exercise in order to “give permission” to eat Exercise to meet underlying needs: power, control, self- respect, avoidance of emotional needs or stress Exercise as punishment Exercise as addictive process

46 Moderate Exercise Exercise for health & enjoyment Average individual: 20 to 30 minutes of athletic activity (walking, slow jogging, weight training, aerobics, bicycling, etc.) 4 or 5 times per week Non-athlete: more than 45-60 minutes of these types of activites at a time, for more than 5 days a week can be dangerous Athlete: unhealthy exercise depends on sport, level of activity, personal achievement goal, & overall fitness Athlete: regular medical check ups; caloric & fluid intake should reflect activity level & age

47 Prevention #8 Eating Disorder Proof Your Life

48 Have food in your house that you enjoy eating Enjoy positive books, music, magazines that encourage your interests Do talk about emotions, especially ones that revolve around food or body Become aware of your own biases towards body image and food Buy products that encourage unconditional love for self (Dove, Nike)

49 Eating Disorder Proof Your Life Don’t keep scales in the house Get rid of all clothing that is too small Eliminate diet talk from your conversations Do not buy supermarket tabloid magazines or fashion magazines Don’t talk about others’ bodies or your own Don’t look up internet sites that encourage eating disorders

50 Fat Talk Video

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