Do you know that an eating disorder is not just when you look underweight or overweight. An eating disorder is not based on the “look”, it is not a Body disease, it is a disease of the Mind…
Even someone who looks extremely fit and healthy can be suffering from an eating disorder on the inside. Especially nowadays where social media plays such a big role in our lives, and even more so, among teenagers, who are the most sensitive to becoming obsessed with their appearance.
The problem right now is that attention goes to the most “extreme” type of look, leading people to then look up to something that is very hard to achieve.
Psychologically it makes sense because humans like the “unreachable,” the extraordinary, it gives some kind of hope that they might be able to achieve that. The problem is that they look up to people who are professional athletes or photo shopped models and celebrities. It’s all based on vanity, the better you look the better you are, no six pack, no Kim K butt? So you feel weak and not good enough.
Young people need role models, someone to look up to, this is why it’s so important to have healthy role models out there and more importantly to know that everybody has different lifestyles, body types and genetics. It’s good to have a role model that motivates us to be active and healthy but still in balance with our life, body and possibilities.
Most of the time it starts very innocent… You get motivated and start your “Healthy” journey, see the results, feel good! Nothing wrong with that, right?
Lets make one thing clear first! I’m not saying that it’s always unhealthy and extreme whenever someone goes for a body type they like, I’m all for working hard, being motivated and achieving goals! There is nothing better than taking care of your body, doing something towards bettering yourself and even just wanting to look good is normal and completely natural, As long as you feel healthy, happy and have a great life along with your fit and healthy lifestyle you are doing great!
So when should you worry? Here are the “symptoms” that might indicate that you are going down a negative path:
– Guilty feelings- You are feeling guilty when missing your workout or eating something “bad”, you feel like you failed and “punish” yourself by working out extra long or hard after and by eating a lot less than usual.
– Obsession – You think about food most of the time, thinking of what you are going to eat, can’t wait for the time when you’re allowed to eat again, can’t wait to your “cheat day”, watching cooking channels, food on the internet, almost “torturing” yourself knowing you can’t eat those foods.
– Social life becomes restricted – You are seeing your friends and family less because you don’t want to be tempted to eat something “wrong” or miss your workout.
– Irritated- You get irritated when close friends mention something about you being too extreme or working out too much, you feel like they are trying to sabotage your progress.
– OCD- You start to develop light forms of OCD with your own routines, you have a daily plan and you will get mad and confused when something interrupts the way you were doing your “things”.
So if you recognize yourself a bit in some of these signs and feel like your journey might be a little extreme, this is what you can do:
– Take a step back- Try to enjoy the journey instead of impatiently striving for the end goal or “perfection”. Most importantly remember that is is supposed to be fun and most of all Healthy!
– Balance – Create a lifestyle that is realistic and make sure you still have a life outside of working out and meal prepping. A healthy lifestyle should be an addition to you actual life and not the other way around… When you catch yourself trying to fit your life around your body goal routines(i.e your workout and meal prepping), you might be going in the wrong direction.
– Take it easy – Don’t be too hard on yourself! Of course you have to develop a healthy discipline and give yourself a kick in the butt sometimes but don’t kill yourself when having a bad day, nobody feels 100% everyday.
– Six pack – That’s the most common goal among people. Unfortunately a very developed six pack is not for everybody, some people who are naturally athletic can very easily achieve visible abs without extreme diets and workouts but most people, especially woman, need to follow a very strict diet and fitness regime to see the “blocks” on their tummy. If you do that for a long period of time you could cause your body hormonal imbalances and be at risk for different types of health issues. Good news is you can achieve a nice toned core with a healthy, balanced lifestyle and realistic workouts that will still have you looking hot on the beach ;-). So don’t strive for the hard core “pack” but instead be content being toned and flat and happy instead 😉
Expectations: It all starts in your mind. Most of the time when it goes wrong it’s because of the high expectations you create for yourself or because of wanting a different body for the wrong reasons: “If I look like that I will be loved, good enough, perfect, happy” You should love yourself right now and use that love as your motivation to take action. Tell yourself: I want to live healthy because I deserve it, I love myself and my body and this is why I want to feed it good nutrition, move it and rest when it needs it. Hug yourself in the mirror and start your healthy journey together with your body and for yourself!
You have nothing to prove to anyone but yourself! If you manage to find that real love for yourself you wont be able to harm yourself and your body any more with starving and torturing yourself physically and mentally. You will start to listen to your body and step by step it will lead you to your Balance! Love you!