By Alison Cross, LPC
I used to work for a national crisis line. I have a lot of interesting stories, but something that stands out for me are the words of addicts across America. I spoke to people all over our country from all walks of life, and they all said the same thing. “I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.” Despite our many differences some experiences are universal.
I believe a negative body image could be one of those universal experiences. We’ve all felt insecure to some extent in our skin. Treating people who have eating disorders, I’ve learned they can definitely relate. A negative body image doesn’t necessarily cause an eating disorder-it’s really different for everybody. But across the board if you have an eating disorder, you have a negative body image. It’s said that this is the first symptom of an eating disorder to arrive and the last to go. It’s pretty invasive and evil.
Does that mean if you have a negative body image you have an eating disorder? NO. But it’s almost un-American to not have one. It’s so common to hear folks cutting gluten, sugar, or some other supposed enemy out of their life. But did you ever think that maybe the real enemy is the actual negative body image?
True, we could all probably do something a little better for ourselves. My Mom has always been right; I do need to eat more vegetables. But now more than ever Moms and Dads need to be protecting their kid’s image of themselves so they don’t succumb to the world’s narrow definition of beauty and health.
I have lots more to say on this subject! For more information on body image and loving your body, check out www.myedin.org. This month is “Love Your Body Month” and there are so many activities throughout Atlanta for you to learn how to love your body and why that’s important. I also have a Facebook page for the Body, Beauty, and Bravery Project where you can get caught up on the “To Whom it May Concern” series on how to trust your body.
Now…what are you going to do differently today to love your body?