Monday, April 29, 2013
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Q: The other day I was asked what my values were, and I really value being thin--- more than anything else I can think of. Is this such a bad thing?
A: Hmmm, I think I want to challenge this value. Remember that there are two types of values: intrinsic and instrumental values.
An intrinsic value is not a way to obtaining something else, like gratitude. Being grateful is good just because it’s good to be grateful, not because being grateful leads to anything else.
Whereas an instrumental value is intended to obtain something else. Money is an instrumental value because you can use it to get something else. Make sense?
Thinness is yet another instrumental value. People think that thinness brings other qualities they may find valuable. In other words, it’s not thinness, but what thinness represents that you may find valuable, such as being successful, accomplished, disciplined, controlled, etc.
A good way to decide whether your value is intrinsic or instrumental is to ask yourself, “if I were stranded on a desert island, would this be of any use to me?” Being smart, strong, and healthy are intrinsic values that would be excellent in this situation. But being thin is pretty useless, especially with no one around to validate it, don’t you think?
So, ask yourself what is it that you’re trying to achieve through being thin. Do you want admiration and respect? How else can you obtain this sort of validation? Do you value health? Being thin, especially through unhealthy methods such as bingeing and purging, certainly isn’t going to help you attain this value.
Your values are like your GPS as you navigate through life. Whenever you come to a crossroads, a place where a decision is needed, ask yourself, “will this bring me closer to or further away from what I value?” I believe that acting in accordance with your intrinsic values is the key to a rich and meaningful life.
Monday, April 22, 2013
Good morning everyone!
Check out this awesome video made by an amazing and inspiring person right here in our own Province for PEDAW! Carmen Saucier, a Burnaby resident, wanted to create something to raise awareness for eating disorders! So she decided to create this video on her own to help people celebrate what they love about themselves, rather than have them focus on what they see as their downfalls or shortcomings. Carmen wants people to realize that there is always something about them that is amazing and worth celebrating! I think this video turned out fantastic!
What do you like about yourself?
Friday, April 19, 2013
Ten Phases of Eating Disorder Recovery
1. I Don’t Think I Have a Problem.
1. I Don’t Think I Have a Problem.
It’s my body so leave me alone.
There are people who are a lot thinner (worse) than I am
2. I Might Have a Problem But It’s Not That Bad.
I only throw up once in a while.
My physical didn’t show anything wrong so I am OK.
3. I Have a Problem But I Don’t Care.
I know throwing up isn’t good for me, but it’s working for me so I don’t care.
I could change if I wanted to, but I don’t.
4. I Want To Change But I Don’t Know How and I’m Scared.
I want to eat normally, but I am afraid I will get fat (gain weight).
I want to stop bingeing, but I can’t figure out where to start.
5. I Tried To Change But I Couldn’t.
I told myself that I would not (fill in the blank) but I found myself doing it again.
I don’t feel like I can really ever (change) get well, so why keep trying?
6. I Can Stop Some of the Behaviors But Not All of Them.
I could stop purging, but I will not be able to eat more.
My eating has gotten better, but my exercise is out of control.
7. I Can Stop the Behaviors, But Not My Thoughts.
I can’t stop thinking about food and bingeing all the time.
I keep counting calories over and over in my head and still want to lose weight.
8. I Am Often Free From Behaviors and Thoughts, But Not All the Time.
I feel fine all day, but under stress I revert back to my unhealthy behaviors.
I was fine, but wearing a bathing suit triggered my eating disorder thoughts, and with it some related behaviors.
9. I Am Free From Behaviors and Thoughts.
I feel mostly OK in my body and am able to eat things I want and not feel guilty or anxious afterwards.
Once I had stopped the behaviors for a period of time, at some point I realized that I was no longer having the thoughts or urges.
10. I Am Recovered.
For a long time now, I no longer have thoughts, feelings, or behaviors related to my eating disorder.
I accept my body’s natural size. My eating disorder is a thing of the past.
Thursday, April 18, 2013
Q: Why am I having a hard time giving up my scale?
A: I know exactly how you feel. I remember when I would weigh myself first thing in the morning, last thing at night, and if I had the time, throughout the day.
I find that looking to the scale for reassurance is a hallmark of eating disorder behavior. For many, stepping on the scale is the compulsive response to anxious questions such as, “Who am I? How should I feel about myself today? What did I do to myself yesterday? Was I good or bad? Am I being punished? Who will I be today?”
It took me many years to realize that the scale never did and never will answer any of those questions. Goodness and badness are not determined by the number on a scale or the size of one’s jeans. It also isn’t dependent on the quality or quantity of food you consume from one day to the next. Feeling good about one’s self comes from being positively engaged in life – having meaningful relationships, work, and creative pursuits, and by being open to new experiences. Can these things really be measured on a scale?
You are much more than a number of pounds. Lose the scale. Find your true self.
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
I have a hard time in social situations. I never really want to go to parties or clubs, and it seems like when I’m there, everyone is having a better time than me. I’m always trying to find ways to leave or not go at all. Is there something wrong with me?
Which is more correct: left handed or right handed? It makes no sense, right? Introversion or extraversion are “biologically based traits,” just like right/left handedness. Our social tendencies are quite stable throughout our entire lives, though not necessarily our destiny. Like the right/left handedness, a person can practice and get better with their non-dominant hand – but there will always be a natural tendency to revert to one’s basic nature. I like to think of it as a continuum with a high degree of introversion on one end, and a high degree of extraversion on the other end. At one extreme, you have people who cannot be alone and need constant connection with others (“the more the merrier”). At the other end of the spectrum, you have people who desire little to no social interaction, are drained when around people, love solitude, etc. In general, most of society fall somewhere between those two extremes, with about 75% more towards extraversion. In other words, 3 out of 4 people are energized by social interaction, while 1 of the 4 is drained. It’s wonderful you are aware of this about yourself! With knowing this, can you learn to accept this as a natural quality of your personality and not a flaw? Can you plan your social life around your preferences for small get togethers or one-on-one interactions? Give yourself props for making the effort and going outside your comfort zone to parties or clubs! Most importantly, remember that there is nothing wrong with you for preferring your social life to be simple. It’s the quality, not quantity, that matters in relationships.
Monday, April 15, 2013
Did you know that we are running a Flashmob contest? Why yes, yes we are!
Check out one of our entries that was done this past weekend, who are now in the running to win our coveted 'Perfect is Boring' t-shirts!!:
Friday, April 12, 2013
Q: With summer coming, I find myself comparing my body to others. It felt like I was doing better until this until skimpy clothing season arrived. How can I get myself to stop this comparing habit?
A: Comparing is a difficult habit to break because it’s natural to observe others when they come into our environment. What is most important is tackling those automatic negative thoughts you have about yourself when you go out. First, know that you are part of a beautiful vast and diverse world that is yours to appreciate. Notice how each and every one has a unique face and figure. And isn’t it possible that while you are wishing you could look like that person, there’s a person over here who is wishing she could look like you? Also, keep in mind that although someone may appear, on the surface, to be quite beautiful and to have it all together, you can’t assume that the person whose body you admire is any happier or more successful than you. You don’t know how hard she works at that appearance or what unhealthy behaviours she may be struggling with as well.
Now, picture yourself at 80. What will you look like then? How will your body feel? What would your 80-year-old self want you to feel at this moment in time? I’m sure it would want you to enjoy your youth: the strength and flexibility that allows you to dance and play sports with energy and exuberance. Similar to the expression, “you don’t know what you got ‘til it’s gone”? It’s true! Now is the time for you to make the most of who you are in the body you have.
While you are comparing yourself to everyone else, your life is happening; be here now and make the most of it!
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Q: I am still really struggling accepting my body. I don’t like what I see in the mirror, and I can’t let go of the idea that if I lost a few pounds I’d feel better about myself and happier. I need to eat less, exercise more, and when I reach my goal weight I know I’ll feel better about myself. I know you’re going to say that I’m wrong. Why?
A: First and foremost, the problem is NOT your body, but how you perceive it and what your expectations are.
Your perceptions are what you believe to be true. Right or wrong, perceptions are stored as truth in your brain. So if you look in the mirror and say, “my thighs are huge,” that’s what you’re going to believe to be true.
Is it possible for you to consider that your perceptions may be off-base?
Your expectations are what you think should be true. When there is inconsistency between your perception and your expectation, this creates conflict. For example, if you think “my thighs are huge and they should not be this way!” this is a real conundrum!
Your body is mainly the result of your unique genetic predisposition. Five, ten, twenty years from now, there will be a new “normal” that you see in the mirror. Are you going to continue to hate and rant about what you see? Can you imagine an entire lifetime of this?
What would happen if you looked in the mirror and said to yourself, “this is my body today, and it is what it is.” No judgment, no expectation. That is what I mean by acceptance. I’m not telling you that you need to love or even like your body (although that would be fantastic!). Let’s start with being neutral.
Listen for the judgmental self-talk and the language you use with yourself that is enslaving you to your eating disorder. Remind yourself that this moment is all you have to make the most of. How do you need to be with and treat your body right now? Be kind and compassionate. Work on losing that diet mentality and exercise your body because it’s important for stress management, health, and overall well-being. Happiness comes when you sincerely connect with others and when you are engaged in meaningful activity. Weight has nothing to do with it. It never has, and it never will.
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Make a BODY IMAGE CONTRACT:
A body image contract helps to define what positive body image means to you. Make one today to remind yourself about your priorities!
- I agree to nourish myself when I’m hungry.
- I agree to acknowledge that building a positive body image is a process. There are good days and bad. But I won’t judge myself during the dark ones.
- I agree to surround myself with supportive and positive people.
- I agree to remove anything from my home that doesn’t make me feel good, including certain magazines and diet books.
- I agree to wear clothes that make me feel good.
- I agree not to blame myself when something doesn’t fit. (I don’t need to fit the clothes, the clothes need to fit me.)
- I agree to have more fun, whatever that means to me.
- I agree to pamper myself once a week.
- I agree to take the time to think about my boundaries.
- I agree to avoid body bashing and dig deeper if I realize that I can’t stop.
- I agree to thank my body for all the amazing things it does for me.
- I agree to remember that real women aren’t just curvy or thin or muscular. Real women come in all shapes and sizes.
- I agree to pursue my passions or learn more about them.
- I agree to take the focus away from weight when I work out and focus on how I feel.
- I agree to turn to healthy coping strategies when I’m feeling anxious, overwhelmed or upset.
- I agree to reach out for help when I need it.
- I agree to work toward accepting and loving myself, if I don’t just yet.
- I agree to see my body as a whole, rather than a collection of parts that need to be controlled.
- I agree to trust my body.
Comparing is a difficult habit to break because it’s natural to observe others when they come into our environment. So, how can we hone in on this and make it less destructive to our self-esteem? Here are some tips you might want to try out!
- Notice how each and every one has a unique face and figure.
- Isn’t it possible that while you are wishing you could look like that person, there’s a person over here who is wishing she could look like you?
- Keep in mind that although someone may appear, on the surface, to be quite beautiful and to have it all together, you can’t assume that the person whose body you admire is any happier or more successful than you.
- Remind yourself that you don’t know how hard she/he works at that appearance or what unhealthy behaviours she/he may be struggling with as well.
- Picture yourself at 80 years old. What will you look like then? How will your body feel? What would your 80-year-old self want you to feel at this moment in time? I’m sure it would want you to enjoy your youth: the strength and flexibility that allows you to dance and play sports with energy and exuberance.
- While you are comparing yourself to everyone else, your life is happening; be here now and make the most of it!
What are some of YOUR tips to help stop comparing?
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Self-care is another helpful way to boost your body image! I didn’t want to waste any of the good stuff on worthless me. In my mind, I didn’t deserve it until I lost weight. Once I got thinner, then I could pamper myself, wear great clothes every day, buy my favorite lotion, engage in physical activities I really enjoyed, show myself kindness and compassion.
But I had to realize that life is too short and I deserve care and compassion at any size, shape, or weight. And even more than that, if it makes you happy, do it, wear it, apply it!
Small gestures likes these, the ones that you do for yourself, truly add up. They contribute to a positive body image. When you’re taking good care of yourself, you inevitably feel better. It is never a waste to do something nice for yourself! Here are some examples to get you started...
~Putting on perfume everyday
~Taking a bath with the works: candles, lotion, music
~Buying a nice lotion or body wash
~Doing your nails
Doing these things is more than just pampering or spoiling yourself. It’s honoring yourself because YOU MATTER!!