Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Body Image Advice, by Julie Carr

Hello! My name is Julie, and I am a nursing student and am recovering from an eating disorder. I created an organization to help others who are also suffering from mental health illnesses. My organization is called Running Without Ed which is in the process of becoming a nonprofit organization to help raise money for eating disorder treatment scholarships. I suffered from terrible body image and an eating disorder for most of my teenage years. I am now fully recovered from my eating disorder but still suffer from bad body image at times. Here is an excerpt from my story about my recovery posted on RunningWIthoutEd.wordpress.com:

“This long, and emotionally painful, but very rewarding experience has given me my life back. I am no longer just surviving; I am actually living a life. I am finally in the process of achieving my dream of receiving a college degree. The most important things that have come out of treatment are more self-awareness, new coping skills, and the drive I have to accomplish my goals. My eating disorder got in the way of attending college the first time, and I will NEVER let that happen again. With all the professional help, and support I received, I can say this with confidence. Recovering from an eating disorder will be the hardest thing I ever have to do. I will have lapses and I will make mistakes. But most importantly I will learn from each difficult experience and be able to cope with it, and come out stronger in the end. I’m working on building my strength emotionally, physically, and spiritually. From the greatest pains, come the greatest strengths.”

Life is SO much more than looks and appearance despite what you see in the media today. Everywhere you turn there are digitally altered models on weight loss ads. Society gives us an unhealthy and unrealistic ideal body image. Here are my tips to help keep your mind off of the unrealistic unattainable body! These tips are from my personal experience only and are not in any way professional advice.

• Turn off the TV, computer, and phone. Enjoy time outside or inside quiet time.
• Start a new hobby like crocheting or knitting
• Give away too small clothing that may be your "goal". Its only giving yourself the message that you are not good enough the way you are, which is NOT true
• Surround yourself with positive people who don't focus on their bodies and weight loss
• Change your dialog to your body. (I'm too fat to wear shorts--> I am good enough the way I am, I will wear shorts that fit my body on hot days)
• Un-follow negative people on the internet.
• Make a list of “reasons to recover” to help motivate you
• Go mirror less! If you spend too much time criticizing yourself, cover the mirror with positive notes!
• Post an Operation Beautiful note with a positive affirmation in your room! (www.operationbeautiful.com)
• Smash the scale!! Let the doctor weigh you at your well-visit! Focus on how your body feels not how much it weighs


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