You’ve probably seen “Instagram models” promoting “fitness” or “detox” tea all over your feed. Thigh gaps here, big booties there, ab cracks everywhere!
Is it then not surprising that at least 30 million people in the United States, of all genders, suffer from some sort of eating disorder?
Yeah, not surprising at all.
Today we are bringing a whole new topic to the podcast with my new soul sister and inspirational counselor, Andrea Wachter. Andrea is the author of The Don’t Diet, Live-It Workbook and Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Breaking the “I Feel Fat” Spell so you can identify disordered behaviors in our loved ones and ourselves.
Here’s What We Talked About:
- Understanding the roots of eating disorders in teens and how to prevent your teen or yourself from catching the “I feel fat spell”.
- How to recognize the top,very vivid, behavioral patterns in teens and how taking responsibility can change their life for the better.
- Why your best life is in the present moment and how to catch yourself in the present to create a healthy relationship with your body.
Catching The “I Feel Fat Spell”:
The biggest root of eating and body image disorders is cultural and (you guessed it) media.
Instagram isn’t really helping alleviate this issue #fitspo.
We have all had our natural relationship with our body, food, and movement taken away from us because the culture has sooooo many rules on how we should look like, feel like, and what we should be eating. Sister, you know what I am talking about.
We’ve all felt “not enough” at least once in our lives.
(If you are ready to start loving yourself and end your negative self-talk, check out Ep #150 Overcoming Judgment and Radical Self Love).
Andrea calls this “catching the spell” and we catch this spell from the cultural messages regarding perfect bodies and perfect diets. And the culture doesn’t only send you one message, but it is constantly sending these messages.
Additionally, we get these messages from family members and friends who also received the same messages from the culture.
A mom that is dieting, a dad that is overeating, aunt Susie that just has to drop comments at every family gathering (yes, I am still single aunt Susie).
We get it from the culture, our friends, our families, coaches, etc…
The culture spreads it around like mono on a college campus. It’s everywhere.
Sister, we are all different breeds. We all have different levels of sensitivity. A lot of us that suffer from body image issues just happen to be born a very sensitive breed and maybe are a little more sensitive to criticism and praise than others.
We take things differently and this affects how we eat, feel, and connect with people and this makes it very difficult to know how our comments are affecting others. We don’t see their suffering so we don’t think there is a problem.
Pay Attention to the Patterns:
Does your teenage daughter show signs of disordered body image?
Here is how to spot the symptoms:
- Negative self-talk.
- Changing how they act around their bodies.
- Changing their behaviors around food.
- Extreme behaviors with exercise.
There is no set look to an eating or a body image disorder and this makes figuring out whether a loved one needs help and is going through a rough time.
Healthy and unhealthy look different on everyone. There is no set weight for an eating disorder and some the healthiest looking of us may be struggling with an eating disorder or negative self image.
It has nothing to do with our weight but our relationship with food. If a teen has talked at all, negatively, about their body or food, we can use their language to address the issue and if they are open to talking about their struggle.
It really starts with us as an example. We can take the responsibility to have this very important conversation.
But how do we actually have this talk? We use their language. "I noticed you ________ and you've been calling yourself_______. Would you be comfortable talking about _________?"
You can relate to them and let them know about your own struggle, not too detailed, but enough to let them know they are safe having this conversation.
How to Nip These Habits in Your Daily life so Your Teenagers Don’t Pick Up on Them:
We often live in our heads. We are thinking about the future or we are thinking about the past. When we have a healthy relationship with our bodies, we spend more time in the present and our mind is silent.
It seem simple but it’s difficult to achieve, it is so easy to just get lost in our minds. Catching ourselves in the present moment, here and there, just beginning to catch ourselves in the present moment.
It also looks like treating our bodies like we would somebody we love.
We wouldn’t starve somebody we love and we wouldn’t call someone we love fat, right? Seeing ourselves as a loved one shifts our attitude toward our body toward positivity.
Looking at ourselves with kinder eyes and asking ourselves what we need is so counterintuitive to us in the culture that we live in.
But if we can spread the love we have for others or hobbies, or whatever it is we love (coffee), we can bypass the mind and create a feeling of love for ourselves from the inside.
It is rare and radical to find somebody that LOVES their body. Culturally, we are immersed and we to fit in, we engage in fat chat. In this culture, loving ourselves is radical. Be rebellious!
Sister, if you are struggling to train your mind on the way to your transformation and do not ever want to exhaust your mind and body with another diet, then checkout The Sexyfit Method
for real results that will keep you happy and full with real foods.