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More Ideas for Improving Your Body Image and Preventing Eating Disorders

Aug 18, 2007
Health professionals tell us that improving our body image is one of the best ways to prevent the onset of an eating disorder.

Eating disorders are serious conditions that can be difficult to treat because health professionals do not yet understand precisely how these complex disorders develop. Why do some people develop eating disorders, while others don't? While many health professionals have postulated many causes for these disorders, no one understands the specific combination of factors that contribute to the onset of the syndrome. Anorexia nervosa, bulimia, and binge eating disorder are the three most common types of eating sicknesses. All are characterized by an unhealthy relationship to food. Health professionals believe that cultivating a positive body image and adopting a healthy lifestyle may prevent eating disorders.

The following are five ideas for improving your body image. Practice them daily to make them a part of your life.

1. Wear clothes that fit and flatter. Are you one of those people whose closet is filled with clothes that don't fit right? Many times, we buy what we like, and not what fits or flatters our bodies. Find clothes that you feel comfortable in. Your clothes should make you feel beautiful and comfortable. Avoid tight fitting clothes, or anything that feels even slightly uncomfortable or self-conscious.

2. Don't avoid certain activities because of your body. Many people who are self-conscious about their bodies often avoid activities they love. Many individuals may avoid certain sports, fitness classes, dating and even social gatherings because of the way they feel about your body. Remind yourself that being cut off from the people and activities you love is not going to change your body or make you feel better. In fact, the opposite is true. Creating a supportive community of friends and family, and doing activities you are interested in can make you feel more secure and confident.

3. Helping others can make you feel better about yourself. Consider participating in some kind of volunteer work as a way to help others and feel better about you. Volunteer work can help put you in touch with those who need help, and helping others is a proactive and positive way to raise your self-esteem.

4. Think of your body as your best friend. Eating disorder patients often externalize their own bodies, viewing it as something outside of themselves that they must battle and subdue. Instead, think of your body as a best friend. Would you criticize or even despise your own best friend? Would you support and nurture a good friend, or would you treat them poorly? When you think of your body as your best friend, it makes sense to treat it with a sense of respect, love, patience and acceptance.

5. Make a list of all the things you love about your body. Write down everything that comes to mind, even things that seem insignificant to you at first. Read your list daily and add to it at all times. This list can serve as a powerful reminder of your inner strength, beauty and health.
About the Author
Scott Meyers is a staff writer for Its Entirely Natural, a resource for helping you achieve a naturally healthy body, mind, and spirit. You may contact our writers through the web site. Follow this link for more information on Eating Disorders.
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