When you're struggling with eating and body image, remember

12 Reminders For When You're Struggling With Food And Body Image

Food is important for daily functioning, no body size is best and your life is worth more than these worries.

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Body positivity, true healthy eating and self-compassion can be hard, especially in a word filled with fatphobia, the idea that men must be muscular, diet tips and photoshopped models. Add stress and emotions, which can cause changes in weight and appetite, and your body may not feel like home.

However, our bodies are super rad. They do so, so much for us; they carry out so many intricate functions that we may not even know or comprehend. Our bodies are the only true home we'll ever have, the only thing that will constantly be with us, so let's learn to appreciate it and love it right. Trust your body, and it will trust you.

1. Food = fuel.

Food gives us the energy to hug our friends, to travel, to go to work and make money, to go out with friends, to watch our favorite shows, to kiss.

2. At least 20% of the energy you receive from food goes towards your brain's functioning.

That's your grades, your ability to read articles, getting ready in the morning, creating happy memories, being an efficient employee and being able to have conversations with loved ones. Plus, people with eating disorders think about food up to 100% of the time. Imagine how much that limits your daily living!

3. Fat (or any other body type) isn't bad, and we need fat to live.

Fat does not have moral value. It's simply a nutrient necessary for life.

4. Worrying about food is a waste of time.

Believe me when I say it is not worth it to be stressed about food when you're eating out with friends. Believe me when I say it's better to eat what you want and your mind be able to focus on those who bring you happiness.

5. Wanting seconds, wanting to eat when others aren’t, and eating emotionally do NOT make you a bad person.

You are allowed to eat when and what and how much you want. Embrace your body's wants and needs!

6. When you get older, you will not look back on your life and wish you were smaller.

You will wish you would've spent more time with people you love, going on adventures and enjoying that 2 a.m. Waffle House.

7. Think about everything you are, and your size becomes less and less relevant.

Daughter. Son. Doctor. Gas station worker. Lover of noodles. Avid football watcher. Fashion lover. The funny one. The friend. Someone who has the strength to get up and live. The rap music lover.

8. Yeah, maybe you don’t love some aspects of your body -- but that isn’t all of you.

You are whole. You are a combination of so much and cannot be defined by only a couple of details.

9. Not eating -- or eating too much -- won’t solve your problems. Neither will having a different body size.

Geneen Roth has some amazing books about compulsive eating. The food isn't the problem, it's what you're trying to fight by using food. Your body isn't the problem, and fat is not a feeling.

10. Body struggles are not dealt with exclusively by a certain kind of person or body type.

All people -- genders, races, ages, levels of ability, sexual orientations and more can be affected. Those who are minorities often struggle more with body politics and are disproportionately affected and also stereotyped against. You don't have to look a certain way to be "sick enough" or valid.

11. Can’t feel body posi? Try body neutral.

AKA: I have a body. My body helps me get places and completes other cool functions.

12. Many resources are available to you for however you feel.

I'll say it again: you deserve help, no matter who you are or what you look like!
  1. National Eating Disorders Association on Eating Disorders
  2. National Eating Disorders Association on Body Image

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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In Real Life, 'Plus Size' Means A Size 16 And Up, Not Just Women Who Are Size 8's With Big Breasts

The media needs to understand this, and give recognition to actual plus-size women.

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Recently, a British reality dating TV show called "Love Island" introduced that a plus-sized model would be in the season five lineup of contestants. This decision was made after the show was called out for not having enough diversity in its contestants. However, the internet was quick to point out that this "plus-size model" is not an accurate representation of the plus-size community.


@abidickson01 on twitter.com


Anna Vakili, plus-size model and "Love Island "Season 5 Contestant Yahoo UK News

It is so frustrating that the media picks and chooses women that are the "ideal" version of plus sized. In the fashion world, plus-size starts at size 8. EIGHT. In real life, plus-size women are women who are size 16 and up. Plunkett Research, a marketing research company, estimated in 2018 that 68% of women in America wear a size 16 to 18. This is a vast difference to what we are being told by the media. Just because a woman is curvy and has big breasts, does NOT mean that they are plus size. Marketing teams for television shows, magazines, and other forms of media need to realize that the industry's idea of plus size is not proportionate to reality.

I am all for inclusion, but I also recognize that in order for inclusion to actually happen, it needs to be accurate.

"Love Island" is not the only culprit of being unrealistic in woman's sizes, and I don't fully blame them for this choice. I think this is a perfect example of the unrealistic expectations that our society puts on women. When the media tells the world that expectations are vastly different from reality, it causes women to internalize that message and compare themselves to these unrealistic standards.

By bringing the truth to the public, it allows women to know that they should not compare themselves and feel bad about themselves. Everyone is beautiful. Picking and choosing the "ideal" woman or the "ideal" plus-size woman is completely deceitful. We as a society need to do better.

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