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

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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Ashley Broadwater

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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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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