Body Image and Weight Loss
Your body image is the way that you see yourself and how you look to others. Sometimes, your body image is positive, and sometimes, it isn't so good. Your weight, how tall or short you are, or even the way your hair looks can all be part of your body image. It is important to have a positive body image so you feel confident and good about yourself. There are many different reasons why people may not always have a good image of themselves, and it's definitely a good thing to help others feel better about how they look. Even if you're hard on yourself about how you look, the truth is that most people probably don't see you the same way you see yourself. Many people develop dangerous eating disorders that can affect their health and weight because they have a bad body image. But you can work on having a much more positive body image so you can continue to live a healthy life.
Positive vs. Negative Body Image
People with a positive body image feel OK about the way they look. From how much they weigh to the clothes they wear, those who have a positive body image are happy about how they appear to themselves and to others. While everyone certainly has doubts about themselves from time to time, those with a positive body image are confident and secure about how they look. On the other hand, people who have a negative body image are often very hard on themselves and may even say bad things about the way they look. They are usually much more shy and self-conscious and worry about how other people see them. For those who deal with a negative body image, it can be hard to feel like they fit in and to feel confident whenever they are in public. It is important to remember that no one is perfect and that each person is unique in their own way. If you are feeling bad about the way you look, there are some things you can do to change it, like losing weight or even getting a new hairstyle or clothes so you'll begin to feel better about yourself.
- Encouraging a Healthy Body Image
- Building a Healthy Body Image in Children
- Five Ways to Prevent Body Image Issues
- The Truth About Body Image
- About Body Image
Anorexia is an eating disorder that can be very dangerous. People who are dealing with anorexia tend to eat very little and may even starve themselves. Over time, the person can lose a dangerous amount of weight, and that can be very bad for their health. Some people also tend to exercise much more than normal in the hopes that they will lose weight faster. When you don't eat well, you don't get good nutrition and you can get sick. Those who have anorexia often have a very negative body image and will stop eating to try and become skinnier. Most people who deal with this problem are constantly worried about counting calories and watch every single thing that they eat. Over time, the person can become very sick, since they're not getting the nutrition they need to stay in good health. If you know someone who is dealing with anorexia, you should tell an adult so they can get them the help they need to get better.
- Important Information About Anorexia
- An Overview of Anorexia
- Eating Disorders
- Signs, Symptoms, Causes, and Risks of Anorexia
- Anorexia in Children
- Eating Disorders in Children
- What Families Need to Know
- Anorexia: Questions and Answers
- Anorexia in Kids and Teens
- Warning Signs
Another eating disorder than can affect people who have a negative body image is bulimia. Much like anorexia, the person suffering from bulimia has a bad view of themselves and their weight. People who are coping with bulimia have different ways of handling their problems with body image, such as doing something called binging and purging. The person will eat a lot of unhealthy food all at once, called binging, and then they make themselves vomit the food back up, which is known as purging. When someone binges and purges too much, it can cause very serious problems like heart palpitations, dental cavities or tooth loss, rapid weight loss, and other health problems. Much like with anorexia, people with bulimia can be obsessed with how much they weigh and what they look like. It's important to know the signs and symptoms of bulimia so you can help someone you know who might be dealing with this eating disorder.
- About Bulimia
- Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment for Bulimia
- Bulimia Fact Sheet
- The Effects of Bulimia on the Body
- Causes of Bulimia
- When to Worry About an Eating Disorder
- Bulimia in Children
- More Facts About Bulimia
- Teenage Eating Disorders
- Effective Child Therapy for Bulimia
If you have a negative body image or you know someone who does, it is important to get help with your feelings before it becomes more serious. If you already have an eating disorder, you should try to get help as soon as possible. Talk to your parents or another trusted adult about the things you are dealing with so you have someone you can confide in. There are also a lot of support groups available just for kids and teens that can help you. Getting help is the best way to prevent these problems from getting worse, so you can go on to be healthy and happy about your body image and your life.
- Family Involvement in Treatment
- A Resource for Parents (PDF)
- Supporting Adolescents With Eating Disorders
- Getting Help
- Five Ways to Promote a Positive Body Image
- Raising a Girl With a Positive Body Image
- Practical Guide for Positive Body Image
- Encouraging Healthy Body Image
- How to Help
There are a lot of places groups that can give you help if you're dealing with an eating disorder. From national organizations and medical centers to therapists and hotlines, there are places you or someone you know can go to get help with an eating disorder or a negative body image. Never be afraid to reach out and ask someone to help you: It might save your life. Whether you call a hotline or meet with a doctor, reaching out to get help is the first step toward a more positive, healthy life.