You are walking down the street. You notice a billboard that reads “Shred 20 pounds in just 2 weeks”. You keep walking because it’s just another sign. You decide to grab a bite to eat. Nutrition facts and “healthier alternatives” are listed. You obviously don’t want to be the one that chooses the “unhealthy” item when everyone else is choosing the alternative. You scroll through your Instagram account and all you see are weight loss recipes and workout videos. Starting to feel bad about yourself yet? You feel challenged to do exactly what the others are doing. Maybe it would make you fit in. Maybe people would notice you, even give you a compliment? Maybe. Maybe not.
Media is a very toxic place. Especially for the ones trying to recover from an eating disorder. The several times I went to treatment facilities, they pretty much isolate you from the outside world. No phone, no TV, no internet, and no magazines. It felt like prison, but was it worth it? Yes. Very much. Not being exposed to the “diet world” we live in was the best thing for me when I was doing my worst. You get to a point where you need to be forced to do things you don’t want to and you need to be away from those things.
Once you are strong enough to know how to properly nourish yourself, you are introduced to those things again with the skills to block it out. Not saying every day is going to be rainbows and butterflies. This is where the line draws as if anyone “truly recovers”.
You may not ever act on urges you used to, but that doesn’t mean the thoughts ever FULLY go away. It’s all about how you respond. I don’t blame you. It doesn’t make you a weak person to have thoughts. It’s NOT your fault. The sad truth is we live in a screwed up world. Everyone is confused and trying to find what’s “right”. “Right” is different for everyone.
Detox, diet cleanses, focus on weight and numbers, exercise have become socially acceptable topics of conversation even at a normal dinner party. Kids are becoming exposed, learning their mother’s ways, hence why eating disorders seem to be on the rise these days.
You can do your part and try to change things in your environment. Instead of contributing to the diet talk, bring some positivity on someone’s day. Promote self love, not self hate. Spread the word that STRONG IS THE NEW SKINNY. Be mindful of what you say and who is listening, you never know what could trigger something bad on someone that is vulnerable.
Realize that media can be a huge obstacle. If you are following people that make you feel insecure and worthless, why are you following them? Make wise decisions regarding your own progress instead of feeding off negative behaviors.
So tell me….
Where do you think social media affects you the most?
Do you look at things daily that make you feel bad about yourself?