National Eating Disorders Association
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Body Image

Terms such as “bikini body” and “shrink down” have been thrown around so much, it can feel as though they’re a part of our daily lives. But what are we feeling when we hear them? What impact do they have on us?

Exercise classes and personal fitness can be a great way to feel good about yourself. Underline that or write it in bold if you have to. Feel good about yourself. Not diet, slim down, or get smaller.

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“Monthly Matters with Melody” is a monthly advice column by Dr. Melody Moore, a clinical psychologist, yoga instructor and the founder of the Embody Love Movement Foundation. Her foundation is a non-profit whose mission is to empower girls and women to celebrate their inner beauty, commit to kindness and contribute to meaningful change in the world. Dr. Moore is a social entrepreneur who trains facilitators on how to teach programs to prevent negative body image and remind girls and women of their inherent worth.

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Five years ago, my body image was terrible. I was in the midst of completing my undergraduate degree, living in Canada and eating out or ordering in a LOT. I wasn’t doing any self-care; I didn’t even know what self-care was back then. 

My life was so full of drama and I was going through a pretty significant depression. I lacked the energy to cook, so I ate out three to four times a week. School ended, seasons changed and I was doing a little better emotionally, and by summer of 2011, I launched into full diet mode. I was obsessively counting points and calories. 

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For the holidays this year, some parents may be buying their kids the Gabba Goods fitness tracker. It’s one of several wearable fitness devices geared toward kids to promote exercise and combat childhood obesity. It seems like a thoughtful idea at first glance, but I can think of plenty of other things for kids to keep track of. They can count the things they are grateful for, or the stars in the sky; they can keep track of their dreams and the days until Christmas and the candles on their birthday cake. Things kid don’t need to track? Steps walked and calories burned.

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Happy Friday, everyone! This week, we congratulate congress and President Obama on finalizing the 21st Century Cures Act, the first-ever piece of legislation directly addressing the prevention and treatment of eating disorders. 

Below are some other news headlines worth celebrating! 

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When it comes to eating and image disorders, the lion’s share of attention goes to the body. So, it appears, there is no attention given to the face. Yet, within the eating disorder context, my negative experience with my face was just as painful as the unforgiving perception of my body. And it started early.

As an overweight child, several adults repeatedly made the same comment. Perhaps you’ve had it spoken to you.

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This week's top news headlines include Prince William’s encouraging talk about raising mental health awareness in the workplace and the announcement of a new Barbie movie starring Amy Schumer, with the aim of challenging impossible mainstream body ideals.

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It’s a social media phenomenon. It’s in our faces every day. But for those of us with body image struggles, does it help or hinder? “Love your body!” So cries social media, preaching a shiny gospel of body positivity to all of us. At first glance, this seems a welcome oasis amid the onslaught of shaming advertisements and fitness and diet posts.

The “body-posi” movement can be beneficial in so many ways, but we need to have a bigger conversation about it—which aspects of the movement are actually beneficial, and which parts can, themselves, be triggering and harmful? 

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Happy December, everyone! Many celebrities have stepped forward this week to talk about the importance of mental health, body positivity, and self-care. Also, new legislation has been passed by Congress, which includes some much-needed mental health reforms. Check out our headlines below!

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This summer, I started working a part-time job as a grocery store cashier. Every day on the job, without fail, I face the same scenario: a customer places an item on the conveyer belt that some may consider a comfort food.

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