Is Feeling Bad About Your Body Getting in the Way of Your Recovery?
FREE this week – a life changing texting program to help you feel better about your body and support your recovery.
- Did you know that 80% of women say that the images of women on television and in movies, fashion magazines and advertising makes them feel insecure?
- Or that the average American woman is 5’4” and weighs 140 pounds, while the average American model is 5’11” tall and weighs 117 pounds? Most fashion models are thinner than 98% of American women. (Visual.ly/body-image-statistics)
- Or that 60 percent of women, 36 percent of men and a whopping 78 percent of teen girls have something bad to say about their looks. (huffingtonpost.com)?
It may seem strange to be talking about negative body image on an addiction recovery blog, but the two are strongly connected, yet rarely discussed together. With National Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2017 upon us, I felt it was important to bring the silent but brutal impact of negative body image on substance abuse into the light.
The 2003 study, titled Food for Thought: Substance Abuse and Eating Disorders, conducted by The National Center on Addictions and Substance Abuse at Columbia University found that people with eating disorders are up to five times more likely to abuse alcohol or illicit drugs and those who abuse alcohol or illicit drugs are up to 11 times more likely to have eating disorders.
Additionally, teens may experiment with drugs and alcohol in an attempt to numb out the pain they have around body issues. Concerns about weight often results in the development of an eating disorder, such as anorexia or bulimia. (teenrehabcenter.org).
According to experts, if someone is exhibiting signs or thoughts of struggling with an eating disorder or addiction, intervening during the early stages of development can significantly increase the likelihood of preventing the onset of a full-blown eating disorder or a life-long struggle with addiction. It also leads to greater chances of a full recovery, and can prevent years of struggle—it can even save lives. Disordered eating, which plagues an estimated 30 million Americans, is the most fatal mental health issue in the country — one out of every five people with anorexia eventually dies from causes related to the disease. Negative body image can severely hinder recovery, and it is often not adequately addressed in substance abuse treatment settings.
The truth is that hating your body can make you vulnerable to a myriad of self-destructive behaviors, such as fad dieting, compulsive exercise, eating disorders, steroid abuse and other addictions.
What experiences contribute to negative body image?
Some of the factors that may contribute to a negative body image include
- teasing and bullying in childhood,
- advertising campaigns that bombard women and men with idealized images of perfection
- emphasis on the “strong, muscular” male body type, or the tall, super-thin, fit woman
- our culture’s emphasis on judging people by physical appearance rather than inner beauty
- negative family messages growing up about dieting and appearance.
What can you do to help turn negative body image around?
I am thrilled to announce that this week The Body Image Counseling Center is launching a cutting-edge mental health initiative, Txt2bWell Positive Body Image Program. In partnership with CareWire, Inc. (www.carewireinc.com), we have developed an 8-week text messaging series of proven techniques and action steps to help you transform the way you feel about your body, food and exercise, all from the privacy of your cell phone!
The only information required enroll in the program is a first name and a text-capable phone number. The course content is delivered directly to you via text, no apps or downloads required. Each week, a series of personalized text messages will be sent to you that include a proven technique and supporting actions steps to help you quickly begin to feel better about your body. You will also receive more in-depth web content and password-protected forums, plus weekly conversations facilitated by me in a private online forum. There you can receive one-on-one expert support from me, and interact with others on a similar journey.
Registration is FREE RIGHT NOW during National Eating Disorders Awareness week (Feb. 26 – March 1). Your first text will be received within 24 hours of sign-up, and after that, texts will be automatically sent three times a week for a total of eight weeks.
If you feel better about your body, it can only help curb the desire to use substances in an effort to ease the low self-esteem that surrounds negative body image. You can register for the program two ways:
- Go to text2bwell.com
- Text the word behealthy to 44222, which will send a signup link to your smartphone.
I hope you will sign up for our program today, so you can begin to feel better about your body, and have another powerful tool in your arsenal to fight addiction. If you worry you or someone you love is suffering from an eating or body image disorder, help is available. Don’t suffer in silence!