Archive for March, 2011

When You Experience A Body Image Relapse

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

creative joy, purple flowers

A few weekends ago, I went to Tampa, and lost my body image in just a few hours.

I was feeling confident one day. In fact that day.

But then I let old insecurities and self-doubts determine my mood, my day and my self-image.

I felt like how I used to when I stepped on the scale and my world was shattered if the number proved unsatisfactory.

Years of progress had become undone, I felt like.

Suddenly, I felt very small and too big at the same time.


Mom, Do I Look Fat? 10 Ways To Address Body Image in Teen Daughters

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Today, I’m pleased to present a guest post by freelance writer Maria Rainier, who offers valuable insight into raising healthy teenage girls.

In today’s society, with its pro-dieting and pro-thinness messages, parents definitely have their work cut out for them.

But there are many things parents can do to counteract these unhealthy messages and help their kids cultivate a positive body image and self-image.

Thanks so much, Maria, for your piece!


Body Image Booster: 5 Ways To Strengthen Your Self-Respect

Monday, March 28th, 2011

good girls don't get fat, book

Mondays can be rough for many of us, and this doesn’t create the ideal environment for building a better body image. To help you turn that around, every Monday features a tip, activity, inspiring quote or some other tidbit to help boost your body image – and kick-start the week on a positive note.

Got a tip for improving body image? Email me at mtartakovsky at gmail dot com, and I’ll be happy to feature it. I’d love to hear from you!

We know that body image isn’t just about thighs, hips and waists.

At its core, body image is about self-worth and self-respect.


Q&A On Eating Disorder Recovery: Lessons For Others, Part 3

Friday, March 25th, 2011

Here’s part three of my interview with Cathy and Julia, a mom and daughter who’ve talked candidly and thoughtfully about the effect an eating disorder has had on their relationship.

(If you haven’t yet, check out Julia’s story in part 1 and Cathy’s perspective in part 2.)

Again, I want to reiterate that families can serve an important role in helping their kids through recovery. The key is to get educated about eating disorders and help your child find someone who specializes in treating eating disorders.

Remember that EDs do not go away on their own. But they are highly treatable.

Below, both Julia and Cathy discuss what they’d like readers to know about eating disorders and more.


Q&A On Eating Disorders: A Mother’s Perspective, Part 2

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

{Julia now}

Here’s part two of my interview with mother and daughter Cathy and Julia.

Yesterday, Julia shared her struggles with an eating disorder and how this affected her relationship with her parents. (Read it here.)

Today, Cathy shares the difficulties of understanding her daughter’s eating disorder, how their relationship suffered and ultimately how they were able to strengthen it.

I also want to mention that parents, family and friends can play an important role in helping to support their loved one through recovery. I think one of the best things you can do is to educate yourself on eating disorders.

There’s so much misinformation and confusion about what EDs are and how they’re treated. Knowing more about EDs helps you know what to expect and how to help.

Stay tuned for part three tomorrow!


Q&A On Eating Disorder Recovery & Relationships

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

Today, I’m pleased to present an interview with mom and daughter Cathy and Julia. I think this is a special opportunity to share with you both perspectives of an eating disorder told by two amazing women in their own words.

Specifically, in this 3-part interview, Cathy and Julia talk about how their relationship was affected and eventually strengthened.

But before you learn about that, in part one, Julia recounts her struggles with an eating disorder and how she’s doing now. She also talks about her relationship with her parents.

On a side note, I want to highlight something Cathy says in the interview, which I think is an incredibly common misconception.

Cathy says that because Julia was born a beautiful child and grew into a beautiful woman, she thought she’d be sheltered from societal pressures – and from an eating disorder.

Actually, I think there are two myths at play here. One, people assume that someone who’s attractive or already thin is somehow immune to body image issues or an eating disorder. (They’re not.)

We assume, “Hey, they’re pretty or skinny, what do they have to worry about?” Some of us even get offended that someone who’s already attractive would have these issues.

But anyone, regardless of their looks, is vulnerable to a negative body image. Body image issues and eating disorders don’t discriminate.

The second issue is believing that eating disorders stem from societal pressures to be pretty or skinny. While this can trigger an ED (and unfortunately, create roadblocks in recovery), remember that eating disorders are genetic. And they’re also caused by a variety of complex factors.


Body Image Booster: 10 Ways To Have Fun With Fashion

Monday, March 21st, 2011

DSCN0407

Mondays can be rough for many of us, and this doesn’t create the ideal environment for building a better body image. To help you turn that around, every Monday features a tip, activity, inspiring quote or some other tidbit to help boost your body image – and kick-start the week on a positive note.

Got a tip for improving body image? Email me at mtartakovsky at gmail dot com, and I’ll be happy to feature it. I’d love to hear from you!

I’ve mentioned before how much I loovvveee fashion. :)

Fashion is a fun and creative way to express yourself, and it can help boost your body image, too.


Eating Disorders & Comorbidity: When An ED Isn’t The Only Disorder

Friday, March 18th, 2011

Today, I’m honored to present a guest post by author Nicole Johns. Below, she talks about the underlying issues that fueled her eating disorder, and how she recovered by addressing both.

I first learned about Nicole when I reviewed her book Purge: Rehab Diaries for Psych Central. (You can read my review here.) In short, I loved the book for its raw honesty, hopeful message, myth-busting and accurate information.

We’ve been in contact ever since, and I think she’s an incredible person and a great advocate for eating disorder awareness and recovery.

By the way, Nicole recently wrote about how lucky she is to be doing what she loves, such as speaking, teaching and writing. I know I can’t imagine how hard recovery is, but this post definitely speaks to why it’s so worth it!


Beauty & Body Image: Straddling Two Cultures

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

In her book, Hijas Americanas: Beauty, Body Image and Growing Up Latina, author Rosie Molinary talks about the pressure Hispanic American women can face in living between two cultures.

Each culture has its own beauty ideals, so they’re bombarded with various, sometimes conflicting, messages.

She writes:

“Thus, as Latinas we can be caught between two standards of beauty-not feeling beautiful in either culture, or feeling beautiful in one, but not the other. No matter where we stand, we’re on the precipice of judgment, with one set of values that informs our lives shaped by American pop culture and another set shaped by our families’ culture and traditions.”

Have you felt the same way?


A Lesson In True Beauty

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

good girls don't get fat, book

“My mother is the kind of woman that people can’t just walk by…She’s beautiful. People stop on the street or crane their heads in restaurants to stare. She has really dark, long hair and big brown eyes,” 19-year-old Angie told author and body image expert Robyn Silverman, Ph.D.

(Silverman features Angie’s story in her book Good Girls Don’t Get Fat: How Weight Obsession Is Messing Up Our Girls And How We Can Help Them Thrive Despite It.*)

But she didn’t feel beautiful, and the stares and compliments didn’t matter.

“She would call herself ugly, and she’d pick at her stomach and say, ‘Italian girls aren’t supposed to be fat.” Once she said, ‘No wonder why my tummy got so big, look at you!’ and I, being a pissed-off teenager, would be like ‘Oh, so you wish I wasn’t born?”


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