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Social Media and Eating Disorders ~ by Gemma Bonner

Eating disorders affect up to 24 million people of all ages and gender in the US. They have the highest mortality rate of any mental condition, making greater awareness, early diagnosis and receiving treatment, vital. The most commonly known eating disorders include anorexia nervosa (which involves extreme calorie counting/starvation),bulimia nervosa (involving alternating episodes of bingeing and purging), though in the last few years, additional disorders have been identified, including binge eating disorder (in which bingeing is not necessarily followed by purging) and EDNOS (Eating Disorders Not Otherwise Specified, in which sufferers may display some, but not all, of the characteristic behaviors associated with another eating disorder).

There are many causes for eating disorders; recent has shown that they can include problematic family relationships, psychological issues and genetics. The media and the unrealistic body images they portray used to be blamed for the sharp rise in eating disorders in the 1970s and 1980s though researchers have since discovered that the causes of disorders are far more complex and difficult to identify. Moreover, each person with an eating disorder is a world unto his own, since a variety of factors can work together to cause or exacerbate the problem.

The media may not be solely to blame, yet pressure to conform to specific body types does cause its share of harm. The theme of the recently held 2015 International Conference for Eating Disorders was ‘Communication’, since studies have shown that Facebook use is linked to strong body dissatisfaction. There are many reasons why, despite the fact that social media do not cause eating disorders per se, they can exacerbate symptoms or even trigger a relapse. For one, social media leads to self-objectification and inevitable comparison. The media sexually objectifies women, note researchers of an important study on social media use and body image in women, because it focuses on looks instead of personality or accomplishments/ abilities. Women can learn to view their body as an object to be observed; indeed, research has shown that exposure to the thin ideal leads to greater self objectification in young women. This can lead to body shame and anxiety, which in turn can spur on depression, anxiety, sexual dysfunction, and eating disorders.

Social media sites like Facebook can make women feel objectified in very specific ways. Facebook is very image-dependent, with the site boasting an arsenal of 250 billion images in 2013 alone. Facebook is appearance-focused, owing to the tendency of users to upload photos, and receive Likes and comments regarding their appearance. Studies have shown that the more time one spent on Facebook, the stronger the tendency to objectify oneself. Moreover, the site not only exposes users to images of celebrities, but also to images of their friends and colleagues, which can promote even deeper degrees of comparison, since friends tend to have more ‘attainable’ body images than celebrities. Studies have also pointed to the tendency of Facebook users to compare images of themselves in the present and the past, which also contributes to self-objectification. Although most studies have focused on women, body objectification is also suffered by men, with studies showing that many males are underdiagnosed or misdiagnosed, because of the false perception that eating disorders are ‘a female issue’.

The relationship between self objectification and a greater risk of eating disorders has been accepted by specialists in the field. This is an important step into understanding the nature of eating disorders, since it shows that how we feel about ourselves, our own feelings of inadequacy, shame, guilt and self blame, can become a block to full recovery. One of the top therapies used to treat eating disorders is Maudsley Therapy, which involves the whole family working together to support the person recovering. The first step in Maudsley lies in regaining lost weight. Afterwards, as the person gains more independence over what they eat, the key is to help them make the right choices. Yoga, mindfulness meditation and EFTapping are important complementary therapies which can help lower stress levels (thereby reducing the chances of relapse) and unblock powerful sentiments like anger, fear and resentment, which can impact those recovering on a physiological and psychological level. Because EFTapping helps us discover what body and mind need, it is an excellent way for those with eating disorders to learn the powerful, positive effect that good food can have on their lives.

Do you want to tap and learn mindfulness meditation with Eileen to conquer your eating disorder?: http://www.balanceandpower.com/eft.php 

FREE phone consult : 516 623 4353  eileen@balanceandpower.com  

Citations:

Examiner.com, Damaging Comparisons. Social Media and Eating Disorders, accessed April, 2015.

J Fardouly et al, The Mediating Role of Appearance Comparisons in the Relationship Between Media Usage and Self-Objectification in Young Women, accessed April, 2015.

Feast-ed.org, The Family-Based, or Maudsley Treatment Approach, accessed April, 2015.

WomensHealth.gov, Anorexia nervosa fact sheet, accessed April, 2015.

National Eating Disorders.org, Eating Disorder Health Concerns, accessed April, 2015.

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Here in the Northeastern US we’ve been literally bombarded with severe weather.  Many are “stuck in” more than usual and take to the munchies or simply give in to cravings that may not surface while being out and about.  And then there are those who chase the food cravings no matter what the weather. This Valentine’s Day, before Zumba class at my gym today the instructor lovingly handed us each of us a chocolate kiss.  Someone refused it – and confided in me that if she has one now then afterwards she will go to the store and buy a candy bar.  Later we had a conversation re EFT Eliminating Emotional Eating.  I’ll be guiding her with this starting this week.

I participated in EFT trainings  with a professional colleague – an eating disorder therapist – who later successfully ran support groups weekly with this modality. I had co-facilitated programs with her: “Breathing, Not Eating” re mindful breathing in front of the fridge or cupboard before opening and movement release – affirmations sessions with my audio program Moving Meditation® Fitness: A Fitness and Relaxation Program More Information 

Currently, I’ve helped many clients overcome eating challenges, especially emotional eating.

From Dr. Bruce Kesten, DC.: “Tapping each day keeps the binges away!.”  Find out more about EFT HERE

We hear so much about food and exercise, but what about the massive affect that the overproduction of cortisol, known as the “stress hormone,” has on the body?  Emotions such as anger, fear, resentment, and guilt sabotage our best intentions and even impact us on a deep biological level.  As the Mayo Clinic says, “The long-term activation of the stress-response system – and the subsequent overexposure to cortisol and other stress hormones – can disrupt almost all your body’s processes. This puts you at increased risk of numerous health problems, including weight gain.”

By using this incredible tool – Tapping – to clear stress and limiting emotions and beliefs, you can very quickly get in touch with what you and your body need, lose weight quickly and feel energized and terrific!!

Balance & Power
FREE CONSULTATION
FREE 20 Minute Phone Consultation   (516) 623-4353
“Strategy Session”  
in which we will examine the
top stressors in your life
and see how to transform them. No Obligation

 sessions in Westbury, Long Island or Skype Video  

and check out this book!

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If you struggle with food or weight issues
in any way I want to recommend a video for
you to watch right now…

It will only take you a few minutes and it
will have a profound impact on you, in a
very tangible way that you'll be able to
feel right as you watch.

The video is of EFT expert Carol Look using
EFT Tapping with an audience member at a live
event called "The Tapping Experience", to help
her overcome her overpowering food cravings.  

Here's what I recommend…

Watch the video and as you do, do the EFT Tapping
along with them.  Even if you don't know how to
do Tapping just copy what they're doing and
repeat what they're saying as if you were
one of the members of the audience.

And as you do you'll begin to feel how effective
EFT Tapping is in helping people get to the
root cause of food and we*ght issues and how
it is used to resolve these issues quickly.

Here's the link to the video:

http://www.thetappingsolution.com/cmd.php?Clk=4419279

One interesting thing that you'll realize
when watching is that your food issues aren't
about the food…

Yup, that's right…they are NOT about the food.  

You'll get to find out what they ARE about as
you watch the video and tap along.

This is some powerful stuff that can have an
immediate impact on your life.

http://www.thetappingsolution.com/cmd.php?Clk=4419279

Enjoy the video and make sure to share your
comments on how the video effected you on the
blog after you watch.

Eileen Lichtenstein

P.S. - Up to this point you've probably just
been told to deal with we*ght issues by eating
less and exercising more.  It hasn't been that
easy though has it?  

You're about to find out that there's more to
it than that but there's a simple solution… 

 http://www.thetappingexperience.com/EFT/

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