Eating Disorders

Anorexia and Bulimia affect people of many ages, sexes, and socio-economic backgrounds. Anorexia is defined as limiting one's food intake to the point of starvation. Bulimia is characterized by a food intake of immense proportions followed by a purge through vomiting or laxatives. Both disorders cause severe damage to many parts of the body, as well as the mental and emotional health of the individual. Often these affects are long-term and can be fatal.

The National Institute of Mental Health reports nearly a million people suffer from an eating disorder. The most common age for eating disorders occurs from 14 to 25 years. At least 10% of young adults with an eating disorder will die or suffer life threatening complications from their disorder.

Suggestions for Managing an Eating Disorder

  • Examine your attitudes about body shape, dieting and fat prejudice. You may have pre-conceived ideas that emphasize thinness.
  • Nourish yourself and your relationships with those you care about.
  • Challenge old stories about who you are as a person that don't fit with who you believe you are and where you see your life going.
  • Be sure the images of successful females include examples that are healthy and happy, regardless of their weight.
  • Be aware of the societal pressures which support the notion that females and males are more valued by how they look than by who they are.
  • Beware of unrealistic standards for yourself.
  • Understand that perfection is an unachievable goal and will leave you feeling depressed.
  • Dieting may appear as a good way to get control of your life, but it never is the be-all-end-all for a good life.
  • Make a commitment to educate your friends about things they except and say that influence a female's perception of her weight and her self-worth.
  • Contact the Counseling and Wellness Center at 435-283-7136 for additional information and/or help on issues of dieting, weight control, and overall physical acceptance.