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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Drive To Be Skinny

What’s you ideal body? Is it strong and lean or size 0 skinny?

Is the body you strive for about what you think is desirable or what others think? Are your images of perfection really just modeled after the images you see in the media?

If your body image is only driven by being attractive to others, that personal preference is as individual as fingerprints. It varies from person to person. What makes one head turn is not necessarily true for another.

In a study from Evolution and Human Behavior found in NewScientist states: They found that women were less happy with their bodies and more likely to restrict their eating after seeing pictures of competitive women – described as “playing to win”, for example – compared with other women.

Maybe the issue is our view of what success and happiness mean. Generally skinny in our minds relates to models and many famous people. Models and the famous have money, power and celebrity status. All elevated in society as successful and desirable.

Wanting to be something we think we are not can drive us to do unhealthy things.

Although being skinny might seem attractive, it can be a dangerous goal. When is the desire to lose weight no longer healthy?

From the Mayo Clinic

Physical anorexia symptoms
Physical signs and symptoms of anorexia include:
•Extreme weight loss
•Thin appearance
•Abnormal blood counts
•Dizziness or fainting
•A bluish discoloration of the fingers
•Brittle nails
•Hair that thins, breaks or falls out
•Soft, downy hair covering the body
•Absence of menstruation
•Dry skin
•Intolerance of cold
•Irregular heart rhythms
•Low blood pressure
•Swelling of arms or legs

Emotional and behavioral anorexia symptoms

Emotional and behavioral characteristics associated with anorexia include:
•Refusal to eat
•Denial of hunger
•Excessive exercise
•Flat mood, or lack of emotion
•Social withdrawal
•Preoccupation with food
•Reduced interest in sex
•Depressed mood
•Possible use of herbal products or diet aids

Anorexia red flags to watch for

It may be hard to notice signs and symptoms of anorexia because people with anorexia often go to great lengths to disguise their thinness, eating habits or physical problems.

If you’re concerned that a loved one may have anorexia, watch for these possible red flags:

•Skipping meals
•Making excuses for not eating
•Eating only a few certain “safe” foods, usually those low in fat and calories
•Adopting rigid meal or eating rituals, such as cutting food into tiny pieces or spitting food out after chewing
•Cooking elaborate meals for others but refusing to eat
•Repeated weighing of themselves
•Frequent checking in the mirror for perceived flaws
•Complaining about being fat
•Not wanting to eat in public

There seems to be evidence that some people are genetically steered towards being a perfectionist and other traits that are associated with anorexia nervosa.

The bottom line is if you think you or someone you know is showing signs of an eating disorder, it’s important to seek help for this life threatening illness. Contact the National Eating Disorder Information Centre at 1-866-633-4220 or visit


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