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Archive for August 28, 2014

Adore Your Body

This week’s Love Your Body post was written by Guadalupe R. and is the last in a series from Inver Hills students. Thanks to everyone who participated! If you are interested in contributing to the Love Your Body feature, please email Julia at julia.birdsall@emilyprogramfoundation.org

Guadalupe R image

I was always told that I come from a family who has always been on the curvy side. As a young teen, I dwelled on my figure and its perceived flaws. In middle school, I would always wear baggy clothes that covered the appearance of my figure. I never cared about whether the clothes I wore looked good or not; as long as they covered me, I felt good. I was afraid to be picked on or to be looked down upon because to me, I had a weird body. Well, so I thought.

As I got older, I entered high school. On the first day, I saw girls wearing new fashion trends and looking good in them, too. At that point, I started to care about how others perceived my appearance. I wanted to be like those girls- showing off the new fashion trends. I was so obsessed with wanting to rock the new trends that I began noticed it affecting me.

One day, in the middle of my first year in high school, I went home and looked in the mirror and just started to cry. I wasn’t happy with who I was nor did I like what I saw in the mirror. I knew that I should love myself, love my body, and love who I was. I knew that I shouldn’t cry, because god made me this way, for a reason. I thought to myself, if I want to feel differently, I have the power to do that. I should be thankful for all that I have, especially for a beautiful life. I knew that if I wanted to change the way I looked at myself, I had to have a positive mindset and give myself a break. I needed to find ways to learn to love myself. As I gave myself one last look in the mirror, I stood up and told myself that things will be different. From that moment on, I told myself that I would leave my negative attitude behind, that I would come up with a new technique. For every negative thought about my appearance or myself, I would come up with a positive thought to replace it.

Time flew by, and I started to realize that my technique was working. I would feel happy when I looked in the mirror.  Little by little, I learned different things to love about my body and the way that it allows me to live. I was given my body for a reason; its figure is what makes it unique. Instead of hating myself for what I don’t have. I’ll give myself a break and appreciate all the wonderful things I do have.

Everyone is beautiful in their own way. There is no such thing as perfection. The life we live is a gift. You only live once and with only one body. This world has a lot in store for each and every one of us. So why not give yourself a reason to love what you have and choose to be delighted for your eyes, mouth, hair, arms, hands, stomach, legs, toes, your organs, every part of your body. For every miracle I live, I am thankful, and I thank my body for being there with me through every step. My body allows me to live this life that was given to me and I will make sure to appreciate that.

 

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A Moment In Time

This week’s Love Your Body post comes to us from Inver Hills student Gina H. Thanks, Gina, for sharing your story!

Gina H image

As an avid photographer, I constantly see people go through pictures of themselves and say how they don’t like one thing or another. Recently on Facebook, I posted a photo shoot of two of my friends. As the notifications flooded in, most of the comments were “please delete” from the two girls. I wondered, Why are they asking that? and then I realized that most people overanalyze and critique photos of themselves, especially on the internet.

Then I realized that I did that to photos of myself- how each of my profile pictures are “perfect” images I created of who I am. When my friends take photos of me, I am afraid of how people will comment or what others will say. As someone who has grown up in the 21st century, I have been surrounded by the pressure to look a certain way. I hated when someone was taking a photo of me and I was not “glamour” ready or looking what I considered “decent”. Most of the time I hid from the camera and became the person who took photos of others.

Recently the “Selfie Revolution” has sparked an interest across Facebook and YouTube. I recently watched Laci Green’s YouTube video, The Selfie Revolution. Laci explores the impact of selfies. That got me thinking about how I can change my perception of how I look in a selfie- that if there is a weird photo of me on Facebook, it’s fine for me to be tagged in it, or that the photo of me with a towel on my head in my church’s youth group slideshow won’t ruin my reputation.

Over the next year, I will try to let myself have “bad” pictures of me on Facebook and not care about them. I hope that over this coming year I can allow people to take photos of me even if I look “sloppy”. I will try to change my mind set about how I look in photos and be a positive influence for my friends and how they see themselves in their photos too. Most people want “perfect” photos on the internet, but capturing the little, true moments in life is important too. That might mean embracing the childhood memory of you with pizza sauce on your face and deciding not to care about who might comment on the photo. Life will go for me, bad pictures on the internet or not, but accepting the “real” me is a gift that no one can take away.

 

Editor’s Note: We HIGHLY recommend you watch Laci Green’s video, because the whole thing is loaded with awesomeness and better context for the below quote, but if you don’t, here are the steps she lays out for a Selfie Revolution:

  1. Take photos of yourself doing things you love and share that part of yourself with others through those images.
  2. Take unflattering photos!
  3. Take photos of yourself when you’re looking good and be like, “Hey, world! I’m lookin’ good.”
  4. Look for things that you like about your body and then capture them in an artistic, or in a very non-artistic, way.
  5. Take pictures of yourself doing more than looking good and smiling.
  6. Post a selfie of yourself when you’re not feeling sexy.
  7. Your physical body does not define your worth as a person!

Tee Shirts Available!

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We reached out and asked our volunteers and supporters to respond to the question, “What is beauty?” Thank you to all who participated- we were moved by many of the designs. It was hard to pick just one. Our winning design reminds us that being beautiful means being YOU!

100% of the money raised in this campaign will go to support our work to prevent eating disorders through raising awareness and reducing stigma. Some of our programs include our community education programs, advocacy efforts, and programs to provide support and financial assistance to those who are struggling.

If you are attending one of our upcoming events, like NAMI Walks or the EDC Lobby Day, please consider sporting a shirt to show your support! Otherwise, this design is totally appropriate for rocking in your day to day life. Thank you for your support!

Shirts are available through Teespring. 

Comparison

This week’s Media Monday was written by our volunteer blog contributor, Halie Langanki.

If you are interested in being a blog contributor, please contact Julia at julia.birdsall@emilyprogramfoundation.org. Thanks, Halie, for your contribution!

ADixonTransform1

These pictures were taken of the same person within 1 hour of each other. Click through to read more about how these images can be manipulated.

For whatever reason, American culture seems to be very into “before and after” shots. I admit, ads with photos of what seem to be two different people but is actually just one person who underwent a massive change in “just 2 weeks!” catches my eye. Yes, I know that the photos are largely photoshopped and that the lighting and attire in each are so drastically different that this alone would be enough to suggest a complete transformation, but darn some of them look pretty realistic.

 

But even if I know that the facts behind the photos are not always truthful, I can’t help to partake in the age old human habit of comparison. I note that some people weigh less in their “before” state than I do currently. Does this mean I should lose more weight? What do I look like to people now? Next I search for the person’s body who looks most like me and…. And then I catch myself.


This had has absolutely nothing to do with me. These “before and after” weight loss ads are so popular and successful because we as people are so wired to compare ourselves to others. But unfortunately this doesn’t end with just these types of ads. We compare ourselves to our friends, coworkers, and people on the street. If comparison really is the thief of joy, let’s practice being mindful of the comparisons we make and the motives behind them. Ending these body negative judgments just might eliminate a lot of unnecessary pressure that we place on ourselves.

 

thr truth about transformation

These were taken 15 minutes apart, of the same person. Click image for her post about the importance of health and well being over body size/shape.

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Lobby Day Scholarship Application- deadline extended!

If you haven’t yet, mark your calendars for the Eating Disorder Coalition‘s (EDC) biannual Lobby Day, coming up on October 1, 2014! A Foundation representative will be attending and we expect to have a good turn out of volunteers and other supporters. As in the past, we will be providing four $300 scholarships to help folks on our team attend. The application can be downloaded here: LOBBY DAY APPLICATION (link is a download)

Please return completed applications to Julia Birdsall at julia.birdsall@emilyprogramfoundation.org no later than August 22, 2014 (deadline extended). Thank you!!

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Here’s some more information about the event- This year the EDC- along with Mothers Against Eating Disorders and the Alliance for Eating Disorder Awareness- are also putting on the inaugural MOM March on September 30, 2014. The MOM March is a gathering of parents, other loved ones, those struggling with an eating disorder themselves, advocates, and any other supporters who want to gather to raise awareness and fight stigma of eating disorders. You can register for one or both events here: http://www.marchagainsted.com/2.html
We urge anyone who is an advocate for eating disorders to attend! You do not need to have prior experience lobbying. The EDC provides training and you will be in a group- never meeting representatives alone. Check out other links on the MOM March site for more information about the timeline of events, how to prepare, etc. Hope to see you there!