Proud2Bme | 4 Tips for Building a Healthy Relationship with Your Body

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4 Tips for Building a Healthy Relationship with Your Body

17-year-old Jen Rubino offers her advice on how to deal when food, weight, and body image struggles are getting in the way of your happiness.

By Jen Rubino--When people think of eating disorders and body image issues, they typically think of these issues as if the individuals that struggle with them are choosing to do so. What they do not realize is that anorexia, bulimia, body dysmorphia and related issues are just as serious as cancer or any other type of medical condition, and people cannot control getting these illnesses any more so than they can control getting cancer.

We live in a world in which women and girls are under more scrutiny than ever to look a certain way, fit into certain clothes and have a certain figure. These pressures are unrealistic and can set girls on horrible life-long struggles with body image issues or eating disorders. Struggling with an eating disorder or body image issues can not only consume the way you feel about yourself, but it can consume your life—I know this from my own struggle. There are a few things that can help you deal with these issues.

1. Don’t be afraid to talk about your struggles: When you keep things bottled up inside, it can become dangerous and overwhelming. It is important to talk to others about what you’re feeling because it really can help. For me, talking to others about my own body image struggles helped me realize that I wasn’t alone in addition to helping me cope.

2. Find an outlet: Having an outlet helps you deal with stress, pain, your feelings and any struggles you’re having. Acting, dancing, journaling, volunteering and playing sports are just a few examples of outlets. Having an outlet to express your emotions can make the struggles you’re dealing with easier to deal with. Journaling and drawing helped me feel my struggles, rather than keeping them bottled up inside. Having an outlet is an essential part of healing.

3. Understand that you are more than a number: You are much more than just the number on the scale and understanding that will help you. In that same breath, I understand that it is very difficult to look past the number on the scale. There are days that I’m still self-conscious about looking down at the number. Looking at myself as a whole, rather than a number, helped me deal with my struggles and it will help you as well.

4. Build a support system: It is very important to have a support system to rely on when you’re struggling. Your support system can help you in both the good and the bad. A support system can consist of friends, family, therapists, support groups, etc. The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), Eating Disorders Anonymous (EDA), The Jed Foundation and Proud2BMe are great resources for building a support system. Having a support system showed me and continues to show me that I’m not alone and that there are people there for me.

Healing is a process and it can start from anywhere. One or all of these tips can be a great start on the journey of healing. Everyone is unique and deserves to live a happy, healthy and free life.


Jen Rubino is the founder of Cards for Hospitalized Kids, a national charitable organization that makes cards for hospitalized kids across America.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

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Proud2Bme is an online community created by and for teens. We cover everything from fashion and beauty to news, culture, and entertainment—all with the goal of promoting positive body image and encouraging healthy attitudes about food and weight.

This site was developed in partnership with Riverduinen and made possible by generous contributions from JPMorgan Chase, Globant, the University of Delaware, and The Hilda & Preston Davis Foundation.

Proud2Bme was first launched in the Netherlands by Riverduinen, a mental health organization that has licensed the concept to the National Eating Disorders Association. Unless otherwise noted, all original content on this site is copyright The National Eating Disorders Association. The Proud2Bme brand, logos, and trademarks are property of Rivierduinen.