Media’s New “Skinny”

By Katie Forcade

Are you staring at the calendar counting down the days until summer vacation starts? The days where you can hang out with your friends and just feel totally free from school for a few months are getting closer every day. The weather’s warm, so the fashion trends are light layers, as shown in magazines.  In magazines, you see a bunch of models wearing what’s new and in for summer 2013. But have you ever compared yourself to the models and felt insecure?
Insecurity can cause eating disorders, which are conditions in which you focus so much on food and your weight that nothing else is important. Sometimes, eating disorders can even be deadly. Most often, females are more prone to developing an eating disorder than males.
One eating disorder, Anorexia nervosa, is when a person becomes so obsessed with being thin that they decrease their food intake and in some cases even starve themselves. Some symptoms include denying or refusing to eat food, fear of gaining weight, excessive exercise, social withdrawal, and inability to eat in public.
Another eating disorder is Bulimia nervosa, a condition where a person binge eats and then purges right after. Some signs/symptoms include eating until you are in pain/discomfort, excessive exercise, distorted body image, damaged teeth and gums, constant dieting or fasting, and going to the bathroom right after eating meals.
Binge eating is a disorder in which someone eats excessive amounts of foods but doesn’t try to get rid of it after like with anorexia or bulimia. Normally, one eats to the point where they feel terrible after, which can cause them to start another binge episode. Signs and symptoms include eating to the point where you are in pain, eating a lot more than a normal meal/snack, eating fast, eating alone, and feeling upset or disgusted with the amount you eat.
People with eating disorders are often resistant to getting help/treatment, but they still need to seek medical help because they are risking their lives.
To stay healthy without developing an eating disorder, try eating a nutritional breakfast to help start the day. Scientists have proven that skipping breakfast makes you gain weight, plus students don’t do well academically if they skip breakfast. Also, try varying the types of food you eat. The food pyramid you learned about in health is there to help you for a reason.
In addition to eating healthy, staying active can also help. Nobody needs to excessively exercise, but 30-60 minutes a day you should be up and moving around. Don’t sit on the couch all day. Try new activities that seem fun to you. You’ll enjoy yourself a lot more if you do something you enjoy. Make sure to drink lots of water as well. It has been proven that your body really needs about eight glasses of water a day.
Since it’s hard to stay active and keep up with school work, make small changes. Try not to use the elevator; walk up the stairs. Also, do outdoor activities such as mowing the lawn or gardening. Do little things like crunches or push-ups during commercials when you’re watching TV. It makes a difference.