Suggested Do’s and Don’ts for Addressing anorexia/bulimia (Solutions)

Planet-therapy.com would like to give special thanks to Lorraine Grieves and the Anti-anorexia/bulimia League for their helpful suggestions in this section.

Ten Do’s

  • Examine your attitudes about body shape, dieting and fat prejudice. You may have unknowingly internalized ideas which exacerbate a desire for thinness.
  • Nourish yourself and your relationships with those you care about.
  • Challenge old stories about who you are as a person, daughter, friend, worker etc. that don’t fit with who you believe you are and where your life is going.
  • Be sure that images of successful females are included in school curriculum and other sources – without such images, girls are left with predominant media definitions of thinness as a primary means of success for females.
  • Be aware there are many societal pressures which support the notion that females and, to a lesser degree males, are valued more for how they look then any other quality.
  • Beware of unrealistic standards that are impossible to achieve.
  • Be aware that perfection is an unachievable goal and will always leave you feeling less than.
  • Know that dieting can appear as if it is a good way to “get in control” of one’s life but dieting is never, ever successful and can set the stage for an eating disorder.
  • Make a commitment to educating boys about the various forms of violence against women, including weightism, and their responsibilities for preventing it.
  • Examine the ways in which your beliefs, attitudes and behaviors about your body and the bodies of others have been shaped by the forces of weightism and sexism.

Ten Don’ts

  • Don’t let exercise becoming “torturcize.”
  • Don’t let the ways of dieting and regimented exercise sneak into your life.
  • Don’t put your child on a diet or exercise program.
  • Don’t let your child’s school, your home, cottage, or office become sites for promoting items (posters, books, contests) that endorse the cultural ideal of thinness.
  • Don’t allow discussions regarding food, calories, fatness, shape be dominant in your conversations.
  • Don’t get into thinking about food as “good” or “bad.” Food has no moral value — people are neither good nor bad based on their food choices.
  • Don’t let numbers rule your life — stop counting and measuring calories, fat grams, weight, and stop worrying about your dress, pant size, and breast size, and stop counting how many sit ups/push ups and miles you have walked.
  • Don’t let anorexia/bulimia and bulimia isolate you.
  • Don’t negatively compare yourself.
  • Don’t believe you are anorexia/bulimia and bulimia’s special subject – eating disorders treat everyone with the same brutality.

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