Body Image…fitting in…


Recently in my blog I wrote “Who’s weighing in?”    

and  I thought it may be a good idea to share some thoughts about  “fitting in” and “body image”…When I say “fitting in” that can mean many things…fitting in with your peers, colleagues, personal goal…fitting inTO your clothes from last summer or 5-10 – 20 years ago!

The holidays have come and gone; many are “working” off their indulging from the holidays and others are getting in shape for that March break.  What are you doing?

Are you an adult counting those weeks before that Spring cruise or ski trip?  Perhaps you are already anticipating the summer months?  Maybe you are just fine and good nutrition and exercise is your guide as well as accepting who you are…period.

Are you a teen or young adult in school/college/university struggling with the challenges of school life?  Or is trying to “fit in” the mold of the perfect body image something that keeps gnawing at the back of your mind?   May you don’t talk about it too much…girls will say, “What are you complaining about?! You look great!” or if you’re a guy, are you trying to sculpt that body that Mother Nature gave you?  Hmmmm, keep in mind that your bodies are still developing, shaping…growing.  But heck, you know that already!  What if I say that some decisions you make…diets you go on for example, may impact on your life for much longer than you realize or actually expected…

When youths question sexuality, experimenting with recreational drugs and alcohol I try not to lecture but give them facts.  One message I try to convey is: “If you are going to tread any new territory…get informed first…it is your best arm of prevention.”  There is no reason today with access to information globally at the tips of your fingers to not get informed.  True, sometimes it can lead to information overload and unfortunately, misinformation.  Some websites are not endorsed by any professional or ethical agency…so what to do?

If you are not too shy, it is always a good idea to start with professionals and trusted adults in your surroundings such as teachers, coaches, school counsellors, school nurses, family doctor and of course your parents may be a great support in your research.

If you are an adult, your family doctor could be a healthy start who may refer you to a nutritionist.  Education on nutrition and the relationship it has with your body can be pretty enlightening AND it can also prevent you from going down unhealthy crash diets with our without chemicals.

As for the internet, personally I try to start with recognized ethical sites such as Health Canada, local hospitals who have information.  National Eating Disorder Information Centre is a great resource with a toll free number as well 1-866-NEDIC20 (1-866-633-4220) here are a few others as examples that also bring you onto websites than you may find helpful on your search.

Any comments or feedback on this topic are welcome.

If you are a community centre, parent group or a school and you would like to explore a workshop on various topics please call 514-984-2978 .  Workshops can be tailor made to your needs.

Check out this podcast by the Douglas Hospital on the

Quebec charter for a healthy and diversified body image