The Body Image Project: “When You Look In The Mirror, What Do You See?”

"This is not my body. This can't be it, this soft, round, jiggly blob ... When I look in the mirror, that is what I think: No, please, this can't be it! I have struggled with bulimia for 8 years. My weight is normal and healthy, but it is too much. There's too much excess, too much softness and flab." Age 24

"Sometimes I have peace talks with my self-esteem. I say, “Hey, I’m not ugly and my looks don’t determine who I am.” And my self-esteem agrees and for awhile all is quiet on the home front. Then it comes back. ... The only person who can even get anywhere near winning the War on Self is self." Age 19

"I hate my body. I don't want to do so for the rest of my life. I am destroying what little I have left of my own inner spirit."
Age 36

"Number of minutes of every hour I spend hating myself for how much I weigh: 40 ... Over the years, that is a lot of time devoted to...futility." Age 46

These are the voices of women who have participated in the Body Image Project. They are the voices of mothers, wives, daughters, sisters, and friends. They are honest, heartfelt expressions of women's struggles, fears, acceptance, and wisdom.

"We are all born perfect. In our perfection we must learn to honor our SELVES and accept that those who attempt to harm our selves are not worthy of our time or love. Love is the answer to a life long acceptance of oneself ..." Age 43

"I have gone through my entire life hating my body. No more. Now, I don’t just accept the body I was given, I love the body I was given. This body created and birthed three beautiful children ... My body created the hearts, minds and bodies of the most precious things in my life. I see myself in my children’s faces and that makes me feel beautiful."
Age 35

In our society a very loud message is being given to women. They are under a great deal of pressure to be beautiful. The unrealistic expectations of beauty and perfection are assaulting the self-esteem of women and distorting the definition of self-worth. The growing problem with negative body image affects all ages and is increasingly evident in young girls.

The Body Image Project is shining a light, providing an opportunity for women to anonymously express their views and feelings concerning their bodies. The accounts are candid, giving the reader insight into the struggles and triumphs of women of varying ages.

The Body Image Project asks, "when you look in the mirror, what do you see? Do you embrace your physical appearance, or yearn for change? Do you accept your physical differences or take extreme measures in an attempt to change your body? How far are you willing to go to feel better about yourself? Are you happy?"

Want to Share?

"The Body Image Project is an online project searching for women and girls of all ages to share their individual experiences and feelings about their own body image perceptions. The goal of the project is to have women and girls take that brave step to share their stories, break the hold these perceptions have and ultimately reveal to those who share and to those who view this site - you are not alone."

You can read more and/or share your body image story here.

If you have a moment please participate in the anonymous body image poll in the upper right hand corner of this blog. Thank You.

See "Tools" in sidebar for self-assessment tests

Special thanks to BamaGal for bringing The Body Image Project to my attention.
Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg Woman in Front of a Mirror, 1841

Tools For Health: Calculators

Basal Metabolic Rate Calculator

Daily Energy Expenditure Calculator


Kimkins: An Internet Diet Scam

Americans spend an estimated 35 billion on diet products each year. But, buyer beware. Falling for a diet scam can end up doing more than just lighten your wallet, it can damage your health, and your emotional wellbeing.

Kimkins, an internet diet scam of huge proportions, has once again received national news coverage. Heidi Diaz (who goes by the online alias of Kimmer) claimed to weigh 118 pounds, having lost nearly 200 pounds in less than a year and maintaining that loss for approximately 5 years. It was later discovered by Private Investigator Robert Charlton of Alliance Investigative Services that Heidi Diaz had not lost the weight but instead was a morbidly obese woman residing in California. Ex members and concerned citizens banning together discovered that she had littered her website with elaborate fabricated success stories that she had written herself, taking the before and after pictures (including the one representing her own after picture: a beautiful woman in a red dress, upper left corner of picture above) from online Russian Bride sites, furthering the fraud.

Having no medical, nutritional, or science background, Heidi Diaz doled out dangerous diet advice that promoted extremely low calories, laxative use, and anorexic eating behaviors and practices. Members who posted at Kimkins of their concerns with health issues, dared to questioned the validity of the success stories, or discussed these problems on other internet sites were swiftly stripped of their paid lifetime memberships without warning or reimbursement.

It is estimated that Heidi Diaz's scam netted her well over 2 million dollars. There is currently a lawsuit against her by prior members and her assets have been frozen. It is hoped that her site will soon be shut down due to the fraud, dangerous diet, and dieting advice.

View the report: Insider Exclusive with Steve Murphy.

For a transcript of the report: Grilled Cheese Sandwich With Pickles

For additional information:
Kimkins: Anatomy of a Diet Scam
The Kimkins Controversy
Kimkins Class Action Lawsuit
Russian Brides: Fake Kimkins Success Stories
Law Offices of Tiedt and Hurd
Google: Kimkins Scam

If you were or are a current member of kimkins you can join the lawsuit. To join, simply send your name, address, day and evening phone number, approximate join date and amount paid to to


The Dieting / Eating Disorder Connection

Almost all of us have dieted at one time or another. Some of us have dieted on and off our entire lives. It is a widely accepted and encouraged practice for weight control in our culture but can dieting lead to an Eating Disorder? Many say,
yes it can, and not just in ourselves.

Dieting can lead to unhealthy and sometimes dangerous attitudes towards food. The nature of dieting is restriction and so we tend to place certain negative values on certain foods: too many calories, too much fat, bad. This creates tension as we struggle over our food choices. Food becomes the enemy. A child/teen exposed to these attitudes in a dieting parent, sibling, or friend has an increased risk of developing an eating disorder.

"Those who diet moderately are five times more likely to develop eating disorders than those who don't diet. For those who diet 'severely,' the chances of an eating disorder are eighteen times greater," says Matthew Tiemeyer, "Dieting and its Contribution to Eating Disorders."

"The problem with dieting is that without guidelines or a support system in place, we can set unrealistic weight-loss goals for ourselves and lose control trying to attain them. That’s when eating disorders begin to unfold." according to the Center For Eating Disorders', "Put down the cookie - pick up an eating disorder?"

The most common eating disorders resulting from dieting spun out of control are "Anorexia Nervosa -
a disorder that is caused by an intense fear of gaining weight, and Orthorexia - an extreme take on healthy eating where the individual will not allow him or herself to eat anything that is not deemed 'healthy'."

Dieting has become a national pastime, especially for women.
∗ Americans spend more than $40 billion dollars a year on dieting and diet-related products.
That’s roughly equivalent to the amount the U.S. Federal Government spends on
education each year.
∗ It is estimated that 40-50% of American women are trying to lose weight at any point in

The Big Deal About Dieting: What You Should Know
∗ Dieting rarely works. 95% of all dieters regain their lost weight and more within 1 to 5 years.
∗ Dieting can be dangerous:
- “Yo-yo” dieting (repetitive cycles of gaining, losing, & regaining weight) has been shown
to have negative health effects, including increased risk of heart disease, long-lasting
negative impacts on metabolism, etc.
- Dieting forces your body into starvation mode. It responds by slowing down many of its
normal functions to conserve energy. This means your natural metabolism actually slows
- Dieters often miss out on important nutrients. For example, dieters often don’t get enough
calcium, leaving them at risk for osteoporosis, stress fractures, and broken bones.

So, what is the solution? Stop dieting.

Sustainable weight loss calls for a healthy lifestyle change that includes food choices that are nutritionally rich with sufficient calories. Set realistic goals that allow room for mistakes and remember that it's not a contest, nor is it a race to be thin.

picture source: MrsMenopausal

USING AFFIRMATIONS: Eating Disorder Recovery

Affirmations are things we tell ourselves, either negative; I'm not worthy of love, or positive; I am a worthwhile person deserving of love. Using positive affirmations repeatedly throughout the day will bring about positive change. Repetitiveness is key.

Choose positive statements set in the "now." Example: I am a worthwhile person and I am a valuable asset to those around me, instead of, I will become a worthwhile person who will be a valuable asset to those around me. If your affirmation isn't in the now then it is kept constantly in the future tense. The more positive statements we tell ourselves as if they are a current reality of our present lives the more those statements become our reality, replacing prior negative statements. Our minds react and begin to bring about change.

Work on a few affirmations at a time. Once you see change in those areas, add new affirmations.

Start your day by writing down some positive affirmations several times on a piece of paper and then do it again in the evening before retiring for the night. The process of writing them down actually speeds up the minds acceptance.

Write several affirmations on index cards, carry them with you, take them out and read them several times a day.

When you find yourself having a negative thought, stop and replace it with a positive affirmation.

Write down a favorite affirmation and tape it to a mirror that you look into every day. Read it each time you use that mirror. Say it out loud, several times. Seeing your reflection while you read/say aloud your affirmation can be powerful.

Place your written affirmations (one per piece of paper or index card) in other places where you will see them often.

Meditate on your affirmations. Take a few minutes to close your eyes and concentrate on what your affirmation means to you. Repeat an affirmation over and over again. Use it as your mantra.

Visualize your old, negative affirmation disappearing and the new one taking form and taking it's place. A couple of ways to do this: visualize the old one fading as the new one comes into focus, growing in clarity or see yourself throwing the old one into the trash (or burning it) and hugging the new one to yourself.

Some Affirmations for Eating Disorder Recovery:

"I will persist until I succeed."
"I deserve love and respect as I am."

Do you have a favorite affirmation(s), a favorite way in which you use affirmations, or a story of how affirmations have helped you? Please leave a comment and share them with us all.

For more Affirmations and the ones listed above:
Something Fishy

Also see sidebar for:
Recovery Quotes
Quotes of the Week

picture source: MrsMenopausal

Eating Disorders: Compulsive Overeating / Binge Eating Disorder

Those who suffer from Compulsive Overeating (also known as binge eating) use food to calm stresses and life problems, numb feelings, and to fill a void. The compulsive overeater is usually aware that their eating habits are abnormal and often feel guilt and shame because of it. Their food consumption may consist of eating three meals a day with snacks in between, eating continuously throughout the day, or eating large amounts all at once. Though compulsive overeating often results in obesity, this does not mean that all obese people have this disorder. It is estimated that as many as 4 million adults suffer with this eating disorder, affecting two males to every three females. The physical complications of compulsive overeating are: weight gain, depression, gall bladder disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, bone deterioration, kidney disease/failure, arthritis, fatigue, nausea, and stroke.

Warning Signs of Binge Eating Disorder

"Here are some of the common warning signs that suggest a person may be suffering from binge eating disorder. The person:"
  • Eats large amounts of food when not physically hungry.
  • Eats much more rapidly than normal.
  • Eats until the point of feeling uncomfortably full.
  • Often eats alone because of shame or embarrassment.
  • Has feelings of depression, disgust, or guilt after eating.
  • Has a history of marked weight fluctuations.
According to "Several methods are being used to treat binge eating disorder. Cognitive-behavioral therapy teaches patients techniques to monitor and change their eating habits as well as to change the way they respond to difficult situations. Interpersonal psychotherapy helps people examine their relationships with friends and family and to make changes in problem areas. Treatment with medications such as antidepressants may be helpful for some individuals. Self-help groups also may be a source of support. Researchers are still trying to determine which method or combination of methods is the most effective in controlling binge eating disorder. The type of treatment that is best for an individual is a matter for discussion between the patient and his or her health care provider. If you believe you have binge eating disorder, it's important you realize that you are not alone. Most people who have the disorder have tried unsuccessfully to control it on their own. You may want to seek professional treatment."

Overeaters Anonymous has a 12 step program for compulsive overeaters.

compiled from the following sources:

Body Image Tests: How Is Your Body Image?

Wikipedia: Body image is a term which may refer to our perceptions of our own physical appearance or our internal sense of having a body which is constructed by the brain. Essentially a person's body image is how they perceive their exterior to look, and in many cases this can be dramatically different to how they actually appear to others ... Negative feelings towards a person's body can in some cases lead to mental disorders such as depression or eating disorders, though there can be a variety of different reasons why these disorders can occur. Within the media industry there have recently been popular debates focusing on how size zero models can negatively influence young people into feeling insecure about their own body image.
Read in full here.How is your body image? Take this test and see how you score:
Net Doctor's Body Image Test

BODY IMAGE: Are you imagining the wrong body?

Article by Nancy Clark, MS, RD:
In general, women seem more dissatisfied with their appearance than men. Women most commonly complain about their thighs, abdomen, breast, and buttocks while men are dissatisfied with their abdomen, upper body, and balding hair. Sometimes, the problem is imaginary, such as the runner who complains about her fat thighs, or the bikini wearer whose stomach is not absolutely flat. Sometimes, the problem is real and ranges from a mild complaint about cellulite to a major preoccupation with "thunder thighs" that results in relentless dieting and exercise akin to punishment.
More likely than not, you have at least one body part that bothers you. The following body image test may uncover the extent of your concerns:
  1. List five body parts in order of dissatisfaction and write exactly what you don't like about their appearance. For example:
    • Thighs too fat
    • Breasts too small
    • Teeth crooked
    • Facial skin wrinkled
    • Stomach protrudes
  2. Write out how you normally describe these parts when you are looking in the mirror (i.e., disgusting flabby thighs) and notice if your body talk is negative and self-critical, or objective and neutral.
  3. To what extent do you feel embarrassed or self-conscious about your appearance around others? Do you imagine others are checking you out and thinking something negative about you because of your appearance? Do you avoid wearing a bathing suit at beaches and swimming pools?
  4. Note the ways you feel ashamed of your body part and have tried to change or improve its appearance (i.e., liposuction, baggy "cover-up" clothes, rigorous exercise). Have you dieted in an unhealthy way? Smoked cigarettes to control weight? Spent hours at the gym in the name of vanity, not health improvement?
  5. Think about how you feel about your appearance. Do any of these emotions come to mind:
    • Dissatisfied
    • Insecure
    • Distressed
    • Obsessed
    • Embarrassed
  6. Is your appearance too far up on the list of factors that define who you are? Do you consider yourself to be “fat” as opposed to intelligent, caring, a good worker, loving mother, or reliable friend?
  7. Take a deep breath and relax. Appearance is only skin deep. Your real worth is the love, caring, and concern you have to offer to your family, friends, and peers. No one is going to comment on the imperfections of your body at your funeral. However, people will remember you for the beauty of your life. Practice loving yourself from the inside out, rather than judging yourself from the outside in.
Body Image and Eating Disorders
Even active, fit people – those who religiously workout at the health club or run in the wee hours of the morning – are not immune from the epidemic of body dissatisfaction. Despite their fitness, many perceive themselves as having unacceptable bodies. Some go on to develop unhealthy eating patterns and eating disorders out of desperation.
According to Dr. James Rosen, body image researcher and psychology professor at the University of Vermont in Burlington, women who develop eating disorders tend to hate their bodies. In fact, the best predictor of who will develop an eating disorder relates to who struggles most with body image. This easily includes women fighting the “middle age spread”, young dancers experiencing body changes at the time of puberty, runners feeling pressure to be thinner, and group exercise leaders who think every student scrutinizes her every bulge.
How to find peace with your body
If you are dissatisfied with your body, you might think the solution is to lose weight, pump iron, or do thousands of sit-ups. Unlikely. This "outside" approach to correcting body dissatisfaction tends to be inadequate. The better approach is to learn to love the body you have. After all, so much of what you look like (your height, musculature, and some of your weight) is under genetic influence. Yes, you can slightly redesign the house Mother Nature gave you, but you can't totally remodel it ... at least not without paying a high price.

Weight issues are often self-esteem issues. Concern about what you look like is really a mask for how you feel about yourself, your self-esteem. Given about twenty-five percent of self-esteem is tied-up in how you look, you can't feel good about yourself unless you like your body and feel confident with your appearance.
Ideally, what you look like on the outside should have little to do with how you feel on the inside. But, in reality, the thinking goes like this:
  1. I have a defect that makes me different than others.
  2. Other people notice this difference.
  3. My looks affect how these people see me ... repulsive, ugly.
  4. I'm bad, unlovable, and inadequate.
If you are struggling with your body image, Dr. Rosen suggests you identify when you first got the message that something is wrong with your body.
Perhaps it was:
  • a parent who way-back-when lovingly remarked, "You look good, honey, but if only you'd lose a few pounds, you might get a better job...",
  • the siblings who teased you about your "thunder thighs", or
  • the relative who molested you. (Sexual abuse is a common cause of body-hate).
Next, you need to take steps to be at peace with your body and to like yourself.
This includes:
  • Renaming your disliked body part (i.e., "round stomach" is a more loving name than "ugly jelly belly"),
  • Identifying the parts of your body that you do like and giving yourself credit for those with positive body talk. (My muscular legs help me enjoy bike rides with my children.)
Don't dwell on the negative, but instead love all the good things your body does for you. It bears children; lets you do meaningful work that can make a difference in the world; and lets you have fun. How could you enjoy life without your body?
A Resolution
The following contract is taken from the National Eating Disorders Association’s Declaration of Independence from Weight Obsessions.
I, the undersigned, do hereby declare that from this day forward I will choose to live my life by the following tenets. In doing so, I declare myself free and independent from the pressures and constraints of the weight-obsessed world.
  • I will accept my body in its natural shape and size.
  • I will celebrate all that my body can do for me each day.
  • I will treat my body with respect, give it rest, fuel it with a variety of foods, exercise it moderately, and listen to what it needs.
  • I will choose to resist our society’s pressures to judge myself and other people on physical characteristics like body weight, shape, or size. I will respect people based on the depth of their character and the impact of their accomplishments.
  • I will refuse to deny my body of valuable nutrients by dieting or using weight loss products.
  • I will avoid categorizing foods as “good” or “bad”. I will not associate guilt or shame with eating certain foods. Instead, I will nourish my body with a balance of foods, listening and responding to what it needs.
  • I will not use food to mask my emotional needs.
  • I will not avoid participating in activities that I enjoy (e.g., swimming, dancing, enjoying a meal) simply because I am self-conscious about the way my body looks. I will recognize that I have the right to enjoy any activities regardless of my body shape or size.
  • I will believe that my self-esteem and identity come from within.

More tests:


Self-Esteem Tests: How Is Your Self-Esteem?

Self-Esteem: a realistic respect for or favorable impression of oneself; self-respect.

According to the Center for Conscious Living, "Self-esteem is one of our most basic psychological needs. The degree of our self-esteem (or lack of it) impacts every major aspect of our lives. It has profound effects on our thinking processes, emotions, desires, values, choices, and goals. Deficits in self-esteem contribute to virtually all psychological problems. And psychological problems lead to lowered self-esteem. It is a reciprocal relationship."

How is your self-esteem? Take these tests and find out:

Rosenberg Self-Esteem Test

Discovery Health Self-Esteem Test Self-Esteem Test Self-Esteem Test

See "Tools" in sidebar for more self-assessment tests.



Food And It's Affect On Mood

Medusa has a very interesting article concerning the affect food has on our emotions. Check it out: "Are We Emotionally What We Eat?"

Excerpt: "Starving causes people to feel high and spaced out and separated from their emotions," says Mrs Jade.

"When you starve, you don't feel the normal range of emotions. You feel kind of insulated from them. It doesn't mean you don't get depressed and miserable - you can get severely depressed - but we are talking about a narrowing of emotional range."

Picture source:

Eating Disorders: A Look At Anorexia

Wikipedia : "Anorexia Nervosa is a psychiatric diagnosis that describes an eating disorder characterized by low body weight and body image distortion with an obsessive fear of gaining weight. Individuals with anorexia are known to commonly control body weight through the means of voluntary starvation, purging, vomiting, excessive exercise, or other weight control measures, such as diet pills or diuretic drugs. It primarily affects adolescent females, however approximately 10% of people with the diagnosis are male. Anorexia nervosa is a complex condition, involving psychological, neurobiological, and sociological components."
There are many contributing factors that can lead to an eating disorder. Some of these are biological, cultural, social, and so on. Though different people develop an eating disorder for different reasons there are some common aspects.
Most who suffer with Anorexia tend to be perfectionistic with a strong need to control everything in their lives. Though high achieving they often feel deficient and powerless. They are inclined to have unrealistic expectations of both themselves and others. They frequently lack a sense of identity, relying on presenting a socially admired and accepted exterior to define themselves. Achieving what others are unable to, they feel a sense of pride and see their anorexia as a badge of honor. Their need for approval and their fear of criticism can result in anger. Unable to express that anger in a productive way it is turned inward, and they either starve or stuff themselves.
"Some people with eating disorders use the behaviors to avoid sexuality. Others use them to try to take control of themselves and their lives. They want to be in control and in charge. They are strong, usually winning the power struggles they find themselves in, but inside they feel weak, powerless, victimized, defeated, and resentful."
"In addition, they see the world as black and white, no shades of gray. Everything is either good or bad, a success or a failure, fat or thin. If fat is bad and thin is good, then thinner is better, and thinnest is best -- even if thinnest is sixty-eight pounds in a hospital bed on life support," according to ANRED: what causes eating disorders.
"Anorexia nervosa was not officially classified as a psychiatric disorder until the third edition of DSM in 1980. It is, however, a growing problem among adolescent females. Its incidence in the United States has doubled since 1970. The rise in the number of reported cases reflects a genuine increase in the number of persons affected by the disorder, and not simply earlier or more accurate diagnosis. Estimates of the incidence of anorexia range between 0.5-1% of caucasian female adolescents. Over 90% of patients diagnosed with the disorder as of 1998 are female. It was originally thought that only 5% of anorexics are male, but that estimate is being revised upward. The peak age range for onset of the disorder is 14-18 years, although there are patients who develop anorexia as late as their 40s. In the 1970s and 1980s, anorexia was regarded as a disorder of upper- and middle-class women, but that generalization is also changing. More recent studies indicate that anorexia is increasingly common among women of all races and social classes in the United States," states an article at Health A to Z.
The article goes on to say, "Anorexia nervosa is a serious public health problem not only because of its rising incidence, but also because it has one of the highest mortality rates of any psychiatric disorder. Moreover, the disorder may cause serious long-term health complications, including congestive heart failure, sudden death, growth retardation, dental problems, constipation, stomach rupture, swelling of the salivary glands, anemia and other abnormalities of the blood, loss of kidney function, and osteoporosis."
"The rising incidence of anorexia is thought to reflect the present idealization of thinness as a badge of upper-class status as well as of female beauty. In addition, the increase in cases of anorexia includes "copycat" behavior, with some patients developing the disorder from imitating other girls."
"The onset of anorexia in adolescence is attributed to a developmental crisis caused by girls' changing bodies coupled with society's overemphasis on women's looks. The increasing influence of the mass media in spreading and reinforcing gender stereotypes has also been noted."
EHealth MD/ Warning Signs of Anorexia:
  • Excessive weight loss or lack of normal weight gain, often to the point of starvation
  • Intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat
  • Distorted image of body weight or shape
  • Absence of at least three menstrual periods in a row in females
  • Significant reduction of the amount of food eaten
  • Avoiding eating; skipping meals
  • Intense focusing on food, eating, and body weight and shape
  • Repeatedly weighing oneself
  • Denial of hunger
  • Rigid eating patterns, such as extreme controlling of calories and fat even when underweight
  • Unusual rituals at mealtimes, such as cutting food into tiny pieces, moving food around the plate, and throwing out food so it does not have to be eaten
  • Storing or hoarding food
  • Collecting recipes and cooking for others while finding excuses to avoid eating
  • Wearing baggy clothes to hide the amount of weight lost
  • Obvious fear or anxiety before eating and guilt after eating
  • Complaining of bloating and unusual fullness after eating only small amounts of food
  • Excessive or compulsive exercising
See Also: Anorexia: Mortality Rates
Anorexia and Osteoporosis

See sidebar for ED Resources, Hotlines, Recovery

information compiled from the following sites:

What I Gained From Giving Up My Eating Disorder: One Woman's Recovery

A youtube video by theicanc

I came across this video on youtube and love how positive it is. Though theicanc states she recovered without therapy or family support, I believe that therapy is an important part of recovery and increases success and enhances the recovery process. I also believe that being secretive can be counterproductive as it's all too familiar ground for those with eating disorders. Still, the video shows a wonderful celebration of recovery with a positive feeling that's contagious.


ANOREXIA: Mortality Rates

A youtube video by: StrawberryKField


  • Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness
  • A study by the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders reported that 5 – 10% of anorexics die within 10 years after contracting the disease; 18-20% of anorexics will be dead after 20 years and only 30 – 40% ever fully recover
  • The mortality rate associated with anorexia nervosa is 12 times higher than the death rate of ALL causes of death for females 15 – 24 years old.
  • 20% of people suffering from anorexia will prematurely die from complications related to their eating disorder, including suicide and heart problems
See Also:
A Look at Anorexia
Anorexia and Osteoporosis


Eating Disorder Help: Hotlines, Organizations, and Websites

*If you know of a hotline, website, and/or organization not listed here please leave me the information in the comment section and I'll be glad to add them.
Thank You.


  • Anorexia Nervosa and Associate Disorders (ANAD) 1-630- 577-1330
  • Boys and girls Town National Hotline: 1-800- 448-3000
  • National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) 1-800-931-2237
  • Mental Health America: 1-800-969-NMHA
  • National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433)
  • Referrals to Eating Disorder specialists (US and Canada) 1-800-736-3739
  • The Eating Distress Helpline (Ireland):011-44-2600366
  • Thursday's Child National Call Center for at Risk Youth: 1-800-USA-KIDS
  • Youth Crisis Line: 1- 800-HIT-HOME

Resources: (links)

UK/Ireland: (some headings are links)


Body Image And Self-Esteem

Body Image:
is a term which may refer to our perceptions of our own physical appearance, or our internal sense of having a body which is constructed by the brain. Essentially a person's body image is how they perceive their exterior to look, and in many cases this can be dramatically different to how they actually appear to others. From the point of view of psychoanalysis, the French child psychoanalyst Francoise Dolto has developed a theory concerning the unconscious body image.[1] Negative feelings towards a person's body can in some cases lead to mental disorders such as depression or eating disorders, though there can be a variety of different reasons why these disorders can occur. Within the media industry there have recently been popular debates focusing on how Size Zero models can negatively influence young people into feeling insecure about their own body image. It has been suggested that size zero models be banned from cat walks.

Self-Esteem: reflects a person's overall self-appraisal of their own worth.

Self-esteem encompasses both beliefs (for example, "I am competent/incompetent) and emotions (for example: truimph/despair, pride/shame). Behavior may reflect self-esteem, in (for example: assertiveness/timorousness, confidence/caution).

Psychologists usually regard self-esteem as an enduring personality characteristic (trait self-esteem), though normal, short-term variations (state self-esteem) occur.

Self-esteem can apply specifically to a particular dimension (for example: "I believe I am a good writer, and feel proud of that in particular") or have global extent (for example: "I believe I am a good person, and feel proud of myself in general").

see also:
Body Image Tests
Self-Esteem Tests
Using Afirmations
Self-Worth: The Unconditional Love Of Self
*see sidebar for more Resources and Tools.

Body image:

Conversations With Claudia: The Voice Of An Eating Disorder

I was very fortunate to come across the blog of Angela Minard recently: Here and Now ~*~4 Angel~*~, "Poetry and thoughts on my journey toward healing and unlocking the silence within. Words are magic. Words have the power to heal, so find your voice, and fly!"Angela's blog feels like a comforting embrace with it's music, art, poetry, and honest, open disclosure about her recovery. She describes herself as "Living in the here and now. I can't change the past, but I am in control of my destiny. I'm taking back my life, taking back my power, and learning to spread my wings and take flight."

Her journey is so inspiring and well worth reading for yourself.

Conversations With Claudia/How Writing Has Saved Me

"Who is Claudia? She is not my friend, but she has been a part of my life for a very long time. She is the voice of my eating disorder. A voice that over time, has crowded out my own thoughts and beliefs. I'm hoping that someday I will leave her behind," began the first entry of Angela's myspace blog entry almost a year ago.

"I have an amazing therapist and also a nutritionist who thought it would be a good idea to give my eating disorder a separate identity from myself. It would be a way to delineate between my own voice and the voice of the eating disorder. I'm finally beginning to see how often Claudia talks to me. She is bossy, demanding, snide, snotty, and degrading. She is also the one with the control most of the time, but I know that needs to change if I am to survive."
"I remember the first time she spoke to me. I was seven years old, sitting in church, and looking down at my thighs as I sat in the pew. "Your legs are so fat,"! She said." "Why did she choose that moment to begin her torment? I'm not really sure. My mom, grandma, and two aunts were constantly dieting and discussing their weight. I'm sure that their conversations wormed their way into what I began to also believe about myself."

"Being raped at the age of eleven was the real beginning of my self loathing and hatred. A secret that I held inside, suffocating my voice, and letting the shame eat me alive. Puberty began soon after, and with it, the ultimate betrayal of my own body."
"I'm hoping that writing down some of the conversations that I have with Claudia will help me to find my own voice, and hopefully, someday, my voice will be louder than hers."

"It feels wonderful to read this again, just to see how far I have come," she says. "Is my voice louder than the voice of Claudia's? Yes, I think it is, and damn, it feels good! I believe that the writing saved me. I began writing blogs, writing poetry, writing in my journal, writing my thoughts in e-mails to my therapist. I couldn't seem to stop writing and more than that, I felt such a strong desire to share what I had written. First with my therapist, who encouraged me with compliments on the poetry that I would share
and then I started blogging; Sharing with strangers about things that I had kept secret for most of my life. Through writing, I found the freedom to unlock the silence, and begin the process of healing." By Angela Minard

Article source:
Picture source:

PSA From Your Body

Bamagal posted about this at her blog, Kimkins Scam and I had to share it. It's a video from Michelle at Mouthfeel. Your body has a message for you that is absolutely wonderful. Check it out.

A Public Service Announcement From Your Body

Sources: picture:

Eating Disorders: Inspirational Recovery Quotes

"A lost battle is a battle one thinks one has lost."
Jean-Paul Sartre

I finally figured out the only reason to be alive is to enjoy it."

Rita Mae Brown

"When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it." The House at Pooh Corner
A.A. Milne

"I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self."


"When you love your body, you are most able to share its pleasures with those who light your heart."

"Life itself is the proper binge."
Julia Child

"If one is a Greyhound, why try to look like a Pekingese?"
Edith Sitwell

"It matters more what's in a woman's face than what's on it."
Claudette Colbert

"Trouble is part of your life, and if you don't share it, you don't give the [people] who love you enough chance to love you enough."
Dinah Shore

"It is not easy to find happiness in ourselves, [but] it is impossible to find it elsewhere."
Agnes Repplier

"It is time for every one of us to roll up our sleeves and put ourselves at the top of our commitment list."
Marian Wright Edelman

"Go within everyday and find the inner strength so that the world will not blow your candle out."
Katherine Dunham

"By very slow degrees, and with frequent relapses, that alarmed and grieved my friend, I recovered."
Mary Shelley (from Frankenstein)

"When all is said and done,
it is persistence that is the antidote to powerlessness....
The sight of goodness undeterred
has more power than all the forces on earth arrayed against it."

Joan Chittister

"The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up."
Paul Vale'ry

Try Again.
Fail Better."

Samuel Beckett

"Remember: Only one thing registers on the subconscious mind: repetitive application - practice. What you practice is what you manifest."
Grace Speare

"It is easy to dodge our responsibilities, but we cannot dodge the consequences of dodging our responsibilities."
Sir Josiah Charles Stamp, an English Economist

"If you live your life with a shield up, even the good things in life will pass you by."

"The attainment of wholeness requires one to stake one's whole being. Nothing less will do; there can be no easier conditions, no substitutes, no compromises."
C. G. Jung

"What gets us into trouble is not what we don't know. It's what we know for sure that just ain't so. " Mark Twain

"Courage is not the towering oak that sees storms come and go; it is the fragile blossom that opens in the snow."
Alice M. Swaim

"Dignity consists not in possessing honors, but in the consciousness that we deserve them." Aristotle

"The only journey is the journey within."
Rainer Maria Rilke

"Yes, know thyself: in great concerns or small, Be this thy care, for this, my friend, is all."

"Every day do something that will inch you closer to a better tomorrow."
Doug Firebaugh

"Insist on yourself. Never imitate."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

"It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed."
Theodore Roosevelt

"Our greatest glory consist not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall."
Oliver Goldsmith

"Happiness resides not in posessions and not in gold; the feeling of happiness dwells in the soul."

"There is only one person who could ever make you happy, and that person is you."
David Burns, Intimate Connections

"The rose is fairest when 'tis budding new, and hope is brightest when it dawns from fears."
Walter Scott

See also Using Affirmations

See sidebar for more inspirational quotes and quotes of the week.

Quotes compiled from the following sites:

picture source: MrsMenopausal