#LoveYourBody: Body Image and Eating Disorders Awareness Week

Body Image and Eating Disorders Awareness Week: develop a more positive relationship with your body.

Body image concerns and eating disorders are extremely common in Australia, but there is currently a large lack of public knowledge surrounding these issues. Body Image and Eating Disorder Awareness Week aims to change that, striving to raise awareness of these serious concerns, help reduce the stigma surrounding eating disorders, and to encourage all Australians – male and female, of all ages – to take steps towards developing a more positive body image.

The theme of this year’s Body Image and Eating Disorder Awareness Week is Love Your Body. The Butterfly Foundation is asking Australians to take a pledge to commit to nurturing a more positive relationship with their bodies.

“Learning how to love your body is a journey of understanding all that your body and mind need to be at their best, and how to feel ‘good in your skin’. It is not about trying to conform to an idealised body image,” the Butterfly Foundation says.

“Loving your body isn’t a flippant and light-hearted commitment. Every day you rely on your body to function physically and mentally. Every hour of the day your body needs to be at its healthiest, so that you can accomplish the mundane and the extraordinary.”

Body image in Australia

Body image is the perception you have of your physical self – and more importantly, the feelings and thoughts that you experience as a result of that perception. Negative body image can cause very real distress, and is an established pre-cursor to eating disorders.

Eating disorders are serious mental illnesses that affect almost one in 20 Australians. Approximately 15% of Australian women experience an eating disorder during their lifetime. However, because these are issues that are often kept closely-guarded secrets by sufferers, it can often be difficult for others to understand. Because of this, there are many misconceptions about eating disorders.

To help support people who may be suffering, there are three key things The Butterfly Foundation emphasises it is important to know:

  • Eating disorders are not a lifestyle choice;
  • They are not just about food;
  • You cannot tell just by looking at someone if they are suffering.

The Butterfly Foundation endeavours to help people foster positive body image, strong self-esteem, resilience, media literacy and a healthy attitude towards food and exercise.

Take the #LoveYourBody pledge or learn more at butterflyfoundation.org.au. For more help, the National Eating Disorders Collaboration provides some useful body image resources.

If you need help or support for an eating disorder or body image issue, please call Butterfly 1800 334 673 or e-mail support@thebutterflyfoundation.org.au.

Recommended reading - Issue Three Autumn 2013

Lifestyle

Getting kids into sport

We take a closer look at some of the best sports programs for kids.

Read more
Experts

Boot shopping

Tips to choose the right boots this season.

Read more
Experts

Use it or lose it

Activities to keep your brain fit.

Read more
Experts

Chinese medicine for the four seasons: Autumn

Advice to maintain good health from summer to autumn.

Read more
Community

The role of an optometrist

Optometrist Julia Kapov explains how an optometrist can help you on your journey to better health.

Read more
Community

The joys and challenges of trail running

Matt Cooper delves into his love and knowledge of trail running.

Read more
Lifestyle

The perfect apartment dog

They don't shed hair, they don't bark, and they don't need much space. Meet the Italian Greyhound.

Read more
Lifestyle

Finding the purrfect feline friend

A few things to keep in mind when considering a feline addition to your household.

Read more
Travel

Cherry blossom season

We've picked out the best spots in Japan to see these iconic flowers of spring.

Read more
Travel

6 things to do in Singapore

Bright, clean and colourful, the island city-state of Singapore is full of contrasts.

Read more
Lifestyle

The history of bottled water

A brief history of how we got so thirsty for bottled water.

Read more
Community

Xtend Barre

Merging the principles of pilates with the energy of dance delivers one serious sweat.

Read more
Recipes

Roast loin of pork with baked apples and quinoa stuffing recipe

This decadent roast is the perfect recipe for a lazy Sunday afternoon with family.

Read more
Lifestyle

Bad fad diets

A look at some of the worst fad diets that somehow managed to gain a global following.

Read more
Lifestyle

Bill Granger on stress-free cooking

Learn healthy habits and delicious recipes with Bill.

Read more
Recipes

Roasted apricot yellow couscous with grilled fish recipe

Bill Granger believes in a relaxed approach to good food. Here, he shares a family favourite.

Read more
Lifestyle

Marion Grasby on cultural and culinary diversity

Marion Grasby tells us what’s on the menu for her wedding.

Read more
Recipes

Thai prawn fried rice recipe

Inspiring chef Marion Grasby shares one of her favourite Thai dishes.

Read more
Community

Working out with Serena Williams

Tennis superstar Serena Williams shares workout tips for staying in peak form.

Read more
Community

Learning from crisis

How to rethink your priorities and recalibrate your moodometer.

Read more
Community

Big-hearted Clare Bowditch

Clare Bowditch talks mindfulness, meditation, and about being an ambassador for Smiling Mind.

Read more
Community

Deborah Hutton’s balanced life

Deborah Hutton provides advice on ways we can achieve balance in our lives.

Read more
Community

Chris Carroll – Walking for a cause

Medibank has a team of four walking 100km together to raise money for Oxfam.

Read more
Lifestyle

Food on the move

Run on solar power and vegetable oil the Veggie Patch Van is bringing healthy food to you.

Read more
Lifestyle

Literary (health) classics

“Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.” Mark Twain

Read more
In Brief

Move to Ikaria – fast

Frequent naps, no clocks and an abundant diet are the secrets to a long life.

Read more
In Brief

Cloning new teeth: say “Baaaa!”

70 per cent of adults aged 35-44 have lost at least one permanent tooth to decay.

Read more
Lifestyle

Visualising health with Jude Bolton

AFL footballer Jude Bolton has played 300 games and won two premierships with the Sydney Swans.

Read more
In Brief

Join in the fresh food fun

Get your hands dirty in the garden and learn how to prepare seasonal produce.

Read more
In Brief

Work-off a factor in food labelling

How long would it take you to work off your afternoon snack?

Read more
Lifestyle

Health Shelf – Andy Allen

Andy Allen gives us a tour of his pantry and shares some recipes from his new book.

Read more
In Brief

A spoonful of beans…

How beans and other legumes can help type 2 diabetes sufferers.

Read more
In Brief

Quantifying exercise

Researchers have made an incredible discovery about the effects of exercise.

Read more
Community

A juicy idea

How Emma and Tom’s small venture has grown into a big business focused on healthy products.

Read more
Community

Trail running gear

We recommend shoes, clothing and other gear that can optimise your trail running experience.

Read more
Community

Bound, leap and hotfoot it across the land

A quick summary of some great trail running locations across the country.

Read more
Community

Ambassador for a worthy cause

Haley Bracken, ovarian cancer ambassador, talks how to stay mentally and physically healthy.

Read more
Community

Double hat trick with Ellyse Perry

Athletic prodigy Ellyse Perry on balancing study, professional sport and life as a young adult.

Read more

For full functionality of this site it is necessary to enable JavaScript. Here are instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your web browser.