Castlewood Eating Disorder Treatment Center Blog

Category Archives: Body Image

News, ideas, research, personal experiences. This is what Castlewood’s Body Image Blog is all about! “Image” and “imagine” aren’t that far apart. Imagine yourself being powerful, strong, and uniquely graceful. Imagine a life where public pressures and private fears about body image aren’t the painful and destructive focus of daily life. Share your reactions and your concerns about the powerful force of body image.

Your voice is important, so feel free to comment!


10 Positive Affirmations for Recovery

Recovery. It is a beautiful, hopeful word that for many feels like viewing light from the bottom of a dark sea. Positive affirmations for recovery are powerful statements that help start that challenging and brave journey towards the light of recovery. Repeating an affirmation doesn’t necessarily mean believing the words, at least not at first. But when repeated, and used as a hopeful talisman, these affirmations become a reality on which to harness recovery. If you’ve read the book The Help, or seen the movie, you’ll remember the three powerful affirmations that Aibilene gave little Mae Mobely: “You is kind,…

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What is Body Image? Mind and Emotion at Work

Remember Bridget Jones repeatedly watching herself slide down the firehouse pole and proclaiming “bottom the size of Brazil!” According to cooperating research scientists in Australia and England, body image perceptions may be highly influenced by a tiny area of the brain called the insular cortex. This part of the brain is a workaholic, busily affecting attention, perception, awareness, pain, emotions, to list just a few. For some people with eating disorders, body image is affected when the insular cortex isn’t very good at its job, and it can’t correctly integrate how we realistically and accurately look as compared to our…

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His & Hers: Shouldn’t #NoFilter Be an Equal Partnership?

Helen Mirren. Judy Dench. Annette Benning. What do these three wonderfully complex actors (yes, the preferred noun for anyone on stage and screen) have in common? Their insistence in upholding the philosophy of the #NoFilter movement on film and off. The problem? They are often demeaned or ridiculed for doing this, which in turn affects how body image is perceived by those who are exposed to these messages. Call it ageism if you like, but it is another way to create barriers to self-acceptance that can negatively affect a person for a lifetime. Here is a case in point. A…

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Walking, Listening, #LoveYourBody!

Maybe this sounds familiar for you now, if you haven’t yet gotten help for an eating disorder, or perhaps it brings back a harsher reality before you began your recovery journey: striding, every footfall a way to fight back against the calories and emotions. Further, faster, farther. This is what walking was all about. Recovery from anorexia, bulimia, BED and other eating disorders means finding new ways to move and enjoy moving, just for the joy in what your body can do. Increasing research shows that walking can also help discover our natural inner rhythms. What a contrast to walking…

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Song Lyrics Support #NoFilter and Positive Body Image—Or Do They?

Song lyrics pointing out the alteration of photographic images rank right at the top of the charts for those who care about positive body image and the #NoFilter movement. Being proud of natural beauty and shape is an important message to share, so why not via music? Take a look at a couple of lines from the song “It’s All About That Bass”, co-written by Meghan Trainor and Kevin Kadish. Forgive the authors’ poetic license as far as grammar and expletives go! “I see the magazine workin’ that Photoshop, we know that s*** ain’t real.” “You know I won’t be…

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How to Recognize Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Body dysmorphic disorder, or BDD, is a mental illness involving a belief that one’s appearance is unusually defective, or perceiving appearance in way that is distorted from the truth. People who have eating disorders often struggle with body distortions, seeing their shape or size differently than friends, family or even what a mirror or camera shows. With body dysmorphia, thoughts about flaws can be pervasive and intrusive, even when the perceived flaw might be nonexistent. BDD is about equally prevalent in women and men, and is considered a severe psychiatric disorder occurring around the world. People can have distorted impressions…

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Healthy Body Image – Making Peace with All of Your Body Parts

It’s hard to ignore the many magazine covers plastered with pictures of models that don’t seem to have any imperfections on their bodies. This makes it all the more important to remember that you are not that model, and in fact, the majority of the population does not even come close to resembling that model. Staying at peace with your body and all of its parts will let you have a healthy body image and live a healthy lifestyle. Reaching For the Unreachable Setting goals is great. Setting unreachable, impossible goals is dangerous. If you put too much pressure on…

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Focus On What Your Body Can DO, Not What It Looks Like!

Powerful. Graceful. These are striking words that have no connection to the scale or mirror. “I’m from warrior stock,” laughed Emma, striking a bold pose during a recent conversation about body image. No long legs and straight body lines here. Emma is proud of how she looks “because it is my look!” Emma’s message: love your body. Strength. The body is a glorious instrument, an active one, a loving and giving one that can help others and is worthwhile and perfect in its unique shape and size. We can see and experience what our bodies can do, but without an…

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What are the Benefits of Expressive Therapy

What are the Benefits of Expressive Therapy?

More and more expressive therapy models for treating eating disorders and other mental health conditions are becoming mainstream for their transformative effect in recovery. Expressive therapies encompass all expressive and creative arts therapies such as music, art, dance or yoga, drama and psychodrama, recreational and play therapy. By promoting treatment of the body and mind, there is an opportunity to establish a pivotal commitment to healing, insight into self-awareness and change. While therapy provides a valuable place to safely evaluate feelings and identify distorted thinking, psychologists are finding that the component missing is the physiological aspect of a person’s illness.…

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Filtered or Unfiltered? Why #nofilter is the Healthiest Choice

Back in the day you got what you got in your school photo. Goofy grin, cowlick, poor sweater choice, shiny nose, it was all there, the ultimate, honest expression of how we looked in that very minute, on that very day. Now even a cell phone has an in-app alteration tool, allowing us to filter our images into what we want to look like, instead of accepting our unfiltered beauty. Standing up for a #nofilter society is an important way to celebrate each person’s natural and unique beauty. According to research done by communications experts, when media content is repeated,…

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