My Take: Is Social Media Causing Eating Problems and Body Image Issues?
Do you utilize social media to follow your work out idols, learn new fitness tips or exercises, or the new diet trends? Welcome to most of the world.
I as well use social media to try new workout routines, meal plan ideas, fitness motivation and new recipes. Social media is very easy to access and a way to get ideas fast.
As you can see from this chart Facebook, YouTube and Instagram have been gaining momentum throughout the years. Especially in your young adults 18-29 indicated, in a Pew Research Center survey, 88% use some form of social media. Then in the 30-49-year-old’s 78% use some form of social media.
My View On Social Media:
I absolutely love social media, hence why I love using Instagram, Facebook, and my new found platform YouTube . I think there are so many positives to social media. You are able to share your passions, loves and moments through a platform that many people can see at once. If its used in the right way it’s so powerful. I feel that once simple post can make a difference even if its just one person. We need to share more positivity and compassion to others. I believe if you surround yourself with like-minded people you will have a happier social media outlook and love for it.
I also do see the negatives out there. Like when spreading positive words and pictures, there is always the negative. Again it may not be intentional. For example, there are many profiles on Instagram that are made for “The Perfect Body,” The Perfect Booty”, “Best Women on Instagram,” “Hottest Women,” etc that promote what the perfect body is. Now, these profiles are just people posting what they think is beautiful, and if you follow these you are getting images daily of what is “perfect.” There is no perfect. But it’s hard to not think that when it is being posted as “perfect” especially when many people are commenting below and agreeing to the post/image.
I have come to terms that I will always be bottom heavy no matter what. Yes, I fluctuate 10-15lbs depending on how hard I’m working in the gym or certain goals I’m trying to attain. Even at my lightest, for competitions, for example, I still carry my weight in my legs. So there is no changing that lol. I have learned to love my legs. Its crazy too when people comment on my pictures and tell me they love my legs or want my legs. I used to see them as negative.
Learn to LOVE YOU. That is my biggest take away on my take on body image and self-confidence. Use social media to follow like-minded people but people/ideas that you know are attainable. I use social media to spread positivity, motivation, confidence and just an overall well being.
By definition, orthorexia is an obsession with eating foods that one considers healthy. In a study done in 2017 by the Eating and Weight Disorders, found that 49 percent of people who followed an Instagram account that promoted health food had orthorexia which isn’t classified an as an actual eating disorder.
With orthorexia, people will avoid going to places where there is food not prepared by themselves, will not eat dessert, avoid social gatherings that have food, and avoid any food that the person views as unhealthy.
I am 100% guilty of this and I do think I do may have this form of eating habits/disorder. I have brainwashed my mind of what I do think is healthy. Then what I do is only stick to those foods on a consistent basis until a cheat meal. To this day I still have trouble eating fruits, due to sugar, and eating vegetables that aren’t green. I have been trying to overcome this since I want to start a family soon, and know that I need to eat a more normal, and well-balanced diet.
Of course, we use social media to get that motivation, ideas, or accountability to help stay on track. I pride myself on helping others find their happy medium with there health and fitness goals. I love sharing my passion for weightlifting and getting those happy feelings after a great workout. I also know that its HARD. There is no easy way. Its hard work and BALANCE. But its easier said than done. We all at some point go through some type of anxiety, or pressures with foods and body image. Its how we handle it and move past the hurdles of life and pressures.
Eating Disorders/Body Image:
Any type of eating disorder or body image disorder does not discriminate and can affect, women, men, boys and girls at any age. I believe adolescents are at a bigger risk since their knowledge base is mainly learned online. Even school they use laptops and online courses over a good old fashioned book.
What’s important is NOT to fill up all your newsfeed on your social media accounts with unrealistic messages, body images, or negative words that can impact how you feel about yourself. Harder said than done. We are saturated with TV, movies, magazines, social platforms, TV series of what is perfect and we are surrounded by it everywhere.
With any eating disorders or body, images disorders its important to recognize that they are there and many people go through the same thing. We all strive to be the best version of ourselves. We just need to remember there is only ONE YOU. You cant be someone else.
It’s important to fill your newsfeed with other people that have the same views on food as you, have the same lifestyle as you, have a body shape similar to yours, ones that spread a positive message and overall makes you feel great.
It’s important to use social media on a positive basis for support, motivation, and accountability to stick to a healthy lifestyle. It’s important to understand what is healthy and unhealthy. If you find that you’re leading to self-punishment or unhealthy ideas it’s important to understand you need to understand yours at risk.
Always choose self-love, respect, and positivity when utilizing social media. I hope to inspire and spread positivity on the many social media platforms available and hope to make a difference.