A new school year and a new chance to impress your fellow classmates. What to do? What to change?
Do I look fat?
Whether through peer comments, family pressures, or self-rebukes about one's looks, some students will choose to focus on changing their looks, rather than their attitude or approach to situations, to impress their school peers. For students either with an ED (eating disorder) or a developing negative relationship with food, this approach may take an unhealthy turn.
I Am Strong. I Can Do This.
While initially the individual must show a strong determination to avoid food and exercise excessively, studies have shown that starvation can make the brain begins to signal the person incorrectly. The individual loses the ability to realize that their body is starving for nutrients...and fats. The person begins to see themselves as "fat" even in places where bones are clearly showing.
New Year - New Me.
One way to try and help a student curb the problem and restrict its impact on their academics and overall school experience, is to catch it early. As you greet and chat with old students and past years' athletes, note any changes in their body size or their attitude.
- Have they switched to a baggier or layered look?
- Are they avoiding food experiences with others or talking about avoiding them?
- Have they lost a lot of weight?
- Do they know the calorie and fat content of different foods?