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Things That Only Loved Ones Of People With Anorexia Would Know

Things That Only Loved Ones Of People With Anorexia Would Know

Anorexia (also known as anorexia nervosa) is a serious disorder where individuals have a distorted body image and are obsessed with preventing weight gain. Having a close friend or family member who suffers from this illness, it can be hard to understand what exactly they are going through, but it is incredibly important to be supportive — no matter what.

Here are some myths about those who suffer from anorexia.

1. Being thin means you automatically have anorexia

There are many reasons why a person can be thin, and it is important not to make assumptions that they are suffering from anorexia. There are a myriad of different reasons that someone is underweight, from suffering from cancer to going through depression.

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2. Anorexia is something that an individual will grow out of

Anorexia is not just a phase that an individual is going through and eventually will snap out of. This disorder can be an ongoing problem for the majority of someone’s life if they are not treated properly.

3. Only girls suffer from anorexia

The percentage is lower, but men can suffer from this disorder as well. The biggest issue is that, since anorexia is often perceived as a “women’s disease,” men are less likely to seek medical attention.

4. Being thin is the only goal of an anorexic

The end goal of an individual who suffers from anorexia is not to be thin, but more about the feeling of being in control. Being thin is just one of the ways that a person can convince themselves that they are in control of their lives. This need for control can stretch into other areas of their lives, including their work and social interactions.

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5. Food is the main obsession of an anorexic

Food is only one of the things that continuously occupies an anorexic’s mind. They are also focused on control, weight gain, and other aspects of their life that, to them, might be spinning out of control.

6. A person can either be anorexic or bulimic

An anorexic can also go through phases where they purge their food as well by taking laxatives or self-inducing vomiting. They may go a few days eating a small amount of food and then purge and then restrict themselves to a severely limited calorie intake.

7. Anorexics are never hungry or do not like food

People suffering from anorexia are in fact always hungry and still have cravings for certain types of food, but due to their need for control they cannot give in to their hunger pangs. When anorexics claim that they are not hungry or that they just ate a big meal, it is just a coping mechanism for the disorder.

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8. Anorexia is only for young people

It is a common belief that anorexia is a disease that only affects young individuals, but this is simply not true. Adults in their thirties and older have been known to suffer from this disorder in increasing numbers. Some have had anorexia when they were younger, while others are having it for the first time.

9. You cannot die from anorexia if you exercise enough to keep your heart strong

Anorexia is a serious illness that can be fatal if the individual does not seek proper treatment in time. No amount of exercise can substitute for the essential nutrients that a person is lacking when their calorie intake is so minimal.

10. Anorexics literally see a fat person when they look in the mirror

Distorted body image is one of the symptoms of anorexia, but that does not mean the sufferers see their body as fat when they look into the mirror. They can see that their bones are sticking out, but they will also hyper focus on a part of their body that has a bit of flesh. That spot is seen as a place where they need to lose weight.

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11. Dieting can lead to anorexia

Regular dieting does not automatically lead to anorexia, but for those who are prone to the disorder, a strict diet can easily spiral out of control.

12. Anorexia is just a cry for attention

Anorexia should not be taken lightly and is a serious life-threatening illness. If someone you love is suffering from this disorder, it is important to give them as much support and compassion as possible.

13. Anorexia is strictly caused by environmental influences

This disorder is not only caused by environmental factors like media and popular culture, but also by biological and psychological issues. Some individuals may be more wired to perfectionism, but the specifics are still unclear.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via flickr.com

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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