Psychological Self-Help

Navigation bar
  Home Print document View PDF document Start Previous page
 124 of 153 
Next page End Contents 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129  

who account for 90% of the disorders--50,000 will die as a result.
About 15% of teenage girls have some kind of eating disorder but only
1/3 seek help (some are embarrassed, others do not realize they have
a serious problem). Bulimics often remain normal in weight, so no one
else knows, but between 1% and 3% of young women suffer this
disorder. Men are as over-weight as women but they do not have
anorexia and bulimia nearly as often. 
Although often left untreated, eating disorders can devastate the
body and the mind (depression, anxiety, addictions). I won't give
details, but believe me, this is a serious matter. Eating disorders
and/or being obese (say, 50+ pounds overweight) should usually be
treated by professionals--these are deeply ingrained addictions and
often not responsive to self-help. Ideally a team is needed:
psychologist, physician, and nutritionist. Ordinary overeating or
moderate overweight may be a self-help problem. But when your
weight creates a physical problem or a serious psychological problem
or if your self-help efforts just aren't working any more, get
professional help. Some sources of information and professional
treatment for eating disorders are given below, but the self-help
methods and references mentioned here are for toning up and
shedding up to 20-30 pounds over many weeks or months. 
Losing weight requires either taking in less or burning off more.
The research strongly suggests that both a restricted diet (fewer
calories, less fat, more fruit and vegetables, less snacking, avoiding
rich foods) and an exercise program (burning 1000+ calories per
week) are necessary for most overweight people. Indeed, some
studies have indicated that for some people weight loss may only
come with vigorous (90% of maximum) exercise for months, not light
exercise. Hard exercise seldom makes you feel tired, to the contrary,
exercise usually gives you energy (although you may go to sleep
earlier). There are people, however, who find hard exercise so
unpleasant that they would stop trying to lose weight if they had to
exercise. So, adjust to your needs. Feeling tired is often actually
caused by the lack of exercise, called "sedentary inertia." So, a
demanding exercise program is for some a must, for others moderate
exercise and a restricted diet will work. Several Web sites discuss
exercise: APA Help Center ( and CNET:
Downloads (
contain 50 or more software programs to aid weight loss via exercise.
Many search engines will generate a few thousand weight loss and
exercise sites. 
It has been demonstrated that many women are in a bad mood
(more depression, insecurity, and anger) after viewing pictures of
fashion models. Some therapists think the combination of envying thin
models and a negative self-critical mood prompts women to binge and
then purge. Note: eating disorders increased 5 fold in teenaged girls
soon after TV came to Fiji. There can be no doubt that Americans are
unhappy with how they look, about 65% of women are dissatisfied
with their weight. How dissatisfied? Psychology Today (Jan, 1997) did
Previous page Top Next page

« Back