Old Is New: Are EDs Contagious?
Lately, I’ve been talking a lot about this figure competition. Like… A LOT. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m super excited about it, and I’ve had a lot of people who keep asking me about it, but I think I could tone it down and not be all about it for a bit, you know? I’m going to keep some of it to myself for a little while — or at least try not to go overboard and make it the focus of my entire life, even if it does require a higher level of commitment. (As far as the blog goes, I’m going to work on a separate page so that anyone interested can check that out instead of having to read it all the time here! I may still brag about my squats, though.)
So what got me thinking about this a little more? I had a conversation with one of my bosses about chatting with our members about body image and changing the way we talk about it. She knows about my blog, so I brought up a post I wrote about a year ago asking if eating disorders were contagious. At the time, I was working with a bunch of guys who all had athletic goals, but whose training and diet plans bordered on crazy. And if they would have been females, they would have had big scarlet ‘ED’s on their foreheads. Because they were male, however, they were ‘dedicated.’
Anyway, with all my talk about body love, self esteem, and the like, I didn’t want to give anyone the wrong impression that I’m changing my tune and telling everyone that they need to look or train a certain way just because I am. We all have different standards and goals, and I hope we can all learn to love what we’ve got (and keep getting healthier!), no matter what. One of the biggest reasons I wanted to do this show is because I needed something competitive in my life. I was raised an athlete, and I truly miss it — the training for this seems to fill a void and drive me forward. But another reason I chose to compete (October! Finally picked an exact date!), is because I know that I can’t slip back into old bad habits if I want to succeed in this. Are figure competitors pretty rigid in how they eat and train? Yep, but at the same time, I know that I can’t eat too little or go too cardio crazy because I’ll actually hurt my progress and lose muscle. I’ve got to plan and count, but in a sense, I’m making sure I’m not causing myself any harm.
So with conversations I’ve had lately, my own training, and an ED certification I just finished up, I’ve started thinking again about whether EDs are ‘contagious,’ or at least whether or not we health nuts are going to be a little more predisposed since we live and breathe this stuff. I want to open this topic back up to people who may not have read the post last year…what do you think? Are EDs and disordered eating catching? Have your health habits ever been influenced by those around you? Go check out the post, and whether it’s here or there…Spill! I know you’ll have some interesting things to say about this one!