Weighing In: Spring Break Weight Loss Panic

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Weight panic triggered by spring break | Weight fears and anxiety during Spring BreakIn researching today’s blog post, I’ve come across some unsettling comments and articles about the intense pressure young women feel when spring break or ‘bikini season’ comes around.

For example, there was a disturbing response on Yahoo Answers to the following question: “I want to lose weight over spring break (about 10 days)…What’s a daily routine I should do everyday as far as when to eat and when to exercise and which exercises?”  The answer: “Binge, purge, binge, purge.”

There were other healthy and sensible answers, of course, but this cynical response is a scary reminder of how the annual ‘spring break’ or ‘bikini season’ pressure on women to lose weight has not only become part of American culture but also the impetus for unhealthy diets and even eating disorders.

“Spring break is one of the most dangerous times of the year for young women struggling with their weight,” said Liz Lagasse, a nutritionist specializing in eating disorders at GatorWell Health Promotion Services at the University of Florida.

Marili Rivera, a 2006 Florida State University graduate, described the pre-spring-break ritual scene in her sorority house as an extreme weight-loss competition.

“We all wanted to look hot in our bikinis, and the rush to lose weight was almost contagious,” she said.

Unhealthy fad diets like Kimkins, group dieting, and extreme weight loss or pro-ana sites (read Is Your Child Inspired by Thin) may actually promote eating disorders which can result in lifelong mental and physical problems for women. According to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) “as many as 10 million females and 1 million males are fighting a life and death battle with an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia” in the United States.

photo by: worldstreetphotos.com

Individuals and Families Make a Difference

NEDA’s site stresses that “real people – individuals and families – are the strongest advocates” for increasing public awareness, access to treatment, and funding for research to help change our thin-obsessed culture.

As our previous post ‘A Time of Change’ points out, “Spring represents change at its best — a time of growth, a time of awakening, a time to celebrate.” With the Easter holiday and upcoming Passover, we are reminded of how important family support is for all of us to either make healthy lifestyle changes or to help others do the same.

6 Responses (Add Yours)

  • Jessicahib says:

    That was nice. Thank you for sharing this one.

  • Arianarark says:

    Great point and very interesting food for thought. I’m not sure I have any clients I can replicate this with, but will bear in mind for the future. Regards

  • Weight Management and Fitness Forum 41st Edition…

    Welcome to 41st edition of the Weight Management and Fitness Forum. We hope you enjoy these selections and come back to Weight Master for our next edition and other informative posts.

  • Andy says:

    Hi Marsha,

    I found your site on the Weight Master blog carnival which I also entered. I’ve added your site to my blogroll on my acid diet blog. It would be cool if you could add me to yours.

    Cheers,
    Andy

  • [...] Hudnall presents Weighing In: Spring Break Weight Loss Panic posted at A Weight [...]

  • Melina says:

    We need to take responsibility for our diet. We can expect to lose 10 pound in 10 days if it took us three or more months to gain it. We need more real looking model in swim suits so we can see how good they look, not skinny model that tell us this is the body you need to wear it.

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