By Chloe Tuinstra

 

The week of February 26th to March 4th is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week through the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA). With social media cultivating an atmosphere of comparison, along with a focus on health, fitness and their physical effects, the NEDA website states, “Our culture has complicated relationships with food, exercise, and appearance.”

Though casual or not-so-casual gym participants can feel the pressure to keep up with everyone, it is nothing like the pressure college athletes feel. The sports dietitians on Purdue’s campus, headed by director of sports nutrition, Lauren Link, recently partnered with their colleagues in the B1G conference and encouraged Purdue athletes and sports medicine teams to take a “#realselfie” that would show the participants doing something that nurtures their mind and body.

Being an athlete in an intense athletic environment involves a lot of pressure on performance and appearance. These “real selfies” took the focus off physical performance to activities that enhance mental health. The sports dietitians’ Instagram account then reposted the selfies that were tagged with the hashtag “love your selfie.”

They reposted pictures from various people in Purdue Athletics, including those the Purdue women’s tennis and soccer teams took while refueling, selfies with the Strength and Conditioning staff while lifting weights, and even pictures from the student volunteers while exercising at the CoRec.

Although health and fitness are important parts of an individual’s health, mental health is essential for a life. It is important to emphasize mental health, an unseen aspect of health, in a time where social media highlights visible aspects of someone’s health and fitness.

Even if National Eating Disorders Week is only for a week, focusing on your mental health and your relationship with yourself is one of your most important relationships you will ever have.

So, maybe this week, take a selfie while you are doing something that nourishes your mental health: for me, making sure that I take time to spend time with friends is my definition of a #loveyourselfie moment.

What is your #loveyourselfie moment? Take some time this week and figure it out, and if you feel so inspired- take a selfie.

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