Stress and Body Image
Module C: Lesson 2
Grade 11 Active, Healthy Lifestyles
Dealing with Stressful Situations
• Stress is the body’s normal physiological
response to situations or stimuli perceived as
“dangerous” to the body
• Reactions to stress can vary greatly
• Healthy lifestyle choices impact the ability to
cope with stress and to manage day-to-day
Stressful Situations
• Identify some feelings and biological changes that stress can cause
• “Fight or flight”
• Write down responses to the following situations:
Situations That Make Me Angry
Situations That Make Me Frustrated
Situations That Make Me Worry
Situations That Make Me Happy
Situations That Take a Lot of Time
Situations That Take Money
• Discuss similarities, insights, or perceptions related to the ideas
• Positive stressors versus negative stressors.
• Identify appropriate and healthy strategies to cope with stressful
Stress Can Be Positive or Negative
A certain level of stress is not a bad thing and can contribute to optimum performance.
Excessive levels of stress can hamper performance and enjoyment
what is asked of us is beyond our perceived abilities
too much is asked of us in too short a space of time
unnecessary obstacles are put in the way of achieving our goals
Negative stress
too little stress = difficult to become self-motivated to perform well (boredom and not challenged)
gets in the way of good judgement and fine motor control
causes competition to be seen as a threat, not a challenge
damages the positive frame of mind needed for high-quality competition by
promoting negative thinking
damaging self-confidence
narrowing attention
disrupting flow
consumes mental energy that could be devoted to focusing on effective technique
Negative thinking
Exercise is used as a primary stress-management strategy
Physiological Responses of Exercise
• Investigate the physiological responses of
exercise (stress-reducing)
Wellness Inventory
• Complete the wellness survey
• What responses cause concern
• How can you improve
Body Image
• Linked to self-esteem and self-concept
• Shaped by past experiences (positive or
• Boys and girls
• More complex than weight, height or muscle
• Not individual or optimal body size or weight
but how you feel about your body and your
life experiences
What Is Body Image?
• Formed at an early age
• Influenced by our parents, caregivers, peers and
life experiences
• Relates to how you feel about your body and
what you think your body look like to others
• Perspectives may not be objective
• Every body is different
• Ideal body weight is the weight that allows us to feel
strong and energetic and lets us lead a healthy life
Common Body Image Questions
• Pick a question for group discussion
Canadian Statistics on Eating
• 27% of Ontario girls 12 to 18 years old are
engaged in disordered food and weight
• Third most common chronic illness in
adolescent girls
• Almost one in every two girls and almost one
in every five boys in Grade 10 either was on a
diet or wanted to lose weight
How Big Is the Body Image Problem?
• Increases the risk for extreme body/weight
control behaviours
• Increased preoccupation with appearance and
body dissatisfaction
• Increased risk for engaging in dangerous practices
to control weight and size
• Can lead to more harmful behaviours
• Increased risk for developing disordered eating or
an eating disorder.
Positive and Negative Body Image
• People with positive body
image exhibit
• Self-confidence, energy,
vitality and positive selfappraisal
• Feelings of attractiveness and
• Trust and respect for their
• Freedom of expression with
their bodies, not dependent
on weight
• People with negative body
image describe
• Dissatisfaction with their
physical appearance
• Belief that their appearance is
being scrutinized and
evaluated by others
• Excessive emphasis on
physical appearance in how
they evaluate themselves
• Distressing preoccupation
with their bodies
• Feelings of shame and/or
Positive Body Image
• Realistic perception of the body
• Understand that healthy, attractive bodies
come in many shapes and sizes, and that
physical appearance says very little about
character or value
• Assessment of the body is separate from a
sense of self-esteem
Negative body image
• Body dysmorphic disorder
• Over-preoccupation with an “imagined” physical
defect in appearance
• Usually nose, skin, or hair
• Anxiety and/or depression
• Muscle dysmorphia (bigorexia)
• Over-preoccupation with the perception or feeling
that one’s muscles are too small or too weak
• Spend unrealistic amounts of time working out in the
gym, and yet they don’t feel “good enough”
What Are Some Factors That Affect
Body Image?
• Standards set by society and the culture that
surrounds us
• Comments from family, friends, and others about
our bodies, their bodies, and other people’s
• Self-esteem (view our bodies and evaluate
• History of abuse, teasing, life changes, and
physical changes that may be a result of puberty,
medical problems, surgery or sports injuries
• Images of idealized versus normal bodies
Eating Disorders
• Negative body image and body dissatisfaction increase risk
• Anorexia or bulimia nervosa
• Perceive themselves as being larger than they actually are
• Increase in dieting behaviour
– depression, decreased self-confidence, increased feelings of anxiety,
feelings of unattractiveness and persistent concern about weight
• People with negative body image may
Engage in excessive body checking
Camouflage their size and shape with loose and bulky clothing
Avoid social situations that trigger physical self-consciousness
Avoid exposing their bodies
How Do Eating and Body Image Go
• Eating disorders are internal conflicts about
food and/or body size and shape
• Healthy eating behaviours are associated with
feeling confident about body shape and size
• Disordered eating behaviours are associated
with a preoccupation with appearance and an
attempt to change body size through a focus
on diets
Eating disorders
• Anorexia nervosa
• Fear of weight gain and severe restriction of food
intake, which can result in significant weight loss
• Bulimia nervosa
• Attempt to avoid weight gain or to manage weight
through frequent compensation by purging
• Binge eating disorder
• pattern of binge eating (feeling out of control while
eating) without purging
• May take a variety of forms (mild to severe)
How Can Body Image Affect Personal
• How can body image affect personal health?
Boosting a Body Image?
• What are three ways to boost body image?
• How can you change your body type?
• If you know people who are always comparing
themselves to others in terms of appearance,
what could you do or say to help?
• How could participating in physical activity
contribute to positive body image?
Exposure to Mass Media and Weight
• Girls between Grades 5 and 12
– 69% reported that magazine pictures influence their
idea of the perfect body shape
– 47% reported wanting to lose weight because of
magazine pictures
– Girls who were frequent readers of fashion magazines
were two to three times more likely than infrequent
• To diet to lose weight because of a magazine article
• To exercise to lose weight because of a magazine article
• To feel that magazines influence what they believe is the
ideal body shape
Dove Self-Esteem Fund
• Think critically about the media and about
how much the media work to influence
people of all ages