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
activities
Stressful Situations
• Identify some feelings and biological changes that stress can cause
• “Fight or flight”
• Write down responses to the following situations:
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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
listed
• Positive stressors versus negative stressors.
• Identify appropriate and healthy strategies to cope with stressful
situations
Stress Can Be Positive or Negative
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A certain level of stress is not a bad thing and can contribute to optimum performance.
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Excessive levels of stress can hamper performance and enjoyment
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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
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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
negative)
• Boys and girls
• More complex than weight, height or muscle
mass
• 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
Disorders
• 27% of Ontario girls 12 to 18 years old are
engaged in disordered food and weight
behaviour
• 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
beauty
• Trust and respect for their
bodies
• 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
embarrassment
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
bodies
• Self-esteem (view our bodies and evaluate
ourselves)
• 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
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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
Together?
• 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
Health?
• 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
Concerns
• 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
readers
• 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