Food and body image – BBC Bitesize

Mimi: So, last year, me and seven teens went to Scotland to have a bit of a digital detox. So, we lived in the forest without our phones for a whole week, and we also were joined by some special guests – Jack Fowler, Amy Hart and Joe Weller. It was an unforgettable experience. Being on social media, it makes you think a lot about yourself and be very aware of how you look, because, not only do you have the people constantly commenting on how you look, it’s a really weird space that you have to be proper strong up here to be able to like navigate through that.

Kaden: I’ve always had, like, an issue with how I see myself. It’s really easy to get yourself down when you’re scrolling through social media and then you see all these body types and then you look at yourself in the mirror and it’s just not the same. There’s always a tiny little thing you wanna change. When I climbed that mountain in Scotland, I was kind of proud of myself because, I feel as if, if I’d done that a few months before, I wouldn’t have even got halfway up. It is kinda difficult, but I’m enjoying it as well.

Kemi: I think this walk will be quite significant for Kaden. I think he’s gonna learn a lot of connection between nutrition and body. Right now, this will be the biggest physical challenge he’s done.

Mimi: I’ve always had a really interesting relationship with food, I definitely used to eat a lot when I was emotional. I’m definitely someone who will, like, eat a full box of pizza, and then be upset with myself for, like, the whole of the next day.

Jack: I’ve been modelling since I was 14 and I’ve definitely felt some sort of pressure throughout my career, whether or not that’s your hair, your skin or or even your size.

Kaden: I never really wanted to, like, make it a big deal cos, in my head, it wasn’t a big deal. I didn’t wanna make it official and go and, like, get diagnosed anything like anorexia, but I think my mum always knew, like, in the back of her mind, that it was something along those lines. One of the things that really stuck out in my mind from Scotland was when I was talking to Jack because he sort of just told me the importance of food.

Jack: What you’re eating is going to put you in good or bad stead for the rest of the day. When we climbed that mountain in Scotland, the first thing we had was our breakfast. You need to make sure that you have the right food inside you do the best that you can..

Mimi: So, we need to basically eat this porridge.

Jack: So, you have to eat your porridge.

Shanzeh: You have to eat your porridge too by the way.

Jack: Babe, trust me, I’m with you.

Mimi: I remember we did a mountain walk with Jack and that almost finished me. It was a struggle. It was a struggle to say the least… it was, it was a lot.

Kaden: I feel so alive right now, this is actually amazing, I didn’t think it would feel this empowering. I mean, I’m so glad I’ve done it, honestly, it’s just incredible. In fact, I need to put my glasses on, ‘cos I can’t actually see it. That day we climbed the mountain, I felt so good getting to the top that mountain, like, if I’d have done that a few months before I literally wouldn’t have even got halfway. If I ever used to hear the word carbs, I’d automatically think: “oh no, stay away from them” because, you know, they’ll make you fat and all that, but when Jack Fowler was sitting there with me making me eat porridge and I just think, well, if he eats all these carbohydrates and he looks like that, then it can’t be too bad. With body image like a lot of people just assume it’s mostly, like, a female thing and I think, I don’t hear many boys, especially like my age, talking about it. I’m sure there are lots of other people like me who felt like that. I think it’s about time boys who are going through as well start to realise it’s not just a girl thing.

Mimi: Don’t get me wrong, I still have my days, but definitely my relationship with food has changed a lot since Scotland. Food is fuel for your body, more than anything. As long as you feel physically fit inside, and you feel like your body is healthy inside, more than anything, that’s the most important thing.

Kemi: I think, one of the things you can do if you’re struggling with your body and how your body’s looking, is to focus on the strengths that your body has. Everybody’s built differently and we all have different shapes and sizes and I know it’s easy to say, but you can actually start with a list of things that your body can do. So recognise the strength of your body, focus on what your body can do, rather than what your body’s looking like.

Kaden: This whole experience in Scotland has taught me that self-love is actually more important than I thought and just loving yourself for who you are and just accepting the body I have, like, that’s important.

Jack: You have to be you. That is a massive, massive thing and that’s what some people kind of forget and they get lost in looking like someone else when that’s not them, and that can be really scar people. That can lead them down, you know, a road that is quite dark, trying to be someone else that you’re not, because you do you the best way and that is what people will find attractive.

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