Summer gear tank tops, swim suits and shorts, and for a teenage Kelsea McCready, it's not easy.
"I wanted to look good at my shirt and clothes. When I look in the mirror, I never thought I was really good enough," said the now-21-year-old university student.
"Being in summer clothes really strengthened that, because of course when it's the fall and winter you're more covered. But when it was summer I could really see more of it. It was also when I could find more problems changed. Focus my attention and justify my behavior.
Those behaviors meant she was hospitalized at age 15 with a diagnosis of anorexia nervosa.
"I am physically very unwell with anorexia," she said. "Not everyone returns to that point, but I was very underweight and dehydrated, so it actually affected my kidney function and my kidneys were at risk of failure.
Eating disorders are a group of mental illnesses affecting an estimated 1 million Canadian patients, according to the National Initiative for Eating Disorders.
They have a year-round problem, experts say.
But the chat therapist Courtenay Wickers has changed her with clients in the summer. "There is a topic that comes up in the summertime, and how it creates a new set of anxiety or eating a disorder voice is starting to get high," she said.
Vickers, working with Body Brave, a support organization for people who have a lot of eating disorders and body image in Hamilton, Aunt, said that suddenly more skin can be stressful for someone who has body image issues.
Getting out of their summer clothes can be difficult for some, too, she said. "Maybe their body size has changed over the past year, so when they pull out their summer clothes and they don't fit the same way, they have to go to the store now to buy new clothes for sometime, which can be really stressful. . "
In winter, people are not talking about a "swimsuit body," said Ah Maaharad, outreach and education coordinator for the National Eating Disorder Information Center (NAD). But in summer, many women feel the pressure to look thinner or lose weight, and people feel pressure to "really rip off abs and muscles," he said.
"Eating disorders can affect anyone," he said, including men, women, members of the LGBTQ2 community and men from all ethnic backgrounds.
Warning signs that you or a loved one might be developing an eating disorder include going on a diet after diet, pretty poppy with your weight or shape, or excessive exercise, Maharaj said.
"This is not exercising for joy or exercise for your body to be strong but thinking you are exercise to craft your body in a certain way."
Because one of the signs is fairly normal, he said, "but the more you see, the more they may be over risking experiencing an eating disorder or having disordered eating behaviors."
In this case, you should seek help, he said, perhaps by visiting a medical professional or claiming NEDIC's help line to find local resources.
McCready, who is now focused on her experience with Anerexia and working with Body Brave, said people should not feel the most urgent need for help. "You are not weak for struggling, and any kind of change can be really hard," she said.
"You really shouldn't feel ridiculous, like, oh, I'm overreacting over a change in time, I shouldn't be doing this. & # 39;
"If you're feeling something, it's valid, and it's worth talking about who you trust, whether it's a close friend or family member, or a therapist, just to get that there and really try what you feel. Because it's better than keeping it to yourself and struggling silently. "
The National Eating Disorder Information Center provides resources on eating disorders and weight preoccupation, including information on Canada programs. They operate a toll-free telephone line at 1-866-633-4220 and have information on their website.