Extreme health or extremely dangerous? Why the ab crack ‘fitness’ trend is really not ok

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    Extreme health or extremely dangerous? Why the ab crack trend is not ok
    When did we start reducing our bodies down to individual bits? (Picture: Instagram/Metro.co.uk/Mylo)

    How we feel about ourselves is a serious subject.

    I grew up with poor body image and this, in part, led to me developing an eating disorder.

    People are likely to have a genetic predisposition to developing eating disorders.

    Certain personality traits, such as perfectionism, also play a part.

    This susceptibility is then triggered by particular environmental circumstances.

    As a teenager I struggled with puberty for all sorts of reasons but it’s fair to say that I was influenced to some degree by images of ‘perfection’.

    The latest trend – the ‘ab crack’ is going that extra mile.

    While the thigh gap is seen in some naturally thin women with a particular pelvic structure, the ab crack is supposedly obtained by a high intensity workout.

    While I applaud images of health, what is it with this ‘extreme health’?

    It’s not healthy and it’s not helpful.

    MORE: The ‘ab crack’ is a new trend and it’s the all-time worst

    A teenage girl measuring her waist
    Do these trends make you feel better or worse about your body? (Picture: Alamy)

    It is normal to have a thin layer of fat between our skin and muscle all over our bodies.

    It keeps us warm and healthy.

    To achieve an ab crack – this ‘perfect’ dent outlining the muscles – one must destroy this healthy layer of adipose tissue.

    A bad body image is not feeling a bit fat or ‘I wish I could lose a few pounds’.

    It’s hating your body, noticing its every imperfection and potentially putting yourself in severe danger trying to fix those flaws.

    14 things people still don't understand about anorexia Mmuffin Monika illustration

    12 things people still don’t understand about anorexia

    Some will go under the surgeon’s knife, some will starve themselves (as I did) and others will develop such an unhealthy relationship with food and exercise that they binge, purge, obsessively exercise and abuse medications in a bid to ‘achieve’ perfection.

    Eating disorders are not a lifestyle choice but some are triggered by a health kick.

    A person searches for a way to help themselves feel better and a way to manage their emotions.

    Some people will start a diet, cuts out some foods and/or start exercising a bit more.


    As my weight disappeared, so did my friends – what anorexia stole from my life

    They lose weight, this feels good, they may even get some compliments for losing a few pounds and they start to feel better about themselves…the emotional roller-coaster can take over and an eating disorder can develop.

    This latest craze is yet another obstacle for susceptible individuals to navigate.

    If you’re unhappy and looking for a way to control your life and/or feelings, images such as these only fuel this dissatisfaction.

    It is not ok that these images are going viral and potentially driving people into life-threatening eating disorders.

    MORE: 7 important truths about the thigh gap

    For more on eating disorders visit b-eat or anorexia & bulimia care.

    If you want someone to talk to, The Samaritans are always there on 116 123.

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