When I was younger I went through a lot of turmoil. One of the side effects of this was developing an eating disorder. At the time I didn't know what to call it and I definitely did not have any one trying to stop me. In fact it was the opposite, I was getting complimented on how thin I was becoming. Thankfully I out stubborned myself and sought help. Today I try to be conscious of how I speak to others and myself about body images and health.
Especially with a young daughter, I do not want her to grow up with that weight on her shoulders, trying to be “perfect.”
I recently attended an informative brunch hosted by Rock Recovery, a local organization that supports the journey to freedom from disordered eating by providing services that are accessible to individuals & by empowering through community education. They hold workshops, events, as well as individual and community based programs to achieve that goal of freedom.
Rock Recovery makes it possible for clients to pursue recovery without giving up their daily life. With support systems, education, and the feeling of belonging, this organization knows how to reach people where they are and help them move forward in a positive way.
Even though I am actively involved in the health and wellness community I sat there shocked by what I was hearing. I truly had no idea how high the statistics are for eating disorders. My problems came out of my mental state at the time. Now years later, doctors are finally seeing the relationship between your mental health and your body image.
Every BODY is Different
- 46% of children ages 9-11 are on some sort of diet (what?!)
- 20 million women & 10 million men will have an eating disorder
- Eating disorders are now classified as mental illnesses
The most empowering aspect of attending that event was when we all came together to brainstorm how to help those around us and in our circle of influence promote healthy body images. It starts with our words. How are we speaking or writing about others, ourselves? As a community of media representatives we need to counteract all the unrealistic body expectations in society. If we as women and men can change our attitudes and speech when it comes to body image then we can make a difference in the lives of our children and those around us.
Speak life and positivity, encouraging confidence and self-esteeem.
I know I will be more careful about what I say and how I say it when it comes to discussing health with you all. How do you think you can make a difference in your sphere of influence?