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?
For more information about Rock Recovery connect with them on Facebook and Twitter.
This is so sad, and I’m sorry to hear you wet through this as a child. There’s definitely that pressure of wanting to look good by media standards. I feel like parents have a lot of influence and control over the situation with their kids. For the most part, parents have well intentions but they probably don’t realize what’s happening. It’s such a fine balance, not wanting to impose that kind of burden on your kids to be “perfect” but you also don’t want them to swing in either extreme direction.
Robin (Masshole Mommy)
I grew up in a big Italian house and we ate a lot. I wish I had been put on a diet at a young age.
I was lucky my dad was really good about watching what and how we ate. I wish I had down the same for my son.
A lot of people don’t understand the importance of instilling a healthy body image. Children need to love themselves regardless of their weight.
I think for me the hardest time was the preteen and teenager years. Kids are so stress with school, friends and a lot of pressure to look a certain way. Its crazy. Great post.
maria @ closetohome
This is truly a problem, I had disorted eating when I was in college no doubt. There was a need to be thin.
“Speak life and positivity, encouraging confidence and self-esteeem”. Its crazy to know Kids that young are on Diets 🙁 It is important to watch what you say to young Children , especially little girls
Saidah Washington (@ApronsStilletos)
I love the notecards. They are so truthful in how we’ve bought into one thing or another about ourselves.
There seems to be a lot of pressure on people to look a certain way. It’s so sad to see that it is causing eating disorders.
This very true. I had a low self esteem as a teenager. Food disorders are becoming more and more common!
A healthy body image is so important and it has to start at a young age!
The facts are scary, Sad there is so much of this.
What a brave, honest and important post!
I knew eating disorders were common enough for everyone to at least know what they are… What a shame though, that the statistics are so high.
Mama to 5 BLessings
Unfortunately we as a human race look at people on the outside inside of their hearts. It is sad how judgmental our society has become.
I’m often afraid that my daughters will inherit my body image insecurities. Thanks for sharing this resource with us!
What a great topic and as the mom of 4 girls, it is something I worry about. Thanks for the tips!
Body image issues are a common cause of depression and it is important to find a way to combat it.
Body image causes so many issues. This is so hard for so many – we work hard to guide Isa through the difficult teen years.
This is a great program. I have heard about it before. I am glad there is a safe place to discuss this.
It doesn’t help that models these days are so skinny that they look more like bones. I have always told my kids that they look great no matter what. We have to give words of encouragement to these kids.
I love the I have no idea papers in the photo. This is something that as a mom of a daughter I really need to be aware of.
Lois Alter Mark
So much great information here, and I love the whole IHadNoIdea hashtag. We need to teach girls to have confidence and not be so focused on their outer beauty. The media is a terrible influence on them.
This post really tugs at me. I had a hard time with body image my whole life and I try really hard to instill how beautiful my girls are just the way they are.
Great article! When I was a teenager I didn’t like my body either. I felt that I was too thin. I tried to gain weight but I was unsuccessful. I was called a “skeleton”. I’m glad that I didn’t develop any food disorders.