Forgive me if you've read this on my Myspace, but I wanted to post some blogs I've written before that sound a little smart. :o)
According to a survey done by Self Magazine, an estimated 6 in 10 women suffer from disordered eating. Sounds a little odd to those of us used to hearing "anorexia" and "bulimia" thrown around as if they are the only eating disorders in existence, but the truth is, most women are aware of the tell-tale behaviors marking those disorders and, in fact, privately practice behaviors that mask their own body-image issues.
Obsessively counting calories, binging in secret, food addiction, full-time dieting, purging and extreme exercising are becoming characteristic in women who are so depressed and loathing of their own body they throw caution to the wind with their health.
27% of women surveyed answered that they would be "extremely upset" if they gained a measly 5 pounds.
16% of women surveyed owned up to having dieted on less than 1,000 calories a day. (Most nutritionists insist on no less than 1,200, and more if you're active.)
Women are starting to take up smoking for weight loss, visiting websites that promote anorexic and bulimic behavior, and weigh themselves obsessively. Absolutely none of the above mentioned behaviors would ever be considered healthy by any doctor.
This article was disturbing. Frightening, even, to think that roughly 6 out of 10 girls/women that I know might be battling demons with their weight. Saddening to think that when I was an RA for 40 girls, 24 of them very well were participating in this kind of behavior.
It creates an honest-to-God ache in my heart to think of this, wondering who was there, crying out for help and if I missed it. At this point in time, though, all I can do is hope and pray for these girls, that they might know peace within themselves and learn to love the body that they've been given to where they seek to take care of themselves rather than deprive, restrict and punish the only body they will ever have.
I was never especially good at science, but I loved human biology. Anatomy, physiology . . . I thought very fondly of going to med school when I was younger. I don't know where the dream changed exactly, but even though I'm not on that route anymore, I still marvel at the amazing mechanics of how the human body works.
It just is so sad that in a society where food is so forced upon us (think about . . . when was the last time you walked a city block and DIDN'T see a fast food place, Starbucks, or other food-related set up), so many women still struggle to maintain a healthy image of themselves.
I'm not without fault here. I know I've had moments where I've been severely disappointed in the number on the scale or felt like for all my healthy habits I had little to show, but I still consider myself fairly well-adjusted. I can only hope that in five years, maybe ten, this number will more than have flipped (as in, 6 in 10 having a healthy image of themselves).
We shall see.