Does this statistic surprise you?
Like the women surveyed in the study, I used to engage in disordered eating *thinking* I was being healthy // removing entire food groups like carbs, skipping meals, extreme restriction & dieting. In many cases, purging through exercise, laxatives, pills, or vomiting.
I kept telling everyone around me I was doing it for my health, & because I wasn't severely emaciated, people admired my "health pursuit" even though *deep down* I knew it had very little to do with actual health...I wanted to be thin. i thought that's what made me valuable, loveable, and enough. I was terrified of weight gain.
And who could blame me? That is the message we've all been fed since birth. I was told that what mattered most (especially as a woman) was how closely you adhered to the arbitrary beauty standard.
Women don't engage in disordered eating at the rates they do for nothing. We do it because we’re taught that our body's appearance matters more than who we are. That beauty on the outside is more important than health & well-being on the inside. What's worse is now disordered eating behaviors are being rebranded as health, so many struggling don't even know it.
While this can feel like a really disempowering reality, I actually believe it's empowering because the way we change the culture is first to change ourselves.
We can choose to opt out. To say enough is enough.
We can heal our disordered eating, we can learn to find worth outside of our weight, and we can include mental & emotional health in our overall health pursuits.
We get to decide our value system & then work to live life in alignment with those values.
If you are currently struggling with food & body, know that healing is possible, there is another way.
If you are ready to heal your relationship with food and your body, I'd love to invite you to join me in my online course, Food Body Soul.
*Reference: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "Three Out Of Four American Women Have Disordered Eating, Survey Suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 April 2008 (source)
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