In the 1970s the average fashion model weighed 8% less than the average woman.
By the 1990s she weighed 23% less. The gap between ideal and real women continues to widen.
And in that gap:
- Over 90% of women want to change something about their body
- About 43 million women in the US alone are dieting at any one time
- 26 million women are dieting to maintain weight
- The average dieter spends six months a year restricting their food, and the other six months regaining the weight
- 80% of teenage girls have been on at least one diet – most were not overweight to begin with
- Liposuction is one of the most common of any types of surgery
- We are eating about 125 pounds / 62 kgs of sugar each, per year, most of it already in foods we buy
- Girls as young as five years old are being admitted to hospital suffering from eating disorders
- 8 million people in the US alone suffer from a diagnosable eating disorder, though not all are diagnosed
- About 9000 people are hospitalised annually with anorexia, and 1000 of them will die. Only 44% will recover, the rest will live with the disease for the remainder of their lives. Most say the disease started with a diet.
- Eating disorders are a global problem, occuring even in countries where people die of involuntary starvation.
And meanwhile we ignore the results of research which tells us that:
- About 25-40% of our size is likely to be genetic, related to several genes.
- Most of the “life-threatening” diseases of obesity can be improved by simply moving more – and without changing weight
- The causes of obesity are much more complex than ‘eat less and move more’ and the combination of factors is different for every single person
- It’s normal, healthy, and natural for women to gain weight during menopause, as the body changes the way it produces estrogen
- We still don’t know what causes obesity, nor what actually works to reduce it
- Restricting food is very likely to lead to emotional issues like depression and psychosis, and diagnosable eating disorders
- Prejudice against fat people is rife, and increasing
- Even people who are not fat are highly critical of their bodies
But what you can know for sure is that:
- hating someone never motivated that person to want to change anything
- hating yourself only damages your self esteem and your self worth
- hating your body makes you vulnerable to abuse by others, disease, and self-abuse
It’s time to do something different. Is our culture likely to stop wanting us all to be ever thinner? Not very likely.
But what you can do in the face of all those scary numbers is:
- decide to learn who you are
- decide to honour and nurture your body, no matter what anyone else thinks of it
- learn the truth about what is healthy and what is not, from people who are not trying to sell you a pill or program you’ll have to keep buying for the rest of your life
- find support to stay committed to your own health and wellbeing
And that’s what The Body Image Revolution is about.
Coming in January 2014 in a new format, you’ll be able to watch inspiring speakers sharing their solutions, wisdom and experience in just half an hour a week – the time it takes for a coffee break! Please sign up here to go onto the early notify list.
One final thought: “If I am not myself, then who am I?
If I am not for myself, who will be for me?
And if not now, when?” ~Hillel
Will you open your mind and hear the exciting messages from these powerful speakers, now?