Knowing Enough to Stop the Cycle
Did you know that an estimated 20 million women have eating disorders? For every 100 women, six will be affected with either anorexia or bulimia.
Did you know that the combined mortality rate from anorexia and bulimia is estimated at 20% for long term sufferers? Researchers conclude this is the highest rate mortality for any psychiatric disturbance.
Did you know that anorexia almost always begins as a diet? For the bulimic, it starts with a binge lasting a little over an hour in which they can consume as many as 3,500 calories before it's over.
One more sobering statistic for you: The American College of Sports Medicine reports that as many as 62% of the participating females in "appearance" and endurance sports suffer from eating disorders. While we spend countless hours complaining about this body part or demonizing the food group du jour, more than half of these women are slowly killing themselves.
Friends, we need to do better. We need to BE better, particularly those of us that work in the health and fitness industry. We need to stop majoring in the minors. We need to stop battling our appetites and bodies. We need to model healthier behavior for the younger generation. There are young girls 4, 5, 6, and 7 years old out there watching how we treat our own bodies and listening to how we talk about them. They will learn from our example, one way or the other. They will either learn how to have a happy and healthy relationship with food or they will learn how to live in constant stress and anxiety around it.
Does this make you mad? It makes my blood boil.
Instead of spending our precious energy obsessively counting fat grams, calories, and hours of calorie burning exercise, we should be mad as hell that it's gotten to this point in the first place. And then, we need to take our power back and become the person that we are meant to be, a whole, healthy, self-aware person, so that the next generation of young women can do the same.
Anorexia almost always starts as a DIET.
I don't know about you, but that pisses me off!
It starts with us. What will you choose?