It occurred to me tonight, after talking with my walking partners…both of whom have struggled with their weight (and myself with my own issues) that I don’t think I’ve ever met a woman who didn’t have an issue with her weight. I mean, seriously…have you ever met a woman totally content with her own body? And honest about it?
A new survey of American women between the ages of 25 and 45 suggest sixty five percent have behavioral issues regarding food intake and an additional 10 percent report symptoms consistent with eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder.
The discovery that a total of 75 percent of all American women endorse some unhealthy thoughts, feelings or behaviors related to food or their bodies has vast implications for women’s health.
The survey was sponsored by SELF Magazine in partnership with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
An additional 10 percent of women report symptoms consistent with eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder, meaning that a total of 75 percent of all American women endorse some unhealthy thoughts, feelings or behaviors related to food or their bodies.
• 75 percent of women report disordered eating behaviors or symptoms consistent with eating disorders; so three out of four have an unhealthy relationship with food or their bodies
• 67 percent of women (excluding those with actual eating disorders) are trying to lose weight
• 53 percent of dieters are already at a healthy weight and are still trying to lose weight
• 39 percent of women say concerns about what they eat or weigh interfere with their happiness
• 37 percent regularly skip meals to try to lose weight
• 27 percent would be “extremely upset” if they gained just five pounds
• 26 percent cut out entire food groups
• 16 percent have dieted on 1,000 calories a day or fewer
• 13 percent smoke to lose weight
• 12 percent often eat when they’re not hungry; 49 percent sometimes do
Eating habits that women think are normal – such as banishing carbohydrates, skipping meals and in some cases extreme dieting – may actually be symptoms of disordered eating. ~source
I was not at all shocked to see that 3 out of 4 women have an unhealthy relationship with food. I’m surprised it’s not higher.
And 67 percent of women are trying to lose weight? Um…yes. I see that.
53 percent of women are already at a healthy weight and are trying to lose… remember my doctor laughed me off and said I was perfectly healthy? And then when I pointed out my weight, my Hypothyroidism, my age, etc., she said…yeah…I can see you losing 5 or 10 pounds. But she doesn’t think I HAVE to. We’re just thinking ahead and making sure I’m as healthy as possible as I age.
I have no room to talk about skipping meals. I have to make myself eat but between the skipping meals people (so not the way to lose weight) and the 16 percent who diet on 1000 calories a day or less…this is the least successful way to be healthy.
The one I thought was the most interesting…12 percent eat when they’re not hungry…49 percent sometimes do. WhatEVER. Welcome to the eating disorder of all time. Is it an eating disorder when I just really really REALLY like cupcakes and there were some right in front of me? I’m not eating my feelings. I’m eating Pumpkin with Cinnamon Creme Cheese frosting. Duh.
Is it an eating disorder when you eat an entire pizza by yourself and then go looking for a cheeseburger? Probably. I’ve never done that but I would think that level of binge would suggest unhealthy and a therapist might be in order. Or at least a really good binge session with some self help books/podcasts to start figuring yourself out. I am definitely not an expert on any kind of eating disorder except my own. I want to be healthy. I want to look good. I’m not shy about either of those facts. I don’t want to diet for the rest of my life and I want to be smart.
If you want to lose weight you have to choose to change your life. It’s not about going on a diet. Diets don’t work and odds are you will gain back anything you lose. If you can finally come to the realization you are not taking care of the body God gave you, you aren’t respecting yourself but you are expecting it to carry you through all the damage and abuse you continue to throw at it…then maybe you can have that ‘come to Jesus’ moment you need to wake the hell up and do something about it.
Does that mean therapy? Maybe. MAYBE IT DOES> TAKE CARE OF YOU>
Does that mean read a few books and figure out what you’re made of?? MAYBE… reading will NOT kill you. I do it and I’m still alive and kicking.
Most importantly it means REAL CHANGES and working on changing the disordered behavior.
It definitely is true that you are what you eat. If you eat clean then you will feel better it is TRUE it is FACT. It is PROVEN. You can live without the sugar. You can live without the soda. You can live without the bread and you can live without the cheese. GASP!
I know. Shocking.
I of all people love my sugar. And I love my Diet Pepsi. I have a love affair with my Diet Pepsi. It’s so good. Did I give them both up completely? Nope. But I don’t have much of either. I’m not much of a cheese eater anyway so the occasional slice here and there is all I eat and bread….well I’m celiac so I have gluten free bread but it’s still not fresh sourdough from San Francisco, you know? so there’s no pull for it like there used to be. And yes, I love bread. But I’ve learned to live without.
And fortunately there’s an amazing site called Pinterest where thousands of people have created thousands of recipes and you can find anything on there you’re looking for. Gluten free? yep. Whole30? yep. Paleo…it’s there. Just healthy vegetables? Anything. This is the place to go.
There is seriously NO excuse to not be eating right and eating healthy except this one.
You just don’t want it bad enough.
Exercise is the same situation. You can choose to walk up a flight up stairs and call it exercise or you can work out and raise your heart rate for 45 minutes a day…5-6 days a week. Because that’s what’s going to do it. That’s what’s going to get your body interested in losing weight. That and strength training.
You don’t need a personal trainer and a lot of money (though very helpful for sure)…you can find a ton of information online, at the library (they still have those!), in magazines, in your local gym. The resources are out there you just have to be brave.
Oh, that’s right. we’ve covered that before, haven’t we?
It’s a good thing and you’ll be a little bit of a new person with each step.
**I want to say this here…I am talking basic everyday disordered eating that people deal with and not binge eating, purging, Anorexia… dangerous illnesses that clearly and definitely require therapeutic and medical intervention. Please recognize these are radically different and you may think you have a handle on them and today you can control it and today will be a good day but you can’t and it won’t. Be Brave. Take that step forward to get help today. I am not a medical professional but I urge you to see one. It’s worth it.
Run on…and take care of you