Facts About Women And Body Image
The Huffington Post 
by: Nina Bahadur

1.)  Women experience an average of 13 negative thoughts about their body each day, while 97% of women admit to having at least one “I hate my body” moment each day.

2.)  Only 5% of American women naturally have the body type advertisements portray as ideal.
Source: The Renfrew Center Foundation for Eating Disorders, “Eating Disorders 101 Guide: A Summary of Issues, Statistics and Resources,” 2003.

3.)  Of 5th – 12th grade girls surveyed:  47% reported wanting to lose weight because of the magazine pictures.  69% said that magazine pictures influenced their idea of what “the perfect body” looks like.
Source: Prevention of Eating Problems with Elementary Children, Michael Levine, USA Today, July 1998.

4.)  The dieting industry generates at least $55.4 billion in revenue every year.
 Source: Marketdata Enterprises, 2007

5.)  In a survey of girls aged approximately 14-18;
* more than 59% of girls were trying to lose weight
*in the last 30 days before the survey, over 18% of the girls had starved themselves for a day or more to lose weight
*11.3% of girls surveyed had used diet pills and 8.4% had vomited or taken laxatives to lose weight.
 Source: Centers for Disease Control, 2004

6.)  One study found that elite athletes experienced much higher rates of eating disorders (20%) than did a female control group (9%)
Source: Zucker NL, Womble LG, Williamson DA, et al. Protective factors for eating disorders in female college athletes. Eat Disorders 1999; 7: 207-218.

Female athletes in “aesthetics sports” (e.g. gymnastics, ballet, figure skating) have the highest risk for developing an eating disorder.
Source: Sungot-Borgen, J. Torstveit, M.K. (2004) Prevalence of ED in Elite Athletes is Higher than in the General Population. Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine, 14(1), 25-32.

7.)  42% of first to third grade girls want to be thinner
81% of ten year olds are afraid of getting fat.
Source: Dove Real Beauty Campaign, 2004

8.)  As many as 24 million people suffer from an eating disorder including: anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder.  In the U.S. alone.
Source: The Renfrew Center Foundation for Eating Disorders, “Eating Disorders 101 Guide: A Summary of Issues, Statistics and Resources,” 2003.

9.)  91% of undergraduate women survey admitted that they diet.  22% dieted “often” or “always”
Source: Shisslak, C.M., Crago, M., & Estes, L.S. (1995). The Spectrum of Eating Disturbances. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 18 (3): 209-219.

10.)  42% of 1st-3rd grade girls wish they were thinner
Source: Collins, 1991
81% of 10 year olds are afraid of being fat
Source: Mellin et al., 1991

11.)  50% of commercials directed towards women mention physical attractiveness
The average adolescent views over 5,000 advertisements that mention attractiveness annually
Source: Radar Programs

     When I look at this list it makes me sad.  Not only for the young girls and women that are being subjected to this on a daily basis but for the “young me.”  The one that bought into the hype and to the teasing back in the day.  She didn’t stand a chance.  I’m sure many may ask why I bother when there are so many out there talking about health and fitness and I am bringing up loving our body where we are “FAT” and all.
     There will never be a mindset change for “The Me” and “The Us” inside and for the world at large.  Especially if we keep allowing those who don’t have the struggle with food to dictate what and how we should look.  Now when we talk about it in “Curvy Women” I am speaking to Big Beautiful Woman because that is how I see myself.  But this image problem is for a woman who is thin also.  For she may just be born with a thin gene and have no way of changing that either and people talk about her too.
     People are just never happy.  I saw this saying that went something like this: When we see a dog with its ribs showing, boney legs and arms we think it is just awful.  Yet, we see a model on a runway or magazine the same way and we say great she looks wonderful.  Do you not think we have our priorities all screwed up?  I want my daughter to see I did my part to help her and my future family to know that women (ALL WOMEN) should be shown as real women not as sticks that are air brushed are starved in order to get into their fashion.  Look at the stats above. That should be enough to scare you.  It does me. 
     I did try the starving, the diet pills, the laxatives, water pills, but I can say I did not do the vomiting because it was too much work.  As most of you know though as an adult I was at a point that I felt I had enough and opted for weight loss surgery.  For me it was the best thing I ever did.  I was able to give birth eventually to my daughter after 21 ½ years of marriage.  Yet, eating plans, diets, OA, pills, starving, etc…didn’t work.  Why?  Well, family history has a lot to do with it.  Also, looking back now that I am on this side I am totally convinced that my thyroid was the reason for the weight gain and for it staying.
     Now with the thyroid traitor gone along with the cancer.  I have lost on top of the original weight loss 60 lbs. from my body.  Yet, my head doesn’t always see me that way.  I am between a large and ex-large for a top and a 12-14 pants.  That is average I can tell you because when I try to hit a sale forget it!  It is picked over big time.  Still I’m considered overweight or just plan “FAT.”  I am learning to be comfortable with the word.  I gave it to much power as a kid and now as an adult I need to take my power back.
     Messed up my arm when I got a shot it nicked a nerve so I have a lame arm.  Movement without causing pain. Yeah, NO! I feel like a clipped bird.  I miss doing my planks and yoga if you can call what I was doing that but I was trying.  LOL!!!  I was feeling so empowered and in tuned with my body then once again my body betrays me.  Docs are waiting for Neurologist report to see next steps I am so over it.  This has been going on since March.  I know how hard it is too have been in your groove and get side tracked believe me.  In this last 5 years since being sick I have learned it doesn’t go according to my plan just because I have my daily list anymore.  Now a day’s life happens and we are just happy we are there to enjoy it.
     I watch what I say about my weight or my body as much as I can remember to while my daughter is around.  I have to tell you those old harsh tapes.  You know the ones we all have of ourselves or that others were so nice to give us to beat ourselves up with just sneak in sometimes without us knowing.  Say something nice to yourself at least smile at yourself in the mirror that can be a start.  Here’s your challenge for 21 days can you be happy where you are with your body image?  Try it!  You will be surprised.  Because it takes 21 days to reprogram your mind to do something new.  So let’s try. 
     Drop me a note and let me know if you need a boost.  Make it a great day and never be afraid to learn.
I Love how we see the world but what is important is how our kids are seeing it and if we aren't there to explain it to them. Hmm?

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