I was at a business networking meeting where everyone gets to give a 30 second introduction. I talked about the work that I do with Health at Every Size. After the meeting, someone came up and asked me what my “schtick” was all about. I explained that my goal is to let people know that one option that you can choose when trying to be healthy is to focus on healthy habits rather than focusing on having a smaller body. He furrowed his brow, tilted his head a bit and said something I’ve heard many of times before: “Boy, you really buck the mainstream”.
Yup. No doubt about that. But let’s not talk about me. Let’s examine the mainstream for just a moment, shall we?
According to sources sited on the non-profit National Association of Anorexia and Associated Eating Disorders website:
•47% of girls in 5th-12th grade reported wanting to lose weight because of magazine pictures.
• 42% of 1st-3rd grade girls want to be thinner.
• 81% of 10 year olds are afraid of being fat.
According to a Study (warning: Link leads to a Glamour magazine article that can be triggering)
• 97 percent of 300 women reported having multiple negative thoughts about their own bodies. The average number was 13; many had as many as 35, 50 or 100 per day.
And it’s not like we’re hating ourselves thin or healthy, all we hear about is how we are more omigoddeathfat and less healthy each and every day.
Have you ever heard the phrase “If everyone is thinking the same thing then somebody’s not thinking”? I have. I tend to agree. And when everyone’s thinking 13-100 negative thoughts about their body a day, I will damn sure be bucking the mainstream.