I am very much stuck on the second movie I watched. America the Beautiful 2: The Thin Commandments. (Probably because it is a documentary and I love documentaries.) It made me cry too. I wanted to scoop up all the women in the world who suffer from poor body image, hug them, and cry with them. That says a lot because you know I am not about the hugging! Hee hee There are many aspects of this movie that touched me. I thought it brought some perspective into the dieting industry, trickles of the modeling industry, and different perspectives from people all living their lives on a body image spectrum. One extreme to the other, balance and discontent, eyes blinded and eyes opened. I watched this with a heavy heart for all of those who have fallen for the “diet lie.” I have never been that good at dieting, but good at starving myself.
The western culture seems to thrive on diets. (obsession)
The scale has never been a realistic tool for me. I cannot determine what is the difference between 98 pounds and 130 pounds they look the same in the mirror. I did not have a realistic view of my body when I was pregnant either. Quite honestly, I thought I looked skinnier pregnant with the twins. Explain that! No clue. I thought I was huge with Joshua. See no rhyme or reason to this stuff for me. I found several resources that I plan to devote more time to, but skimmed over today. One was this HEALTHY BODY IMAGE Teaching Kids to Eat and Love Their Bodies Too There is a lot in this, but I am sharing some info about dieting. (That link has since, been taken down. I am trying to locate info about it.)
Dieting as a solution
There is widespread agreement that, for those who want to lose weight, dieting (eating according
to a prescribed plan to limit food intake with the goal of weight loss) should be part of the
formula. As previously noted, dieting has become a normative eating style in the United States.
The diet mentality remains strong despite significant empirical data and clinical outcomes
showing that restricting calories or food groups for the purpose of weight loss is
counterproductive for weight loss in the long run. In fact, for mentally well individuals, dieting
for weight loss reliably produces results that are not only contrary to sustained weight loss but
frequently result in weight gain. Studies show that dieting behaviors consistently and reliably
- An increased preoccupation with food and difficulty concentrating on anything else.
- A dramatic increase in food cravings, especially for calorie-dense foods, such as sugars
- and fats.
- Irritability and depression.
- Decreased metabolic rate.
In the documentary Darryl Roberts is addressing many issues about dieting and body image in the U.S.
I wanted to shout and get on a blasting horn sharing with people about men who have eating disorders. There is such a stigma and young boys, and men alike are suffering from eating disorders. Their image and appearance is becoming just as important this day, as it has been for girls and women for all of these years. It is something that needs to be talked about and addressed. Eating disorders cause you to live in secret, depression, and shame. Not only that if you have an eating disorder that helps keep you skinny people think it is a good thing. If you are thin, the lie that has been sold to us is that “thin people are healthy.” Believe me there are many thin people out there who are not healthy.
We all have to find our balance.
Healthy bodies are a spectrum. There is no perfect mold. The thing that matters is accepting yourself right now. After, all of the false ideals, images, stigmas, and comparisons start to fall at your feet then; you can see the beauty and talents that have been there all along. (Waiting to explode and enhance because they finally get the attention they should have had from the beginning .) It may take a change in diet and lifestyle to help the body feel better, and the mind feel more balanced, but it should not become an obsession or a false hope that everything in life will be better now that the body has changed. The mind has to get healthy too. I do not understand why there is so much appreciation for “beauty” instead of intelligence, or talents. Our body images need to become healthy. How do we even determine a healthy way of thinking about body image? I am seeking information on that now. I hope I am making sense, I do not mean to offend anyone. I have seemed to lose my train of thought.
I will end here with some resources and hope that it helps.
I provide these finds for you to read if interested. I have not read all of them all the way through some I have skimmed, but I will be reading them as I continue to process. They may be a load of hooey or some really great information. I believe I found several great resources – I am only forewarning in case anyone reads something that seems off. I started to get a bit miffed at all of the articles accusing mothers only so I went in search for father influences as well. I am disturbed by the lack of information about boys and men and the fact that eating disorders seem to be only categorized in society’s mind as anorexia and bulimia. Binge eating does not seem to pop in people’s mind when thinking of eating disorders. I decided to read up on it.
“Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is a type of eating disorder not otherwise specified and is characterized by recurrent binge eating without the regular use of compensatory measures to counter the binge eating.”
“For years, eating disorders have been viewed as a “white woman’s disease.” And estimates of male eating disorders told a similar story: while the majority of women suffered from eating disorders, only about 10 percent of men did.
Recent research, however, paints a different, bigger picture: more men are suffering from eating disorders than previously thought. Out of 3,000 people with anorexia and bulimia, 25 percent were men (and 40 percent had binge eating disorder), according to a Harvard study.”
“While women are more commonly affected by eating disorders, more than a million men and boys battle the illness every day.”
“Make sure your daughter knows that she can always come to you with questions or concerns about her body or self-image.”
“More than anyone else, you know your body, and you’re the only one who can determine what foods, exercise programs and amounts of rest will allow you to function in optimal health. Begin making the choices that will lead you there.”
“The study found that fathers have an important influence on their daughter’s perceptions of their weight and shape during childhood. In fact, they appeared to have a particular influence when it came to the eating disorder, bulimia.”
“Available fathers who talked to, praised, and responded to their daughters boost their girls’ social responsiveness and positive feeling about self beyond the level of those girls whose fathers were uninvolved” (Krohn & Bogan, 2001, Secure Foundations section, ¶ 1). A girl’s body image is significantly affected by the culture in which she lives but also by the way men in her life view her and other women. It is far less likely for a girl who has a loving, praising father to succumb to an eating disorder in order to feel better about herself.”