Presented by Utah’s First Lady Mary Kaye Huntsman and Jenny Harrop
Did you know that in the United States, as many as 36 million people are struggling with an eating disorder? Too often we associate eating disorders with celebrities in Hollywood that are “too thin”–and at the same time wish
we looked more like them! We forget that magazines and movies use editing, airbrushing and lighting, (not to mention plastic surgery), to create a picture of perfection that is far from natural. The truth is that
celebrities, like us, are fighting a losing battle to have the “ideal body”–a media creation that occurs in only 1.4% of the human race!
You are beautiful, no matter what your size and shape! There is only one of you and you get one chance with your body–so enjoy it at its fullest capacity! Move with grace and power. Eat well. Exercise. Live large and
out-loud–because whatever size of jeans you wear, it’s important that you challenge what you read and hear about beauty.
That said, it can be difficult to not buy into the images our culture portrays as “perfection”. If you have, it’s important to get help as soon as possible. Eating disorders are often kept a secret for too long. Many
people are too embarrassed or ashamed to admit they might have a problem to themselves–let alone anyone else. Denial is common because eating disorders develop so quietly. At first people may simply be preoccupied
with food, start weighing themselves a lot, or decide that they won’t be thin enough until they can wear a size 4. And there are other reasons people develop eating disorders. Sometimes they use food, or the lack of it,
as a way to cope with the rest of their lives, because everything else feels so out of control. By the time people acknowledge that their food habits aren’t healthy, these behaviors have often become compulsive, an addiction.
Like all addictions, negative food habits are very difficult to stop. For this reason, all eating disorders require professional help.
Eating disorders are serious! They are not a passing phase that will be outgrown or a condition that can be handled alone. Eating disorders have physical consequences that may permanently change your health–or even
become life threatening! If you have an eating disorder, (or know someone who does), don’t wait to get help! Find an adult you trust and tell them, now. There is nothing shameful or embarrassing about eating disorders. And
like all secrets, those that hurt should always be told–even when it’s scary. Everyone can, and should, live a life free from the emotional, physical and psychological damage that is caused by eating disorders. That everyone includes you!
Eating Disorders are Common!
Because of the secretiveness and shame associated with eating disorders, many cases are probably not reported. In addition, many individuals struggle with body dissatisfaction and disordered eating attitudes and behaviors. For example, it has been shown that 86% of American women are dissatisfied with their appearance.
To learn more on how you can help or help someone else, go to www.powerinyou.org