Friday, July 9, 2010

Reason enough to love ourselves, our friends and our daughters

Anyone who knows me knows that I am passionate about body image and self-worth.. While still in primary school I was exposed through a friend to the violent and evil disease that is anorexia.  This disease has infiltrated the lives of more than one of my friends along with other eating disorders including bulimia and by association has been a part of my life for at least 15 years. I have watched people go from happy, confident and full of potential to being riddled with self hate.  

Eating disorders are silent killers that start by telling a woman that she is fat, slowly etching away at her self worth and then suddenly it moves swiftly to take everything - her confidence, her friends, the ability to eat, to rationalise, to love herself or the world, to think!  It robs her of her ability to live. What starts as skipping lunch at school can turn quickly into over-exercising and not eating to taking drugs and engaging in self harm. I've watched it happen to more than one person.

Anorexia (like other earing disorders) is not something that goes away when you reach a certain age or weight, for those with the disease it's something that they live with everyday. Even those who are now a healthy weight and are women they still struggle with this disease that never fully goes away. Today I stumbled upon this blog which is a frank and honest look inside the mind of a young woman's who's life has been taken away by an eating disorder. She might be alive but she is certainly not living..

I am aware that the blog is confronting but eating disorders are diseases which are taking the lives of our daughters, sisters and friends and we need to educate ourselves about it.

In our culture thin not healthy is good.. as a naturally skinny person, women are always complementing me on my weight (like it makes me a better person) now I'd like to throw out there that if I were anorexic that "complement" would be feeding my disease. We celebrate losing weight as oppose to being fit and healthy. This disease can hide and breed in the messages we project to our daughters. This disease is not a diet or a faze and we need to take it seriously.  It is real and it has to power to take away the joy, potential and lives of our women. This disease does not discriminate.

I encourage you to share the above link with your sisters, daughter and friends educate them. I think we need to watch the way we speak to each other, the things we complement and celebrate. We need to love each other and promote self worth. We need to learn to love ourselves, our friends and our daughters.. to value them and help them to love themselves.

I pray that we can be a society which loves and values ourselves, our friends and our daughters xo

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