Starving to be Thin | Are Your Standards Too High?
Recently, a 19-year-old girl reached out to me regarding her experience with being hospitalized for four months for the treatment of her anorexia. I was so touched because she told me she aspired to look like me. I had tears rolling down my face at the thought of her feeling that way. Having had a battle with anorexia as a teen myself, I understand the delusional mindset of such a person firsthand. Those dark days are far behind me now, but my 13 year old self didn’t understand how much work it takes to look this way. Denying oneself the proper calories is a terrible thing. As a well-informed adult, I make better choices and have a much better understanding for the way in which food affects our bodies. I know that by eating right, which for me is a Paleo lifestyle, and exercising, I am very content within myself. It did take years to get to this place and I hope this girl recovers and learns how to take care of her body instead of harming it.
Once I embraced my body and the way my genetics deemed I would look, I was able to recover and put it behind me. Women have such high standards to live up to if they allow those standards to creep in and mess with their minds. I am guilty of this and that is likely when the anorexia crept in.
Being able to feel that my current standards are my own, is such an empowering thing to be able to say now. While I am definitely inspired by other healthy and fit women, I am also very happy in my own skin. A feeling that took some time to get to. It amazes me now to look back and recall what a warped time of my life that was. If only we could see ourselves from the outside in, many times these types of eating disorders could be averted. The standards of women in magazines only contribute to this type of body insecurity. Both men and women struggle with it and if you’ve ever experienced it for yourself, I hope you have overcome and learn to appreciate the beauty that you have to offer.
While I was once in her shoes, I see very clearly now that anorexia has no role in my current physique. To sculpt and mold your body, add muscle, become lean and toned, you must eat and eat very well. Depriving your body of valuable nutrients cannot contribute to this.
As a mom, the direction is still the same, the message a bit different perhaps. I want my children to grow up in a healthy household with healthy role models. I realize this also paves the way having too high of a standard as far as others are concerned. My dedication can be viewed as compulsion or addiction to some, but usually to those that are not as passionate about their own healthy. It can be easy to criticize when you don’t have the drive to be this way. While my own children have occasionally looked at me cross-eyed when they try something new, they tend to come around once they see other friends eating healthy foods.
Is living up to all of this an impossible feat for them? I have bee asked this question recently and it really had me thinking. The best way I could answer that was to ask my girls directly. The outcome was inspiring.
Walk in my footsteps or take my hand and walk alongside me.