Well, you guys can't keep me away forever! Despite some flight delays and whatnot, I'm back home and back to writing to you guys. Hope you had a good few days and I for sure missed being able to communicate with you and see what you all are up to.
Had an awesome time at the conference. But before I get into that, couple things...
Laura, that's so funny that I was in your dream. Two things about that- first, let me remind you that, whether in a dream or in a waking state, you and I are equals. In fact, everyone is equal. You may not have meant it like I took it, but I've often found clients think and feel that somehow I'm better than them, or more accomplished, or "the expert" or something like that. I did happen to go to school for 7 million years and learn a lot about eating disorders and how to help people who suffer from them :) AND whether I happen to be in the therapist chair or the client chair, it's immaterial in terms of "who's better" or who's "superior." Know what I mean? I'm pretty sure you guys are experts at things I'm sure not! some of you are teachers, or scientists, or politicians, or culinary dudes, or accountants... and still, no one's better than anyone- we're all equal.
And, second, from your dream, laura, I'm happy to tell you that I AM on a diet! Yep, I'm on a diet of fully being true to myself, trying to be honest with myself, breathing deeply, not moving so fast that I don't enjoy life, getting to sleep at a reasonable hour, feeding my body what she wants and needs, working to be continually balanced in my life... It's a fabulous diet :) I highly recommend it!
Ok, now, one of the things I got to do while at this conference was hear about body image. And we all know how painful and hard this body image stuff can be to work on. The presenter, who was great, had some truly shocking statistics- and they were more recent than ones I had seen so that's nice. Thought I'd share a few with you, just so we can all be amazed at how wide-spread feelings of inadequacy about bodies is.
Here's just a few: Only 56% of 7 graders like the way they look. 76% of girls admit to unhealthy activities when they feel bad about their bodies. 75% of girls feel bad about their bodies. And here's a sad and interesting study that was done that really sums things up: some scientist dudes took a group of men and a group of women. They asked both to do some easy math problems, first while wearing a sweater, then while wearing a swimsuit. Guess what? The men performed equally well while wearing either outfit...and the women? Gee, what do you think?? In the sweater, the women were terrific in math skills, but as soon as they sat down in the bathing suit they suddenly appeared pretty dumb in math!!! How wrong is that!? We all know that women can do math just like men can do math. But what happened? Well, it seems that when not all covered up by a sweater, women got so anxious and preoccupied with how their bodies looked and what people were thinking about their bodies and all of that, that they lost a lot of IQ points. Totally SAD, right? Totally.
Thanks to Nicole Hawkins, PhD, of Center for Change, for those stats :)
What does this tell us? It tells us that we're all in this together. And don't be fooled for a second into thinking that it's only women that suffer from this body difficulty stuff. Men suffer also. And quite a bit. Did you know the men on the covers of magazines are airbrushed just like women are? Yep.
Since we're all in this together, we've all got to stick together and try super hard not to let the ridiculous myths about what we are "supposed to look like" get to us. If we all stick together, and keep talking about this, and not get all isolated about it, we'll have a better chance of making changes to how our culture sees the human body.
And, here's a challenging project for you guys (aren't you SO glad I'm back!?): try to think of one, just ONE thing (not appearance) that your body can do that's cool. Just one. I'll start you off: my body can get me on an airplane and transport me across many miles so I can visit places that are important to me. How cool is that!? Ok, you guys think of one thing :)