When I sit down to write a blog post or give a presentation, sometimes I wonder if what I'm saying is a bunch of nonsense, solely based on my opinion, and nothing more. I notice that I rarely have any statistics to back up my observations...and that started to worry me.
As someone who comes from a scientific background (I'm also a pharmacist), I like to see statements supported by data...evidence.
So, I did a little research about dieting and weight loss and here's what I found:
- about 91% of women are unhappy with their bodies and resort to dieting to achieve their ideal body shape
- only 5% of women naturally possess the body type often portrayed by Americans in the media
- 40-50% of women in the United States are attempting to lose weight at any given time
- The U.S. Weight Loss & Diet Control Market is over $60 billion a year (that's up from $30 billion in 1992)
- 95% of all dieters will regain their lost weight within 5 years
- 35% of “normal dieters” progress to pathological dieting
- about 46% of American girls 9 to 11 years old are on diets
- in a survey of 1,789 women >50 years old, 66% felt that their weight or shape had a negative effect on their lives, 36% reported spending at least half their time in the last 5 years on some kind of diet, and 41% checked their bodies daily
If I had to write a story based on these numbers, this is what I'd write:
"American women spend a lot of money, time, and energy on diets that don't work long-term. It has a significant impact on their emotional and mental well-being. Our chronic body dissatisfaction starts at an early age and can continue well into our golden years."
Well, now I don't feel like a fraud anymore because I already knew that.
That WAS my story and it may be yours too.
What these numbers DON'T tell you is that you have the power to write a NEW story for yourself.
- YOU have the choice to no longer spend your precious time, money, and energy on trying to shrink your way to happiness.
- YOU can stop the cycle of body dissatisfaction in your life right now...long before you get into your 60s and 70s.
- YOU can choose to have a peaceful relationship with food and with your body.
We are NOT powerless. I know this because I've been able to re-write my own story and I've helped my clients do the same. Every time I see a new list of food rules or a super-photoshopped version of a female celebrity, I become even more fired up about helping women free themselves from this insanity.
Why wait to put an end to the emotionally draining process of trying to "stay on track"? The perfect time is right NOW.