Lately I have begun to read the experiences of primarily women who have lived the diet culture. Most of their accounts are heart-breaking and present to other young women a glimpse into the world of weight loss. Many never recover and their dieting habits continue throughout life.
This particular account caught my attention since she is only 22 years old and already understands and seems to have realized the dieting activities all too well. I thank her for her input.
Just in case you’re a little rusty in metrics, In the article, she states at age 13 her weight and height as 70 kg (154 lbs) and her height in cm. as 1.67 cm (around 5’5″). This weight/height results in a Body Mass Index of 25.6 (just at the cutoff for the normal weight category but hardly overweight (in the article she states a few pounds overweight)
The article makes some excellent points:
Women have a tough time meeting the standards of body image in our society and often find it nearly impossible- we are always about 5 pounds overweight or 5 pounds underweight, never perfect and either judged by others or ourselves.
Many dieters self-report binge-eating which is common among people who attempt to follow a restrictive diet and also may suggest incidences of a sort of food addiction syndrome. There is an established binge-eating disorder characterized by the following:
- Rapid consumption of extremely large amounts of food (several thousand calories) in a short period of time.
- Two or more such episodes of binge-eating per week over a period of six months.
- Eating in secret.
- Lack of control over eating or an inability to stop eating during a binge.
- Post-binge-eating feelings of self-hatred, guilt, depression or disgust.
- Eating until uncomfortably full.
It is estimated that 10-15% of people enrolled in commercial weight-loss programs suffer from this disorder.