Without a doubt, following a healthy lifestyle is important, but how far is too far? As college women, we sometimes get caught up in the pressure of society that we must look like Miranda Kerr and will take a “healthy” lifestyle to an extremely unhealthy level. Nowadays, the number of college women with eating disorders has become more and more common, and this issue needs to be recognized and fixed one collegiette™ at a time.
Ninety-one percent of college women surveyed felt the need to control her weight through dieting, and 58 percent felt pressure to be a certain weight, according to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders. Most of these women also weighed within the normal weight range for their characteristics. Why is it that some women feel that their only option is to eat less in order to happy with themselves? Being skinny is not the goal; being healthy should be the goal (and there is a big difference between skinny and healthy).
Fashion models have made it socially acceptable to be stick thin and have convinced us that we have to look perfect to be normal, but here is a not-so-secretive secret — they’re the ones who aren’t normal. Most women are not size two Barbie dolls. We’re humans. By human, I mean every woman is unique, and your dress size does not define who you are. It’s okay to not look like Candice Swanepoel, and it’s okay to have a slice of pizza!I’m sure we have all struggled with our flaws and have felt negatively about our looks at one point or another, but the influence of society on women’s self confidence is just way too extreme. Although many women are manipulated into believing that depriving themselves of food is their best choice, it is never (and I repeat never) the right choice.
If you do feel the need to change something about your body, do it the old-fashioned way. Eat your veggies, hit the treadmill, and pick up some dumbbells Not to mention, exercise releases endorphins, which make you happy (shout out to Elle Woods!). In addition to neglecting your body of necessary nutrients, eating disorders can lead to electrolyte imbalances, muscle weakness, osteoporosis, fainting, hair loss, heart failure and other serious complications. If you know of a fellow student who has lost an extreme amount of weight, exercises excessively, is obsessed with dieting or refuses to eat certain foods and eat in front of others, speak up!Never miss out on an opportunity to let your fellow Gators know they’re beautiful. Real beauty is not skin deep, and you should never compare yourself to others; you are you and not anyone else for a reason. Love your body, and surround yourself with positive people. Always remember, you don’t have to change yourself to be happy. Stay healthy and beautiful, collegiettes™!