We are all models. Yes that’s right. We all have the potential to be positive role models to everyone we ever come into contact with. What a fantastic opportunity.
Someone asked me recently “Do you diet” and I was angry. Not angry at her asking, not angry because she associated me with dieting, but because we live in a society where asking each other such questions is considered normal. For me, she was asking about my mental well-being, but it was asked with much less sincerity, as if asking what kind of shampoo I use. It felt purely aesthetic. She had no idea it was a harmful question, she didn’t know that it was a potential trigger, it was a purely innocent question. The only way she would have known was if I had spoken to her about it, which I hadn’t because it’s not something I like to broadcast to the masses. Yet for others to fully understand and support me, I need to tell them.
A great starting point is to raise awareness of the commonality of eating disorders and to make it the norm to tell others about our struggles, so we can help each other. This doesn’t mean splurging your whole story to everyone you meet, that would be exhausting, but rather than shying away from conversations about food, exercise and restriction, try to share some positive opinions. Seize the moment to tell a little bit of your story and to promote healthy living. I didn’t tell this person about my eating disorder, but I told her that I don’t diet, I have no need to and neither does she. On reflection maybe I could have been brave and told her – a challenge for next time a conversation turns to diet maybe. I’m not sure how much I influenced her, but it helped to focus on someone else, to think how my behaviour and advice might affect and help her. A drop of positivity goes a long way.
So, radiate positivity today.
Put the demons to bed.
Be the change you want to see in the world.