I am writing this post from my healing pilgrimage to a very special place in the Brazilian Amazon, full of healing and transformation.
It is eating disorder awareness week this month from 26th February- 4th March and I felt compelled to write something about this and the impact these disorders can often have on fertility.
As women we are pulled in so many directions, often being expected to be beautiful, slim, successful, compliant, strong, independent, pregnant, thin, fit etc. Yes some of these pressures come from society, but a great deal of them also come from within ourselves.
It is these internal conflicts that create a tension within us and this leads to our bodies functioning sub optimally. These are the places inside us that often prevent us from getting what we want in our lives. Eating disorders are rife in society; my clinic is in Chelsea and I see women walking around in their gym kit all the time. Many of these women are stick thin, many even thinner than their daughters. Yet the fertility industry continues to focus on women who are overweight or have a high BMI. Having a dangerously low BMI can be just as detrimental to your fertility. Of course many women are naturally slim and many women who are underweight do conceive, but it is not what we should be touting as the norm.
Eating disorders are an illness that should be taken seriously; what starts out as a diet or a need to be in control can end up as a life time torment and suffering around food and body image. Eating disorders ruin many lives and my heart goes out to the sufferers and their families. Like mental health (and indeed often linked to this) this is a subject that needs to be taken seriously, and I believe that the fashion industry needs to act responsibly in order to help facilitate a change in attitudes towards body image.
Last month Victoria Beckham used a dangerously thin model to promote her new sunglasses range; why are the fashion industry still using models who look ill and who are clearly seriously underweight? At these extremely low weights it is important to check thyroid function which is so important for fertility. In many of the women whom I treat that suffer from eating disorders I see an internal conflict; longing to be pregnant and fearing putting on weight. So I ask this from the bottom of my heart, stop exploiting women and encouraging women to be underweight. I want my daughters to grow up in a world where they are valued for being compassionate, flexible, empathetic, creative and loving, not underweight, controlling and narcissistic.
So my dears, I am going off now to put my crystals under the Brazilian Super-moon, set my intentions and send you lots of fertile and transformational energy from this incredibly special place.