Tomorrow I defend my graduate project on sexual health education. I have read about the history and current status of sexual health education, and the factors that impact it.
One common belief for a long time was that you couldn’t increase condom use and delay the initiation of sex at the same time. Current research has shown programs are capable to positively impact both behaviors – abstiencing form sex, and condom use, concurrently.
This post isn’t actually about sex ed, but it is about respecting our bodies.
In the current public health discourse there is an obsession with obesity. Many in the medical and public health community forget we come from a society that holds prejudices against people based on the size and shape of their body. The healthy living community – may it be medical professional, public health officials, fitness and nutrition experts, and individuals promoting healthy living, claim their main goal is to improve the health, but in their approach they further oppress and shame people, telling them their bodies are wrong – they are wrong.
Here is my question then – can we positively impact body image and size acceptance, but also promote healthy living? If we tell people to accept their bodies, they will never actively do something to change their bodies they may ask. Well I ask, how can you get someone to make real positive changes to their health – eating who foods, being physical activity (not marathons, just 30 minutes cleaning your house, walking your talk, taking the stairs), drinking enough water and so on if they are constantly told to hate their bodies?
Personally, I don’t treat things I hate very well. Therefore, fi I hate my body, I see no reason to take care of it. I think you can promote body acceptance and healthy behaviors at the same time, I think that is the only way we will see real change in holistic health – mind, body and spirit.
I have many more thoughts on this topic, but that graduate project I mentioned still isn’t done. Consider this a to be continued kind of things …