Friday, June 10, 2011

Stop the madness - Love yourself

After being so empowered by body image in Europe last week, I come back to the States only to stumble across a blog post about this banned Body Shop ad and found some really pathetic statistics: 

(from blog: Two out of five women would trade three to five years of their life to achieve their weight goals.

  • A study found that women overestimate the size of their hips by 16% and their waists by 25%, yet the same women were able to correctly estimate the width of a box.
  • After viewing images of female fashion models, seven out of ten women felt more depressed and angry than prior to viewing the images.
  • Young girls are more afraid of becoming fat than they are of nuclear war, cancer, or losing their parents.
  • 30% of women chose an ideal body shape that is 20% underweight and an additional 44% chose an ideal body shape that is 10% underweight.
  • The average U.S. woman is 5’4” and weighs 140 pounds whereas the average U.S. model is 5’11” and weighs 117 pounds.
  • 59% of women would never try on clothes in a large communal dressing room.
  • 39% of women buy things that are too small, planning to look smashing in them when they lose weight.
  • 62% of women own jeans that don’t fit anymore.
ENOUGH ALREADY!! As long as your weight is not causing health problems like, high blood pressure, high sugar or cholesterol etc. I say it's time to be at peace with our bodies.

I know how difficult it is to keep positive under the pressures of society. I have belittled and berated for being a size 16. I was forced to go on harmful prescription diet pills from a young age by a weight-obsessed mother. Yes, I was half my size but at what cost? My heart, metabolism, and joints were damaged, along with my self-esteem and perspective. Once you become obsessive, you will think you are obese even when you are thin. So sad.

Then I decided to kick the diet pills and realized that life is too short to spend it torturing yourself, I regained confidence and never looked back. Sure I wanted to lose weight, and I have and continue to, but I don't have absurd goals nor do I think the goal is to be skinny as possible. Being a size 4 would never look right on me. Find the size that seems right and healthy for you - it may even be what you are at right now!! If you do want to lose weight, the only healthy way to do it  will take a while, so why bother being miserable for one more day while you are in the process? If you are a size 12 or under, PLEASE get real and love your body. You are below the average American size which is a 14. You are are not fat.

Everyone has something to be proud of.  I just met an inspiring young woman named Jessica Burks who founded "Feeling Fabulous," a foundation to help women navigate all of the conventional beauty pressures and enhance your inner confidence. I think these days we need more people to help us embrace how fabulous we are in in own skin. Check out

Face your fear of the mirror and spend some time focusing on positives instead of negatives. This process is better if you are wearing lingerie/clothing that makes you feel sexy. Find your favorite feature, start learning to accept yourself as you are, and be sure to try to rid yourself as many negative people in your life as possible. Now I don't mean surround yourself with phony kiss-asses, but just limited those who perpetuate toxic thoughts and tell you that weight is all there is to life and success.

That is clearly not the case!! You can be happy, successful, date a lot, and accomplish anything at any size. Self-confidence and determination is key, but so is support.

So if you know or are dating someone who is struggling with body issues, remember to tell them how beautiful they are and give them the love and affection they deserve.  Eating disorders and image issues are constant battles for some, so please be patient, supportive and remind them why you are around: because you love who they are.

Statistics show that the vast majority of women of ALL shapes and sizes have body image problems. Enough is enough!!! Embrace yourself. Embrace life. Embrace your friends. Life is too short.

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