Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Body Image

There's been a lot of controversy over body image/self-esteem for a while now. Heavy people should be able to love themselves despite their weight. Advertisements shouldn't depict an impossibly skinny female because it will affect teens. And now it has been refuted that heavier kids aren't as smart as their thinner peers. (I had no idea that had been a theory in the first place!)

I don't understand why there's such a stink over the whole issue. The truth is, we've become a very lazy nation. We don't ride our bikes to work, we eat whatever and whenever we like, and we sit around in front of the TV munching on chips and slurping down sodas.

If you're happy with that, why is everyone getting upset over this whole body image thing? And if you aren't happy with it, then change it.

Easy for you, you might be thinking. You're thin. Probably never had a body image problem in your life.

It's true that I'm satisfied with the way I look now, but that's only because I work hard at being healthy. (Pretty sad, isn't it? That being healthy takes work, I mean. Wasn't too long ago people walked everywhere they needed to go. They couldn't afford cars. Even taking care of a horse and carriage was an expense. People worked in fields, hunted for their own meat. There was no Wii. No artificial fillers in food. No super-size anything.)

But I used to wish for for a more curvy figure. Wider hips, larger chest. While the rest of me stayed thin, of course. Most times, especially as we age, we can't have it both ways. So yes, we do need to accept what nature gave us.

On one of the doctor shows on TV (I believe it was Dr. Oz), the host asked the audience, "Who here believes they have a slow metabolism?" Just about everyone raised their hand. He advised them to rev up their metabolism by exercising.

So here's what I'm getting at. Plenty of people are miserable with their creeping weight, how they fit in clothes, and that advertisers continue to use skinny models to show off their products. They also blame their sluggish metabolism. My point is, if you aren't happy with yourself, make changes. That needs to be applied to all aspects of your life, not just weight. Because often when we are unhappy with our life, we eat to make us feel better. I know that I do. If I'm miserable, I cheer myself up with a large ice cream sundae. Now imagine feeling miserable every day (and for some of you, you actually do feel miserable everyday, so this isn't  stretch). Now envision eating junk to fill yourself with comfort. What happens? You feel worse. So the cycle continues.

Body image isn't the problem. It's the side effect. I am going to play the part of life coach, and give you a weekly post on how you can change your life for the better. And you know what? I'm going to follow it as well and see if it can help me, too.

I'm going to back up my findings with research, so it's not as if it's me just shouting out, "Hey, I think coloring in coloring books will bring us joy, so let's all do that! Hooray!" It might be true, but without backup sources, how can I prove it?

So let's fix ourselves from the inside out. Will you join me?


  1. I'm in. What can I do to help? Besides providing a role model for aversion therapy (Do you want to look like HIM when you grow up?). I've heard many times the expression: You are judging your insides by how other people look on the outside. John Candy and Chris Farley were two comedians who had eating issues, and despite being very talented and funny, never found an inner happiness. Karen Carpenter had a beautiful voice, a voice heard on the radio and on sound recordings, but the sense of her body image betrayed her. I accept your challenge of fixing myself from the inside out, and I look forward to helping others in the process. What can I do?

  2. Thanks for wanting to join me! Feel free to add what you find helpful on this journey, and what you think didn't work at all for you. You can also email me with ideas if you like. I'm hoping to post my first idea on Sunday. I just have to find a teensy-weensy bit of time for my research. :)

  3. Okay...I am a little behind because I am in the midst of marketing a novel. Be patient with me while I take my time attempting to work on my research. Thanks loads!