Sunday, December 30, 2012

Your Body Image and New Years Resolutions

You deserve to love yourself!

This is the time of year when all you hear is about all the different programs that promise to give you that perfect body for the summer.

So what is the perfect body?  In America our view is some anorexic woman who truly looks like a young boy.  But outside the US the ideal is a curvy woman who has given life to her children, who has loved and taken care of her household and husband.

Are we all trying to achieve something that isn’t natural for most of us?  In the US the average woman is a size 12-14, but the fitness and health industry wants you to be a size 0-4.  That’s a perfect market for them.  Think of all the frustration you feel as you try to work off what your body naturally wants to keep.

I too, have been at fault for falling for this ideal.  I even worked as an aerobic instructor to help me get there.  Exercise is a necessary ingredient for keeping fit. For attaining that “perfect” size it may work for some women, but often to a limited degree. Not every “ideal sized” woman you see is as healthy as you think. Now I will be the first to give credit to those who do eat perfect, who do work out every day, and who can focus on themselves 24/7.  They deserve our admiration.

But then, what about the others. I am thinking about the ones who have undergone countless surgeries for breast enhancement, and for thigh and stomach tucking.  Or those who will be having back surgeries, knee implants, or other medical procedures to fix problems created by all those hours over-working a body starved for nutrition.

Yes, as with all things there are risks. But is it worth risking your overall health and finances for society‘s artificial view of perfection? In the end who are you truly trying to impress?  The ladies at church?  The skinny girl next door?  The ladies at the pool? Do you really want to be a Barbie doll for some man who may be equally as shallow and hollow?

I believe this New Year we should start hearing a different message; a positive message about who we really are. Consider how you would feel if you said something positive about yourself when you look in the mirror every day for a week. Say something true and from the heart.  Yes, negative thoughts will come to mind. We have been programmed to think nothing but negative. Write down those negative feelings, and then why you have them. Then rip it up!

The only person in the world that matters first and foremost is you!  Just because the commercials say only skinny people get to have fun, only skinny people look good on TV, only skinny people have love and success…does not mean this is true. This is just a symptom of a sickness we have in our society.

Don’t you have friends who are what society would call overweight? Yeah, I am sure you do.  Do you look at them and see constant sadness?  Do they look miserable and ready to stuff their faces with regret? Those that don’t, well they have learned that one’s size doesn’t matter. What matters is what you think and feel about yourself.

I love my curves, I look at them and think of the times I spend with my children and husband helping out my friends and colleagues, my grades I'm achieving as I head back to college to get a degree I never had.  This is my life, and curves or not, I love who I am and what I continue to accomplish as a human being.

Everyone deserves happiness. If you think for one moment that someone else should determine your fate by how you look then you have fallen into Madison Avenue’s billion dollar trap designed to make us want something we don’t have.

So look into the mirror.  See your real self. Start with something simple like your eyes. Say something positive. Look deep into your soul and then say something uplifting about your inner spirit.  Then notice as you give yourself permission to be yourself how much better you feel inside!

Visit us again next week and continue to make your New Year’s resolution with us. Resolve to love being who you are, and appreciate your uniqueness. Understand that nature loves diversity. We are all different because that’s what truly makes this world beautiful!