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Posts Tagged ‘body image’

STOP…just stop!

In Being Healthy on March 19, 2014 at 9:31 pm

Enough of the self-hate. It has to end, for us and for our daughters.

My nine-year-old, beautiful, willowy daughter talks about fat. She asks if she’s fat. SHE’s NINE!!! I have obsessed and mourned about my figure in her presence in the past, but no more. I refuse to call my body any negative term in her presence ever again. IT. HAS. TO. STOP!

shutterstock stop sign

Remember the lady with the white buzz cut? STOP the INSANITY!

I blame on the society in which we live today. Our society has gone off the deep end with the obsession of thin and beautiful. We are teaching our young girls to have body image issues from birth. It is sickening. We, as a nation, should be ashamed. Fixing the obesity epidemic starts here.

When did weight trump valuing a person’s intellect, integrity, valor, and sense of duty and right or wrong? When did we begin to place more stock in person’s size than their ability to hold a conversation? I think it happened long before I was born.

The sad, sick joke of it all is that it is impossible to be truly healthy while hating one’s body. Hating your body leads to obsession. The dieting mentality either leads to obsession or is born out of obsession. I can’t decide which came first — the diet, the body-hate, or the obsession. The more I hate my body, the more I obsess about being thin, the more likely I am to mindlessly overeat because I feel depressed and hopeless. Vicious cycle.

I came across an awesome blog, Sophieologie. This is what Sophie has to say, and I can totally relate. This IS me:

For the record: Teenage girls are so goddamn moody because they are always fucking hungry. I guarantee you that every teenage girl’s angst is amplified ~300% because she is 1) miserable because she’s on a diet and hungry 2) miserable because she’s “on a diet” but just ate a cake and feels really guilty and is considering regurgitating it 3) miserable because she’s given up on dieting and resigned herself to being “fat”. And why do we do this to ourselves?

Because we want to be thin and beautiful.

I have lived my life either compulsively eating to stuff down my feelings or obsessively dieting to kill the body I hate. For once, I want to live life without a thought to my body, my size or the food I’m eating. I want to be OKAY inside my own skin and accept myself. I want to be TRULY healthy.

Just think of all the brain power we are wasting continually obsessing about the size of our physical shell. Let’s divert that wasted thought to finding a cure for cancer or ending world hunger…something meaningful.

Real, honest-to-god health starts in the mind. 

Are you aware of that voice in your head? Do you know what I’m talking about? Psychologists call it the pathological critic.

Here’s an excerpt from chapter two of Self-Esteem by Mathew McKay, Ph.D and Patrick Fanning:

The pathological critic is a term coined by psychologist Eugene Sagan to describe the negative inner voice that attacks and judges you. Everyone has a critical inner voice. But people with low self-esteem tend to have a more vicious and vocal pathological critic.

Let me tell you, folks, that voice in my head has been known to be a mean S-O-B. The first step in being truly healthy is to STOP the negative inner dialogue. It’s not just me. I’ve listened to enough THIN women to know they have as much self-hate and negative inner dialogue as I do, maybe more.

STOP. Just STOP.

For a moment, think about a typical southern grandma or mother. Her toddler is about to head for the breakables and she makes that universal “no” sound that’s a mix between a goat and a buzzer. “Nah!” Y’all know what sound I’m talking about. Next time your inner voice starts it up, I want you to stop it with a “Nah!” or a hand clap or a pinch or something to shut it up…mid-sentence.

“Oh, my god! My thighs!…” NAH!

“Is my arm fat jiggling…” STOP!

“Ugghhh! I should NEVER wear these pants…” NAH!

“God, I hope I don’t look that fat…” SHUT UP!

“Look how thin she is! Why can’t I…” SHUT. THE. FUCK. UP!

Have you listened to the song Perfect by P!nk. “Pretty, pretty please, don’t you ever, ever feel like your less than, less than perfect!” Stop judging yourself. Stop comparing yourself to other women. Stop being so hard on yourself. Show yourself some love and compassion.

You are beautiful and worthy of love RIGHT THIS SECOND…as is!

This is the first step to being truly happy and healthy. Physical health starts with mental health, and obsessing about your weight is not mentally healthy. Don’t get the cart before the horse. Fix this first.

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Whitney, girl, you were so right!

In Being Healthy on March 12, 2014 at 9:11 pm

Okay. So it’s about feelings not food. What does that mean?

It means that  I will diet, lose, regain, repeat over and over to the ends of the earth, unless I learn to deal with my feelings, my emotions.

I don’t know about you guys, but for me, dieting is a miserable practice. I didn’t want to diet again, ever. I wanted to find out how well-adjusted, average sized people eat to maintain a normal, healthy weight. I was curious and frightened to find out what size I would be if it were not for the emotional eating. I actually enjoy healthy foods…on days that I’m happy and stress-free.

We live in these amazing bodies that work like fine-tuned machinery, moving, breathing, walking, talking, thinking. Surely a well-functioning organism such as the human body has a built-in way to maintain the necessary size and weight to survive and thrive, right? Scientists say there are specific hormones that act on our brains and tell us when we are hungry and when we are full and satisfied. There is even some suggestion that cravings are triggered by lack of certain nutrients found in the foods that we crave. What messages do hunger and fullness give us if not to tell us when to eat and when to refrain?

I love me!

Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all.

Geneen Roth found that when she tuned into her body while eating and learned to hear the cues of satiation and satisfaction, she became her “normal” healthy weight. She has not dieted since and remains that size. So did Dr. Karen R. Koening. Reading the accounts of these authors’ experiences blew my mind. Could that work for me? Could it be as easy as paying attention?

The idea of giving up dieting scared the crap out of me. I have been dieting since second grade. It is a way of life for me, that battle to be thin that is never quite won. What if I stop dieting and become as big as a whale? Paralyzing fear.

Why?

A way to discover what drives us is to keep asking why until you reach a core belief. (Discovering an irrational core belief and replacing it with a rational belief will transform your life.)

Why are you afraid to stop dieting? Because I’ll get fatter. 

Why are you afraid of getting fatter? Because I hate being fat.

Why do you hate being fat? Because fat people are unlovable.

Ahhh! So you believe that no one will love you if you’re fat!

BINGO!

I HAVE to keep dieting and strive to be thin because no one is going to love me until I am. If I’m at least trying to be thin, it will justify my existence. Somewhere along the way, I was taught that in order to be lovable, I must be thin. Since I have been obsessed with food and my weight since I was eight years old, I learned that lesson pretty early on.

I learned to hate myself. I learned to hate my body.

Before I could go a step farther, I had to learn to love myself. Could I set aside my NEED to be thin RIGHT NOW in order to learn to love myself just the way I am?

That wasn’t going to be easy, but as Whitney said, it is the greatest love of all.

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