I am so so so passionate about this topic. I could probably write for two hours straight. I’m sure it will show up a lot in the future, but this is something that is on my mind a lot. It’s a huge problem, not only for young girls, but pretty much for every woman. There are a handful of people out there who really have it down and their confidence and identity comes from other sources besides the way they look. And those women are awesome. But most of use are not those women. We are constantly battling/obsessing about our bodies. New Years Resolutions are coming up…I bet if we polled it, 90% of New Years resolutions would have to do with a physical appearance goal: workout x amount of times per week, lose x amount of pounds, stop eating ____, etc. It’s tempting to make those goals. Don’t get me wrong, improving physical health is something I am totally on board with, but we’ve got to have the right motives, and do things the right way. Without the right motives, it is a frustrating cycle of restriction, regression, and guilt. We’re pretty hard on ourselves. Thoughts like “I will be happy when I am X pounds, or a size X or look like X” are destructive and pointless because even if we got to that point it wouldn’t be enough. I’ve personally gone through the ringer with this one, and trust me, you will always find something else to criticize. Have you ever felt like you weren’t happy with the way you looked, and then some time goes by (like after having a baby or going through a hard time where you gained some weight as a result) and you see a picture of you back then when you weren’t happy and thought, “Wow, I looked pretty amazing. I can’t believe I wasn’t happy with things.” ?? Anyone? It’s the crazy person in us having those thoughts! Knock it off!
We’ve recently relocated to a new city across the country, and I’ve re-learned that as women, we are extremely competitive with each other. Why is that? I don’t know. But it seems like we only feel good about ourselves if we are the skinniest/prettiest/most talented/smartest in the room. And what is our first response? “Nooooo… I’m not.” It’s silly right? Why can’t we all just be friends? Especially with ourselves? A body is a wonderful and beautiful and amazing thing, but it is honestly just a body. We put too much emphasis on the perfection of it all. Yet, how often are our first comments to each other, “you look so cute!” Or “You look so skinny!” Or “Your hair looks amazing!” (Although no one has ever used the hair thing on me…I was blessed with 80’s hair, but missed the opportunity to shine in that decade, and now it’s over!) We’ve got to find other ways to value who we are.
I don’t know about you, but I have NEVER liked my friends more when they were thin than at times when they put on a few pounds. And I’m pretty sure that no one has ever stopped calling me because I went through a little pudgy phase.
My all time favorite book that completely changed my life, the way I viewed food, the way I exercised, the way I felt about my body and myself is Intuitive Eating. If you struggle at all with food, self-image, or if you have daughters, PLEASE read this book. It’s a hidden gem.
I read this article I read a while ago and loved it. I think we can slowly get there, one little girl at a time.
Oh man, I could write this computer into oblivion, but I’ll save some for a future post. You are awesome, you are beautiful, you are more than a body and a face and hair. Tap into it…it’s in there somewhere!!