STRENGTHENING YOUR CORE ◽ YOU
If I’m around a group of women and hear them talk on and on about weight, diets, how awful they look (when they look just fine), I usually walk away. When I read (like I did recently) a headline that says something like “Adele is skinny and gorgeous” I cringe. And when someone comments to a friend that she looks so good now that she’s shed 50 pounds, it makes me sad.
Weight is a big deal among women, and I’m hoping to tackle one issue a month this year, in this column to talk about. This month’s topic is weight. I’m sure there are some women that don’t think about it much, but there are others that obsess about it. I remember as a teen that I weighed every morning and freaked out if I was two pounds heavier than the day before.
Let me stop here and say I’m not addressing weight issues that cause health problems. That’s a whole other story. I’m addressing weight problems that cause confident women to become depressed over not looking “as good as she does” their entire lives.
I’ve been guilty of this. And I still find myself sighing when I look in the mirror and don’t see what I want to see!
Here are a few ways of how to tell if weight is too much a part of our minds:
We become depressed if we enjoy one chocolate cookie.
We over exercise (where it interferes with life) so that we “feel good” about ourselves.
We constantly go from one diet to the next, and never really enjoy a meal.
We think if we lose a certain number of pounds, then we’ll be happy.
We avoid eating at all; then we binge because we are ravenously hungry.
We silently judge other women that we see as being overweight.
We envy those who are thin and “pretty.”
I’m not a therapist or a psychologist by any means, but I know what I’ve experienced as I’ve grown up and gotten older. I remember the pressure from peers to look good in a bathing suit. I recall being afraid I’d be asked if I was pregnant if my stomach wasn’t flat, after I got married. I recall feeling guilty because I ate the bun on a burger, when my friend opted for bun-less. I felt upset when a friend commented that I looked “heavier” than when she saw me last (a few months after my son was born). Yeah, that last comment was rude, but…
It’s a good thing to think back and see if we can identify how we feel when it comes to weight issues. I really think the reason we’re so obsessed is because media has presented skinny as being equal to pretty. And who doesn’t want to feel pretty?
One thing I personally have quit doing is weighing. Again, health is super important – that’s not the issue here. It’s self-image and preconceived notions. I know when I feel a bit bloated or when I’ve over eaten. But for me, back when I weighed daily, I did let it bother me ALL DAY if the scales climbed a few pounds. I also ask to not be weighed when I visit the doctor. They have said okay every time.
Maybe there’s one thing you can do this year to love your image as you are. We are all made differently. I’ve had cellulite since I was 16 and I envied the girls that had none (which are few, by the way). I don’t like the spaces between my teeth, but that’s the teeth I have! And I’m not as thin as I’d like to be and probably won’t ever be.
Let’s be part of a group, or start a group, that doesn’t obsess about weight on our own bodies or other women, but we only look at the eyes and see the heart – and speak love and feel loved.
Weight. Don’t let it be an issue that shouldn’t be one. Make one step toward walking lighter this year, without shedding a pound.