Terrific article! As a fat woman with her fair share of body issues, it always astounds me when I overhear women who are fit, attractive and super healthy engage in self-loathing body talk. It is as if it is a social crime these days to feel comfortable in your own skin. My internal dialogue when overhearing these conversations is "Man, if this amazingly fit woman hates herself so much, she must recoil in terror when she sees me." Even here on Spark I have read a fair share of deliberate body shaming statements whenever someone who is less than perfect has the audacity to like herself. I have yet to come across anyone who has been shamed into perfection whether the shame is internal or external.
Very good article! When you compliment someone and they say, "oh it's nothing or some other negative statement," my answer to them is just say "thank you." Better to be positive than to give an excuse why you don't feel worthy. Same thing when you do a favor for someone & they start with excuses -- "Thank YOU" will make us both feel good! I have just printed the article out -- I have a motivation folder -- Reading it & reminding myself to incorporate many of these great ideas into my daily life.
Eating enough and relaxing enough are my pitfalls - I don't do either and I know I should
I ought to keep reminding myself that my body is this amazing machine that I'm blessed with, and it performs everything without my having to tell it what to do! Not even the world's most advanced computer can do that!
And it's the only one I'll ever have, so I guess I should start nurturing it more and torturing it less.
Thanks for the wake up call SP!
3/8/2013 8:47:22 AM
This is a wonderful article, and I will print it out to remind me of all the things I can continue doing to feel good about myself.
BUT! A word of caution. In the 1980's I implemented many of these ideas on my own. I accepted myself all the way from 170# to a whopping 230# in 2002. Then I suddenly woke up to the fact that although my weight did not change who I was, it was unhealthy and unattractive. At the age of 62, I decided to lose 50#. In actuality, I lost 75# over the next 4 years, finally reaching a BMI of 24.9 in November 2008. Right now I weigh 177. I regained 5#/year and woke up this year flirting with 180.
I want to add that In 1990, for my 50th birthday, I hiked the High Sierras in Yosemite proving to myself and others that being overweight did not preclude physical well being. From 1996 to 2006 I taught yoga, proving that being obese did not preclude participating in a practice that is often associated with skinny models and dancers.
My point is that it is important to accept our bodies as they are, but it is equally important to live a healthy lifestyle and embrace the changes required to accomplish this..
I'm printing this article off to carry with me through out the day.
The Journal for compliments is an excellent idea; there's nothing so soul crushing as those times when I'm too exhausted to conjure up positivity and keep a proper perspective on how I really am doing taking care of myself. Being able to have something on hand will be a big benefit.
I used to print off SparkFriends comments of encouragement and compliments and keep them in my bedside table to refresh that positivity as well. I think I will be returning to that practice.
Great read and it made me feel better. I think the jornal of complents is a great idea and I want to start making one.
All my role models are people around me who live a health life style and their body image. - Your artical made me relize this is wrong role models such be for other things besides image but truth i dont know if that will ever change for me.
You can't read a thing with all the commercials popping up one on top of the other. You try to dodge them and read but there are so many commercials that they take the enjoyment out of reading your great articles. I am not reading most of your articles because of the extreme proliferation of ads that track down even where you live so that they can promote their stuff.
9/25/2012 7:11:36 AM
I think if were all just - well - nicer. Period. Woman didn't look each other up and down, no jealousy, people didn't judge, or make comments. Mothers didn't tell us we aren't good enough or will amount to nothing, people thinking they are better than someone, name brands, status material things, bringing back morals, stop being so selfish, looked after each other, helped each other and like I said were just - well - nicer. We'd feel good about ourselves, take care of ourselves, and be nicer to others. Ever notice when you're having a good day and you are nice to someone - you feel better, better about yourself basically. You gave someone else a better day too, they feel good, and so on. ...if only.
I am not American, but I believe it's the same all ove the West: statistically, when polled, 50% of girls and boys want to be president of the USA when they are 7. By the time they hit teenage years, a tiny percentage of girls want to be president. The media is designed to give girls poor self image and low self esteem, whilst boosting the self esteem of young men, young white males in particular. While men are also affected by the media, women and girls are much more so, and this goes beyond body image and into life expectations. We need to fight back, and we need to be especially clear with our daughters that it's all a lot of rubbish. It's incidious. As a result, we need articles like this to even begin to redress the balance. However, there are other ways to combat the situation. If you're interested, you might want to have a look at this:
These things are so important to remember! I didn't realize that my body image would change almost daily when trying to lose weight. I lost about 5 pounds, then found myself disgusted by this newly flabby skin hanging all over me. Apparently it's probably not good to look at yourself naked in the mirror when you're on the weight-loss journey - at least during times of transition. Now I let myself know that my appearance may change and I may need to go through awkward stages, but try to not get hung up on the current state and focus on all the other great things.
The well-fitting clothes was a big bridge for me . . . you don't want to buy new too soon, so you try and stretch and use the old 'too big' clothes as long as you can, then you try on and buy something new that fits and suddenly you feel like "Wow, I AM getting smaller, how much better this looks . . ." I am smiling and even have a little giggle under my breath. I also know my eyes must be twinkling. Until then, I still felt doudy (if that's a word) and like my, until recently, fatter self. And, not really all that excited even though I had lost 50-60 lbs at that time.
Today, I reached yet a smaller size and was elated to see how I look in this new size--I FEEL thinner with a brighter disposition and I even sense a renewed bounce in my step today.
I'd like to share a lot more, but time prevents it. The emotional side of us is a hard one to retrain and move past, but it is possible.
I tried a variation of this a few years ago and got even more frustrated with how I look. Thought I would be over this at this stage of my life, but still feel ugly. I will try these again. As one person stated in their post, magazines don't help. You look at the cover and think UGH.
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