Why for many of us is our self-esteem so wrapped up in our weight?
I blame it on the media – we’re constantly bombarded with images of the super skinny – and told how beautiful their bodies are – that we start thinking that something is wrong with us and our body is too fat (even though it’s not), or the wrong shape.
Forgetting, of course, that most of these models and movie stars are genetic freaks – not the average person, plus they make their fortune from their looks and so spend a great deal of time and money each day keeping their looks this way – with personal chefs and trainers, nannies and stylists – and of course, so many of the images we see have been digitally altered and so even the star doesn’t look like their picture in a magazine.
One of the most enlightening things that happened to me on this issue was when I was working in the UK and on Friday’s we’d go down to the pub at lunchtime, and sitting there with some male workmates (I was working in IT at the time) they would comment on the women coming into the bar – and if a woman was slim (size 10 or smaller) they would all comment in a very negative way about her. Talking to them about this they revealed that they much preferred normal shaped women who have shape and are not exceedingly thin – which is the opposite of what the media leads us to believe.
My husband is always commenting on how beautiful my body is – I see the cellulite and the saggy tummy, he sees the most beautiful woman in the world (those are his words) and he’s always saying to me that he wishes I could see myself through his eyes.
Having babies also makes you realise the power of your body and the amazing things it can do – as a woman you can grow another human being – such a complex being, inside you. As you age, you realise that what is more important than how thin you are is how healthy you are and how well your body functions.
So stop being harsh on yourself, learn to love yourself and your body. Treat your body with respect, feed it good foods and drink to keep it healthy, but also indulge your tastebuds once in a while. Remember the old maxim – everything in moderation.
© Imogen Lamport 2010
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