Monday, August 12, 2013

The "Big" Problem: Part Two

Welcome to Part Two of our discussion about the body image problem in the U.S.  (To read part one, click here)

Last week I told you about a company who is accused of hiding it's larger clothing sizes, and I showed you a plus sized lingerie ad that was banned from two national networks for being too racy.  I told you how I felt about these topics, and asked you to weigh in.  It was an interesting discussion... and I want to thank those of you who took part!

But today, I want to talk about the shift we need to take as women to change our body image issues.  It's a real problem.  If I had a dollar for every time I heard a woman talk negatively about her body (including me), I would be a very rich woman!

I think the picture above says it all, we're all beautiful.  But how do we get to the point where we all start to believe that?

My cousin posted a blog entry from fellow blogger "Hope Avenue"  it was called "How to talk to your daughter about her body."  It put a lot of things into perspective for me personally.  I think if we all took this advice and talked to each other this way, a lot of our body image issues would go away.  Below are some of my favorite points from the blog post and some of my own personal reflection.

Don't say anything if she's lost weight.  Don't say anything if she's gained weight.
I love this!  It struck a chord with me.  While I am losing the weight for me, I've also been waiting for the comments to start about how good I look.  It's something I secretly crave, a little validation from my peers.  It by no means drives my decisions, but it is nice to hear.  But, it shouldn't be.  The satisfaction in knowing that I'm making myself healthy should be all I really need.
Don't comment on other women's bodies either.  Nope.  Not a single comment, not a nice one or a mean one.
This just continues the vicious cycle that we seem to be in.  I feel like it's also important to mention that in addition to this we should be teaching kindness toward others and ourselves.  This means thinking positively about our bodies.
Buy healthy food.  Cook healthy meals.  But don't say "I'm not eating carbs right now.  Your daughter should never think carbs are evil, because shame over what you eat only leads to shame about yourself.
AMEN!!!!!!  My doctor told me I was doing it right when I decided to lose weight the "hard way."  By that I mean, I chose to exercise and eat a healthy balanced diet.  I let myself indulge every once in a while-- sometimes more that I should-- but I don't cut things out.  I just make healthier choices.  You're supposed to have a balance of things for a reason... your body needs each food group for different reasons.  And, if you're like me, you need ice cream to sweeten the deal.  And there's nothing wrong with any of that, so stop making yourself feel bad for eating food... you need it!
Encourage your daughter to run because it makes her feel less stressed.  Encourage your daughter to climb mountains because there is nowhere better to explore your spirituality than the peak of the universe.  Encourage your daughter to surf, or rock climb, or mountain bike because it scares her and that's a good thing sometimes.
I love this!  Fitness and being active aren't things you need to do... they are things you should want to do.  And that's not because you want to be skinny... it's because you thoroughly enjoy them.
The entire post is brilliant, and I encourage you to read it, but these are my favorite.  I hope you take the time to sift through the whole post (it's not that long).  It will really change the way you think about your body, what you put into it and how you treat it.

What do you think about the body image problem in this country?  How do you think we as women should change it?  Did you read the article?  What was your favorite point the author made?  I'd love to hear your feedback, leave your comments in the comment section below!

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