in my opinion,
there is nothing more toxic to a woman's day-to-day life than battling an unrealistic body image.
in america, being overweight and over-eating are real issues for men and women.
but there is also the other side - the nagging obsession with being thin enough.
one tells us to strive for healthy weight loss.
the other tells us to know when to quit.
my guilty pleasure is keeping up with the kardashians...
[and all of its spinoffs - judge me if you will...]
recently, as the video below depicts,
kourtney kardashian discussed her journey to shed her baby weight.
i watched, shocked, as the number on the scale causing so much grief was a mere 115 lbs.
even i, comfortable in my skin at this point in my life, started comparing myself to this "ideal".
what was the ideal, you ask?
well, numbers were tossed about between 93 lbs [scott's preference] and 100 lbs.
115 lbs. is a healthy number for me.
i am 5'1" with no real curves of which to speak,
especially not any of kardashian proportions.
after shaking sense into myself,
i gathered that one of two things was going on
- and either option is terrible -
either the show is intentionally misrepresenting her weight for dramatic effect,
or she really is feeling pressure to be 100 lbs.
the first premise about body image that we learn is that everybody's "normal" is different.
two people of the same height can have drastically different builds,
creating significant weight differences.
this is what makes the comparing so silly.
that is, there are probably many folks who are 5'0", 100 lbs. and perfectly healthy.
on the other hand, there are people in the world who are great candidates for losing weight.
that is the tension for women:
finding harmony in this number both physically and mentally.
the doctor may say your weight is fine,
but your mind might aspire to a much, much lower weight.
the doctor may say you need to lose 15 lbs.,
but your mind is content with your image.
i find that when i exercise and eat well,
my weight takes care of itself.
i actively choose not to chase numbers on a scale.
i have to actively choose. as many of my diabetes-readers know, i did not like the weight-gain side effect of taking insulin one bit. no matter how well i ate or how dedicated i was to exercise, the number did not move. i knew that it was the insulin, and it still bothered me. the weight came off when i switched medication, but that won't last. an insulin regimen is in my near future, and i need to take my own advice and approach the process with a healthy mindset and not a toxic one. in my mind, toxic does not mean you have to have a full-on eating disorder. personally, i've never been there. toxic is replacing normal, everyday thoughts with the nagging pressure to be perfect. i welcome the normal pressures to be healthy, but perfection is an ever-evolving target. it is an impossible ideal, creating an exhausted spirit.
weight, in either extreme [too heavy or too low],
has adverse effects on our bodies.
it ages us.
it chips away at our quality of life.
i wish so much that we had a media more interested in talking to us about realistic ideals
than glamorizing dangerous ones.
so, ask yourself these practical questions:
could i be eating more nutritiously?
could i afford to exercise more?
is my doctor concerned about my weight?
women battle the world every day to define beauty as individuals,
and there is always another voice challenging our own common sense.
let's endeavor to accept our own realities,
approach weight fluctuation with practical ideals,
and never trade our happiness for an obsessive body image ideal.
when that happens,
how do you, readers, drown out the noise of societal pressures to maintain a healthy body image?