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You are beautiful

I am currently taking a bullying class online as I probably mentioned (as has been clearly established here, my memory is like a sieve). The lesson I worked on yesterday was about eating disorders and body images, things I can speak to and issues I hope my daughter never has to worry about.

When I was a junior in college, coming on the heels of a breakup with a boyfriend (I broke up with him and then he had the nerve to find another girlfriend!), I drastically reduced my food consumption. A typical day of eating for me would be a few pretzels, a can of tuna, and a half a bagel. I was not clinically anorexic because I was not underweight; fortunately, I ate like this for probably only a month or two (maybe it was a little longer, but I also had days where I would eat normally). I don't remember exactly what set me off to make me eat this way. Was it more that breakup or my parents' rocky divorce? Was it the pressure of college and wanting to find that perfect guy and thinking he would love me only if I were thin? I do know that I have dieted, though not to that extreme, many times over the past 20 years.

We as a society place such an importance on looks, particularly women. As soon as some Hollywood starlet gains weight, her "fat" pictures will be all over the tabloids. Yet, in many cases, these women are at perfectly normal weights. Reading that at 5'9" Michael Jackson weighed 135 pounds at his death and that was considered normal only adds to the weight obsession, in my opinion.

I am in a good place now as far as my self-image is concerned. Just as I am not entirely sure what made me dislike my body before, I don't know what exactly has changed for me to accept it now. I think I can give a lot of credit to my daughter; she loves me just as I am. Yet Brian has as well, and that was not always enough. Perhaps it was just a fundamental shift in my thinking, finally accepting that what is on the inside is so much more important than a number on my scale or the size of my butt.

In all honestly, if I gained 10 pounds, I might not feel this way. But that could be okay; it will hopefully just give me motivation to try to better myself, without beating myself up for looking the way I do.

I recommend going to Dove's site and watching their short videos about girls' self-image and beauty. The video called "Evolution" is particularly compelling, Hopefully it will make you think twice before you complain about your looks. And particularly if you have a young daughter or niece in your life, it will remind you of all that she is exposed to, sadly.

Remember to tell her and yourself that you are beautiful!


Anonymous said…
Thanks for posting the link to the vids. They are something.

Hard to picture you eating so little in 1 meal, forget about 1 day!!!!! :)
Sherri said…
Hi - Nice post. I found your blog as I was following another. Your posts are similar to mine in subject matter - it appears we liked (like) the same type of music back in the day - I also worked in communications / media industry until I was laid off and am now SAHM - plus, when your music played, the first song was my dear departed Dad/s favorite Christmas Carol - and third down was a Mazzy Star song that I equate with one of my best friends from college! Hope you don't mind if I follow you on my blog..... I think we also have the "if I could be 10 words, I'll write 25" thing in common too :-).....
Facie :-) said…

Nice to hear from you and happy to have a follower. I have read some of your comments on Amy's blog, and actually checked your blog out for the first time yesterday, as I marveled that you have four kids when I so often struggle with my one!

As for the music, I keep meaning to change it or get rid of it. I have spent all morning singing "The Prayer"; I am going to attempt to sing it for Grandpa's funeral next week. Glad some of it spoke to you!

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