Thursday, November 11, 2010

How do you see yourself?

This morning I had the opportunity to listen to an author speak about her take on body image and what that has become for young women in our country.  According to "A 2009 poll; an alarming 95 percent of females between the ages of 16 and 21 want to change their bodies in some way. Low self-esteem, eating disorders, extreme dieting and unnecessary plastic surgery are all too common, even among very young girls."  Just last week I heard a report that over the next 40 years in our country the obesity rate will increase to nearly 42% of our population.  You can read more about this here.  This information is staggering. 

I wish I had answers.  As a mother of a 10 year old daughter I am worried.  When I look around in our society I see more heavy people than not.  With that in mind it begs the question how do we see ourselves and how are we portraying that vision to our youngsters?  I remember back in the day many comments made by my family about my own weight.  When I look back at photos of myself as a young woman I see a fit, healthy girl.  I was never skinny, but skinny isn't necessarily healthy.  I never felt good about my weight and those words that were said back then have always stuck with me and play like a tape recording in my mind at times.  Words that seem insignificant to the person speaking them can create powerful self doubt and loathing in the person to whom they are said.  I believe that words don't have to be directed at a person for them to have an impact.  I know that my daughter watches how I examine my own diet and health.  I have been on a quest to become more healthy since mid summer.  I eat less and try to move more.  I do my best to have my goals be sensible and realistic so that I can be a good example for my children.   I shared this topic on Facebook today and it spurred good conversation.  Eye opening conversation about how school systems in some areas of the country are stuck on what sounds like drilling their students about healthy choices, local foods  and nutritional choices.  It is certainly a hot button topic that deserves much more consideration and thoughtful conversation.

How do you see yourself?


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