body image



I am a woman and I have spent the majority of my 20's determined to NOT love my body. There has always been "something" that I wanted to improve, shrink, tighten, lose, etc. I, like most women, created a mythical 10 lbs that if "lost" I would magically become my ideal self. Surprise, surprise... I NEVER LOST IT and I never accepted my body. I could go into a thousand variations of the same story but I am pretty sure you know exactly what I am talking about.So HOW do I CREATE my DREAM bod? I see it as a two part process: Accepting myself and rejecting the story that was sold to me about BEAUTY and WEIGHT LOSS.

It starts with understanding that I have an IDEAL self, a creation in my mind and an ACTUAL self, who I am today. According to Carl Rogers, one of my personal favorite humanistic psychologists, the closer we get these two together, the closer we get to self approval. This is literally the opposite message of the weight loss industry. The weight loss industry thrives off of the gap between our ideal and actual selves. Here are just a few statistics that made me nauseous.

$20 billion = the annual revenue of the weight loss industry in the US$108 million = number of dieters in the US

85% = dieters that are woman

$500,000 - $3 million = average salary paid to celebrities to endorse major weight loss products

I guess what I am saying is the perfect body is a fracture of our collective imaginations and accepting my body today is MY CHOICE. I GET to choose that I am BEAUTIFUL today and that is HOW I create my DREAM bod! This is not just one CHOICE, this is a choice we get to make EVERYDAY.

I asked my-sister-in-law last night what it would be like for my 1 year old niece, her daughter, to see her looking in the mirror and saying "I am beautiful" and meaning it. TO BE clear, NOT saying her daughter is beautiful, but that SHE herself is beautiful. IT stopped my sister-in-law in her tracks. She looked at me and said, "I would love for MY MOM to think she was beautiful.