November 27, 2013

What's feeding our motives to lose the fat?

If we are always comparing
ourselves to others, we will
never truly be happy with
ourselves...right?
Today I read an article on Yahoo about this weight loss company asking people to "weigh in" on their personal motivators to lose weight. There were 20 posted responses including a few related to heatlh or role modeling for children. Most, however, were related to making someone jealous, making an ex boyfriend cry, the ability to wear anything and not worry about how it looks....well, you get the point. Most responses related to looks or the belief that success, beauty, and self worth comes from low body fat.

At first glance, I appreciated the message (albeit trite and repetitive) "love your body" and "be yourself" but when reviewing the responses, I couldn't help but kinda relate to some of their reasons. I mean, really, when it is almost impossible to find attractive clothing over the size of 6 or 8, why wouldn't people desire a body that fits into the fashionable clothing? I have found myself surfing the fashion board on Pintrest lately and, although I appreciate the inspiration and pretty clothes, I am sick of seeing the same stick body modeling the clothes. I find myself celebrating the first "normal" person I see and pinning it to my own fashion board. Now I fear the trend is not only to wear the boot, but to have space between the boot and the leg or to have a wide gap between each leg...kinda sick dontcha think?

Should we blame the person who admits that they want to lose weight to fit nicely into the fashions? I certainly understand and reflect the same desire (even if I realize I should love my body and be myself..yadda yadda yadda). I almost think messages like "love yourself the way you are" are insulting in a society that celebrates the Kardashians. Where the media cares more about how celebrities are wearing their hair than the massacres happening in other countries or the abuse, poverty, and mental illnesses in our own backyards. I struggle with loving myself as I am after looking at pictures of beautiful women with stick legs wearing the latest skinny jean. At this point you may be saying "so don't look!"...and I get that, but I LOVE fashion and enjoy getting ideas from sites such as Pintrest. Why can't there be normal pictures of everyday women?

I'm just saying that, although it is with a good heart, our messages of self love go unheard when our popular culture and health promotion educators are saying you aren't healthy or good lookin' unless you are thin (and yes, if you uncover the health promotion messages you will find this assumption). My heart goes out to the young kids trying to make sense of their bodies while being fed a diet of messages about their eating and exercise behaviours. Eating disorders for both boys and girls are at an all time high (in the name of health) and teachers are taking on the role (either accepted or forced) of the guardians of public health based upon judgements marching around as scientific facts.  It's enough to make me......

(take a deep breath)

I promised myself I wouldn't get excited. I should probably go now.

K

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