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-   -   Body Image Issues (http://www.wowwomen.com/boards/showthread.php?t=345)

Muskrat July 14th, 2001 10:03 PM

I am 21, I am on the Dean's list, I expect for at least half the graduate schools I apply to to accept me, my partner is completely devoted to me, I'm getting married next year, 95% of everything I try seems to work out, many of my friends call me a feminist (in a good way), I volunteer at the University's Sexual Assault Centre and I know all about cultural myths that affect the way women think, yet I still stare at myself naked in the mirror and think about how much better life would be if liposuction was covered by healthcare.

Why is it that so many women have such a terrible relationship with their own bodies? Is it the media? Family? (In my case, DEFINITELY has something to do with my evil mother). How can women overcome such issues and learn to love all of themselves?

No_More_Attitude July 30th, 2001 04:26 AM

eating disorders
First I want to respond to the previous post; I am sorry I didn't get your name. Why do women have a problem with their bodies? I think in part it has to do with the slender women people see on TV, not to mention the anorexic looking models that grace the covers of magazines...and let's not forget peer pressure! Peers can be the worst because they are so hard on one another. I suspect that carries over to adulthood. I also believe family can have a part of that. Families, without realizing it, can be cruel.

Second of all, I've been thinking. I'm in recovery for an eating disorder and I thought I joined an online support group, boy was I wrong! I saw people, adults including asking one another for tips on "fooling the scales" and I became angry.

To me, somebody who has survived, I see an eating disorder as dancing with death. Too bad Death doesn't care if you miss a step and It takes over. I wish people knew what it was like to lose a friend to this horrible disease...to not be able to attend a funeral...or even worse, not know if a cherished friend is alive or dead.

I'm no better, I danced, but I'm winning. It doesn't mean I'm satisfied with the way I look, quite the contrary, but I have no desire to do some fancy footwork with Death again, because I doubt I'll win.

There's not enough voices to tell the truth. To explain what it's like to go to bed hungry, but wake up to do situps, go jogging, or make yourself so sick you pass out. How does a person explain that you become so consumed by the disease that the pleas, cries, and begging that family and friends do to get you to eat becomes a source of pride? How do you explain that you no longer care and sometimes wish death would win? Even better, how does one explain what it's like to get past it? To live...to be alive...and to enjoy it? Yes, it's a part of my life, but it no longer rules me. At times I feel alone, but then I remember...is it worth it? The answer is no. Why? I want to live.


MistsOfSpring July 30th, 2001 09:12 AM

I think family does play a big part of it. I never saw my mother diet in my life and I never really have either. I'm short (5'2") and a little plump (currently, I'm 145 lbs) and I admit that there are times when I compare myself to other women and feel like I'm not quite right--living in this society, it's impossible not to feel that way sometimes--but mostly I'm ok with my body. At the same time, though, I felt worse about myself at 190 lbs than I do now. Even though I lost 45 lbs through eating healthier as opposed to dieting, I did do it at least in part because of my body image.

I think another factor is in focusing so much attention on what girls/women look like as opposed to who they are and what they love to do, and looking at women's bodies specifically as something to look at instead of focusing on what our bodies can do and how they feel! I can't say that attractiveness is completely unimportant, but attractive comes in so many shapes and sizes. True beauty, to me, is in a woman who enjoys herself and her body, expressing herself creatively or through sports or something like that, regardless of her size.

(((( No Attitude )))) I'm glad you are recovering. Eating disorders are devastating...I'm glad you were able to pull yourself back and fight to live.

LiamFan! July 30th, 2001 11:28 AM

I can't say I suffered from an eating disorder, but I definitely had a skewed image of myself back when I was younger. I'm around 5'8" and at one time weighed 110 pounds. Clearly, that is too light for that height, but I've never felt thin. The first time I realized I was being perceived as thin was when I read my chart at the health center at the university I attended. It described me as a "thin caucasian female."

Now, I am 25 pounds over my optimal weight and I know that I would feel better 25 pounds lighter. Not because of society or anyone else's perception of me, but because of the mere fact that it is healthier to not be overweight. I have never in my life had someone say derisive things to me about my weight...I do understand that it happens, though. I believe that obese people are treated differently, assumed to be lazy and undisciplined (I just read an article the other day...I'll try to find the link...about a woman with variable weight and how it affected her career). For all I know, if I were still thin (and probably younger), I might do better in my career monetarily. Not a pleasant thought.

What I'm getting at is, sometimes it's simply healthier to take off the weight. Why wouldn't a person want to feel better PHYSICALLY, more able to get around and be active? If you look in the mirror and don't like what you see, and it's a REASONABLE perception (not a distorted image in the mirror), then do something about it. Weight Watchers is a fine program, as is TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly)...and get out and MOVE (something I don't do enough...I talk the talk...I need to walk more ;-)

And don't blame the way you look on society.

DACDjr October 31st, 2002 09:08 PM

I am short chunky red hair and freckles from head to toe, If no-one likes me for me not my looks, THEY are the ones missing out!

NJqTnFL23 November 13th, 2002 02:20 PM

Hi.. New Member..
Hi everyone.. my name is Elana..I hope I meet lotsa new people here, cuz I have some things I HAVE to talk about! Nice to meet all of you! :)

PumpkinPatchKid November 13th, 2002 04:05 PM

((((( NJqTnFL23 )))))))

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It is nice to meet you.
Looking forward to chatting with you!


Cinderellen November 13th, 2002 04:46 PM

:hi: NJqTnFL23 :hi: Nice to meet you. :)

RAMI888 December 27th, 2002 01:17 PM

Hi to every one,i just want to say merry christmas and happy new year .
My name is rami
MY E MAIL :mohsen.z@scs-net.org

Hope to keep intouch

Angel_Wolf December 27th, 2002 02:24 PM

((((((( NJqTnFL23 Rami888 )))))))))))

Welcome !

Glad to have you join us!

I hope that you will join in the chat's when you are able too! This is a wonderful room that lifts you up when you are feeling down!

Have a great day! :)

Anne_VS August 18th, 2003 11:20 PM

In case my s/n doesn't suggest, I do smoke. I started 2 years ago, on a business trip, with 3 other women that smoked, strictly out of curiosity. I very much underestimated the cravings and addiction that would quickly follow. I had planned to quit when I came home, but that didn't quite work out. But that's now water under the bridge.

So far as body is concerned, I've never been thinner. Smoking did help me curb my snacking. And it's something that I now thoroughly enjoy doing, when I can do it freely. But when I consider the times I can't smoke, and those cravings hit at the most inconvenient of times, I'm reminded that I traded one problem for another. Something for all to think about before picking up smoking as a diet aid.

Cod August 19th, 2003 10:54 AM

Good thoughts Anne_VS.

Cinderellen August 19th, 2003 12:02 PM

You know I actually know someone that picked up smoking for the sole purpose of losing weight. I can't fathom why one would do that. As Anne said, that's exchanging one vice for another. I admit, I have a hard time getting my mind around that one.

Raine April 14th, 2004 06:07 PM

I'm not sure why people smoke to lose weight, but it can't be any worse for you than those Ephedra pills and fad diets, and so many other crazy things we've used to lose weight. :( It's just so much easier to look for a quick fix (I know what Muskrat means about wishing liposuction was covered by healthcare - I tried to con my doctor into recommending it a year or 2 ago).

I consider myself pretty comfortable with my body, but I have the opposite problem of a lot of women - I got too comfortable and let myself get out of shape, and now that I am losing weight and toning up I'm getting obsessed with calories and working out.

I think the media has some to do with body image, and also the fashion designers - it's frustrating to look in magazines and stores and see all of these great cvlothes, then find out they only come in size 10 or 12 and smaller. For me, it also has to do with family. My family are all overweight, and very critical of eachother's looks (weight, hair, just about anything) - my mom & sister have also kidded my about having small boobs since I was a teen. The scary thing is that I came home after being in the hospital for chemo for several months, and losing over 60 pounds, but was wearing "curves" in my bra to make a strapless dress I was wearing fit, and everyone just kept talking about how "healthy" I looked.

I'm not sure how women can overcome these issues and love themselves, but I wish I did. The bad thing is that a lot of women wouldn't have weight issues (anorexia & bulimia or overeating/obesity) if they did fell good about their bodies and themselves as a whole.

brede April 15th, 2004 11:54 AM

I couldn't agree with you more!

I have always loved the fact that television claims to not influence people and yet, advertising is their means of survival. It has been shown time and again that advertising does influence people. Methinks they are talking out of both sides of their mouth!

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