Cookie Cutter Body

Yesterday on my facebook status, I asked people if they were either happy or unhappy with their body image.  I wasn’t sure what the results would be.  Of the 38 women that responded, the results were this…

66% unhappy

18% happy

16% on their way to being happy

I didn’t count my vote, which would probably be with the 16% which are on their way to being happy with their body image.  Even after years of working on it, it’s an issue I continue to struggle with.  Progress…not perfection (as my friend Ginette used to tell me).

Why aren’t we happy with ourselves?

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Is it pressure from society to be a certain size and weight?  The elusive cookie cutter woman…

In my humble opinion, the only way we can move away from this is to worry less about what everyone else thinks we should be, and look within ourselves.  Which is funny, because as the results show, most people aren’t happy with their body image. So the girl beside you who looks like she has a body you would kill for probably isn’t happy with her body either.

What is your goal? One of my friends said she was happy with how she looks, but unhappy with her current fitness level.  So her goal is to run and bike easily.  I think that’s awesome!  That’s a goal that she is able to achieve.  It’s not about being a size ___.

I thought about what I don’t like about my own body yesterday.  I don’t like my tummy rolls, and although I can certainly work on that, I got this tummy from having three kids.  My tummy rolls are totally worth it.  Guess what? Most women that have children have the same tummy I do.

Life should be lived with pride.  Throughout my life, I have always looked ahead to the next stop rather than living in the moment. I can’t wait until I fit into that pair of jeans that have sat lonely on my closet shelf.  I can’t wait to tone my arms so I can wear a strapless dress that hangs in my closet.   Guess what, that strapless dress fits me now..toned arms or not.  I’m going to wear it.

The goal to be fit and healthy has nothing to do with being a certain size.   If you aren’t happy with your body image, I believe the solution is to be good to you.  If only we could see ourselves through the eyes of those who love us most, we would treat ourselves with the respect we deserve.  Really look within and ask yourself what part of it is something you can do something about, and what part of it is because you are looking to the outside world to dictate what you should be.  What parts of your behavior is destructive, and what parts will bring growth into your life.

I can switch my body image issue in one day.  One day I can feel horrible about myself because of the food choices I made, or because I’m a lump on the couch still in my pj’s sporting yesterday’s hair do.  The next day I can feel like a million bucks because I’ve taken great care of myself.   For me, this is what living a healthy lifestyle has brought to my life.  It’s given me my self-respect back and the willingness to keep going, to treat myself well.  To be proud of what I can do, and to stop living life on the side-lines.

I’m really curious what your take on this issue is.  Share your comments, stories, and thoughts here.

One thing that struck me from the results of the little poll, was how many of us deal with this issue…no matter what size you are.  So there are a lot of us in the same boat.  Don’t you just wish we could all just be honest with one another and let go of that cookie cutter mold many of us are striving for?  There is something so beautifully freeing in that.  It actually makes me feel giddy inside.

Share, talk, look within, and live your life with your head held high. You are beautiful, loved, and so worth it.