When I saw this image a rush of emotions flooded me, as a woman, as child who felt this pain, as a mother who fears her daughter may feel this.
Body Image is such a powerful thing.
I can remember being an overweight child, I was teased, and always felt disgusted with myself. Though as this picture displays, I never took scissors to my belly but I do remember always grabbing the extra rolls of flesh and feeling disgust, pain, and shame with myself and my body. These feelings were not limited to my childhood, they followed me to adolescence, my teenage years and my adulthood. Today they appear less and less but the thoughts still lurk there and creep up from time to time to haunt me.
The focus needs to change from being thin to being healthy.
To focus on eating a healthful diet, a diet that is plant based, regardless if you choose to eat meat or not. Focus on eliminating processed foods because they will slowly kill you, not because they make you fat. We need to appreciate the beauty in the human body regardless of shape or size, appreciate the glow in a healthy skin, life in the eyes, not the size of our waistband.
I don’t know when or why my body image started, all I know is I can’t remember a time I didn’t feel insecure. I was one of the heaviest girls in elementary school, my parents and family friends used to call me chanco chico (that’s baby pig in Spanish) my brother and cousins used to make weight and fat jokes at my expense all the time. Many of this done in good humor and perhaps even endearment on their behalf but as a child that doesn’t resonate, all we hear is FAT and all we take with us as adults is that we are not good enough. It’s so important to choose the language we use with our kids carefully, what we think is no big deal may haunt them for a life time.
Over the years I have added exercise and have been more conscientious with my diet, but that hasn’t always lead to success. Exercise is and will always be a consistent with me now. I love my workouts and my time, I don’t do it for weight loss as I know that exercise in just 20% of that equation. rather exercise gives me strength, mentally and physically, it gives me confidence and just makes me an all around better person.
Diet- this is where I struggle, that constant battle of “oh one bowl of ice cream wont hurt, life’s short” but life can be cut short by too many bowls of ice cream, and you need to stop eating the junk not because it makes you fat, but because its terrible for your body. The mind, my mind is beginning to change from if its a healthy whole food, eat it. if its processed and in a box, or from a unreliable source/restaurant just pass. I think its easier to pass on the “junk food” when you’re coming from a place of health, from your values, then from a negative space, I’m on a diet, I shouldn’t eat that it’ll make me fat….
Eating a healthy diet, and teaching our kids that, is important.
Feeding them at home, home cooked meals is such a gift to give to our kids. More people will die from malnutrition due to obesity this year then starvation, that is a startling statistic. How do we fix this, I wish I knew. All I know is that I hate the constant war I feel within myself, the moments I feel shame, and in the past, the self punishment I have imposed on myself, be it negative talk, limiting food the next day etc… This is not healthy, mentally or physically.
I see the beauty in my daughter and pray she will never feel the shame and disgust with her body that I have felt. That she will eat when she’s hungry, stop when she’s not and choose foods that fuel her body in a healthy way because they are good for her and not for any exterior effect.
I know that this is a challenge for many women and men, and I would love to hear your story, suggestions and comments!
Unless we are part of the solution, we will continue to be part of the problem.
Until Next time,
Eat Clean, Train Hard and Love Deeply!
I am a mother of two kids, a wife, a Personal Trainer, Nutritionist and Coach. I was a Sales professional in the oil industry for 10 years prior to making the leap to be my own boss and do what I love… Help others succeed!
I have not always been in good health and physical shape, as a child I was always over weight; I ate a lot of candy, and played no sports or extra-curricular activities. In my teens, my eating got worse, fast food, smoking, binge drinking, etc… and many of these habits stayed with me for a long time (so no judgments here). It was in my early twenties that something just clicked, I was tired of being fat, of smoking, and feeling crappy so I quit smoking and joined the gym…. The rest as many would say is history!
As my fitness journey began, it primarily started on the fitness end (meaning I was one of those… “I work out, I can eat what I want”) and I stayed in that mind fame for about 10 years (like I said no judgment here!). I did initially lose a lot of weight, appx 30lbs, I bounced up and down in my weight, yo yo diets, I have done them all! But I kept winding back to the same spot, frustrated, depressed, and angry that the weight kept packing back on. I made excuses, I had a slow metabolism, I was naturally chubby, it was genetic, blah, blah, blah! We can take control, and it starts with knowledge, the problem is many of us don’t even realize how much we actually eat in a day, how many times we mindlessly eat a cookie, or take bites while cooking, how changing from eating calorie dense foods to whole foods will change your life, your health, and your body! It wasn’t until 2012 when I did my nutrition course that I finally got it, and saw how simple it is. My goal, as a trainer, Nutritionist and Coach is to help as many people as I can get their fitness and health goals on track, support and encourage them!
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