By CHESHIRE QUE
Despite the widespread availability of weight loss solutions this world has to offer, women, in general, have not found what they have been searching for since time immemorial—the perfect body.
In retrospect, history has given us a variety of standards set by society and culture within a given period of time. From the curvaceous and motherly figure between the 1400s and 1600s to the popular cinched waist from the 1800s to the early 1900s, all the way to when having a waif-like body was considered ideal, which was superseded by having large breasts, tight butts, voluptuous physique. The list is never-ending.
Why haven’t we achieved that perfect body in a world that has a buffet of diet pills, fad diets, exercise equipment, and programs? What is missing? Where did we fall short? The truth of the matter is that we were so busy trying to keep up with the impossible standards the media and society has set for us. We have totally forgotten about ourselves and our purpose, why we need to achieve a healthy weight or a perfect body.
Do you love yourself? Do you love your body? Are you proud of the way you look? Women, no matter how beautiful or attractive they may be, will always find one thing that they are unsatisfied with: A not so noticeable bulge there, asymmetrical parts of the body, too much weight, a reed-thin body. Those who are overweight want to get thinner while those who are skinny wish to put on extra pounds and curves.
This insatiable search for the elusive perfect body always leaves women frustrated. In fact, it goes beyond frustration. Depression is not far away when one is battling with self-image issues related to weight. To make matters worse, body shaming is real in this world. Broken individuals who are equally unhappy with their own bodies tend to pick on women who are either overweight or underweight. Balyena, aparador, ting-ting, patpat—oh the name-calling and body shaming are outright churlish and disgusting.
Have you ever found yourself seeking comfort by eating chocolates, chips, or a tub of ice cream in your room? You’ve tried so hard to adhere to that restrictive diet and you almost killed yourself in the gym, yet the unforgiving scale just wouldn’t tip at all. So you say to yourself: “The heck with being healthy, I’ll just eat whatever I want!”
Attaining your body goals can preoccupy much of your thoughts, time, and energy. It consumes your thoughts and controls your emotions. It even dictates your identity. If you don’t look like the women on TV, you are no good at all. Never mind the accolades you receive at work or the adorable kids you have born and nurtured. Your weight takes precedence when it comes to measuring your value as a woman.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Getting into a healthy weight range and sustaining it is important. Moreover, it’s a must for all women. But never at the expense of your emotional and psychological wellbeing. You must not even compromise your physical health by engaging in fad dieting and exhausting workouts.
No matter how difficult it is, learn to accept your current weight and body shape. Convince yourself that there is hope as you begin to love your body. Instead of looking at the worldly standards, examine your inner self. What other reasons do you have for losing weight and looking good?
In my 16 years of practice as a registered nutritionist-dietitian, I have met women who are comfortable being “deliciously plump” but still seek professional advice on how to live a healthier lifestyle for the sake of their families, to honor God with their bodies as well as their happiness. Yes, it all boils down to weight loss and being attractive, but there is a big difference as to the motivation. Women who are focused on what media and society dictate are more likely to try almost anything but are unwilling or not ready to do holistic and realistic lifestyle changes. All they want is a quick fix. They try whatever is trending and move on to the next one when it doesn’t work. It’s a cycle that needs to be broken.
If you are weary of this interminable journey, decide to do the following: Learn to accept yourself, mind, body, and soul. Quit comparing yourself to other women. Instead, look at your progression no matter how small it is in lieu of perfection. Give yourself a pat on the back if your clothes start to fit better, even if the reading on the scale hasn’t gone down significantly. Praise yourself when you’re able to walk 30 minutes instead of riding the car. Find ways to reward yourself that does not involve something that will harm your body. Instead of devouring an entire bag of chips, why not just have a handful? Or better yet, make yourself feel better by engaging in activities that do not involve food. Opt instead for something that will help you relax, learn, and build better relationships with the people around you.
Love yourself and be kind to your body. You were fearfully and wonderfully made. You are beautiful.