I was recently sickened by what I saw on the cover of a gossip magazine that you see in the checkout aisle of your local grocery store. There were pictures of various celebrities with their heads left out of the shot and their bodies showing only. Some of the pictures had overweight bodies with cellulite and body rolls while others showed emaciated bodies with ribs sticking out. ENOUGH ALREADY! You get ridiculed if you are too thin and you get ridiculed if you are overweight.
The fact that all of the stars on the cover were women was a shocking reality of what message this was sending. “Women’s value is measured on the measurements of her body.” With mixed messages such as this it is no wonder obesity is at an epidemic rate and eating disorders have morphed into newer more extreme disorders.
I have been on both sides of the coin. I grew up an obese teenager. I embarked on my first weight loss journey the summer before my senior year of high school. After about a year of extreme dieting and hitting a plateau I became bulimic at the age of 18. I continued on this way until the age of 24. I was very afraid of gaining the weight back. I was afraid of losing all of the attention that I got from men and went through all kinds of extremes to maintain my weight. After I ended my unhealthy ways, I was able to maintain for a few years but then life got in the way, I became comfortable in relationships and gradually the weight started coming back. In my early 30s I became depressed after a few of life’s hard knocks, gained a lot of weight in a short amount of time and became obese again.
After getting sick and tired of being sick and tired, and after the last straw of heartbreak, I embarked on another weight loss journey. This time I educated myself better and became more comfortable with myself as a person than I was during the ages of 18 through 24 so I haven’t relied on the dangerous extremes that I did in the past.
I tell my story today because I do not want another child to grow up and to feel as though they need to go to the extremes of an eating disorder to matter as a person. I am hoping for a change in society where we encourage and support people to a healthier lifestyle instead of ridiculing them to fit into someone else's mold or making them feel as though only their looks matter rather than the core of who they are as a person.