Last week, I reminded you why this “food stuff” is hard: You receive so much subtle encouragement to eat (from advertising, portion sizes, and even free food), it can be hard to figure what and how much food you actually want.
But there’s another, more important, reason why this “food stuff” is hard: Powerful forces constantly tell you your body isn’t good enough.
Nearly everyone you see in television, on TV, in movies, and in fashion magazines is thin, despite the fact that even for many of these actresses and models, this body type is not natural and requires strict, constant dieting.
Or, in the words of Julienne Moore: “I’m hungry all the time. [… ] I think I’m a slender person, but the industry apparently doesn’t. All actresses are hungry all the time, I think.”
Also, powerful companies are very invested in encouraging you to lose weight. The diet industry earns more than $20 billion dollars in revenue annually, as of 2012 — a number that is likely higher today. Celebrity endorsers of weight-loss programs make $500k to $3 million dollars. Oprah owns a $77 million stake in Weight Watchers, so she wants you to go to Weight Watchers. These companies want you to want to dislike your body, so you’ll use their products to try to lose weight.
It’s easy to gloss over this.
Blah, blah, blah, I get it. So much pressure to be thin.
But do you REALLY get it? Or do you just intellectually understand and agree that the pressures put on women's bodies are unfair...but then still secretly think I know I'll never look like Julienne Moore...but I WOULD like to lose those 5 pounds.
And have you been "wanting to lose 5 pounds" for the past two decades?
Body image has big implications for your eating. If you don’t like your body, you are far more likely to develop an unhappy relationship with food. This, in turn, will make maintaining a healthy weight even harder.
Bottom line: It’s hard to like or even accept your body in the world that we live in. Given the pressures we're under, making peace with your body may be an ongoing project for many of us. If you’re struggling, don’t beat yourself up. Just keep trying.