Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Concerned About Your Appearance?

My local daily paper carried an article about a poll done by the Associated Press-iVillage. More than half of the women surveyed don't like their weight, while 48 % view their body negatively. Some women said they were dieting while not eating healthy. Others thought they're fat when they really aren't.

The article goes on to say that women athletes would be much better role models than supermodels. We undervalue physical fitness and we overvalue thinness and appearance in this country.

The poll also found that women are not exercising as much as they should be for good health. Here in the U.S. 60% of men and women are overweight or obese. (Being overweight and sedentary are big risk factors for Type 2 diabetes.) I'll be the numbers are even higher for kids.

About 25% of the women polled said they would consider plastic surgery. The tummy tuck was the overwhelming choice. A quick fix?

If you look at magazine headlines there is almost always something about losing weight and usually a picture of a skinny model too. It's no wonder that with our real-world figures we tend to think of our selves as not beautiful. I struggled with this for most of my young adult life. It took a long time to finally realize I am never going to be rail-thin and that it is ok. However, I have been really trying to become more healthy. That includes eating more fruits and veggies, cutting down on red meat and adding a more strenuous exercise program.

Is it easy? Not always. But I have two granddaughters that are looking to their mom and their grandmothers. We need to be the ones to help change the attitude of needing perfect bodies to be happy. I want them to be in the best physical shape they can be while not obsessing about their weight and appearance.

How would you have responded to the poll? Positive feelings, negative feelings or don't care about your body image?
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