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First, a few facts>>

Body image is the way that someone perceives their body and assumes others perceive them. This image is often affected by family, friends, social pressure and the media

People who are unhappy with their bodies and don’t seek healthy nutrition information may develop eating disorders..Eating disorders are unhealthy relationships with food that may include fasting, constant dieting, or bingeing and purging

Body image is closely linked to self-esteem<

Approximately 91% of women are unhappy with their bodies and resort to dieting to achieve their ideal body shape..Unfortunately, only 5% of women naturally possess the body type often portrayed by Americans in the media

58% of college-age girls feel pressured to be a certain weight..58%!

Studies show that the more reality television a young girl watches, the more likely she is to find appearance important

More than 1/3 of the people who admit to “normal dieting” , will merge into pathological dieting..Roughly, 1/4 of those will suffer from a partial or full-on eating disorder

In a survey, more than 40% of women and about 20% of men agreed they would consider cosmetic surgery in the future..The stats remain relatively constant across gender, age, marital status and race..WOW

Students, especially women, who consume more mainstream media, place a greater importance on sexiness and overall appearance than those who do not consume as much

95% of people with eating disorders are between the ages of 12 and 25

Only 10% of people suffering from an eating disorder will seek professional help

Only 4% of women globally consider themselves beautiful..

This topic has become personal for me as of late..First, time in my life(at 51 yrs of age no less!) I’ve realized I’ve got body image issues..Even though I’ve clawed and fought my way back from becoming overweight post-surgery & in full-blown menopause; it still isn’t enough. Even getting back into my pre-surgery sized clothes isn’t enough.. Mind you I was almost scared into keeping fibroids versus gaining weight..Who would rather risk possibly gaining Cancer over gaining a few pounds????? From the list above I’ve done it ALL with the exception of purging & cosmetic surgery..But I’m forever going on meatless week stints, gave up all juices/carbonated drinks, skipping meals, squeezing in speed walks in lieu of leisure week lunches, biking, treadmilling, weight lifting, and of course my beloved weekly raw veggie smoothie detox drinks(which I’ll probably drink for the rest of my life..

So just this weekend I found myself giving solicited advice to my bestie about losing weight..And out of my mouth came the words@ “Don’t diet. Diets don’t work for us, because we wind up feeling deprived & fall off.. Just adjust your lifestyle little by little & eating habits in increments & exercise more..Start slowly on the green raw veggie drink..” When I got home I realized I was telling her something I wasn’t practicing! I wanted her to start off in a healthy manner; yet when I want to quick drop pounds I dang near starve myself..I’m always hungry! Stomach growls seem normal..Today I caught myself trying to climb 2- 3 stairs at once(butt lifting exercise) while on my cell & almost fell..Not cool!

I decided to reach out in honesty ..Calling out all/any woman reading this..WE have got to stop this never-ending cycle of pushing for the perfect body image..I can’t imagine how this life-long behavior would’ve impacted the daughter I always yearned for , yet never birthed..Thankfully , I can sincerely say this wasn’t taught to me by my own Mom..She taught me always to love me for ME..Yet, even with constant & consistent positive reinforcement from parents/significant others/countless passerbys/friends? Still find myself pushing for something more..It was somewhat comforting to read the above statistics; for a moment. I’m not ALONE in this struggle for the perfect body. It is deeper than just being vain..But when does it stop??? When is good enough(& healthy!) , enough??

IF one can’t be honest with self in their 50s; probably won’t ever be! Naked truth exposed feels pretty liberating & hopefully admitting it can lead to positive change..Anyone out there that can relate & would like to share?