Do you like what you see when you look in the mirror? Well the answer should be yes, but usually No.
81% of women do not think they are at their ideal weight. (Survey by Consumer Affairs 2011)
Most people especially women, produce negative self body image when looking at the mirror and see themselves as imperfect. It is no wonder when everywhere you go and every advertisement you see tells you to “Lose Weight” or look a certain way to attain status. If you feel that, your size or looks are why you “aren’t happy” or “not successful” or “don’t have a man” or “don’t have any friends you” may be suffering from a poor body image.
What is Body Image?
Body image is a perception of how you look physically. According to studies, women are more worried about their body image than men.
A study found that woman overestimate the size of their hips by 16% and their waists by 25%, yet the same women were able to correctly estimate the width of a box.
The average American woman is 5’4” tall and weighs 140 pounds.
The average American model is 5’11” tall and weighs 117pounds.
Most fashion models are thinner than 98% of American women.
Women tend to carry the burden of a negative body image, which can lead to depression, addictive exercising, and disordered eating or starving in an effort to fit the norm portrayed by fashion magazines, movie stars, and television programs. Models on the covers of magazines represent .03% of the population and when they aren’t “perfect,” their images can be changed. “Most ads are reproduced, airbrushed, or changed by computer. Body parts can be changed at will”. (Cindy Manyard, at “Body Image”).
Concern over our Body Image is so epidemic in that it is considered normal in our society and is reflected in diets being a multi-billion dollar industry.
Women surveyed cited stresses, demands on their time, family obligations and financial problems as the reasons their weight loss efforts have been difficult. Many women justify their excess weight as a slow metabolism, as they shovel another piece of cake in their mouth and say they have resolved themselves to being fat and unhappy. Do you know anyone like this that over eats and denies it? It does not have to continue there is help available to stop the cycle.
Women with a long-lasting negative body image can affect both your mental and physical health and are more likely to suffer from serious mental health problems, such as anorexia, bulimia, over-exercising, and binge eating or overeating. Continuous abuse on your body caused by under eating or overeating can cause malnutrition, which can cause severe health risks including, but not limited to respiratory infections, kidney failure, heart attack, electrolyte imbalances, edema, muscle atrophy, gastrointestinal bleeding, chronic fatigue syndrome, low blood pressure, high blood pressure, blurred vision, dental problems, constipation and/or incontinence, insomnia, fatigue, depression or anxiety, elevated blood sugar/hyperglycemia, diabetes and arthritis to name a few. If you or anyone you know is experiencing any of these challenges now please seek professional help immediately, prolonged abuse can also lead to death.
If you need to get a handle on your fear of being not good enough, please reach out. We can help you can get on with your life.