Thursday, April 7, 2011
What Would You Give Up? Or Would You?
This seems to be a pretty heavy topic right now and rightfully so as we approach the warmer months, summer, vacations, pool time, outside time, etc. Body image, primarily with woman, is a big subject of conversation. The past few weeks the blogs have been filled with opinions and stories about the approach of swimsuit season and topics related to body image and weight. This morning, on my way into work they were doing a call in topic on the radio show I listen to on how many years one would give up to have be skinny (we're talking Gisele, unrealistic for most "normal" woman skinny). For a lack of a better word, I was shocked at the response. For the most part, the older woman (40-50 range) that called in wouldn't give up anything. The younger (as young as 12 called in) and most of them would give up anywhere from 5-10 years just to be skinny. They would give up an ENTIRE DECADE just to be thin. There is something seriously wrong with that. Listen, I get it. Do I wish I were 20 pounds lighter? Sure. Do I realize that I'm older, I've had a child and my priorities have now changed? Absolutely. We are all different shapes, sizes and genetic makings. Some lose weight easier than others, some people don't have to do much to stay thin, some have to work their a**es off. How we perceive others and judge others says a lot. We are surrounded by the skinny on magazines, TV shows, movies and commercials. It is drilled into our heads that we cannot be happy or successful unless we're a size zero and only weigh 100 lbs. Ummm...I'm almost 6'3," I think I was a size zero and weighed 100 lbs when I was in elementary school (ok, slight exaggeration, but you get my point) and that was it and I quite assure you it only lasted a month. As a mother, raising a daughter and as an aunt with four nieces, I'm quite concerned about our society's view on image. Just last night, at home, while in the kitchen I caught a glimpse of Minute To Win It on TV and I commented to my husband, why is this woman (girl) wearing a sports bra? She's clearly fit, tan, adorable, the typical girl on TV look. Is that really necessary as she stands next to her partner, a man, wearing a suit and tie, who is pushing 300 with a belly hanging over his pants? I'm not trying to be rude or judge the man, however I am trying to demonstrate a point. Why the image with the girl and not with the man? Me personally, I think each and every individual needs to be comfortable in their own skin. Losing weight, staying healthy, maintaining a decent diet (meal plan, whatever you want to call it, not eating fast food every night, etc.) and living a positive life style takes a lot of work. Throw in raising a family, being a professional businesswoman and all the other obstacles of most adults, it's a battle out there. Why then do woman constantly need to be told that skinny is it? It annoys me and concerns me. There are days I wish I would have already lost those 20 lbs. I gained while pregnant with Mia and there are other days where I just really don't care. I'm not sure what my parents did, but I'm glad they did whatever it was because I can remove myself from the image that I am expected to carry as a woman in 2011. I'm still striving towards my goal of losing these 20 in the next 2 1/2 months before our Mexican vacay and I'm doing ok. Could I be doing better? Sure I could, but there are some nights when going home to my daughter is worth more than burning 300 calories on the elliptical. And so to answer the question myself, no, I would not give up one single second of my life to be Gisele size, however I will continue to work to be healthy so that I can be a positive role model to my daughter, nieces and other girls and women in my life. Health is important. Being active is important. Wearing a size zero is not. Life is too short as it is, but I really don't think most people realize that until they are older and more life experienced. I'll take every second, minute, hour, day that I can get. I wouldn't sacrifice my time for anything. I have a very special girl at home that I want to be with for as many years as I possibly can. So I must ask...would you give up years of your life just to be skinny?