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Self-Esteem, Body Image & Weight Issues

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Women, let’s change our personal histories by releasing all issues of body image and poor self-esteem. The awesome side effect of this change is weight loss and thin thinking.

Most women are self critical of their bodies and unfortunately critical of other women’s bodies as well. Studies and surveys are not necessary to prove this true. Just think about what you said to yourself as you looked in the mirror this morning. Did you say, ‘you beautiful thing,’ or ‘my face looks fat’?

Self criticism leads to poor self-esteem and negative body image that creates weight issues like eating disorders or perpetual yo-yo dieting. If you are unhappy with your body, you may decide to take a drastic dieting measure to lose weight as fast as you can to feel better quickly. The drastic measure is typically not a good plan and you will probably self criticize more harshly when it fails. You may respond to this by eating everything thing in site since you ‘blew the diet’ and the yo-yo cycle starts over.

The ramifications of this negative behavior reach far beyond our bathroom mirrors. It is affecting future women. Studies have shown that young girls start dieting as early as the fourth grade. These girls are listening to the statements women of influence make about their bodies. Does your daughter hear your self criticisms? Does your niece hear you tell yourself that you are going to diet because you look fat? As women, we are helping to perpetuate this issue. This self critical behavior is a choice that we can control. We can make a different choice and change the future for our selves, our daughters, granddaughters and nieces.

I recognize that media also plays a part in our self assessment as well as our daughters’ and nieces’ self assessments. We can control the effects of media by not purchasing the magazines or watching the television shows that negatively affect our body image and self-esteem. Media needs our support to thrive. If fast food restaurants are now offering sliced apples as an alternative to fries in response to America’s weight issues, I believe that we can affect positive changes in the media for the same reason.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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