Ever wondered if you’re alone in having strong negative critical feelings about your body, or what other women think of their bodies?
A recent magazine survey shocked me, and is such a strong contrast to what men think of women’s bodies:
554 women responded to the survey, evenly distributed over age groups, with 76% aged between 25 and 49.
Their clothing size was 6-10 25%; size 12-14 25%, 16+ – 18%
Weight is a Huge Issue
75% of women said they would rather be smaller than bigger, preferring size 6 over size 16.
54% wanted to lose weight. That’s a massive weight loss market! Do they need to lose weight (according to the flawed ways we have of deciding who ‘needs’ to lose weight)? The survey results don’t say.
58% have used slimming pills, 25% have used laxatives, 25% smoked to maintain or lose weight, and 16% said they would try gastic banding surgery.
20% want to be slimmer for fashion reasons.
How Women Control Their Weight
15% admit to purging after eating (bulimia nervosa).
4% have gone or more days without food.
32% try fad diets.
What Women Think of Their Bodies
37% were not happy with their figures.
62% thought having a “better” body would drastically improve their lives.
66% believe that slim women climb the career ladder faster.
One third of women are embarrassed about their bodies in front of their partner.
53% say their partners love them just as they are.
Just 11% have partners who want them to slim down.
What Women Don’t Like About Their Bodies
2% don’t like their faces
4% don’t like their arms
63% don’t like their stomach
12% don’t like their butt
19% don’t like their legs
28% want to change their thighs
8% want different breasts.
The survey doesn’t give results on how many don’t like more than one bit. But they do say that 10% have always been happy with their body.
So every every 10 women you know, only ONE is happy with her body.
How do your actions and language make you feel?
Do you think positive thoughts (you are gorgeous the way you are); or negative (you shouldn’t be eating that, what a fat cow, I feel so fat)?
The survey says it’s ‘normal’ in our culture for women to be unhappy with their body, to feel that somehow their body is limiting their life, and that fixating their body in some way is something that women should spend time and energy focussing on!
I’d like to suggest that might be usual, but I really don’t think it’s normal.
Yes yes, ‘normal’ is a spectrum 🙂
But when the wisdom of the ages tells us over and over and over to treat ourselves with the respect and kindness we give to others, instead we despair about the way our bodies look to other people.
How is that healthy, how will that maintain or strengthen your sense of self-worth and self-esteem, and how will that help us to put our energy into building the kinds of lives we want, help us live full loving lives with our families, or put our creativity and focus into fixing the very real problems all around us every day?
Right. It won’t.
So what do to instead?
My experiences with clients and with my own ‘stuff’ have taught me that most of the beliefs and behaviours mentioned above come from other people.
Most of them are not choices you or I were ever conscious of making.
We just did what we thought was ‘normal’ based on what those around us were doing too.The great news, lovely lady, is that you can make a different choice, one that serves you and your life’s goals much better. You can start noticing what you say to yourself, what you say about yourself.
And question what you notice.
It’s so okay to like yourself.
It’s so okay to enjoy your body just the way it is.
It’s so okay to enjoy your food without worrying about the calories or the carbs, just appreciating the flavour.
It’s okay to just be.
I know the world doesn’t want you to think that – if you like yourself a little more you might not buy that new lotion, you might not eat those fake foods that promise the privileges of thin, you might not give the gym another year of money without using the service.
You might just enjoy life a little more.
And you might need a bit of support to do all that. I’m so happy to offer you a load of body-loving freebies to help you take your next step.