1. It bothers me how much time and energy woman spend in social situations reenforcing eating disordered thinking. Talking about dieting, either the one they are on or the one they “should” be on, self loathing statements, etc. But as a small woman I feel that I can’t say anything. All this fixation on dieting isn’t helpful. I think the focus on a number on the scale is the wrong focus. Focus on heart health and size will take care of itself.

    1. I so agree with your comment about how women spend way too much time reinforcing non-acceptance with one another. “I need to lose ten pounds” should be replaced with “I rock!”. I want to stress however that even women who look thin to others may have an incredible problem with body image. Those distortions can come out of the mouth of anyone! Thank you for reading and commenting Chloe.

    2. I am a 66 years old woman, 6 ft tall and weight around 155. I am not fat and not thin. I suffered with anorexia throughout most of my life. After the age of 50 I began really working on self acceptance. It’s very hot where I live so I put in a pool. I have invited my friends over to float around in the cool pool on those 100 plus days. No one would come. I finally asked a friend why she thought that was and her answer shocked me. She said it’s because my friends don’t feel comfortable in a swimming suit because I look so thin in mine. Of course told them all how beautiful I think they are just being themselves. We are friends after all not because of how they look but because I love who they are.
      — Sometimes I feel so lonely being healthy.

      1. I’m sure you are lonely… maybe you could begin conversations with one of them about your own struggle with self-acceptance – and the two of you could share. Their brand of shame may be different from yours but perhaps you can find what you have in common. Thanks so much for commenting.

  2. I’ve begun pointing this out to friends. One of my more body-conscious friends has been undergoing grueling chemo for 5 yrs and was complaining that her body shape had changed but she’d only gained 3#, etc etc and I was flabbergasted that, with everything she had going on, body shape was her big issue. So we had a talk about it. I mean, she’s a size 12, not a big girl. At least not to me! Anyway, we are distorted about this subject.

    1. I am so glad you are aware of this Carol. That’s fantastic. One of my thoughts about your friend is perhaps she felt that her weight was something she could control – when much of her life was out of control. I don’t know, but that might explain what seems confusing. Thank you so much for commenting!

  3. Wonderful article! I was called “fat” my whole life (I had 4 brothers) and when I look back at pictures from when I was in my 20’s I was SO skinny but I remember thinking that I was huge! I remember the whole diet pill thing and fast beating heart symptoms etc. I even ended up in the ER from the “miracle drug” Metabolife, remember that! Thank you for writing this!

    1. Our memories and experiences really shadow each other! I have heard just what you say from so many patients. That in looking back, they were truly healthy – maybe even thin – but at the time believed they were enormous and needed to lose weight. Makes my point about how soon our extreme criticism and even rejection of who we are begins. It is happening now with very young girls. We need to do something! Thank you so much for reading and commenting!

  4. Oh how I can relate to this! When I was younger, I was always “skinny” and got picked on because of my weight being around 100 lbs at 5’6″. It made me very self conscious and ashamed because everyone accused me of being anorexic, bulemic, on drugs, you name it. I wished to put on about 20 lbs but couldn’t because my metabolism was so high. Well, 5 yrs ago I started gaining weight. And boy do I mean gain weight. I’m now up to 170 and now I’m self conscious about that!! My husband says he doesn’t care what I weigh because he loves me no matter what. Sometimes I feel like he is “just saying that”. Either way, I don’t feel attractive, much less “sexy”. I love reading your articles, they have really opened my eyes and intrigued me into working more on myself and not so much on what is expected of me. Thank you 🙂

    1. Andrea thank you so much for writing this. I couldn’t be more delighted with your comment, as this is exactly why I started this website. To help people try to believe in themselves – that they are worthy of feeling better about their lives, their bodies, whatever! I am going to be writing more on body image – was inspired to do so last weekend by meeting Nancy Fox of Skinny Kitchen fame. Hope you will continue reading and that I can be helpful. (And your husband is right… AND you can find a way to feel good as well.)

  5. I am 48 and have been thin my entire life. Even as a ballet student for many years, once I was around 11-13, the pressure to look lanky and have a long, skinny neck, was pretty high. In my 20’s, I would hover between a size 2 and 4, being 5’4”, and around 108lbs. Living in South Florida at that time, during the 90’s and 2000’s, where “the beautiful people” live, and are constantly showing skin, and being physically fit is greatly emphasized, the pressure to fit in amongst peers is high. When I got married at 28, my German grandmother (who lived in Germany), commented on my wedding pictures, saying I was too thin, but I thought I looked great. Fast forward to today, I’ve put on a bunch of weight, due to lack of movement and exercise because of a year and 1/2 of chemo and other treatments for breast cancer, that made me feel like absolute garbage. My mother commented to me recently, while I was having a bowl of ice cream on vacation at her house, “if you don’t watch out, you’ll turn into a roly-poly”. It’s not the first time she’s made comments about my weight. Anyway, Now that I FINALLY feel better physically and emotionally, I can focus on getting healthy again. Having said all that, there is this standard of beauty that has been drilled into our heads, that if clothes don’t just hang on us and we have very low body fat, then we’re not pretty, and that’s what I’ve been conditioned to believe, unfortunately.

    1. My mother was eating-disordered and inadvertently taught me to judge my body harshly – and therefore myself harshly. I couldn’t separate “me” from my body at least then. Ballet is a huge offender in this way… First I’m so happy for you that you feel better and sound as if you’ve gotten through cancer treatment which is a huge deal. I hope this helped you to find meaning in who you are. Thank you so much for commenting.

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