Warning: this blog post could be taken for another “rant” I need to get off of my chest….
The other day, a client began a conversation with me as follows:
Client: I’ve just been feeling so bad about my body. And I read in an article in People magazine that Melissa John Hart eats a 1200 calorie diet. I feel so depressed and hopeless because I know that I cannot possibly follow a 1200 calorie diet.”
Marci: I would imagine that did make you feel pretty bad. Not only is 1200 calories way too low for your needs, but trying to follow it would really set you up for a desire to overeat. Under-eating naturally leads to overeating. It’s human nature.
What I didn’t share with my client is the mounds of research that shows how body dissatisfaction actually increases after viewing TV and magazines which contain depictions of rail thin models and actresses. In fact, it can happenafter just 15 minutes of viewing time! And on the flip side, research has shown that body satisfaction increases when shown depictions of overweight women.
It is a sad fact that not only are we obsessed with an illusion of “the ideal body” but our self-esteem and self-worth are determined by how we measure up (bigger or smaller) to those images around us. The game of constant comparison is exhausting, deflating, and can never be won.
So here’s my challenge to you: go on a media diet. Put down the mindless magazines (i.e. People, Cosmo, Shape, etc.) and turn off the frivolous TV shows! Use your mind and energy to a greater end. Choose to view media with messages which feed your soul and expand your mind, rather than sources which diminish your feelings of self worth. If you decide to take on my challenge, I’d love to hear how it goes.