Real Life. Real News. Real Voices.
Help us tell more of the stories that matter from voices that too often remain unheard.
Join HuffPost Plus

From Extreme Thinness To Obesity: Physical Body And Psychological Health

Only by being honest with ourselves and asking challenging questions, we can start treating our bodies well and, in such a way, find our golden middle.
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.


I once overheard a conversation between two young girls discussing how much they had eaten during the day and that they needed to work out those calories. They looked skinny and thought they had to lose some more weight. They counted everything they ate and were on a strict diet not to gain any weight. I remembered myself when I was a teenager and was obsessed with my weight, and never was satisfied with the way I looked back then. Growing older, I asked myself: Is it really me who wasn't satisfied with the way I looked? And I had to answer that question negatively. It wasn't exactly me, but rather the external ideas of the way the girls should look.

With the extremely thin models being on the cover of the most popular magazines, it was difficult not to fall into the idea that you had to look like them because this is what meant to be beautiful. When you are too young, you lack the ability to question those concepts and to think more critically, especially when everyone around you is telling what it's like to be beautiful and how you should look. It takes some time to realize that all those ideas are artificial and imposed on you. I looked at those girls and smiled. I got lucky to develop a critical approach, not to accept things for granted, to realize that everyone's unique and one doesn't have to chase something ephemeral to stay happy in life. Obsessiveness with the ideal slim body might lead to a lot of problems, especially when you don't realize that trying to be someone else will not eventually bring you happiness. Such obsessiveness can lead to the eating disorders like bulimia or anorexia, which at times might be life-threatening. It seems paradoxical: a good-looking young slim woman, instead of concentrating on such things as studies, career, hobbies or life enjoyment, gets extremely obsessed with the body image trying to make it more and more perfect according to someone else's standards and never gets fully satisfied with it. Her mind might get so obsessed with it that it's not able to concentrate on obviously more important things in life and has a potential danger of leading to self-destruction.

On the other extreme side, some people consider themselves free of those model-like looks, even despise them, eat too much and express satisfaction with their bodies, even though they start gaining too much weight. They are, usually, never on a diet and eat everything they want, often, high-calorie unhealthy food, until they reach a condition when they become obese. Obesity is another significant problem in contemporary society, and it's not about accepting your body the way it's, it's about having a distorted view of the body image. Obesity is defined as a medical condition of accumulating too much body fat to the extent that might have an adverse effect on one's health. Basically, it means that a person eats too much, which might be dangerous for one's general well-being.

Both, strict diet and overeating are bad for one's health and might potentially lead to adverse consequences. Usually, a lot of people are trying to find easy methods of solving the problem of obesity. Nowadays, there are some popular special pills or weight loss additives, like, for example, HCG drops that offer a quick solution to the problem. While it's a matter of a personal choice what steps to follow to lose (or to gain) the weight, I believe that one should understand the real reasons behind one's body treatment.

There is a direct relation between body and mind, and each deviation (be it extreme thinness or obesity) from a person's individual standard look (a typical weight at which a person feels oneself good and healthy) is the indication of some psychological problems. An individual who has a healthy self-esteem and is satisfied with his/her life will hardly torture oneself with extreme diets or regularly chew unhealthy food knowing that it's quite dangerous. I believe beauty is something that comes from the inside. To feel beautiful means to accept one's individuality, one's unique physique and to treat one's body with respect and care it deserves. That's why, from time to time, it's worth asking yourself: "Do I love myself and accept my uniqueness? What is it that makes me different from others? Do I have low or high self-esteem and how can I change for the better? What do I want to do with my life? What dreams do I have and what do I do to fulfill them? Am I treating my body nicely and take care of it? Am I satisfied with my life, and if not, what can I do to become happier?"

Only by being honest with ourselves and asking challenging questions, we can start treating our bodies well and, in such a way, find our golden middle. Sometimes we might need a professional psychological help when we notice that we start eating too much or, on the contrary, torture our bodies with starvation, and can't stop doing it. Only by realizing the connection between mind and body and by coming to the core of the problem, we can start doing some actions towards fully solving the problem and prevent it from happening again.