Ok, here's the deal: I am doing my very best to help women everywhere begin to appreciate their bodies and to stop obsessing about food. I think these worries diminish women and keep us focused on how we're viewed by others rather than what we can achieve. I think it keeps us second class citizens and prevents us from being as powerful as we could be, collectively, as a gender.
But I know it's hard to begin accepting your body. You've always been taught that it's not ok to do so. However, if you're at a place where you feel ready to start this process but are having trouble making it stick, let me see if a slight shift in perspective can help.
Ask yourself: When I'm 80, when I'm at the very end of my life, what is it that I want to look back on?
Is it something like this?
I've spent hundreds and hundreds of hours of my life focusing on my weight. I spent part of almost every day, starting at about age 15, right up until a few years ago, disliking my body. After I had kids I never, ever wore a bathing suit in public, so I missed out on swimming when we went on those family vacations to Hawaii and Florida. I was just too embarrassed about the way my stomach looked, so I pretended I wasn't interested in going in the water. I also felt so bad about myself that I often didn't let my husband see me naked, or even touch me, which is a shame, because I know he loved me and he's been gone nearly two decades now. I didn't want my daughters to struggle like I did, so I always stressed to them the importance of eating right and staying trim, but it seems to have backfired, because they both seem very unhappy with their own appearance. I almost never allowed myself to spend money on clothes, especially not fashionable ones, because I felt I didn't deserve to wear anything nice. I must have spent thousands of dollars on diets and diet products, though. What a waste.
Or would you prefer this?
I'm so grateful for the life I've lived. I danced, I traveled, I hugged my kids, I read books, I became CEO of a business. I am so thankful I let go of my worries about my body, because it was standing in the way of me living the life I was meant to live. My sagging boobs, my flabby butt, the extra weight I carried around, none of it made me less of a deserving or worthy person. I have so enjoyed focusing on things I'm passionate about, and spending time, fully present (instead of being preoccupied worrying about how others saw me) with those I love. I've had a great life. I'm grateful for every moment of it.
Please, stop and think about what you want to look back on. Do you want to let years of your life go down the drain, skipping fun activities and spending money on fad diets because of worries over your cellulite? Do you want to keep setting a negative, body-focused example for your younger family members? Do you really want to spend another day hating yourself?
There's nothing wrong with wanting to feel and look good. Wanting to be stronger, wanting to wear beautiful clothing, wanting to have your hair done or your eyebrows waxed, all of that is great, as long as you're doing it for you because it feels deeply delicious. Obsessing about your body and your looks does not feel that way. At all.
Remember, you get to decide what you want to think about yourself and how you want to treat your body. What will you choose?