I recently stumbled upon the Body Image Movement on Facebook, founded by Taryn Brumfitt, and I am now reading her compelling and humor-filled book, “EMBRACE”. Taryn also wrote her opinion on Weight Watchers now targeting their advertising to include their moms and daughters.
I’ll share how the word ‘diet’ has shaped my life. In high school my mother and I went to – you guessed it “Weight Watchers” together. She was not really over weight but may have wanted to lose 10-15 lbs. As for me, it taught me healthy eating and I did drop some weight….but did I really need to? I thought so, now I am not so sure.
Being on Weight Watches then was a secret….I was embarrassed to tell anyone (except my best friend) as none of us ever discussed dieting back then. (Thank God)
Weight Watchers became an obsession, especially in my teen years. (Thinking about meals, preparing, then measuring and weighing everything I ate) – and I guess the question is, is that normal and OK? or was it setting a girl up for future dieting???? and the feeling of not being enough?
I embraced the Weight Watchers lifestyle and lost 16 lbs. in 6 weeks, not deviating one crumb from the rigid program that it was back in the 1970s…. I went from a healthy teen with a little extra body fat to a very lean young woman. (But could it be maintained? Certainly not when I went off to college!)
Was it positive? Yes, in some ways….but damaging in others… as it set me up to feel like I was never quite the size or shape I wanted to be. Looking back I rarely have felt I am OKAY as I am…. esp. back then when the media starting idealizing Twiggy and stick shape models and talking more about celebrity bodies.
I did get into body building in my late 20s…. which had its pros and cons…..Pros in that I was building muscle in a healthy way and embracing my athletic God gifted body, but negative in other ways. Example, much like Taryn in the book Embrace describes, after a body building competition there is only way to go….and that is ‘down’ from your goal. Yes even though I got down to 8.5% body fat, sculpted my body the way I wanted and WON my division… How did I feel???? As I look back I still didn’t feel the success or HAPPY, I thought I would or think my body was ‘perfect enough’.
OMG, that is so sad…. maybe why this ‘movement called Body Image Movement hits so close to home today.
For those who do fitness or body building competitions (or other athletic endeavors) perhaps you can relate. Even though you know intellectually it is not possible or even healthy to stay in that physically lean condition….it truly became hard for me returning to what was a ‘normal’ body and honestly it devastated me.
How did I handle it? I remained fit and worked out religiously in my 40s and 50s- warding off any middle age bulge that I was told would surely and eventually find me… and then in my mid-50’s I went through menopause. Fortunately I didn’t experience drastic mood swings, but I did have the ‘hot flash’ symptoms and put on belly fat…which I called my “men-o-pot”. For the first time in my life, I truly hated my body. I didn’t think it was fair that God would create this ‘widening’ of the body at the time when we women stopped being able to create babies.
Today, at 61 years old- it’s about time to embrace how I am and how I look. I finally get it and want to help others with The Body Image Movement. I think part of my motivation is I have a daughter, 2 step- daughters and daughter- in- law, who thank GOD all appear to have healthy body images….and I also have 4 granddaughters (add 2 more from my step-daughter)…that is 6 young females in our family tree. There is no way I want them to obsess with their body image….I want them to believe they are beautiful and talented HOW THEY ARE…and that they are capable of doing and becoming anything they want in life.
Heck, wouldn’t you agree that there are far more important things in the world to worry about than what number is on the scale or the size of your belly, butt or thighs? LOVING YOUR BODY FROM THE INSIDE OUT IS TARYN’S MISSION! (I bought her book, Embrace, off Amazon and am finding it hard to put down!)
Who else can relate? I’d love to know.
This is just the beginning for me….and it’s interesting as the company I work with has an entire division dedicated to weight loss.
For me, MY focus is the health benefits of being at a healthy weight, versus sliding into ‘skinny jeans’ or wearing a bikini. But along with this I also love it when people are empowered and have confidence as when they do, they become unstoppable…. It may not happen overnight- but beginning to love our body from the inside out is a movement that is happening around the world.
I believe the key is to love your body no matter what size you are and to strive to embrace health as a habit, not an event.
Let’s just say, people who are confident in their own ‘skin’ also have a different “PEP IN THEIR STEP” which in turn attracts a higher vibration to them. Ultimately isn’t that what we want? To live, create more in our lives of things we want and deserve.
Comments are welcome.
Below you can learn about the Body Image Movement from Taryn herself.