#1 To begin, accept what is not in your control
A. You have your ancestors’ genes and you can’t change that.
All bodies are wired to be fatter, thinner, or in between. This includes fatter in some places and thinner in others.
For example, the models that you see in print and on TV have virtually no leg muscles (so they can look long and tall) and small bones (which many of us don’t). You can‘t change what Mother Nature created without cosmetic surgery. For men, if you have small bones, you can’t look like one of those muscle builders.
B. Understand that all bodies change developmentally in ways that are simply not in your control through healthy means.
A woman may influence body changes of puberty, pregnancy and lactation, menopause and aging by making healthy lifestyle choices, but you can’t “control” them no matter how much you try. The same is true for men.
C. Become media savvy.
Advertisers spend tons of money on strategies specially designed to make you feel that there is something wrong with you. Why? If they first advertise an unrealistic standard of beauty that leaves you feeling deficient by comparison, a product that promises to improve your condition is an easy sale. Don’t be sold this bill of goods.
D. Never “diet.”
Hunger is an internally regulated drive and demands to be satisfied. If you limit the food needed to satiate hunger completely, it will backfire, triggering preoccupation with food and ultimately an overeating or compulsive eating response. Dieting can lose weight in the short run, but 95% of weight that is lost that way is regained, plus added pounds.
Dieters who go off their diets only to binge are not “weak willed.” They are mammals whose built-in starvation response has kicked in – both physically and psychologically, going after what has been restricted. Scientific evidence has been available on this since the early 1950’s, but most people are not aware of the biologically predictable, counterproductive results of dieting.
E. Maintain your sense of integrity as a human being, in spite of advertising
never forget that how you look is only one part of who you are. Develop a sense of identity based on all the many things you can do, the values you believe in, and the person that you are deep inside.
F. Choose role models that reflect a realistic you
If the “Ugly Duckling” had continued to compare herself to the ducks she’d still be miserable, no matter how beautifully she developed.
#2 Then focus your attention and energy on what is within your power to achieve.
A. Limit sedentary entertainment
Sedentary means sitting down like watching TV from a couch, or a movie from a seat. Basically, we were all built to be physically active. We need to do that. We can all build all develop a reasonable level of fitness and keep it all our lives.
B Eat healthy
Satisfy your hunger with plenty of wholesome, nutrient rich foods. We know it’s hard to do, but we all need to avoid heavily advertised nutrient empty foods.
C. Encourage family, friends and co-workers to join you in developing a healthy, realistic body image together.
Use the collective energy your group would have spent on hating your bodies to make the world a better place. Help the next generation to develop healthy body image attitudes and learn positive lifestyle habits too.
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