I got this pic off Pinterest. I don't know if it's an actual quote from Marilyn Monroe, or if someone just put her name at the bottom of it. Whatever the case, I'm going to pretend it's a real Marilyn quote. I'm not a lover of Marilyn Monroe. I don't really have any feelings about her or her work. What I do know is that in her era, women looked like women. But somewhere down the road, healthy looking women started to become considered fat.
To be a famous actress in our era, you have to be very thin. Thanks to this idea of what beautiful is, eating disorders are on a constant rise. I read that eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. I didn't even realize that eating disorders were considered a mental illness, but I can see how it would fall into that category.
Girls, we put so much pressure on ourselves to be thinner than our bodies were individually designed to be, that we forget what the true purpose of diet and exercise is really all about. We get so caught up in comparing ourselves to each other that we lose sight of why we should be doing all of these things in the first place.
I don't have a very traditional opinion or view of diet and exercise. As girls, we have the need to constantly compare ourselves to others. So we crash diet, weigh ourselves 5 times a day, and starve ourselves into the smallest jeans we can....Or we yoyo diet, attempting to get as skinny as we can, and become overwhelmed by how hard it is and quit.....Or, we just do nothing, lead a sedentary lifestyle, eat junk constantly, and look at the overly thin women in the media in judgement over their choices (while probably feeling secretly jealous of their skinniness).
Then there's another extreme.... We have the overly "fit" women, sporting bulging muscles, spending hours in the gym, eating nothing but egg whites, creating a whole other image that the average (I don't mean average in a bad way) woman can't live up to. I say "fit" because they portray their choices as healthy ones, but they are anything but healthy. And one thing that all of these have in common is a fear of certain foods and the affect of eating them.
No wonder we are all stressed out and confused. We are sent messages to be skinny. Then, after all the flack the media catches over being responsible for eating disorders being on the rise, we are told that we need to be "fit". We are subjected to images of what skinny or fit looks like, but the images we are subjected to are not practical for the average (again, no offense) woman.
When I say I don't have a very traditional view of diet and exercise, what I mean is that the media never gives the average woman a realistic or achievable image of what beautiful really looks like in the real world. And while I do like to look good, I believe that health and fitness should always be about health and fitness FIRST, and vanity last.
I don't want to give the impression that I feel like body image doesn't matter. I'm a woman. You know better. And I don't want to give the impression that I don't do what I can to stay looking fit and young. What I want to relay in this, is that we need to stop relying on the media to tell us what beautiful is for us personally, and that while beauty is something to work for and a great reward for your hard work, it's important for us to take a stand against the extreme images we are being sold as what a woman should look like. And that we all need to realize and remember that these people that we see in the media are professionals and not the average woman. It is their job to look like they do. They're selling us stuff. It isn't realistic. It is achievable. But it isn't realistic.
What I hope you take away from this post, is that living a healthy lifestyle should not be a stressful thing that leaves you feeling like you are constantly failing, or that you don't live up to the standards of this world. It shouldn't be something that you can't continue and live with. It shouldn't leave you feeling inadequate or incapable. It shouldn't focus on vanity. It shouldn't be about swim suit season or size 2 jeans. It should be about having quality of life, feeling great, taking care of the only body you have, being a good example of what healthy looks like, improving cardiovascular health and prolonging disease, etc. And as a reward, you get to look good all the time! If you want to be your most beautiful, be your most healthy.
I can help you find a healthy lifestyle that you can live with. A lifestyle that is permanent and takes the pressure of body image away. I would love to chat with you if you need help. Don't wait another day.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org