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As I was saying last time, America has a problem. Our beauty ideal is, well, frankly impossible. We all want to look like Barbie. We want to be size 2s, or smaller. In our pursuit of this lofty goal we have developed an unhealthy, and dangerous, obsession with dieting. People are constantly on the look out for the fastest way to weight loss success, whether it’s a diet pill, an exercise regime, or cutting out entire food groups. We count calories in and calories out. We obsess over pictures of models in magazines and read “real life” articles about weight loss success stories. Guess what, it’s all fake. The photos are photo-shopped, the pills are a sham, the diets are only temporary fixes. So what do we actually accomplish?

            What do we get from our troubles, our deprivation, our sweat and tears?

We get a messed up relationship with food, a dissatisfaction and even hatred of our bodies, and a desire to be thinner and thinner. It gets us nowhere. People are rarely satisfied long term. They get to a weight that they want and either find out it’s not low enough, or decided that it’s good and go off the diet. If they decide that they are happy at whatever weight they have reached and go off the diet, chances are they gain the weight back. If that happens they will most likely decide to try again, loosing and gaining weight. So, bottom line, diets don’t work. They don’t fix any problems, all they do is make people unhappy. They are miserable on the diet, miserable off the diet. Never happy and never satisfied. So, why do they do it? They do it because society tells them that it is the key to being happy and successful, the key to being accepted and liked. We put too much emphasis on our bodies, their shape and their weight, that people usually forget that we are more than skin and bones. We have personalities, likes and dislikes, ideas, thoughts, feelings, and beliefs. We have more to offer than physical appearances. They forget that fulfilling some physical ideal can’t make up for skill and intelligence, which are the real keys to success.

 Most importantly, what are we teaching our children? What messages about happiness, success, and acceptance are we sending? We’re telling them that they must be X pounds, look a certain way, and never ever eat that, or be that “big.” We are teaching them to measure their worth as human beings based on the size of clothes they wear and a number on a scale. We are creating a society where a healthy relationship with food and with our bodies is nearly impossible. Is this healthy? No, no it is not. Something needs to change. We should be teaching our children to love themselves no matter what size they wear. We should be teaching them that personality, intelligence, and their ability to do a job well will bring them love, acceptance, and success. 

So, I beg people to think about it. I’m not promoting eating fast food every night, but if you want french fries, what the hell, why not? If you want a cookie, or your kid wants a cookies, go ahead. Don’t forget all things in moderation, moderation is the key to a healthy and balanced diet.Image

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