Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Body Image and your Kids: Your body image plays a role in theirs

Body ImageLoving Your Body Inside and Out
Body Image and Your Kids: Your body image plays a role in theirs

Get more body image information for your daughter from girlshealth.gov
Body Image: Loving Yourself Inside and Out Home
Body Image and Your Kids

"On a diet, you can't eat." This is what one five year-old girl had to say in a study on girls' ideas about dieting. This and other research has shown that daughters are more likely to have ideas about dieting when their mothers diet. Children pick up on comments about dieting concepts that may seem harmless, such as limiting high-fat foods or eating less. Yet, as girls enter their teen years, having ideas about dieting can lead to problems. Many things can spark weight concerns for girls and impact their eating habits in potentially unhealthy ways:

Having mothers concerned about their own weight
Having mothers who are overly concerned about their daughters' weight and looks
Natural weight gain and other body changes during puberty
Peer pressure to look a certain way
Struggles with self-esteem
Media images showing the ideal female body as thin

Many teenage girls of average weight think they are overweight and are not satisfied with their bodies. Having extreme weight concerns — and acting on those concerns — can harm girls' social, physical, and emotional growth. Actions such as skipping meals or taking diet pills can lead to poor nutrition and difficulty learning. For some, extreme efforts to lose weight can lead to eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia. For others, the pressure to be thin can actually lead to binge eating disorder: overeating that is followed by extreme guilt. What's more, girls are more likely to further risk their health by trying to lose weight in unhealthy ways, such as smoking.
While not as common, boys are also at risk of developing unhealthy eating habits and eating disorders. Body image becomes an important issue for teenage boys as they struggle with body changes and pay more attention to media images of the "ideal" muscular male.

What you can do
Your children pay attention to what you say and do — even if it doesn't seem like it sometimes. If you are always complaining about your weight or feel pressure to change your body shape, your children may learn that these are important concerns. If you are attracted to new "miracle" diets, they may learn that restrictive dieting is better than making healthy lifestyle choices. If you tell your daughter that she would be prettier if she lost weight, she will learn that the goals of weight loss are to be attractive and accepted by others.
Parents are role models and should try to follow the healthy eating and physical activity patterns that you would like your children to follow — for your health and theirs. Extreme weight concerns and eating disorders, as well as obesity, are hard to treat. Yet, you can play an important role in preventing these problems for your children.
Follow these steps to help your child develop a positive body image and relate to food in a healthy way:
Make sure your child understands that weight gain is a normal part of development, especially during puberty.
Avoid negative statements about food, weight, and body size and shape.
Allow your child to make decisions about food, while making sure that plenty of healthy and nutritious meals and snacks are available.
Compliment your child on her or his efforts, talents, accomplishments, and personal values.
Restrict television viewing, and watch television with your child and discuss the media images you see.
Encourage your school to enact policies against size and sexual discrimination, harassment, teasing, and name-calling; support the elimination of public weigh-ins and fat measurements.
Keep the communication lines with your child open.

Taken from www.womenshealth.gov/bodyimage

Friday, December 4, 2009

Chasing Beauty

I stumbled across this story today & thought it was something that everyone needs to hear. http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/26184891/vp/34272772#34272772 I wanted to share this excerpt from the book written by Jamieson Dale (known as Laura Pillarella) called "Chasing Beauty"

"I think that I am finally pretty. I have a hard time writing that, and an even harder time saying it. I still feel ugly. It took fifteen cosmetic surgical procedures over ten years, costing a total of $61,000, to realize that average is okay, and certainly simpler. What began as my ordinary bad hair, bad skin, bad bone structure, bad teeth, and bad self-esteem was rearranged into surgical freakishness and finally into probably attractive. The bad self-confidence remains. To try to escape my common flaws, I have undergone repeat upper and lower "eye jobs"; a chin implant augmentation; a lip lift; collagen injections; several surgical lip augmentations; a nose job; a TCA chemical peel; laser peels; Alloderm cadaver implants; dental braces; jaw advancement; chin genioplasty augmentation; two cheek lifts; a mid-facelift; an eyelid canthopexy; and a lateral brow-lift. My Result is that I now know that scalpels, syringes and lasers are not beauty tools--or worse, toys--as I had once felt. They have each cut and injected into more than my skin, crafting with each painful healing a personal character from which I had wished that surgery would save me from developing. I had only wished to be one-dimensional by chasing beauty and its easy, breezy image. Far from that, I'm now something scarred: Wise. I am only 35 years old. ···························································My journey appears to be over. My eyes appear sloe instead of sleepy or "scooped out" as I was once told. My nose is smaller. Most of my acne scars have been burned away, and my skin has a healthier glow (or what I suppose "glow" looks like). I have a jawbone less subtly defined than before. The lips look poofy without manual poofing, but not too poofy. I step back from the mirror. My cheeks have been rescued from their steady slip into jowls (a distasteful word to match distasteful facial betrayal and one that my orthodontist misspelled as jowels on my initial visit chart and which I didn’t have the stomach to correct) and put back where cheeks should be. The legacy of my wayward chin is over; it has submitted into proportionate, finally getting along and blending with the rest of my features. Appearances are deceiving. Pretty is a poor cure for insecurity. I still obsess, out of habit or because I’ve compared myself with the ubiquitous teen model in my favorite magazine or watched magnified movie-star perfection or because I’m bloated or having a bad hair day or had a fight with my husband or just because. Today is one of those days. Moving closer to the glass now, I wonder: are those broken capillaries I see etched across my cheeks? Is that a double chin? I scrunch down my face, tucking my chin, trying to see my collarbone. The effect confirms the presence of ugly submental fat ("submental" being one of the many unfortunate technical terms attached to female fear that have assimilated into my own vocabulary over the years). Stretching my mouth into a grimace produces crow’s feet wrinkles around my eyes. I frown, making it worse. Where is the smooth brow of my youth? I wonder, as I tug my hair off my forehead. Didn’t my hairline used to be lower? Is everything where it should be?Despite my harsh surgical history, I still sometimes fall for the siren call of instant cosmetic gratification. Maybe just a little Botox? I think as my fingers mimic its smoothing paralysis effect on my facial muscles and skin. It looks so good on the media world, and good in imitation. Ooh, that’s better, I now see, feeling calmed by the effect.Quickly coming down, and closing the bathroom door behind me, I regret that good hygiene will bring me back in here, back before the mirror before long. I guess that it will take time for me to not only say that I’m pretty…but to actually believe it. Without Botox. I at least know that I’ll never again ask a cosmetic surgeon if I am. Ten years of cosmetic surgery - ten years of swelling and distortion and bruising and financial deceit and high anxiety and downtime and pain and disappointment and marital strain - haven’t answered my question: Who am I? It has only prolonged the search for it.I may finally look okay, but I feel worked over, and I still don’t know the answer.This book is the way that I remember asking."

Let's all remember to take a good, hard look at ourselves in the mirror & learn to love what it reflects! We are all beautiful in our own special way!!!