Hi, my name is Cameron and I have a problem.
I am addicted to cake. I’m not just talking about chocolate, but all kinds of cake. One piece simply does not satisfy this girl’s craving and I am not afraid to admit it.
Now I must confess something else. Exercise is the bane of my existence. Winded would be the best way to describe my state after a nice jaunt up the 77 steps.
These two revelations about myself do not exactly make a good combination. If it was healthy for me, I would consider my walks from class to class to count as my exercise and a bite of an apple as enough nutrition for the day.
Please don’t skip over this story or turn the page. I promise I’m not going to preach about the importance of diet and exercise for health because obviously I could not give good advice. In fact, I would like to leave health out of this. Yeah, yeah, I get it. It’s important, but it isn’t what is irking me lately.
Instead, I want to talk about why that is all I ever hear about or all I ever see. Why are we so obsessed with diet and exercise? Is it because we as Americans want to be healthy or because we care too much about body image?
I would argue body image has become a huge epidemic in our country. Every time I turn on my television I am bombarded by Marie Osmond trying to get me to join the Nutrisystem diet. Or I can’t turn a page in a magazine without seeing an ad for make-up, clothes, or diet pills with the image of a negative zero sized woman with perfect skin and hair. It’s no wonder young girls start dieting or developing eating disorders at a young age.
I understand it is not just women who are targeted. Men feel the pressure as well. However, I think woman feel it just a little bit more.
The women we see every day represent our idea of perfect. But, newsflash, those women do not wake up looking as such. Nor do they even look like that with make-up on. Airbrushing anyone?
I would be lying if I said I have always been completely satisfied with my body and my image. It is a constant battle, but I have found that having a dose of reality every now and then helps. Women I see on television and in magazines are stick figures. I have to tell myself I simply was not built to be that small. I have curves and that is okay.
What is so hard about this time of year is that many people have just made a New Year’s resolution. The majority of resolutions are made because of the wants to change one’s body image. If your goals are based on you wanting to fit into a size two dress instead of an eight, I would challenge you rethink your goal. Make it to be happy with who you are and give yourself words of encouragement every day.
Don’t deprive yourself of the things you love to eat just because your favorite movie star wouldn’t be caught dead putting it in her mouth. Chances are she is dying to eat a bag of Oreos in one sitting.
Finally, we are the ones who bring each other down. Women are often each other’s worst critics. At the first sign of imperfection we are the first to jump at pointing it out in one another. I’m guilty of it and I’m sure I’m victim of it. I don’t want to say let’s stand in a circle and hold hands. So, instead, I will say remember the woman you think has huge thighs thinks your nose is crooked. Don’t waste your time on giving attention to each others flaws, but remember that it is what makes us all beautiful.
Now, if you will excuse me I’m sure there is a nice cupcake somewhere waiting to be eaten.