Negative body image is more prevalent than anyone really knows. It’s a private battle in most cases, and equally rampant among men and women, although women are more vocal about how much they hate their bodies.
We have been socially-conditioned to believe that we are not good enough unless we fit a certain stereotype designed, marketed, and flogged under extreme pressure, by every single type of media on the planet.
It is no wonder that teenage children are developing eating disorders and bad body images in this day and age, when the pressure to be skinny for women and the pressure to be as ripped as a 19-year-old surfer for men, is pumped into our brains at every waking moment.
Girls are literally killing themselves in order to fit the stereotype; starving themselves, pumping their bodies with laxatives, dangerous diet tablets, and supplements, and then working out until they pass out, to punish themselves for tasting that delicious piece of homemade bread at Grandma’s house. Because, as we are all supposed to know – carbs are the devil!
Nobody needs to be a rocket scientist to know that this is somewhat frightening and altogether a dangerous and very bad mantra to base your life and your health on. Being healthy is a mindset, and once you can work out what the difference between being healthy and being skinny is, you are halfway there.
At the 2016 Olympic Games, the world got a chance to see some of the most incredible, talented, and beautifully built bodies in the world. And if strong doesn’t become the new skinny after that – then there is something very wrong.
Each and every single one of us is built differently. Some of us are naturally lean and athletically built, others are built with more muscle mass, wider shoulders, and maybe even more voluptuous in the derriere region.
Once you have made peace with the fact that no matter how much you starve, berate or punish yourself and your body, you will not be able to change the way you are built, other than by cosmetic surgery, you will have made a giant leap on your way to inner peace and a healthy attitude to life.
Strive instead to nurture, love and cherish your body, feed it good food, don’t poison it with alcohol and cigarettes, drink lots of water and work out regularly. Your body will reward you with a lean and toned physique, a glowing, healthy complexion, a regular surge of endorphins, and a long, happy relationship lasting well into your twilight years.
How we live is how we will age, and starving yourself to look ill, pale, grey, and skeletal in your 20s is doing all sorts of damage you will only see surfacing later on in life when you start needing all the help you can get.
Strong and healthy is the new black, the chance to build a healthy body that will last a lifetime – embrace it.