I never have liked skinny people. As a chunky child and a chubby-cheeked full-figured teenager I went to food for comfort. But… why couldn’t I just be skinny?
The summer before my senior year in high school, I slimmed down a bit, but never felt like I had arrived. In college, I began modeling for trade shows and other runway events. Once I saw myself on television or in print, however, I knew I just had to lose more weight. Beginning with diuretics and laxatives, I found myself binging and purging in full-blown bulimia. Horrified by what I saw reflected in the mirror, I was even more frightened and ashamed because I could not quit self-destruction.
Every teen and woman I meet has body-image issues. Even in my cross-culturals relationships, our bodies and food present problems.
Joy was an “American Success Story” for health and fitness. She ate healthy foods, exercised regularly and seemed to have the perfect balance. When her life was struck by a devastating illness, she was caught off guard in three ways:
- She had assumed that her healthy ways would prevent illness, so she was angry.
- Her “success” at maintaining a healthy lifestyle had produced an arrogance in the way she had observed other women.
- She was forced to re-address the priorities of her life.
Mimi called herself a “professional dieter.” She was successful dozens of times at losing 25-35 pounds. She failed to recognize that she was unsuccessful at keeping it off. How do you measure success?
If losing 15 pounds increases your self-esteem, is it sustainable? Is an addiction to “health” just as destructive as an addiction to food? Answers seem illusive, but they cry to be discovered.