Why Is There So Much Pressure On Us Lose Weight?
For starters, in America, everyone loves to judge one another. I don’t actually understand why, but the only thing I can think of is that it makes us somehow feel better when we see others who are worse off than we are. What we fail to realize is that we then become a part of the problem and not the solution. If your family and friends are concerned about you criticizing them for their eating behaviors, weight struggles, and appearance, then you become the problem, not the solution. If you find yourself looking down on others in public settings such as restaurants who have weight problems, then its quite possible that you may need to take another look at why this is happening, and what the impact is…not just on them, but also on you.
We all know what it feels like when we’re being judged by others who have no idea what our situation is like nor the willingness to help us find a solution. It’s no fun, and it’s pretty insensitive! So, it’s become pretty clear that the solution to our problem in America with pressure to lose weight is that we all, as individuals, need to understand that just as we don’t like to be judged for our weaknesses and inabilities…others feel exactly the same way. Let’s look to encourage, not criticize! That’s the key to reducing the negative impact of societal pressure overall. Let’s be the positive change agents…not wait around for someone else.
Why Eating Disorders In America Are On The Rise
Eating disorders in our society have many different origins. Many with eating disorders have very complex reasons for what let them down the path to destructive eating patterns. One thing that needs to be made very clear is that though there are many different factors outside of us that have influenced us toward disordered eating we ultimately should take responsibility for making the decision to travel that road. With that being said, there is a very real issue to be addressed about why eating disorders in America are steadily on the rise amongst our young girls and women. If you ever find yourself in the Mall on a Saturday you will find that our young girls (and our young ladies) are spending a lot of time and money on products that improve their appearance.
From clothes, shoes, cosmetics, and hair care products…there is much money to be made. Don’t get me wrong, I like to look as good as the next woman and I love to wear clothes that are “in-style”. But, I think there is a tendency toward placing too much focus on looking good strictly to be socially acceptable. It seems that there is a strong and potentially destructive drive to look a certain way to maximize peer acceptance and improve social status. Now, I could be wrong, but since I’ve been there and did that (over and over again during the course of my life), I think that much of that is probably true. When there’s a strong desire to be accepted, liked, and popular, poor judgment is likely not far behind. This is one of the main reasons that many of our women resort to harmful eating patterns that can be extremely dangerous to their health. That leads to the obvious question which is “Why”?
How The Media and Weight Loss Industry Have Contributed To Our Weight Loss Problems In America?
We all know about the impact of good marketing on sales. When marketing messages are good, they can drive tons of people to buy products. This can either be good or bad, depending upon what that message is, what type of behavior it encourages, and what the end result of that behavior is. Our media, along with the 60 billion-a-year weight loss industry have perpetually bombarded our young girls and our women with messages that say “you’re not good enough”, “you need to look like her”, “you’re too fat”, “you’re not pretty enough”…all to make a profit, and sadly, we have bought into it hook, line, and sinker. A little time spent examining the message we receive on a daily basis from a variety of sources (ie, the radio, magazines, books, the internet, and a host of other avenues) point overwhelmingly toward self improvement for all of the wrong reasons. It’s rare that you hear a message that is geared toward self-improvement for its own sake.
They know that that doesn’t sell as well as say improving yourself to fit in or to look good for someone else’s approval or acceptance. It seems that we buy more self-improvement products (especially those tied to appearance) when our motivation is tied to more extrinsic factors, and the media and weight loss industry know this and are just capitalizing on what they know to turn a hefty profit. So how can we change this awfully embarrassing situation and work to improve our body image? I believe the answer lies within each of us. We have the power to take back our lives and begin thinking for ourselves so that we can start feeling good about ourselves…as we are, not for who society wants us to be.
How YOU Can Feel Good About Yourself Regardless Of What Society Thinks
The pressure that we feel from society to look a certain way, and the intense drive that we have to conform so that we might be loved or accepted is something that can be effectively combated through massive action on our part to do two things. The first thing we need to do is work vigilantly to rid our minds of all of the negative messages that we have been hearing since we were little girls. Truth be told, we’ll never be able to totally erase all of the memories, hurt, and pain that we’ve experienced over the years, but we can take major steps toward minimizing their effect on our lives today. How do we do this? We do this by first doing some serious soul searching and by asking ourselves some hard questions that will allow us to begin to see that we’ve been listening to all the wrong messages and living for all the wrong reasons all of these years.
We need to come to the realization that it’s up to us to make positive personal change that empowers us to stand up to the negativity that we’ been fed for most of our lives. If we continue to let others dictate what we do, we’ll be forever destined to frustration, fear, insecurity, and anxiety that result from trying to live for the approval and acceptance of someone else. Have you noticed how often trends and fads change? That tells you something about the true nature of people. We change from day-to-day. One day, we like something, and the next day we don’t. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to live life for someone else’s acceptance and approval. It’s just too hard! I want to live life for myself. I want to be able to look like who I want to look like, and wear what I want and not fear that someone else won’t like it. Change like this will take work on your part, as it has taken for me…but I think I’m getting it! I truly hope that you do too, or at least that you recognize where it is that you can change so that you can begin to truly break free from the prison of worry, fear, and frustration so that you can sincerely feel good about yourself, regardless of what society thinks.
By applying what you’ve read in this article, you will find that yes, it is possible to feel good about yourself regardless of what the rest of America says or thinks about you. You’ll be able to see through the ploys of our media and weight loss industry to the real truth about our problems as a nation. You’ll be able to understand the reasons why eating disorders are on the rise, and be able to do your part in combating the temptation toward disordered eating in your own life and work to improve your body image. Lastly, it is my sincere hope that you will understand that the pressure to lose weight that Society puts on each of us is nothing but a tactic to keep us enslaved to a cultural mindset that is severely flawed and absolutely dangerous to our mental, physical, and emotional health.