Women need to prioritize health

I have noticed, to my dismay, the prevalence of dieting in women’s literature.

As someone who has struggled with weight, I find this highly disconcerting since I have found that conquering weight begins with a change in perspective.

Whereas magazines preach weight loss, change only comes when one believes in health.

I do not do dieting; I like food too much and life is too short to waste time counting calories or weighing food. I refuse to be a slave to the beauty industry’s need for us to hate ourselves.

However, I will also not be a slave to food.

The need that is perpetuated in American culture to pander to every craving and every want – to consume endlessly – is the reason why the problems with the environment and obesity are so widespread.

There is a fine line drawn between the compulsiveness of scarfing down delicious, fatty, unnatural foods and restricting the body of nutrition for the sake of changing one’s pant size.

The best advice I ever read was from an American actress named Carla Gugino who said, “If I’m having a chocolate chip cookie, I have the best chocolate chip cookie I can find.”

This idea of quality versus quantity, that instead of fulfilling oneself with mass quantities of food that lack any satisfaction so that it necessitates over-consumption, one should, if they desire to give in to temptation, do so with some integrity.

Thus, if you are going to eat bad food, at least do it well.

Along with dieting comes the need for physical exercise, and frequently magazines promote ways to cut corners in this department. This too encourages a state of mind that believes one can put forth the most minimal amount of effort and sacrifice yet somehow achieve substantial, long term changes.

When it is advertised that eating a healthy balanced diet and exercising are not required to lose weight, the advice should immediately be discarded similarly to literature that states the Holocaust never happened.

But often unrealistic ideas of dieting are devoured without a moment’s reflection.
The fact that women actually buy into these notions of health and beauty is completely unrepresentative of the intelligence and rationality of the female population.

A woman has autonomy when it comes to how she treats her body and she must start by taking responsibility for her actions.

One can blame the pressure within society to fulfill ones traditional role as a man’s “trophy” but, at the end of the day, women must stand against it.

If, together, women can drastically alter the role of themselves in society it must be acknowledged that the CEO of Cosmopolitan or Weight Watchers is no match for a collective force.

If the interest of maintaining one’s health were to replace the need of women to be thin, the world would be entirely altered.

Not only would women be less focused and stressed about superficial qualities, other things would change too.

Food would have to meet quality standards never seen before and the environment would be less impacted by the mass quantity of pesticides and factory animal farming used.

Diseases such as diabetes, breast and ovarian cancer that flourish in women with poor nutrition would curtail while the dependency on automobiles, television, Internet and fast-food that feed into the lazy culture of North American society and detract from physical activity would no longer be in such high demand.

If women begin to live by having integrity and respect for their bodies, by taking responsibility for their actions, many other components of the world would be impacted for the better.

Wouldn’t it be a beautiful world if women learned to love themselves regardless of what size and shape they were, as long as they treated themselves with the dignity they deserve?