Saturday, April 26, 2014

Is She Skinnier Than Me?

Recently I was at a park where some girls were selling lemonade and cookies at a stand.  I got in line for lemonade and couldn’t help but overhear what the girls were talking about.  One was saying that some other girl named Kiley (who wasn’t there) had lost weight at gymnastics camp over the summer.  She said, “Is she skinnier than me?”

This began a whole debate about who was skinnier than whom.  They compared the sizes of their jeans, the space between the thighs (the thigh gap) and complained about not being able to see their hipbones.
Then one of them said, “Well, Kiley may be skinny but she still needs a nose job.”
It occurred to me that the smallest part of these girls was their self-confidence, which seemed to be solely based on their weight and appearance in comparison to other girls. 

Sound familiar?  Do you compare yourself to others and constantly feel as if you fall short? 

Or do you feel superior when you make comparisons?   Recently someone confided at how superior she felt when she saw another women eating dinner at a restaurant.  She scoffed, “I thought she was so weak.  I felt so strong in comparison.”

This woman thought her ability to deprive herself and use willpower to not “give in” to the need to eat made her strong.  This is a pyrrhic victory, one that causes suffering in the long run.

To stop comparing yourself to others, it’s important to challenge the ideas about yourself that negatively impact your self esteem.  When you feel good about yourself, you’re less likely to turn to food for comfort or distraction, or to prove anything about yourself.

Where did you get the idea that you’re not good enough as you are?
What do you think needs to change?  Weight?  Martial status?  Employment status? 
What makes you think that depriving yourself reflects strength of character?
Think of someone you compare yourself to unfavorably?  What do you imagine would change if you had her (or his) looks, weight, life? 

What aspects of yourself – physical, intellectual, mental, emotional – do you feel good about?

What makes you happy?

When you feel good about yourself, you're less vulnerable food, weight or body image issues!

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