“If I could’ve placed a microphone in a position

to record the discussion”

After a recent speech about weight-loss at an exercise studio I found myself with a “skinny-girl” drink aka bubbly in hand talking to a small group of women that attended the event.

If I could’ve placed a microphone in a position to record the discussion, it would’ve provided fascinating insight into the female psyche and how her body is connected to it.  How do we feel about ourselves?  How important is body image in our daily lives?  What contribution does it make to our self-worth?

At the beginning of the evening I sat watching all the women stroll through the door and was instantly aware that not a single one of them was truly overweight.  Some of them exercise regularly and others were merely invited by friends to get some inspiration to start an exercise programme.  At that point I wondered to myself what I could possibly contribute to their knowledge of weight-loss and exercise when it didn’t seem like any of them really needed it.

After my two cents about weight-loss and what worked for me, the feedback session commenced.  They spoke of their experience with weight and shared the daily struggle it entails for them. Some admitted that they hadn’t exercised in a long time and follow a very unhealthy diet, but is once again inspired to pay attention to their health.

Later that evening, standing with the last small group of people left we chatted about our self worth.  What the one woman said was for me, someone who isn’t naturally skinny, an eye opener.  “My mother told me the other day that ‘all you young skinny girls don’t have problems with your weight’. Meanwhile she doesn’t understand that it governs every minute of every day in my life.  Every bite of food I put in my mouth…”

Shocked, I sat and listened to the lean, pretty woman and realise anew that it is a daily challenge, even to her.  You see, only overweight people struggle with their body image.  How can a skinny woman possibly have problems with how she looks in the mirror?

We are all very aware of the world-view on what is ideal and what is over-weight.  A woman visited the studio the other day for an interview about food and her recipes.  At the beginning of the interview I commented that she might as well have been a model.  She nodded and said that she was indeed a model and wasn’t allowed to eat certain foods, but that she now models for the plus-sized market.  I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, because frankly how skinny must a person be?  I again realised how high the standards for models are and of course as direct result through advertising also for every woman.

Exercise remains important whether you’re skinny or whether you need to lose weight.  Still the question remains:  When are we finally going to be comfortable and happy in our own skin?  Maybe it is time to work just as hard on a healthy, positive relationship with our bodies as we expend in the daily discomfort and unhappiness we experience when we examine ourselves in the mirror every morning.