Friday, January 19, 2007

Weight Affects Self Esteem, Health And Contributes To Discrimination by Susan Megge

A good article with a few good points from the author. I agree with the author that getting in good shape should not be for others; getting in shape should be for the personal, emotional and physical well-being of the person herself/himself. The author also brought out an interesting perspective; instead of saying, "I'm on diet", why not say, "I want to be thinner and will take steps that are necessary to reach that goal?" Remember that getting in shape is for the good of yourself and not for anyone. Wishing you good health.

The recent Rosie vs. Donald “War of Words” has people across the nation taking sides. Donald’s harsh words regarding Rosie’s weight have many people outraged – and rightfully so. Unfortunately, it seems as though discriminating against those women who are considered “fat” has become the norm and is quite often acceptable in many circles. While I’m not overweight myself, someone with whom I’m very close is. As a matter of fact, she’s my sister – and probably one of the most generous, kind and helpful people I’m lucky enough to know (probably very much like Rosie).

It hurts me a great deal to think that people may be snickering behind my sister’s back when they can’t begin to imagine what a beautiful person she is inside. Should my sister lose weight just to become a pleasant sight to others? Should Rosie get in shape to prove she’s more beautiful than Donald (and she is!)? Absolutely not. It’s never – and I do mean never – a good idea to make changes just to please other people. Should overweight individuals make lifestyle alterations to contribute to their own personal, emotional and physical well-being? Well, I think so.

In recent weeks my sister has joined me at the gym and I couldn’t be happier or more proud. Not only is she taking steps to become a healthier person, but she’s also ensuring that I’m going to have my sister around for a good long time. You see, discrimination is only a fraction of the problems overweight and obese individuals face, and probably the least of which should contribute to the motivation to lose weight.

So many health conditions are a direct result of being overweight. Those women whose weight is more than that which is recommended face an increased risk of developing heart disease (the number one killer of middle-aged women), diabetes and even some forms of cancer. In addition to the risk of more serious health conditions, women who are overweight face other physical obstacles, as well. For instance, simply standing up from a sitting position can seem as though it’s too much work. Heavier women also have a difficult time walking for any length of time because they tend to become “winded” and too much weight on their feet can contribute to pain and swelling.

Women who are overweight are also quite self-conscious of their weight and may dread even attempting to find an outfit to wear for a special occasion. Let’s face it – it’s just not fun being the “fat chick” but how can you realistically reach your ideal weight without going back to old eating habits that are so very enticing? I know there’s a good possibility you’ve heard this before, but I need to stress that dieting to lose weight may work and be the answer for weight loss, but sticking to a diet proves quite difficult for many people. For this reason, avoid telling yourself that you’re on a diet. Rather, convince yourself that you want to be thinner and will take steps that are necessary to reach that goal. This may mean that you’ll eat healthier and reduce the size of your portions, but it’s important to remember that you don’t need to starve or even deprive yourself of the foods you really love.

Believe it or not, I spend 7-10 days of every month consuming many foods that are high in fat, calories and carbohydrates. Even though I’m approaching menopause, I’m still experiencing symptoms associated with P.M.S., which include cravings for double cheeseburgers, chocolate and French fries loaded with ketchup. Do I deprive myself of these foods? I’d like to say that I do, but to be honest, no, I don’t deprive myself when the craving hits. Well then, how is it that I remain in a size 4? I exercise regularly, and include weight training in my routine so that I build the muscles necessary to burn all of those nasty calories I consume during my “Miss Piggy” week.

So, you see, I understand food cravings and find myself giving into my temptations, but this doesn’t mean I need to be heavy just because I enjoy bad foods during certain periods of each month. Prior to regularly exercising, yes, I most definitely gained weight as a result of bad food decisions, but if you’re determined enough, you can eliminate your extra weight and still enjoy occasional treats. This will lead to a healthy, happy and self-confident attitude. But remember, do it for you and don’t be concerned what others are saying because the “Donalds” of the world simply don’t matter.

About the Author: Susan Megge is the founder of
http://www.40isbeautiful.com, a website designed to assist women as they approach the years leading to menopause. Susan, a health and fitness expert started experiencing symptoms of menopause several years ago and researched various avenues to deal with these symptoms naturally. This led to her discovery that exercise and fitness play a crucial role in making getting older a very manageable and even wonderful time in a woman's life. Susan Megge is the author of "Being Beautiful Beyond 40," a book dedicated to helping women to be inspired, confident and beautiful as they approach menopause.

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