DIET!!! This one small word is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions, yet it causes numerous problems for people when it becomes an obsession.
Start the new year right by trying to lose some weight! Companies promise to help you lose that excess weight so you will find happiness and be successful. There are all sorts of different diets to try, fitness clubs to join and exercise equipment to buy. But are these promises real?
Many people become obsessed with dieting because society projects unrealistic images of beauty. And who gains from this? Certainly not the people who are dieting – it is the companies who sell diet products and exercise equipment, the gyms, the doctors who perform plastic surgery, cosmetic companies and so on. They make billions of dollars each year trying to make us feel bad about ourselves.
In actual fact, most people who go on diets do NOT succeed. About 90% FAIL, so you have a 1 in 10 chance to succeed – not very good odds. Besides, dieting causes other problems like eating disorders, damage to internal organs and depression. Why do we want to hurt ourselves? I dieted myself for years and was always frustrated because I wasn’t successful. Dieting became an addiction and I was obsessed with losing weight. So what happened to those promises of finding happiness? And where is all that money I spent on diet plans and equipment? All gone for what!
Instead of trying different ways to lose weight and then giving up when they don’t work, find a healthy diet that includes the 4 basic food groups, don’t skip meals, don’t overeat, exercise regularly and do everything in moderation. Ask your family doctor about a healthy diet and exercise plan that will work for you. Also, remember that it takes time and patience to lose weight properly and keep it off. Nobody gains weight in a few days or weeks and we can’t expect to lose it quickly. Since I stopped looking for a quick and easy way to lose weight, I’ve been eating properly, exercising when I can and I am able to maintain a healthy weight.
Society makes it hard to feel confident about ourselves. We are constantly told that we aren’t good enough and we keep trying to be that perfect person; whoever that may be. We need to stop comparing ourselves to other and enjoy being in our own body; it is the only one we will ever have and we should take good care of it. We can never get away from ourselves – everywhere we go, there we are. We have to live with ourselves, so we need to learn to like ourselves. We were born special and unique – so let’s celebrate this New Year and be happy just being ourselves!
In today’s world, young people have huge issues about beauty and body image. Did you know that about 2/3 of all females avoid participating in some activities because they feel bad about how they look and almost half of all males are unhappy with their looks? There is so much pressure on young girls and boys to be physically perfect and this creates all sorts of problems – stress, anxiety, depression, addictions, eating disorders, and so on.
All you have to do is read a magazine, turn on the TV or look at a computer to see images of ‘beautiful’ people living ‘perfect‘ lives. These unrealistic images of beauty become reality, especially for our young people and they become obsessed with their looks, losing all sense of their own unique identity.
Body weight has become a major issue and even though only 19% of teenage girls are overweight, about 67% think they need to lose weight. Stats show that 80% of girls have dieted by the time they are 18 – but listen to this – 40% of girls have dieted by the time they are 9!!! This just about blew me away!!! What is happening to our young people?
We need to start promoting healthy living to our younger generation. How? By becoming a positive role model and setting a good example.
Are you confident in your own abilities and do you have a strong self-esteem about your own body image? This will have a positive effect on those around you. Or are you constantly dieting, criticising your own looks and obsessed about your clothing? This will have a negative affect on those around you.
Make some positive changes in your life and then consider becoming a mentor to someone in our younger generation. There are so many young people who don’t have any positive influences in their lives and they are desperately struggling to find out who they really are. Try to make a difference in someone’s life and you will find it very rewarding!
Dove has put together a lot of ideas on how to start discussions with young people. Visit their site for some great ideas http://www.dove.ca/en/Social-Mission/default.aspx