Saturday, October 30, 2010

Having a sensible doctor!

The newspapers scream "women are TOO fat". Television current affairs night after night show women to be scraggly or plump, but always with camera angles that are derogatory and demeaning!

Inevitably the anchorwoman of the show is a young and healthy, beautiful and slim woman who has the added advantage of flattering and expensive clothing and her hair and makeup carefully applied by, I suspect, television station beauticians. Well, after all, she does represent the television station and programme as well as portraying what all women should look and dress like! Well, that's the inference anyway! I accept that point.

But I get angry when special stories are promoted highlighting excessive weight losses by women, to the detriment of those of us who can't lose the weight we're told we should do, in order that we too might be seen to be acceptable. There were years when I was an avid "dieter" but I quickly came to the conclusion that I am UNABLE to shed the kilos and keep them off, without going to utmost extremes.

As far as my Dr and various Specialists I've attended over the years tell me, I am doing myself untold physical and emotional damage each time I abuse my body by stressing it out with "diets" and exercise regimes which are entirely inappropriate.

Now I am not for one moment saying I don't believe in "sensible" eating or regular light exercise, I do and am very disciplined in this regard. But I'm referring to those attending a gym every day and having a personal trainer who will take me through the steps and ensure that I come out the other end, fit, slim, slender, sexy and the whole bit. But who can afford a personal trainer anyway?

So when my Dr sat me down the other day and gave me a good talking to, I sat up and took notice. (That's not a contradiction, I did sit down and I did sit up!)

Would you believe it? He talked about things like hereditary body shape, things like comfort foods especially as they relate to our childhood and early years and times when we need to recall the feelings of "comfort"; things like stress (either work related or relationship related!); and the fact that, wait for it, some foods react differently to others depending upon a lot of chemical and psychological things within any one person's body. He added that because of medications many women take, we must never assume that they're not having some effect on our bodies or even the food we eat, or vice versa.

What he said newly blew my mind. I thought to myself. "So this is why my best girl friend Helga can eat ANYTHING she likes, in WHATEVER quantity she likes, WHENEVER she likes, prepared and cooked in WHATEVER way she likes, without adding a gram of weight". Sometimes when Helga is in her "creative" mood (she's an artist and artists are allowed to behave any way they like!), she will snack ALL DAY!

I broke down and cried when my Dr explained this to me. But then he added, "it's not so much what you put in your mouth or how much you're putting in your mouth, but perhaps it's the food itself!".

I'd heard this said before. Because I belong to a group of professional ladies all with interests in self-esteem motivation and the like, this suggestion had been spoken about many times over the years. Even today though there's not much research into what is IN the food we're eating, so hearing my Dr put forward the same theory, made me realise there's got to be something in the notion.

I'm shocked to find even in my small research into the subject, that there are already many problems with genetically modified foods; foods that have preservatives and additives, chemicals and colourings; and the unexplained dramatic increase in allergies, even in small children. There are too many excuses being made in this regard obviously by people who have a vested interest in the whole concept, but with no-one giving reliable and honest reasons or answers.

But I've learned a valuable lesson. My curves are ME! They are bigger than some, and smaller than others. But my curves are NOT to be seen as evidence that I am out of control in any way. They merely show that I am fully-rounded like any self-respecting intelligent woman should be!

The fact that my partner sees my body as "pleasing" to him and who has NEVER caused me to think about my size, should have assured me, I know. But it took a caring Dr who took a few extra minutes of his time to explain things so that I could understand, from a medical standpoint, that have made me realise I had fallen into the habit of not reinforcing my own self-worth, but rather had been putting myself down!

No more.

© Leonie Stevens, Australia

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