ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

A New Resolution: Being Comfortable With Yourself

Updated on September 19, 2010
Source:Michal Marcol -http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=371
Source:Michal Marcol -http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=371

A Healthy Resolution?

 At a time of year when we all tend to focus on our regrets and short comings, I propose we spend a little more time accepting who we are.  And, if we feel we need to make a change, let us do so in the spirit of good health, rather than unrealistic expectations of body size and beauty.

Unrealistic Expectations

 As a society, we in the United States, and much of the "westernized" world, have a bad habit of focusing on the people in high places.  We place a magnifying glass on their lives, but see only what is broadcast through a media filter.  Our obsession with "entertaiment news" (since when this should be a viable headline subject on my internet news sites, I have no idea) is both unhealthy and absurd.  Today one of the news headlines that popped up on my home page... A HEADLINE for goodness sake... was FERGIE GAINS 17LBS.  My first thought was "Who cares?"  The answer - far too many of us.  My second thought was "Good for her... someone finally had the presence of mind to feed that woman a cheeseburger."

We are constantly presented with unrealistic visions of the perfect family, the perfect life and the perfect body.  We focus on the 10% of the population that we believe "has it all" rather than the 90% that are living an average, and comparatively "normal" existence.

I previously thought that the answer was to turn our vision inwards to ourselves.  To really focus on what matters to us, and not to others.  But, I'm a practical woman.  I know this is not an easy task.  After 32 years of being inundated with media coverage, advertising, social standards and the opinions of my peers, I, quite simply, care what other people think.  I like to tell myself that I stay fit because its healthy, I put on make up because its good for my self esteem and I choose what I wear because I like it, but that is only partially true.  I've learned that my outward appearance makes a huge difference to those around me, especially those I don't know.  And, as much as I am loathe to admit it, I care about their opinion.

So, instead of purely "looking inward" perhaps the answer lies in adjusting our view of the world.  Instead of looking at the sexy models in the magazine ads and holding ourselves to the standards of the stars.  Let's look at what science tells us is healthy, and what society at large tells us is the norm.

Fact v. Fiction

  • The average American woman is 5'4" tall and weighs 140 pounds.
  • The average American model is 5'11" tall and weighs 117 pounds.
  • Most fashion models are thinner than 98% of American women.

(source: http://www.inch-aweigh.com/dietstats.htm)

And yet, we obsess over looking like these amazons (or being with them, depending on your particular druthers.) These women, the ones we think we need to emulate, are NOT a picture of health. They are simply a picture of a fantasy world. If you'll indulge me in a side bar, I am not, in anyway, knocking a woman who is 5'11" and weighs 117lbs. I work with a lot of models in my job, and many of them are healthy, well adjusted individuals. So long as their doc is happy with their physicality, then who am I to judge? My problem with this situation is that I hear other women, who will never be 5'11" and 117lbs obsessing over the fact that they will never be 5'11" and 117lbs. As a nation, we diet and fail, we excercise and fail, we plan to eat healthy, organic, low calorie meals and fail.

The reason for all the failure? The insurmountable odds of an unattainable goal. Re-set your brain, re-train your desires, and you can create a situation where success is possible, and even probable. I am 5'4" tall. Wait, let me own that...

I AM 5'4" TALL!!!!!!!!

I can't make myself grow 4", I'm at a point in my life where I'll probably start shrinking soon. I could starve myself and loose a few pounds, but I'm not even sure if I should. As a society, why not stop striving for "skinny" and start striving for "healthy."

Healthy Options

Ask a woman her height. She'll answer. Ask a woman her age. She'll lie. Ask a woman her weight. HOLD ON!!! Never, EVER, ask a woman her weight!!! (My point is, however, that she knows it.)

Now, ask that same woman for another series of numbers. Her cholesterol, her iron count, her blood pressure, and possibly, her BMI. Chances are, she has no idea.

These are the numbers we should be focusing on. I recently had a health screening, and was happily suprised to discover that most of my numbers fall well within the range for my age group. Then, I realized, that I shouldn't have been suprised. Not because I take such excellent care of myself, but because I really should have known. If I truly want to be healthy, as I claim, then I need to be aware of what my body is doing.  I need to take charge of these lesser known numbers; drop my focus on what the scale tells me, and instead focus on my waist line (seems counter-intuitive, I know, but excessive body weight focused at the midriff is a poor health indicator for both men and women) and muscle tone; schedule my annual physical and listen carefully to the results of the blood work; and stop skipping breakfast (and lunch, and dinner on some busy days) and focus on filling my belly with the nutrients it needs.

Anticancer: A New Way of Life
Anticancer: A New Way of Life

After undergoing chemotherapy and surgery, Servan-Schreiber asked his oncologist if any lifestyle changes would prevent a relapse; the answer was no. Certain this was wrong, Servan-Schreiber spent months researching a mass of scientific data on natural defenses against cancer.

 
Going Gray: What I Learned about Beauty, Sex, Work, Motherhood, Authenticity, and Everything Else That Really Matters
Going Gray: What I Learned about Beauty, Sex, Work, Motherhood, Authenticity, and Everything Else That Really Matters

Kreamer has been creative director of Nickelodeon/Nick at Nite and columnist for Martha Stewart Living. She has a loving husband and 2 daughters. She was 49 and still pretending to be young. So not only did she decide to stop coloring her hair, she set out to discover the practical implications of going gray.

 
The Last Lecture (Thorndike Nonfiction)
The Last Lecture (Thorndike Nonfiction)

When Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, was asked to give such a lecture, he didn't have to imagine it as his last, since he had recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer. But the lecture he gave--"Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams"--wasn't about dying. It was about the importance of overcoming obstacles, of enabling the dreams of others, of seizing every moment (because "time is all you have...and you may find one day that you have less than you think"). It was a summation of everything Randy had come to believe. It was about living.

 
Superfoods For Dummies
Superfoods For Dummies

Want to eat healthier, lose weight, and fight off disease? You can do it with superfoods! This friendly guide explains everything you need to know — why you need superfoods, the science behind them, and how to prepare and enjoy them.

 
Cholesterol Down: Ten Simple Steps to Lower Your Cholesterol in Four Weeks--Without Prescription Drugs
Cholesterol Down: Ten Simple Steps to Lower Your Cholesterol in Four Weeks--Without Prescription Drugs

With everything you need to stay focused on the plan, including a daily checklist, a six-month chart for racking LDL cholesterol changes, tools for assessing your risk level for cardiovascular disease, sample weekly menus, and even heart-healthy recipes, Cholesterol Down is the safe and effective alternative or complement to statin drugs.

 
Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight for Everybody
Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight for Everybody

Don't think you'll get the Mayo Clinic Instant Weight-Loss Diet in this book--there's no such thing. Instead, you get the information that the esteemed Mayo Clinic physicians and dietitians give their patients about weight control. There's no doctor-speak here: every point is explained simply and clearly, organized with frequent bold headings for easy skimming, and illustrated with helpful charts.

 
Coromega Omega-3 Supplement, Orange Flavor, Squeeze Packets, 90-Count Box
Coromega Omega-3 Supplement, Orange Flavor, Squeeze Packets, 90-Count Box

Omega 3 is an important factor in whole body health. Most of us do not get enough of this beneficial substance.

 
Panasonic EW3109W Portable Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor White/Grey
Panasonic EW3109W Portable Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor White/Grey

Blood pressure sky high? Too low? Don't know? Never be unsure.

 

Healthy Mind, Well Body: More than just weightloss

So, please join me in changing more than your pant size this winter. Not that you should need it from me, but I give you permission to stay your current height, to continue eating three meals a day, and even to skip the gym just this once and sit on the couch curled up with a good book. But, let's make the book one about healthy habits, stress reduction techniques or how to get more joy out of life. Let's make the meals full of dark greens, anti-oxidant rich foods, and healthy fats and oils. And, as much as my lazy self hates to toss it in here... let's hit the gym tomorrow. But, when we do, let's make that work out about ourself, not the crazy skinny chick in spandex two treadmills over. Let's make it about health, long life and happiness... And, if it just so happens to get us into a bathing suit this July, let's consider that a happy side effect of our many, many joyful summers, winters, falls and springs to come.

Thanks for reading. I wish you Long Life, Good Health and Happiness.

Further Reading

 If you enjoyed this article, check out some of the interesting links below.  And please, rate this up, leave a comment or share the link with your friends.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • ThoughtfulSpot profile image
      Author

      ThoughtfulSpot 6 years ago from PA

      Kyblue - What a wonderful compliment. Thank you!

    • profile image

      kyblueyes 6 years ago

      I love reading your hubs. You have a down-to-earth insightful point of view that I can really relate to. Reading this article inspires me to live healthier instead of making me feel pressured to watch everything I eat. Thanks and keep the great hubs coming!

    • ThoughtfulSpot profile image
      Author

      ThoughtfulSpot 7 years ago from PA

      Thank you SummerSteward. I agree with all my heart.

    • SummerSteward profile image

      SummerSteward 7 years ago from Duluth MN

      I hope someday.. this is the media coverage we strive for. Real women, real lives, real hopes and dreams. Not superficially plastic people.

    • ThoughtfulSpot profile image
      Author

      ThoughtfulSpot 7 years ago from PA

      Thanks very much Fluffy. I'm glad you liked it.

    • Fluffymetal profile image

      Fluffymetal 7 years ago from Texas

      Great Hub. I enjoyed reading it very much.

    • ThoughtfulSpot profile image
      Author

      ThoughtfulSpot 7 years ago from PA

      Thanks Paradise! I really enjoyed writing this one. Thanks for the "fanning" as well. :)

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Terrific hub, Thoughtful. I just became your fan!

    • ThoughtfulSpot profile image
      Author

      ThoughtfulSpot 7 years ago from PA

      Lorlie- I like how you phrased that it "still whispers." Its a really good analogy. I too am much more comfortable in my own skin as I get older, but every now and then those early insecurities come back to haunt. Thanks for the read!

    • lorlie6 profile image

      Laurel Rogers 7 years ago from Bishop, Ca

      Our programming as young girls is so overwhelming, ThoughtfulSpot! As I age, I think I am settling down about weight and makeup and clothing and on and on...But it still whispers to me, you know?

      Thanks so much for this very thoughtful Hub! :)

    • ThoughtfulSpot profile image
      Author

      ThoughtfulSpot 7 years ago from PA

      Thanks 2patricias. At some point in my life, I started focusing more on my health, both inside and out, and it was a turning point for me towards a more peaceful outlook. I hope others can find that place too.

    • 2patricias profile image

      2patricias 7 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

      Great advice. Health is what really counts. If a woman isn't healthy, she cannot look her best.

      Thanks for a refreshing hub.

    • ThoughtfulSpot profile image
      Author

      ThoughtfulSpot 7 years ago from PA

      The same to you Ralwus. Happy to have you back, and I much appreciate the kind words. My favorite quote, I won't list in its entirety, but the ending is: "There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way." Living each day and trying to remember that helps keep me grounded and (at least fairly) sane. :)

    • profile image

      ralwus 7 years ago

      I think I have been comfartable with me for some time, 'cept for my health issues which I had no part in, it just happened. I could do better I suppose, and I don't pay much attention to the TV or the outward beauty, I love most people and am happy. things could be a lot worse, at least I live another day. God bless, love and peace, CC x

    • ThoughtfulSpot profile image
      Author

      ThoughtfulSpot 7 years ago from PA

      Trips - Thank you so much for your very generous comment. It's not always something that comes easily, but I work to try and maintain a healthy outlook on myself and life in general - and I think its something worth working for. Glad you think this might be helpful to others... I would love for that to be true.

    • Trips profile image

      Trips 7 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      You seem to have really found a depth of authenticity and thoughtfulness that seems to elude most people--as you pointed out, especially Westerners. Sometimes, it's downright embarrassing, how focused we are on a superficial and inauthentic level of consciousness. Really, if we only use--what--3% of our brains?--it's too bad at least 1% of that is taken up with truly mindless superficiality. Thanks for working to help us "normal" women feel not just adequate, but good about ourselves! :-)

    • ThoughtfulSpot profile image
      Author

      ThoughtfulSpot 7 years ago from PA

      Thanks very much IcTodd. I appreciate the support.

    • lctodd1947 profile image

      lctodd1947 7 years ago from USA

      Very good articles. I agree with you in the fact that too many people put their watchful eye to the entertainer..famous if you will. I only have interest in those that appear to be genuine. They are no more than human and had a streak of good luck...I think. When they get behind a politician it doesn't impress me. We should, I believe work with our focus on our inner self, in becoming the best person we can be inward and outward. I do not think we can measure ourself to anyone, we are all individuals with the potential to be our own wonderful success. It is up to how we change our thoughts and our life. Good articles.