Goodbye To The Obsession

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on June 17, 2009

I saw something today that should just never happen.

I was in a grocery store and I saw a mother and her daughter, who looked to be about 7 or 8 years old. The mother was asking her daughter what she wanted for snacks this week, placing a box of granola bars into the cart.

The daughter picked up the box, looked at the label, and said:

“Mommy this has 5 grams of FAT in it!!!”

The mother, obviously used to this from her daughter, said, “Well what do you want to eat then?" and removed the granola bars from the cart.

The daughter said, “Nothing!”

My heart just broke for her and her mother.

And I knew immediately what tonight’s post would be about.

So I must apologize for having to post-pone my baked goods and Part 2 of muscle soreness until tomorrow, but some things just take priority when I believe in it passionately!

Please watch this video that I put together tonight. It helped get my feelings out into something that I hope will be constructive for girls and women out there who are struggling with the obsession.

You can also check out Caitlin’s challenge called Operation Beautiful! Caitlin is challenging all women to start leaving themselves sticky notes that have positive messages written on them like “I’m beautiful”. She also encourages you to leave positive notes in public places, like public washrooms to help other women stop the fat talk.

I know I am already doing it!

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Tonight’s question:

What would you write to yourself?

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

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Dori June 18, 2009 at 9:27 am

Angela, first of all you are so talented! The quality of the video is great. That said, the content is even better. It really made me take a step back and wonder why I continue to torture myself every day. You are so right — who cares if I am not as skinny as I used to me (my main measure of comparison with myself). No one cares — or even NOTICES — other than me. It shouldn’t matter, I have so many things to be thankful and grateful for. My boyfriend in particular can’t understand when I am so hard on myself and now I plan to keep the words from this video in my mind every day.

I especially loved the line to treat ourselves like we would a good friend. Would I ever judge my friends for gaining a few pounds? Of course not! If I even noticed, I’d probably not even think about it after that. I’d want to make them feel great about themselves, not awful for not being “perfect.” Thank you so much for this.

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Krista June 18, 2009 at 9:28 am

I am SO glad that my 10 yr old daughter does not fall into the 80 some % of 10 yr olds who restrict their eating. She has a very healthy appetite and has a strong, fit body from being active. A 10 yr old should not be concerned with calories, fat, etc. They need to be kids!

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TINA June 18, 2009 at 9:53 am

Great Post!
I believe that “Operation Beautiful” is such a great idea.
Because we are beautifully and wonderfully made!!!

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Kim June 18, 2009 at 10:19 am

Best post I have read all day! Thanks for the reminder.

Kim

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Kristen June 18, 2009 at 10:24 am

Angi (waaaay up there in the comments- at 9:13PM June 17th):

Your imperfections are what make you beautiful.

(if you can’t say it to yourself, maybe a few of us just need to say it for you until you CAN do it for yourself.)

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Kiersten June 18, 2009 at 10:38 am

The scene you described in the grocery store upsets me so much. It’s absolutely horrible that our society has become so obsessed with weight and being thin that even young children are affected by it. Your video brought tears to my eyes Angela. I used to be so obsessed with body image and being thin that it was killing me- physically and mentally.

As horrible as society can be to us women, it gives me hope when I see things like Operation Beautiful. It’s a reminder that there are still women out there who won’t let the media change the way they feel about themselves. I hope that everyone will take part in this and spread the message that we are all beautiful and perfect just the way we are!

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Fitzalan June 18, 2009 at 10:45 am

To tell myself that it is okay to not be perfect. That imperfection will lead to a happier and more exciting life.

And that conversation between the mother and daughter–I went through that as a kid, but the one saying “but it has 5 grams of fat in it” was my mother to me–not the other way around. Equally as scarring.

Happiness Awaits

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Sam June 18, 2009 at 10:57 am

I’m in the process of going from obsession to acceptance. It’s a tough road, but reading your blog and seeing your success gives me (and I’m sure tons of other readers) hope that it’s possible. You did a great job on the video, tackling such a tough and much talked about topic.

My note would say:

“You have the ability to change your life and the potential to do amazing things. Don’t sell yourself short.”

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Barbara June 18, 2009 at 11:13 am

Oh man did this hit home!

My note to myself…Girl, remember that a dress size or scale weight doesn’t define you as a person or take away from your beauty”

I’m so hard on myself…wish i could lighten up and enjoy life more!

B

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Natalie M. June 18, 2009 at 11:41 am

I would write to myself.. keep doing what you’re doing because your opinion is the only one that matters!

The video you posted was incredibly touching…

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Natalie M. June 18, 2009 at 11:42 am

Ok I’ll admit I even shed a tear or two.

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Heather June 18, 2009 at 12:21 pm

I really appreciate you taking time to do that video! It really hit home along with a couple post-its on Caitlin’s page! I have linked you both along with a little story I shared on my blog today. I wasn’t very nice to me last night but nipped it in the bud.

I actually find myself being better to myself, not obsessing about calories, etc, since I’ve been reading some of the blogs I’ve come across lately.

Can I just tell you how much better life has been?!?

Thanks for being you, being honest & being a real role model for strong women!

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amy (veganissexy) June 18, 2009 at 12:30 pm

Wow Angela, if this isn’t the truth. I admit I’ve been totally obsessed with all of the bad body habits for years. I go to sleep thinking of all the ways I could have eaten better during the day…how I could have worked harder at the gym….sweated away 5 more minutes on the treadmill….then wake up to do it all over again the next day. I’m constantly thinking of what I’m going to eat…not eat….etc. It’s such a horrid cycle. I read a really interesting arcile in one of my fitness magazines that suggested women binge so they have something to worry/stress/punish/and think about afterwards. It said that when we are punishing ourselves by working out and restricting calories after a binge it takes away from whatever underlying problem you may be trying to avoid. Made a lot of sense to me. It’s a project mentality…..what would we have to stress and work on if we weren’t obsessed with getting “thin.” Terrible. My husband, who of course is the best guy ever reminds me all the time when I start comparing myself to celebs/models/people in magazines: “It’s their job to look good Amy. They get paid mucho bucks to work out, eat healthy, and focus on nothing but themselves and their image.” I really wish we could all see ourselves the way our husband’s, boyfriends, etc see us. No matter how many lbs I lose or gain my husband thinks I’m he most beautiful woman on the planet. ***I really need to try and use him as my mirror****

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Diana (Soap & Chocolate) June 18, 2009 at 1:02 pm

Brilliant! I love positive reminders on body image, and I actually think that those of us in this blog genre have at least some responsibility to put this message out there! I will make sure I link back to you and Caitlin on my next blog post – it’s the least I can do.

I think I should put a note on my mirror that says something like “What you see here is your choice.” Because when I make a conscious effort, I really am capable of looking in the mirror and seeing everything I love about myself, and I love more about myself every time I do that!

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Julia June 18, 2009 at 1:56 pm

Ang – excellent post. I have an eleven-year-old younger sister, and I’ve noticed how easily she picks up on the little things we say to ourselves or others, while eating dinner, buying groceries, out for lunch, getting coffee, etc. I tend to use phrases like “this is healthier” and even then, to hear her ask my mom if fruit snacks are healthy enough to get makes me cringe! Even last year, in fifth grade, my little sister’s friend wouldn’t eat mac & cheese are our house b/c she was dieting like her mom. And another one of her friends constantly calls herself fat and asks my sister if she thinks she is fat. So sad. My mom is really good about what she says, but we are both guilty of buying the magazines and commenting on the appearance of other women at the pool and whatnot. We all need to watch ourselves and think about the impressions we are making.

Thanks again for highlighting such an important issue in today’s society!!!

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Sarah June 18, 2009 at 4:24 pm

Oh my gosh, if I had witnessed that I probably would’ve cried. In fact, I kind of want to even though I didn’t.

I grew up overweight with parents who had no idea what they were doing (nutrition-wise) so I can totally relate. I have so many memories and experiences that make me even more grateful that I am who I am today.

Especially when it comes to my future children!

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shelly June 18, 2009 at 10:40 pm

I love the video!!
I especially liked the part that said “reclaim your life.” (I actually think you should make an Oh She Glows T-shirt that says that.) :)
I would say to myself “You rock at life!”

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Denene June 19, 2009 at 1:28 pm

Angela – are you going to share your recipe for Gl’oreos or did I miss it?

Also, as a mom of two young girls, I struggle with getting them to eat healthy foods – they’d much rather eat chocolate all day. So where is the balance of allowing them to have treats but also teaching them about nutrition? I struggle with food now because my mom let me eat whatever I wanted and as a result gained weight and wasn’t healthy. So while I agree that children shouldn’t obsess about looks, they also have to be taught how to eat nutricious foods.

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Melissa June 20, 2009 at 1:08 am

I’m lying here with tears running down my face. I want to reclaim my life that my scales have taken from me. Thanks for the video Ange! I’m am trying to remind myself when I look in the mirror that I am beautiful!

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Rebecca June 20, 2009 at 3:27 pm

Great Post. I am actually making a collage with inspiring cut outs from Self and Shape magazines to hang up in my apartment. :-) Little girls should not obsess over calories and fat.

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Milk June 24, 2009 at 3:18 am

as soon as the video about feeling good in the skin you’re in finished, an advert came up, and it said ‘lose 8 kilos in 4 weeks’

why do people even advertise such things?

I don’t know but it is frustrating…I wish I could turn them off!

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sybilla January 12, 2010 at 4:53 pm

Hi Angela. I am fifteen years old and i am from Russia, Moscow. I dont quite rememeber how i have discovered your blog, but since I have i realised that i am not alone anymore. I know u live so far away from me, but your story about body image, your eating disorder, and having a chance to loose something very important for you is really close to me.
I have started to have aeting disorders since i was 13, i ate tons of chips, cookies, sweets wich i dont enjoy very much. I would rather eat a papayaor mango, or something healthy. I was struggling alone, nearly dying from starvation looking at magazins and all the shit.
some time after i realised that there are a lot things wich are more important than that, family, friends, live
thank u
life is hard, we have to live each day!!!

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