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!
What would you write to yourself?
I’ve seen/heard that same conversation. It’s very sad, and it makes me even more resolute to deal with body image issues now, so I don’t pass them on to my future children.
Thanks for the wonderful video! You’re such an inspiration!
That video was so powerful Angela! Thank you for that.
I tell myself everyday to “be rational. love yourself. and TRUST yourself. Because you can.”
I am enough. Hard to believe sometimes, but oh so true. :) LOVE IT.
What a powerful note. Good on you for having the guts to write it.
That was a very moving video, Ange. My heart goes out to those 9 and 10 year olds…they should feel beautiful. We all know what that stress leads to. It’s life changing.
What struck me the most was when you asked how many minutes each of us think about weight/food during our days. TOO MUCH.
I should tell myself, “Life is too short to worry about this day after day,” and “You know you’re gorgeous – show it off!”
I have done several research papers on young girls and eating disorders. It is so so sad. I probably would have cried if I saw that in the grocery store. The media sickens me with all of those tabloids about people’s weight and whatnot. Amazing post.
Thank you so much, Angela. This was beautiful.
i wish that every woman could see this video. maybe then, once mothers realize what they are passing on to their daughters and we stop comparing ourselves to other women, this fat + hate talk can end.
i have started to come to the realization that health and happiness is more important than image and the scales. life is too short to worry about minute ‘flaws’ that no one else notices.
thank you for the touching post!!! you are such an inspiration!! :D
wow, such a powerful post! i think my note would say “you are a strong, beautiful, intelligent and successful woman, no matter what your weight is.” i know that i’ve made a lot of bad decisions in my life because i thought i wasn’t worth it, because being fat made me not worth it. it really was just recently that i started to realize that being healthy is NOT just about the number on the scale or the size on my pants – it’s a mental thing too. working on my mental health is what is finally allowing me to work on my physical health.
Great post Angela. I used to be pretty restrictive with food when I first became interested in nutrition in High School. Almost a bit of orthorexia, but not quite that extreme? I would eat healthfully, but not enough for my very active, dancing body. I’ve now realized that I don’t have to be so strict and can enjoy every aspect of cooking, eating, spending time with family and friends. We need to realize that each one of us is special and our bodies deserve nourishing thoughts just as much as nourishing and satisfying food.
I love that this topic is being discussed! Thank you for the inspirational video.
I can’t believe that happened either! Sometimes when I see or hear things like that I want to shield whoever that is from those thoughts. I try to live and think positively and I hope to exude that so other people can embrace it too. I know one thing I am against vocalizing is how one piece of cake will make me fat or something ridiculous like that. I don’t like to say “I’m a fat ass” when I’m indulging, even though I heard that sooo much from other people. I know they mean it jokingly, but I think it must have a subconscious affect. I mean people have such a twisted view on what food does to the body. It’s all these diet products and achieving “thinness”.
Jen, this is the best line of the night.
“thanks, body, for sticking with me even when i’m an abusive jerk.”
My, God, how true is that. No matter how much I’ve resricted, over exercised, binged, given up on myself, hated myself…my body keeps going and moving.
My note to myself:
Look at all you’ve done. Look where you’ve come from. Look where you are. You are strong, smart, fun, successful and beautiful.
Thanks for posting this, Angela! There are so many women that torture themselves over their weight. It’s not just young girls either. There are a couple of women in their 30s & 40s at my gym who are clearly anorexic and starving themselves. Let’s send them love & help them remember that they are beautiful!
I absolutely love this video! So simple, yet so inspiring. Exactly what I needed!
I love that you are talking about this important issue. Like many women I have had bouts of disordered eating over the years, but no matter where I am in that journey, I ALWAYS tell myself that when I have children I would never show them anything but how to eat healthy and to love themselves!
I came over here from Caitlin’s journal, and I just have to say, you are gorgeous. :) I’ve added you to my reader. No, not just cuz you’re pretty, but because so many of my favorite blogs recommend you!
Thanks for another positive blog post, I’m so pleased I started reading your blog, I think you have a really great attitude. Keep up the good work, that was exactly what I needed to hear/see/read this morning, thank-you!
I can’t see your video :(
wow, that video is so powerful and reminded me why im trying to recover from an ed….for freedom, for a life and because life free of an obsession with my weight is something worth fighting for. thanks for posting this ange :) you have no idea how inspiring this is for me!
I love the idea of treting yourself as you would a good friend. What a great idea.
My note would say “You are stronger than you think you are.” It’s something my mother said to me one of the many times I was selling myself short and questioning my own abilities.
Excellent post and video!! I used to express myself through videos like this, but that was when YouTube still allowed posting of videos set to music. I’m curious about how you were able to put this video online. I’d love it if you sent me a quick e-mail to tell me about it. I miss making videos, but when I can’t share them with anyone, it makes them feel less therapeutic.
Again, valuable post and video!!
I cannot tell you how much this post hit home for me. I have been reading your blog since March, and you have truly been an inspiration to me. I have had this weight obsessive mentality since I was 12. I am 33 now and have an 8 year old daughter. Since I started reading your blog I have quit counting points and have recently quit weighing myself. It has been so freeing and empowering. I do not want my daughter to think that these behaviors are okay and that it is all about being skinny and seeing that “perfect” number on the scale. Food is meant to fuel our bodies and to be enjoyed. That is what I want her to know. It is so sad that this way of thinking is commonplace among women. Many of us seem to want to get away from it, but we don’t. I think it is definitely time to break the cycle. Thanks for the great messages that you send.
My relationship with myself is my most important as well. I was lucky enough to be taught this by my mother at a young age. People will always come and go in my life, but I have put up with myself forever, so I better learn to love myself!!
Just Awesome! I’m going to post your link on my blog. Thank you again!!!!!!
WOW. What an absolutely inspirational video.
Goodbye to the hate talk. I would tell myself…”I am a wonderful person and if others can’t see that, that is THEIR loss!”
Thank you–this really hit home for me. I truly believe in affirmations ala Louise Hay. What would mine say, “I love me just as I am.” Thank you for reminding me that I am more than the numbers on the scale and my clothes!!
That is awesome – we all need a little help in reminding ourselves that we are enough, each and every day. Thank you for all you do Angela – I know we are all so lucky to have someone around that reminds us of these things :).
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.
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!
I believe that “Operation Beautiful” is such a great idea.
Because we are beautifully and wonderfully made!!!
Best post I have read all day! Thanks for the reminder.
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.)
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!
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.
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.”
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!
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…
Ok I’ll admit I even shed a tear or two.
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!
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****
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!
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!!!
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!
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!”
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.
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!
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.