Health And Family

Love your body

SAVOIR FAIRE - Mayenne Carmona - The Philippine Star

Most of us have “repeat” resolutions every onset of a new year. Before I write them out, I already know that the number one item in my list is the same as in the previous years: Lose weight!

My friends get shocked when I tell them that through my teens till most of my adulthood, I had a case of BDD (Body Dysmorphic Disorder.) I found myself always on the plump side. I was over critical of myself — my complexion was too dark (as all my siblings were fair,) my legs, arms, stomach, hips too big; my nose too wide. In short, I felt so fat and unattractive.

Through the years, I would go on crash diets, shield myself from the sun, avoid holidays on the beach, exercise excessively. I even enrolled in meditation classes to change my mindset about my BDD but with no success.

I received a lot of compliments on how well I looked, but my mind was set on the fact that I didn’t look good enough.

Then one day, a well-meaning boyfriend told me that he was sick and tired of hearing me whining (on a daily basis — can you blame him?) on how fat I looked and needing lipo-suction here and there. Short of lambasting me and calling me narcissistic, he almost called me stupid and uninteresting. He told me to open my eyes to the reality that nobody is perfect and that he preferred to indulge in “intelligent conversation” other than the latest diet fads and how to lose weight (which was my constant topic). Yikes, I must have bored him to tears! I am surprised he took so much of my nonsense. 

I didn’t talk to him for days, but it opened a whole new perspective on how I looked at myself.  On his part, he helped me get over my BDD and made me confident in my own skin by giving me a lot of pep talk and encouragement about loving the body I was born with. It worked! I realized that love and compassion from a loving friend could change one’s whole idea of how to look at one’s imperfect body. 

That brought to mind a friend I had years ago who caught the attention of so many male admirers. She wasn’t really pretty, and she was on the heavy side. What made her attractive to many people, especially the opposite sex? She had phenomenal self-confidence. She carried herself with an aura that screamed, “Look at me, I am sexy and beautiful!”

Looking back, I realized now that what turns one person on could be boring or unappealing to someone else. There is no set formula on what is beautiful and sexy.

What then is sexy? My survey says: Confidence, kindness, authenticity.

Looking good and feeling healthy add to sexiness. How do we achieve those two goals?
According to stress management coach Kate Bartolotta, healthy and good looks are different on different people.

There are extreme ends of emaciation and overweight that carry health risks. So, let’s not deal with abnormal cases.  The issue here is that as a society, we have a mental image of what “healthy” is and it’s a fairly narrow window. Thinness doesn’t automatically equal health and extra weight does not necessarily equal health problems. There is a wide range of normal and the images we oftentimes see on billboards, magazines, and advertising campaigns don’t reflect that.

To add to our faulty body image is the clothing industry. They insist on a certain style and fabric (stretch and clingy) that look good only on size-2 ladies and the young. We should all change our mindset on this and agree that if the clothing is unflattering, the clothing is the problem, not our bodies.
If there are clothes in your closet that you are saving for when you are a different size, you are postponing the joy of wearing them now. Let them go. Clothes that make you look frumpy and unattractive will not improve your body image either, so get rid of them.
I am not touting the “look good fat” image of yourself. I am all for being comfortable in the body that gives you confidence and makes you feel healthy.

This is the thought that I would like to carry with me in 2016 and till the end of time:
“My body is a work of art. It has lines and scars that tell amazing stories. Its colors are unique and spectacular. It has both curves and angles in proportions that are unlike anyone else’s. Your body doesn’t need to change for you to love it more. You just need to change how you see it.”

* * *

Source: Kate Bartolotta in Huff Post, Women












  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with