Ending body-bashing from 10 - 100
I know that when most people think about body hate, they focus on preteens, teens, and young adults, but it doesn’t end there. The habits we make when we’re young - smoking, drinking, habitually ignoring emails, and body-hate - last long into our adult years.
Think about it, if someone starts smoking at twelve and never realizes the damage or finds the desire to stop, they’ll smoke well into their adulthood and may very well die from it. Body-hate is the same way. My successful female boss with a great job, long-term marriage, lovely home and fantastic family, hates her body. On a daily basis she calls herself a cow (apparently a size 8US is enormous) and outwardly expresses her guilt over food. It’s almost the only conversation in the office. Every single day successful middle aged, stable women lament their bodies. They call themselves whales and cows while eating Burger King, then talk for the next two hours about how fat they are.
It makes a poisonous environment. I live a healthy life, I happily indulge occasionally in yummy junk food, I work out six days a week and I’m happy with my body. But in there, it makes me want to hate on my own body just to have something to talk about. How do you respond to your boss saying, ‘I’m such a cow,’ all the time? It’s easy to say, ‘I know, I feel like a whale.’
What you should say is, ‘You’re not a cow. None of you are. Bashing yourself won’t get your anywhere. If you want to change your habits, do so, but if not, accept yourself at the size you’re at.’ Then walk away. Shut your mouth. Do not encourage the body bashing and don’t join in. If you do, then you’re staring at your future. You don’t want to be that person.