Matt Stone, from 180 Degree Health had a provocative blog today, explaining how a mother was forcing her daughter to lose weight. Either she had to lose 15 pounds in under two weeks, pay $400 or move out of the mother’s home.  Many described this mother’s approach as abusive.

this girl is not overweight!

I don’t even know whether it’s important to add that the girl didn’t even seem visably overweight from her photos. She looks healthy, but not fashionable anorexic like the movie stars and models popular today. The post elicited many responses, many telling the girl that she looks great, and to leave her abusive mother.

The mother has fallen for the diet industry lies that makes her believe that her daughter CAN diet her way into a thinner body. If you’ve read on this site, you already know that dieting doesn’t work, and indeed, only makes you gain more weight when you stop controlling your caloric intake. But besides this, the mother’s behavior raises a lot of issues. WHAT is the reason that  makes girls and even older women feel that their value is only in what they look like? Below is my response to the blog.

Unless you were raised by wolves, we all have some human who raises us – and they did as well. When I was a child-abuse counselor, I always told the child (who unfortunately, was living with a parent while social workers decided what to do with the family) to ask their abusing parent, what their childhood was like. It turns out that over 90{5b8e831512cf0c284f7edae7fc403e9a09e5b1736c5b1d60e4451a29dc064ebe} of abusers were abused themselves.

No, it’s not right, but it just IS.

This is a larger story about all cultures: not just parents, but media that makes anorexic looking girls fashionable. It’s the story of how desperately girls want to be accepted, that they will starve themselves to look like the models and actors they admire. This is the story of girls who have little understanding that they are so much more than what they look like: the talents, gifts, hopes for their lives. It’s heartbreaking…. and I was one of those girls myself.

My mother was overweight, but never on a diet – and I didn’t want to be fat like her (I’m so ashamed that I even said this: she was one of the sweetest, most intelligent, caring women on the earth!).

So I started dieting when I was THIN!! I dieted chronically, always wanting to be thinner; and of course, when my body stopped losing weight, and I gave up in frustration (still not eating a normal amount) I’d gain it back. PLUS the additional punishment pounds for dieting in the first place. But I always went back, to try the next “miracle diet”. I dieted myself into considerable overweight. Self-hatred, blaming my body, fear…. all of those stressful feelings made me into what I feared the most: fat.

Thankfully, I found Matt Stone, while I was on another diet: the Paleo Plan, that didn’t work. I cried in relief for finally learning that dieting was making me fat. I read Matt’s books, talked with him, re-fed myself, and got myself back on the path to health and healthy weight.

First of all, it is so important to work on your self-esteem to know you are SO MUCH MORE than just your appearance, or a number on a scale (throw it away!). Get rid of friends who want to look like Barbie Dolls. Focus on your inner gifts, your purpose in life, and being YOU. Stop stressing about your appearance! Stress starts you on the path to overweight!

EVERYONE who is lucky gets older, and looks do not remain youthful. But we are STILL beautiful because of our hearts, minds, souls; and our body evolves and is the reflection of all of who you are.

With regard to this particular mother, and other “abusive” mothers. This is truly sad. Some of these mothers truly believe that they are helping their children. Others are jealous; or have other reasons for their behavior. That was probably how they were treated as a child. None of it is right, and it becomes a challenge to live your life despite of the abuse.

 It’s been said that the things that don’t kill you make your strong. I really don’t necessarily believe that. It can break your down, and make you feel ugly, useless, not good enough. For many, that’s enough to stop them from trying to live their lives and be happy.  But by connecting with your heart, your purpose for being; you will know in your heart that your soul is truly beautiful; and in time, you can move past the harmful criticism.

There’s wonderful ways to transform a negative mindset; to turn off the hurtful words from others and the ones that you hear in your head; the memories of hearing them said to you. (EFT, and other techniques can be so powerful to breakthrough those negative beliefs). And you have to stop saying them to yourself as well.

Thankfully, this young woman had enough personal strength to reject her mother’s attitude. That shows me that her self-esteem is strong enough to have her maintain her path of believing in herself. 

Make-It-So-SignatureDid someone encourage you to lose weight? What did you do? Please share below to help others.

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