The pro's and con's of a "I'm so Fat" day

Monday, October 22

Some days nothing looks or feels right, I feel sure I've gained kilograms in days and I land up with a pile of clothes strewn across the bed before concluding that I have absolutely nothing to wear that I could possibly leave the house in.  

For the past five and a half years I have worn a uniform every day to work.  And for two of the four years that I was at University, we wore a uniform too.  Unsurprisingly, the last two and a half months of being self employed and uniform free, have resulted in a number of wardrobe dilemma's.  Combine a wardrobe meltdown with an 'I'm so fat' day, an overdue visit to the hairdressers and worst of all worst confidence killers, a cold sore, and I want to hide for a year. 

And no amount of reassurance from fiancee, family or friends all. 

I read an interesting article when I was at home in Health Intelligence, a great Health magazine I discovered in SA.

Apparently there are a number of influences as to whether you are comfortable with your body image.

If you're feeling down, you're more likely to see yourself as bigger than you are and to be discontented with your body.

The research is conflicting, but generally men are less dissatisfied with their weight than women.  Women also tend to think that men prefer a thinner female figure than they really do.

Pop Culture
Glamorised images of the female form may set up realistic standards of beauty.
No kidding!

Humans recognise their reflections from around 2 years old, and many females dislike their image just a few years later.  This self criticism often eases during late adulthood, but not always.  It'e been estimated that 80% of Women over 18 years old are unhappy with their appearance!

Natural Rhythms
Being premenstrual may reduce the odds that you have a good body day.

Nasty remarks you overheard about your body as a youngster, as well as a lack of physical contact during your childhood may contribute towards a negative body image.

An active lifestyle is linked to higher levels of body satisfaction.

Relationship status
Being in a stable, long term relationship ups the possibility that you'll like your body.

The article describes a woman zipping up her size 8 jeans, and wailing "I'm so fat!".
No, you are not.

But apparently those of us who bemoan our weights, although our BMI's are within normal ranges, are only half the problem.

Many women considered over weight and obese by medical standards, believe that they are a healthy size.  With obesity fast becoming a massive problem in both the first world and emerging countries, it's important that people are aware when they are tipping the scales too heavily.  

I treated a 10 year old boy from Kuwait last year, who was so overweight that he couldn't throw and catch a ball whilst standing still for more than five minutes at a time, before becoming so fatigued that he had to sit down.  Not that his Father (the size of 3 normal humans) thought that this was a problem, and insisted that his child "only sometimes eats Burger King two times in one day"...

I read an article a few weeks ago, that stated that the controversial "size 0" models should be encouraged and not scorned in the fashion industry as aspirational body shapes.  This article argued that anorexia and bulimia affect   such a small part of the population, where as obesity is a fast growing phenomenon. No pun intended.

According to this site, 30.6% of people in the US are Obese, and 23% in the UK! That is more than 1 in 4 in the US, and just under 1 in 4 in the UK...

And so I suppose the key is to place yourself somewhere delicately in the middle of these two mind sets.  Not over critical, yet realistic as to wether you need to shed a few pounds.

Always easier said than done:)


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