“She gained a massive amount of weight . . . it was a real problem.”
Weight is a h-u-g-e issue for you—no pun intended. If you’re like most American women, you probably
- go on an endless stream of diets.
- try on a pile of clothes before you find something that looks okay enough to wear outside of the house.
- say “I’m fat” whenever you look in the mirror.
Have you ever wondered why weight is such a hot-button issue for you?
In Monday night’s presidential debate, women’s weight took center stage when Hillary Clinton referenced former Miss Universe 1996, Alicia Machado. According to a report in the Washington Times, Donald Trump “had called her an ‘eating machine’ and ‘had her work out at a gym in front of reporters and camera crews after a post-pageant weight gain,’” while he looked on smirking—a look you probably know all too well.
Take a peek of her winning Miss Universe. What do you think?
Ms. Machado was treated like a piece of meat, but do you need to do this to yourself?
The Impact of Being Treated Like an Object? You Learn to Do This to Yourself
Part of the answer is that women are treated like objects when
- products are advertised with scantily clad models, to sell everything from cars to furniture.
- trying to convince you to buy the latest fashion, even if the model’s image has been photoshopped, with inches taken off her waist and inches added to her height
This endless faultfinding with your weight sends a message to men, even obese men like Trump, that they have power. The disgrace here is that they have cultural permission to criticize you.
Girly Thoughts—Doing to Yourself what Society Does to You
What is the impact of this barrage of cultural messages about your weight? Girly thoughts! That’s the name I’ve developed to label this type of negative thinking. Your girly thoughts about your weight cause you to:
- misdirect your energy, spending it worrying about your weight instead of strongly stating your professional opinion in that important meeting.
- spend money needlessly buying clothes that fit perfectly for every few pounds your weight varies.
- deplete your energy by saying mean things to yourself when you look in the mirror.
Society already makes you feel “less than,” so why do this to yourself? Why allow these girly thoughts to take up any space in your life?
Stop Weight-Shaming Yourself with Your Girly Thoughts
Whenever you catch yourself comparing your body to someone else’s—particularly someone you see in the media—try these tips instead.
- Look in the mirror and admire your body, curves, dimples, flatness; this is YOU … the miracle that is you!
- Say nice things to yourself as you look at your reflection.
- Eat a healthy, not faddish, diet so you are taking care of yourself.
- Show that you like yourself, even admire yourself, by your positive attitude, your confident posture, even by the swish of your hips as you exercise and move through your day.
Now say, “Yes, I can love myself and my body and stop my girly thoughts that say otherwise.”
You’ll find more ideas for getting rid of your negative self-talk in my two latest books, The Girly Thoughts 10-Day Detox Plan: The Resilient Woman’s Guide to Saying NO to Negative Self-Talk and YES to Personal Power and The Resilient Woman: Mastering The 7 Steps to Personal Power.
Patricia A. O'Gorman, Ph.D., is a psychologist in private practice. She is noted for her work on women, trauma, and substance abuse and for her warm, inspiring, and amusing presentations that make complex issues accessible and even fun. She has served as a consultant to organizations across the country in preventative and clinical strategic planning. Dr. O'Gorman is a cofounder of the National Association for Children of Alcoholics, and she has held positions ranging from director of a rape crisis center to clinical director of a child welfare agency, and director of the division of prevention for the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). She is a veteran of numerous television appearances, including Good Morning America, Today, and AM Sunday and is the author of eight books including: The Girly Thoughts 10 Day Detox Plan (2014), The Resilient Woman: Mastering the 7 Steps to Personal Power (2013), and Healing Trauma Through Self-Parenting (2012) 12 Steps to Self-Parenting.