To all women who have a desire to work hard, eat healthy and live life to the fullest –
This isn’t targeted to a certain age, weight or fitness level. This is a letter from my heart to women everywhere.
We are bombarded from an early age with numbers. What the perfect height and weight is. What our measurements should be, what size pants are considered socially acceptable and Weight Loss secrets to get us to the perfect weight.
A perfect weight that is nothing more than numbers on a scale.
We are supposed to restrict our calories, and track our carb, fat and sugar intake in even more detail. We are told to drink so many liters of water and limit to one alcoholic drink a day.
85 – 90% of eating disorders are found in women. We’ve developed an unhealthy relationship with food and with our bodies. We define ourselves with how attractive we are, and extreme skinniness has become the cultural ideal.
We are confronted with a new diet every week that promises the perfect body type by giving up carbs, fats, drinking a liquid, or injecting yourself with hormones – none which mention anything about being a healthier you.
It’s difficult to find real food, the grocery is lined with packaged products to make our cooking experience quicker. We overload our schedules and use this as an excuse to eat out more often and not take the time to prepare nutritious meals. When was the last time you ate at home for an entire week?
We get it now, fashion is skewed. The bodies we see in magazines and on TV are false representations. They are Photoshopped and edited to look beautiful, leaving us with nothing more than a piece of altered art to strive after.
Models walking the runway are under-nourished and near starving themselves to achieve their dream. Their bones stick out as they walk the runway at an average of 120 lbs, 30 lbs under the average woman.
We know this isn’t the picture of what a normal woman looks like, we realize that this isn’t healthy, then why do we still pour over these magazines, looking and longing after the bodies we will never have.
Exercise is in a world of its own. With the expectations set on women we walk a thin line of being too skinny, too fat, too muscular, not enough of a butt, too much butt…how are we supposed to decide how to exercise, when we don’t even know what we are supposed to look like. Maybe that’s the point, there is no “supposed to”, we are each uniquely designed. Our bodies function differently and there is no one size fits all routine that works.
Women have been given the reputation as the weaker sex: it’s a man’s gym and women are just on the treadmills and ellipticals, while men lift the real weights. We tend to workout on the cardio machines because we don’t want to “get big”, while in reality to burn the fat we need to build muscle on our bodies.
You would think as we get older, we would get smarter. Or is it too late?
Have all of these routines and expectations been so ingrained in our minds that they become the norm? We don’t understand what it means to feel healthy because our definition of healthy is so skewed.
I’m writing this not to complain about our society, but to draw awareness to the stress surrounding women’s health and insist more than ever we need to re-define healthy.
We need to exercise for a strong heart and eat real, non-processed foods to nourish our bodies in the best possible way. We need to lift weights to strengthen our bones so we can move and live strong as we age. We need to keep the weight off so we can put clothes on and feel confident and sexy.
We need to do what we can with the body we have, we only get one and it’s time we take care of it!
Lauren Lowrey says
This “letter to women” is so well written. Just this week I’ve had an internal struggle about not looking how I “think” I should. I lift weights, I run, I bike, I avoid processed foods and cook nearly everything I eat. I’m so hard on myself, needlessly so.
Thanks for writing this. It put my mind in the right spot.