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How many people around you dream of achieving their "ideal weight"? Research shows that about 50% of men and almost 85% of women are dissatisfied with their current weight. That is because many of us have a preconceived idea of what our "correct" weight should be and are longing to be at that ideal weight.
Interestingly, here is how the dictionary defines 'ideal':
"Expressing possible perfection, which is unlikely to exist in the real world."
The thing is that the ideal of bodily perfection is a widespread myth, which can be psychologically and physically damaging.
Mass Media Image vs. Reality
Generally, we get ideas about what we should wear, what we should look like and how much we should weigh from the media. We have been conditioned to think that "thin is beautiful" and some of us go even further and think that "thinner is more beautiful". Thumb through any fashion magazine. The number of extremely slim and skinny models is astonishing. Many of these models are known to be suffering from anorexia nervosa. They are hardly fitting role models for everyday people to copy. Many of them are also very young and yet we find women in their 20s, 30s and older wanting to have bodies similar to these 15 year old fashion models.
We don't realize the gap between this mass media image and reality. We like our bodies less and less, and in our attempt to get closer to the ideal we only get eating disorders.
What Factors Count
The skinny "ideal" that the mass media try to foist upon us is not realistic or desirable for most people for many reasons:
Aim at a Healthy Weight, not an Ideal Weight
There is no such thing as an "ideal weight" for anybody. Health experts now believe that instead of trying to define our ideal weight we should concentrate on a healthy and achievable weight. This is the weight at which you feel good and which doesn't require a lifelong struggle to maintain.
Some researchers even believe that we should not attempt dramatic weight changes at all. Instead, we should focus on developing a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet and plenty of physical activity. Our weight will then naturally find its own individual, healthy and correct level.
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