Howard's End: Suffering Weight Esteem in NZ
By Maree Howard
New Zealand women are becoming obsessed with their weight with nearly two thirds believing they are overweight, while one-in-three say they have suffered from an eating disorder according to a new survey by 'She' magazine. But first, consider the tree from which you grew. Maree Howard writes.
'She' magazine surveyed 1000 readers, most between the ages of 25 and 40, and found that sixty five percent of respondents said they felt overweight, but when their body mass index was analysed, roughly a quarter of them were medically underweight.
A quarter of those interviewed even confessed they "hated" themselves when they were above ideal weight.
But weight loss specialist, Dr Anne Thea-McGill said "A lot of women think they are overweight and what they're really concerned about I think is their body shape, because it's not the shape of the supermodels."
This perceived image problem by New Zealand women caused me to dig deep into our family papers where I discovered this little gem hoary with the dust of ages; " We alone have the power within us to solve our problems, to relieve our anxieties and pain but first, consider the tree from which you grew."
Is your mother, or your father tall, slim or fat? Put it this way, there is a proportionate development in body, mind and facial features in our genetic make-up. As you look at other people you immediately recognise they all have different characteristics.
There are no two noses excactly alike; no two persons have eyes in the same position as compared with their lips; no two persons have cheeck bones the same height when their jaws are compared. In fact, no two persons walk alike, talk alike or breathe alike - each of us is a law unto ourselves.
However, because we each have different features and characteristics, that indicates that there is a way of living that will harmonise with our own special personality.
Every peculiarity or particular faculty we each possess, whether it be under-developed or over-developed, is constantly trying to find its rightful place in our personal environment and to express itself perfectly - that is the law of nature.
If you want "you" to express yourself perfectly, firstly study the way you have been made. You'll quickly see that each of us is a composite, physically, of the tree from which we grew.
There's a humerous poem that explains this which I also discovered while rummaging through our old family papers.
Her mother's eyes Her father's chin Her auntie's nose Her uncle's grin; Her great-aunt's hair Her grandma's ears Her grandpa's mouth So it appears; Poor little tot Well may she moan She hasn't much To call her own.
You cannot be the same as another person - and nor should you want to be. There has never been two human beings alike because of their different habits, climate, environment, work or foods. Some also have a heavy bone structure while others are thin. Bodies are developed over a period of years and over generations.
The natural laws that brought you here in the first place - that have set the pattern for you to be tall, to have a certain shape, to have a certain muscular structure or bony structure - will automatically take care of you if you look after "you."
So, firstly be concerned with building perfect tissue in every organ of your body. If there is a breakdown in tissue in, say, the kidneys or intestinal tract, we can expect that to show in the exterior of the body such as the skin.
So, if you are concerned about "you" the first thing you've got to do is build good health through good living and really understand the value of food and your weight will be taken care of automatically. Few of us really understand ourselves, how food is digested and how the nutrients are carried. And yet a million times a day you'll hear "I'd really like to take off a few kilo's and I'm going on a diet" - knowing that they cannot stick to a diet 100% of the time.
Many of us automaticaly eat phsychologically useless calories like snacking on chocolate marshmellow biscuits at morning and afternon tea without even thinking.
So what's important? The quality of your blood and what you feed it is vital because it carries nutrients and oxygen.
Silently, Ms Blood flows like a river coming right up to every cell, and asking "what can I do for you today?"
With our modern life, too often Ms Blood will come up to a cell, which are all like little houses and say;
"You'll have to be satisfied with your condition today. If your hinges squeak, my mistress was too busy to supply the necessary sodium you needed. I hope she stops eating so many acid producing foods soon, then I won't have to use so much of my alkaline material to try and keep her well."
"If she doesn't have a more balanced diet she is soon going to wonder why her skin is blotchy. The cosmetic and the vitamin pill manufacurers will rub their hands together, but mistress's bank account won't. If only I could tell her she needs more silicon and less of the heavy starch that slows my progess."
I'm getting too much heavy starch and I have to deposit the overload in you, little cell, and I know my mistress can't understand why the mirror is so mean to her in reflecting her unflattering image."
" I know, little cell, you're worried too, but mistress doesn't understand I am supposed to take away waste material from each of you but when I'm over-loaded with carbohydrates I can't move fast enough so I can't pick up all the waste I should."
"Yes, little cell, your'e right, mistress cannot understand why you haven't got the elasticity you used to have either. Mistress is slowing down and thinks she's getting old, but she's only fooling herself."
"If only she knew that it's up to her whether she has a garden of weeds or a garden of roses - that I don't buy the foods, that I cannot discrimate, I just have to take it."
"I was just down at Ms Stomach and she wants to cooperate with me but she was really scowling. She's getting too much food which irritates - something every hour and even something just before out mistress goes to bed."
Ms Stomach told me she works all day and just when it comes time to rest, down comes more food to process. From what Ms Stomach told me she cannot hold out much longer. She's working hard to keep her cells in order but the rooms in her house are giving way under this unnatural food regime and the break is due to come soon."
"Time to move on, little cell although I've only told you part of my story. One day mistress might want to know more and understand that when I'm well supplied with good building materials, and she understands the difference between acid and alkaline foods, then I can really go to work for her. Farewell, little cell, I'll see you again soon - hopefully!"
Well, Scoop readers, that's a small part of old healthy living information which I found in the family papers over the weekend. I hope it helps show not what can be had from life, but that you can have a life that's worth living.