A little article in the paper this weekend caught my eye. The headline read “Social media fuel dangerous weight-loss goal.” Experts who work in the field of eating disorders are concerned because there is “an internet-fueled trend in which teenage girls and young women pursue an elusive and possibly dangerous weight-loss goal: to become so slender that their thighs don’t touch even when their feet are together.” This is referred to as the thigh gap. It goes on to say that only a tiny percentage of people are slim enough to accomplish this. Unfortunately, they often are the models and actresses that many of us compare ourselves to. I hate to admit it but I am one of them. Lucky for me this unhealthy comparison did not lead to an eating disorder. What it did lead to is the inability to look at myself in the mirror and be happy with what I saw. It has taken me almost half a century to accept that I will never be able to achieve the thigh gap or to not have cellulite or to be a size 2. No matter how much I deprive myself or how long I exercise it isn’t going to happen. I am healthy and strong and that is what matters.
The flip side to this is that we think people are looking at us and judging us based on the same ideals we try to hold ourselves to. What many of us don’t realize is we are so busy comparing ourselves that we don’t have time to judge other people! The saying that we are our own worst critic is so true. Anyone looking at us will probably see our assets quicker and easier than we can see them ourselves. This isn’t just about our appearance. We dismiss our successes in life so swiftly because we think we don’t measure up to some expectation we put on ourselves.
Today I want to tell everyone reading that you look mahvelous! Remember that line from Billy Crystal? You have to say it with the same funny accent, but say it to yourself: You look mahvelous! Then add that you are a success! We need to be kind to ourselves and have self compassion. These attributes lead to self confidence
and to feeling triumphant in our endeavors. Set your own goals, not based on someone else’s achievements,
but based on your own dreams and desires. Be realistic and accepting of your own abilities. To continue with the platitudes, only you can change yourself and it has to start with liking yourself. No one else can give that to you. None of us is perfect, including the women with a thigh gap!
Along this thought, I am including a recipe that sounds decadent and yet is not so you can treat yourself! Today is so cold and rainy I want some comfort food, so pasta with a creamy sauce sounds great. This recipe replaces heavy cream with rich-tasting low fat cream cheese and is super easy to make. I am going to add some cauliflower and beans or nuts to make it a main meal. You can make it as is and serve it as a side dish with another lean protein of your choice. A one cup serving has 343 calories, 11 grams of protein, 14 grams of fat (5 g are saturated), 294 mg sodium and 4 grams of sugar.
Linguine in Lemon Cream Sauce
from Vegetarian Times
8 oz. dry linguine
½ cup light cream cheese
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 lemon, juiced and 1 Tbs. zest grated
½ cup chopped parsley
Cook linguine according to package directions in pot of boiling salted water.
Warm cream cheese, oil, and 2 Tbs. lemon juice in saucepan over low heat.
Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water. Stir reserved cooking water into cream cheese mixture. Add pasta, lemon zest, and parsley; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.