“You Don’t Need to Be Size Zero to Be a Hero”

I’m sharing excerpts from part 2 of an interview I did with I Am Guiltless, a great blog promoting positive body image and breaking free of the pressures to fit a certain mold. They were curious about whether  40-somethings still struggle with the relationship between food and their body image. As with many things, the older you get, the more you are able to take a longer term view of things. It becomes less about what food does to your body and more about how it makes you feel. I loved a quote I saw on their site last week: “You don’t need to be a size zero to be a hero”.


How does your  relationship with food change from 20 to 40?

For some, there are times when you feel like food is your only friend. But you can get to a place where it is something you simply enjoy with friends…or by yourself. You learn not to beat yourself up over going over the limit…and you give yourself permission to enjoy a special meal without guilt.


There’s a lot working against us from media images to mixed messages from health experts to quick-fix schemes to emotional and financial costs. For the seriously overweight or underweight, the relationship is much more complex. For those of us in the middle, it’s a matter of education and commitment to a lifestyle rather than instant gratification. This 40-something woman believes in the benefits of balance.

“It’s disheartening that women are so preoccupied with weight and food “management” and not focused on finding a healthy balance of exercise and eating to maintain weight. Overeating, comfort eating, not eating, dieting obsessively —  so many of us make poor food choices when 20 minutes of cardio work a day and educated food choices would enable you to eat decently without fear of gaining a pound. There is soooo much information about healthy eating choices and exercise – it is something I cannot stress enough that you must commit to for life. It will rid your life of dieting and self-hate.” – 40-something, mom, wife, fashion designer, starting her own business, Brooklyn, NY


What is something you wish you had known as a 20-something about food and your body that the wiser older version of you now “gets”?

When you deprive yourself of something because you think eating it will literally add that pound to the scale, sooner or later you’re going to binge on it and then feel bad about yourself. And when you feel bad about yourself, you eat poorly.

“Try to just eat a little and enjoy it. I used to eat the whole pint of ice cream or if one cupcake was good, then two was better. Then I’d feel sick and hungering for something real. When I’m around food that triggers overindulgence I just tell myself that that particular food is not going anywhere. There will be ice cream tomorrow, next week, next year. Chocolate is not endangered. So have a bite, or two, enjoy and know that it is not your last bite.” – 40-something, consultant, writer, New York City


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