More Body Image & Eating Disorders Blogs
- Who's Looking Back at YOU in the Mirror?
- Speak out on Gratitude
- Body Image - Speak Out On the MEDIA
- Speak Out on Body Image
- Secret Dieting - What if your period stops?
- When Joking Isn't Funny
- My Legs Are TOO SHORT
- Junk Food Makes Me Feel GUILTY!
- Winning Against an Eating Disorder - true story
- We hate being JUDGED, ...but do WE do it too?
- HELP! My Friend thinks she is FAT!
- Just Tired and Sad? Or is it Depression?
- Do I look FAT today?
- Body Image + Eating Disorders - It hurts the whole family...
- Dealing with Being Teased
- Is losing weight the answer?
- I Want to Be Pretty Too
August 2009 Blogs
My Legs Are TOO SHORT
BODY IMAGE & EATING DISORDERS, August 2009, by Jen Charbonneau
My Legs Are TOO SHORT
What do you do if you think
a part of your body isn't right?
They have surgeries for almost everything now but not for making your legs longer. If they did, I would do it because my legs are short and stumpy. I know you say that dieting isn’t healthy but can I lose weight FAST in a healthy way so my legs look longer? Or can I stretch them somehow?
~ Abby, Niagara Falls, ON
Thank you so much for sharing your question with me. You are right, I have said many times that diets are NOT healthy. In fact, diets are not only unhealthy, but may be harmful and dangerous. There is no such thing as 'fast & healthy' when it comes to diets.
I think that many, many girls and women look in the mirror and find some part of their body they would like to change. Some think their eyes are too small, some think their feet are too big, some think their legs are too short while others think their legs are too long.
Everyone seems to have something they would change if they had a magic wand and one wish. So your thoughts about your legs are thoughts that thousands of other girls and women have also had.
What I like to suggest is that it’s really NOT your legs that are too short and stumpy, but it’s how you see them when you analyze ONLY your legs. Focusing on that one body part that we don’t like seems to make it easy to find everything wrong with that one part. When we are not feeling very confident or proud of ourselves, our body is the one thing we can 'pick apart' and convince ourselves that we don’t look good enough. What I mean by this is that when you experience unhappy feelings about other things in your life, those things show up in the mirror and your eyes aren’t really seeing a true image. It’s sort of like those Fun House mirrors that distort our reflection. When we are feeling sad or angry or scared, looking in a mirror will show us a reflection of those feelings through our body parts and we become convinced that our body really looks like that.
You know Abby, when people are not happy with who they are, they use their appearance as a way for them to measure their self worth.
There are many people in the world who do have certain surgeries to change things about their appearance or body that they don’t like. Although their 'outside' has changed, they are still the same person on the inside and whatever was making them feel bad about themselves is still there. There may be a momentary feeling of joy because of the surgery but it is COMPLETELY temporary. Learning to love and accept and appreciate yourself because of who you are will shift your perspective and you will love your legs no matter how long they are. Many girls and women do measure their value based on an unrealistic standard of beauty. I suspect there is much, much more to you than just the length of your legs.
Our fashion writer, Nadia Baboo, has a lot of great suggestions about dressing for our own body types - check out some of her articles to get some non-surgical ideas!
I recently facilitated a summer camp for 8 – 12 yr old girls and one of the activities we experienced was belly dancing. I had a professional belly dance teacher teach the girls movements and postures and expression using their body. She explained to these young girls that no matter what size or shape your body is, we are all beautiful when we stand tall and proud and let our body move to the music. She said that when you allow your body to be an expression of who you are, you will look and feel beautiful too.
I know it’s difficult sometimes to accept EVERY part of your body especially when you feel like it doesn’t measure up to friends or celebrities. But did you know that your body is a walking, talking miracle? Really it is! Just think about it for a minute. Your heart beats, your eyes blink, your muscles move, you breathe AND you don’t even have to think about any of it. It just all happens in perfect harmony. If you had to make your body work the way it automatically does, you would never have any time to do the fun things you like to do.
When was the last time you really thought about all that your legs can do? Your legs give you the power to move your body from place to place. No matter how short or stumpy you think they are, you wouldn’t be able to walk, run, dance, swim, skate, ski, play soccer, basketball or any other sport without them. Could you imagine trying to go shopping at your favourite mall if your legs didn’t work the way they do now?
It might be helpful for you to make a list or collage of ALL the things you can do because you have legs that work the way they are supposed to. Appreciating and understanding AND remembering what your legs do for you will help turn those temporary moments of dissatisfaction into gratitude. When a day comes along where you feel frustrated or need a body boost, you can read over your list and remind yourself how much you appreciate your legs.
Do you have any dreams & goals for your future? Make a list of those as well. Loving your body isn’t just about liking the way it looks. It’s also about valuing it for what it can do and how it feels. Everyday your legs are carrying you one step closer to those dreams and goals!