By Marci Warhaft

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:

We live in an image-obsessed, fat-phobic, one-size-fits all, thin-is-in, skinny-jean-wearing, thigh-gap-measuring, body-fat-freezing, belly-button challenging, rather-be-dead-than-eat-bread warped society where women are starving to be smaller, men are injecting poison into themselves to be bigger and kids in pre-school are begging their parents not to send them to school because they think they’re too fat to fit in, and I’m SICK OF IT!

Every time I think I’ve seen it all, some weight loss “specialist” comes up with a new miracle cure for unwanted pounds that promises to make our lives the pictures of perfection we’re striving for, and it’s always more ridiculous than the last one.

Today I was told about the HCG diet. If the letters HCG sound familiar, it’s because it’s a pregnancy hormone. HCG is made by the placenta when a woman gets pregnant. Its purpose is to stimulate the ovaries to get them to keep making progesterone, which thickens the endometrial lining so that she can hold on to her pregnancy. British endocrinologist Dr. A.T.W. Simeons believes that when injected, it can be used a tool for weight loss.

Why eat healthy and exercise when you can be injected with pregnancy hormones, right?

WRONG.

Here’s the problem (as if there’s only one): in order to lose the weight, you also have to eat no more than 500 calories a day.

Um… excuse me?

It’s not HCG that’s causing the weight loss, but the starvation.

Allow me to point out that men and women need a minimum of 1,200 to 1,500 calories a day to SURVIVE! If you eat 500 calories, you will absolutely lose weight, as well as possibly your gallbladder, but hey, how important is your gallbladder anyway if losing it means fitting into your old prom dress?

Pretty friggin’ important!

Therefore, it’s not HCG that’s causing the weight loss, but the starvation, and starvation diets DO NOT WORK.

Come on, people. We need to stop the madness and regain our sanity when it comes to our bodies.

HCG I thought we had been through all the bizarre diets:

Grapefruit
Cabbage
Baby Food
Lemon/ginger water
Cookie
Cotton balls dipped in orange juice

As well as the insane procedures:
Tongue patches
Ear stapling
Tapeworm ingesting

The list is endless and horrifying!.

We’ve reached a point where people no longer care about being fit, they just want to look fit, even if it kills them.

The most sickening part of this for me is the impact it’s having on our children. My own eating disorder battle started when I was 17 years old and that’s practically a senior citizen when it comes to eating disorders these days. There are kids as young as three years old in treatment centers battling severe EDs while their parents stand by feeling powerless.

I started presenting my Fit vs. Fiction body image workshops for kids in Grade 5 and am now in schools working with kids as young as the very FIRST grade, because kids THAT young are already hating their bodies enough to want to hurt them. I hear from parents all the time, who are watching their once vibrant, happy, confident kids, slowly pull away from their friends and family, lose interest in hobbies and start doing poorly in school, because all they want in life is to be beautiful, but while their families beg them to love themselves for who they are, society teaches them to hate themselves for who they’re not.

My eating disorder nearly killed me until I broke free, but not everyone is as lucky. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of all mental illnesses, yet are still not taken seriously enough.

I had a mother once actually say to me, “Well, my daughter is chubby, so I wouldn’t mind if she caught a little bit of that Anorexia.

Are you shitting me? Enough is enough!

We need to stop listening to what the media says and start focusing on what our bodies need if we have any hope in hell of living long, productive, truly healthy lives.

The diet industry will constantly tell us that we need to lose weight, sell us a cure that will fail, make us feel like the failures and then sell us something else.

STOP!

Stop buying the diet products that are designed to fail and start believing in yourself again.

It’s not just about losing weight, it’s about gaining health, and that’s not all about a number on the scale or the size of your jeans.

It doesn’t matter how our bodies look on the outside if they’re falling apart on the inside. Are we trying to be the prettiest corpses in the cemetery?

I’ve seen too many lives destroyed simply because our society idolizes the prettiest faces while ignoring the most brilliant minds.

ENOUGH!

It’s time to fight back.

Stop buying the diet products that are designed to fail and start believing in yourself again. Listen to your body’s natural cues. Eat when your hungry, stop when you’re full. I realize it’s not that simple, but there are true specialists that can help you — seek them out. If a solution seems too quick and easy, it will be.

You deserve better and so do our kids.

Self-worth shouldn’t be measured in pounds.


About The Author

Marci Warhaft is a body image advocate, founder of the Fit vs Fiction workshops, blogger for The Huffington Post and author of “The Body Image Survival Guide for Parents: Helping Toddlers, Tweens and Teens Thrive“. After recovering from her own severe body image and eating disorder issues, she’s teaching children how to be critical of the negative messages thrown at them by the media instead of being critical of themselves or others.

For more information on Marci’s Fit vs Fiction body image workshops for kids and parents check out her site fitvsfiction.com. You can also follow Marci on her blog and on Twitter.