This post is excerpts from my sister Kristen Fowler's wonderful essay on spreading the No-Dieting message!
To Mothers of Dieting Teenage Daughters,
During the 1950s, women were actually encouraged to gain weight to be desirable and look better. Compared to the 21st century idea of being thin and skinny, this is the complete opposite. So why is it in our generation that the social pressure and media on teen girls and young adults is to be skinny and fit the ‘ideal’ woman stereotype?
Women, nowadays, go through drastic measures to fit an unrealistic model at extreme costs for looking thin and being accepted by society. Trend diets are a new and increasingly common idea being used to lose weight. Some popular trend diets are the juice cleanse, tube feeding diets, diet pills, and even hormonal shots. What do all these diets do to people health? Are they really healthy for a person’s body? Trend diets are not a healthy way to lose weight, and some are even dangerous, is this really the message you want sent to young adults and women?
When I read the article published in the New York Times written by Linda Lee, I was absolutely appalled to learn brides use tube feeding as a way to fit into their wedding gown a little better. Many doctors were interviewed about the tube feeding process, and some even agreed with it! If young girls are seeing that brides-to-be are only eating low-carb foods through a tube to lose weight for their wedding because they have to look perfect, what kind of impression does that set into them?
Sinus infections are a common health problem associated with tube feeding, and I’m sure the bride would rather be her original weight than have a sinus infection on her wedding day. Not to even mention the wedding probably costs thousands of dollars and the tube feeding diet varies from hundreds to thousands of dollars depending on which doctor you see. How does this affect teenage girls? Well, the amount of young females that have ever gone on a diet in their life has highly increased. In fact, it’s now more common to hear ‘what diet are you on?’ rather than ‘are you on a diet?’
We have all been there, a special craving for a pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream where you eat the whole thing, or eating an entire bag of chips instead of making a nutritious dinner. The thing we have to remember as people, and mothers and daughters, is cravings are OK. In fact, giving into what you really want is totally acceptable, but the key is moderation. Restricting what foods you can and cannot eat causes you to only think about what is allowed in your body and doesn’t allow you to enjoy and indulge once in a while.
Having a mindset that allows you to let go once in a while to eat candy, or have a piece of pie during the holidays, allows you to feel completely in control of your body. Dieting means restricting, and restricting is stressful on the body and doesn’t allow the body to receive all the nutrients you should be giving yourself.
My final thought for people in general, but especially mothers and daughters, please stop dieting!
The health risks are way too high physically, mentally, and emotionally. Instead, I challenge mothers and daughters to work together to learn to eat mindfully, and set a goal to have a well-balanced food diet with regular exercise without picking up the latest book on a trend diet.
For mothers, you want your children to be happy and healthy, so don’t let yourself support and industry with a 98% failure rate and risk your daughter to end up doing the same unhealthy, unrealistic dieting habits.
Break free of trend diets once and for all, and enjoy food and healthy living! Because you really don’t want to see your daughter walk down the aisle on her wedding day with a sinus infection and a dress falling off her from the weight she lost during her tube feeding diet, do you?