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How many of us are obsessed with food, fat, weight, carbs, fats, calories, cellulite, scales, and disgust for our bodies? Most of us, I dare say. Has all of this obsessing and experimentation with diets du jour helped us to become thin and beautiful? Maybe for a minute!

Powerful and influential research recently found that sugar and fat relieve chronic stress on a biological level. Chocolate cake and ice cream simply shut down the stress system, bringing relief and relaxation. Therefore, we must learn how to manage the foods we crave instead of overindulging or depriving ourselves.

It's time to find a unique, personal, individualized food plan designed to find your ideal weight, and stay there....forever. It's time to stop denigrating ourselves, and replace criticism with self acceptance and peace of mind.

It is important to fight this battle on several fronts. We need to address what to consume, as well as how to cope with emotional eating. It is also important to begin changing the cultural thin ideal, which creates a sense of personal inferiority.

There are basically two schools of thought with regard to dieting. The first is traditional dieting, which typically advocates eliminating certain food groups, such as carbohydrates, fats, or sugar. The other is the feminist school of thought, which advocates eating whatever you want, in whatever quantities desired, with the hope that you'll get sick of it and naturally stop bingeing.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both of these ideologies. I have taken the best from both, eliminated the garbage, and integrated it into a useful plan. Additionally, I have added the component of natural eating, which suggests incorporating some natural foods into your plan by consuming fewer artificial ingredients. The reasoning for this is fully explained.

Coping with stress and living a fulfilling life provide a sense of control over food. Psychological and behavioral tools for managing emotional eating will be offered, so inappropriate eating is kept to a minimum.

Chapter One - The Problem

Am I fat?
Yuck, I look fat in this.
You're so skinny!"
"I've been eating like a pig lately; gotta go back on my diet.
"Oh, I ate so much; I feel so fat!"
"These thunder thighs have got to go!"
"Does this hide my fat butt?
Just look at this roll on my stomach!"
"These clothes are too tight; that'll force me to lose weight.
"Better wear baggy clothes to hide my fat.
If only I could lose this weight I'd feel so much better about myself.
"I won't buy new clothes 'till I lose weight.
" No wonder he doesn't like me; I'm so fat.
I shouldn't eat that; I'm too fat.
"Can't believe I gained 5 pounds; I'm such a failure.
"Do I look fat in this?
"Summer's almost here. Can't go to the beach looking like this!
"Better go on a diet.
"Gimme some, I'm off my diet.
On Monday I'll start again.
I look like a cow.
Iím so fat, I just hate myself.

Sound familiar? These statements have been heard from girls and women of every size and every age. Why do we all think we are fat? Who is really fat, and who just thinks they are? What is the standard, where did it come from, and can it be realistic if we all fall short (and fat)???

Seems like in order to be thin enough we must be preoccupied with food, fat, and body image concerns to attain this unnatural, elusive goal. Weíve been programmed to feel good about ourselves when thin, so now it is our quest.

Our obsession with food, fat, weight and dieting often rules our lives. It affects confidence levels, how we relate to others, and even our concentration! How can we really focus on anything when we're so worried about what we ate, wanted to eat, should've eaten, shouldn't have eaten, or will eat?

Feminist writers have questioned whether this is a way of preventing girls and women from achieving their best. It's not fair that we spend so much time, energy, and worry on this, when we could be thinking about other things.

Seems like it's almost a custom, or right of passage, for girls to become aware of what their bodies look like, and dislike them.

Why did this happen? What could it mean? How can we get rid of it? Do you know anyone who actually likes their natural body? I'd be satisfied if we simply weren't preoccupied with it, whether we like it or not. It's as though dissing our bodies makes us feel closer to other females; they always understand. Guess it's a bonding ritual.

You never hear guys asking each other if they look fat, or if their butt sticks out too far. They talk about sports instead; much healthier, even if it's boring to most of us.

If our friend reassures us that we don't look fat, we're never sure if it's true, or if they're just being kind. Either way, it doesn't solve the problem of our insecurity. If we are comforted for the moment, it is only temporary, and does nothing to improve our confidence overall. It's like a quick fix for the moment, until the next time we feel self-conscious.

What about certain mothers who say we're fine the way we are; it's what's on the inside that counts? Sometimes they call their own bodies fat, and go on or off diets themselves. What a contradiction! The other extreme, can be just as harmful; parents, siblings, or others who are overly honest, telling us how much weight we've gained or calling us fat names. We can't win. Don't you always feel more attractive and confident when you lose a few pounds, even if it was because you were sick? We have been programmed by magazines, TV, and movie stars to believe that being thin is the only way to look good.

Chapter Two - The Remedy

I say screw all of that bull#@*% !!!!!!!!!!!!!! Itís time to change all that. Letís come out in full force, to show the world how wonderfully diverse beauty really is.

Let's learn how to be normal around food, stop putting ourselves down, and be OK with our natural body weight, whatever that is. We all believe that it's alright to put our own bodies down, but impolite to do the same to someone else. Somehow we forgot that we're people too; it's just as horrible to do that to yourself!

In fact, it perpetuates the stereotype. If you think YOUR fat is ugly, and I'm a bigger size, it makes me feel bad about MY body. Also, if you believe in God, it's as sinful to hurt yourself as another; we're all equal children of God.

When you say to someone "you look great, did you lose weight?" you think you are offering the ultimate compliment. But it can actually be insulting. It assumes that becoming thinner should be everyone's goal, and they are to be rewarded with compliments for doing well. It forces them to play this neurotic game. It also makes them think they looked bad the last time you saw them, and that they may look bad in the future if they regain the weight.

From now on, YOUíRE NOT ALLOWED TO HATE YOURSELF FOR ANYTHING YOU WOULDNíT HATE ANOTHER PERSON FOR! If you wouldnít hate someone for having large thighs, then donít be so hard on yourself. Simply accept that itís not your best feature (as you would for a friend) and focus on other qualities instead. Put it in the background instead of the foreground. This is what it means to be ACCEPTING of your body. It doesnít mean you like it, you just understand that this is the only one you have, and itís OK, even though you may not like it. We may never actually feel good about our size, so letís STOP THINKING ABOUT OUR BODIES, and live a relatively healthy lifestyle. Worrying about how bad we think we look makes us feel bad, and thatís pretty stupid! Anorexia has approximately the second highest death rate of all mental and emotional sicknesses. It's also the only one that's ADMIRED by others!

"You have such willpower! No wonder you're so skinny, I hate you. "I wish I was thin like her. This thinking breeds insecurity, jealousy, lousy eating habits, etc. From now on, any girl or woman who brings up the topic of weight, or puts herself down in front of others should be fined. They must give every female in their presence a dollar. Students can give 50 cents. There will be NO MORE TALK ABOUT DIETS, FORBIDDEN FOODS, LOOKING FAT, DESIRING THIN, OR COMMENTING ABOUT OTHERS BODIES. Letís get over it, past it, and beyond, to see what interesting developments occur.

What if all that thought and energy was directed towards scientific discoveries, achieving world peace, or positive self-development? The world would be a better place, and we would not only have inner peace, but inner love.

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