"My mission is to empower people of all ages, races, and body sizes to embrace the body they have been given and learn to love themselves so they can live their dreams."
"Working with Sarah Maria has helped me to see that I am inherently loveable, beautiful, and valuable, no matter what. She has given me tools and techniques to break free from self-hatred and put love in its place. I am incredibly grateful for her and her incredible program. I recommend this book for anyone who wants to love her body and lover her life."
-Gabrielle Forleo, age twenty-six
Chopra Center for Wellbeing
"Sarah Maria's teachings are an amazing gift. It's an outstanding program that has changed my life! I highly recommend Sarah Maria's program to anyone who wants to experience living their most successful, beautiful life."
-Mary Schmidt, age forty-five
"Sarah Maria has shared many tools with me. But much more important to me, and what has been most meaningful, has been her quality of compassion. It is a gift and is like a gentle, deep awakening. Sarah Maria is a remarkable individual who works with the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual person. I cannot thank her in a way that seems adequate"
-Leigh Ann Jones, age fifty-four
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By Sarah Maria
Do you love your body? No really, do you?
If you're a woman, chances are you don't. Studies show that 80-90% of adult women dislike their bodies. In fact, many of them truly hate their own bodies.
15% of women say they would sacrifice more than five years of their lives, and 24% of women say they would give up more than three years of their life. Approximately 50% of women said that they smoked to control their body weight.[i]
81% of 10-year-olds are afraid of being fat, 78% of 18-year-old girls are unhappy with their bodies, and the number one wish of girls 11-17 years old is to lose weight. 51% of 9 and 10 year-old girls feel better about themselves when dieting, and 9% of 9-year-olds have vomited to lose weight.[ii]
Eating disorders are the third most common chronic illness in adolescent girls, and have the highest death rate of any mental illness.[iii] Research suggests that approximately 1% of female adolescents have anorexia, while 4% of college-age women have bulimia. 50% of people who have been anorexic develop bulimia or bulimic patterns.
Disordered eating often begins as a simple diet. More than half of teenage girls are, or think they should be, on a diet. 91% of women surveyed on a college campus had attempted to control their weight through dieting. Unfortunately, studies show unequivocally that most diets don't work. 95% of dieters will regain their lost weight in 1-5 years.
35% of "normal dieters" progress to pathological dieting. Of these, 20-25% progress to partial of full-syndrome eating disorders.[vi]
Intense body dissatisfaction and disordered eating have been steadily increasing over time, with anorexia increasing each decade since 1930, and the incidence of bulimia tripling between 1988 and 1993.
This body loathing is often aimed at a particular body part. A study in Psychology Today shows that "there's more discontent with the shape of our bodies than ever before...the negative focus remains on our visible attributes, the ones that display fat..."The article states that "Looking at your stomach in the mirror is an extreme downer for 44 percent of women..." Most body dissatisfaction focuses on the hips, thighs, and stomach, with most women feeling there is too much fat and flab.
Body dissatisfaction both creates and is created by the way women talk about their bodies and other people's bodies.
Do you ever look in the mirror and think:
Many times these thoughts are accompanied by feelings of inadequacy, failure, and worthlessness.
Every time you think these Negative Body Thoughts, you reinforce a sense of not being good enough.
Negative Body Thoughts can also be aimed at other people. When you meet other people, do you ever think:
We constantly and chronically compare ourselves to other women, sizing up our self-worth by our relative body size.
This Negative Body Talk is particularly cruel and hurtful among children, teens, and adolescents. Young women grow up learning that their self-worth is directly related to their clothing size.
As long as women continue to engage in Negative Body Dialogue, they will continue to feel deficient with their bodies.
In order to change how we feel about ourselves, we need to change how we talk to ourselves. If we want to feel vibrant, energetic, and creative, we need to view ourselves with love, compassion, acceptance, and understanding. If we want our daughters to grow up feeling strong, confident, and worthwhile, we need to teach them how to talk to themselves in positive ways.
Here are some tips for changing your body-talk:
When you learn to talk about your body and yourself in a positive light, you will slowly cultivate a relationship with yourself that is full of love, joy, enthusiasm, and vitality.
[i]Psychology Today, 1997
[ii]Body Wars: Making Peace with Women's Bodies, Margo Maine, PhD, Gurze Books, 2000
[iii] Adolescent Medicine Committee, Canadian Paediatric Society. Eating Disorders in adolescents: principles of diagnosis and treatment. Paediatrics and Child Health 1998; 3(3) 189-92. Reaffirmed January 2001.
[iv] Anred: Eating Disorders Statistics: http://www.anred.com/stats.html
[v] Grodstein, F., Levine, R., Spencer, T. Colditz, G.A., Stampfer, M.J. (1996). Three-year follow-up of participants in a commercial weight-loss program: can you keep it off? Archives of Internal Medicine. 156 (12), 1302.
[vi] Shisslak, C.M., Crago, M., & Estes, L.S., (1995). The spectrum of eating disturbances. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 18 (3), 209-219.