"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."
-Sarah Maria

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"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

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"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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Body Image & You

What are we doing to our Daughters?

In a culture of stick-thin models, our young adolescents are embarking on a dangerous path of dieting, bingeing, and purging. Here is how to tell your daughter is at risk, as well as tips and exercises to help improve body-image in your household.

The Statistics:

Sadly, the statistics speak for themselves: 80-90% of adult women dislike their bodies. 15% of women say they would sacrifice more than five years of their lives to be thinner, while 24% say they would sacrifice up to three years of their life.

We have passed this pathological dissatisfaction onto our daughters: 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 dieted to lose weight.

Eating disorders are the third most common chronic illness in adolescent girls, and have the highest death rate of any mental illness. Research suggests that approximately 1% of female adolescents have anorexia, while about 4% of college-age women have bulimia. 50% of people who have been anorexic develop bulimia or bulimic patterns.

Disordered eating almost often begins as a simple diet. 35% of ?normal dieters? progress to pathological dieting. Of these, 20-25% progress to partial of full-syndrome eating disorders.

Intense body dissatisfaction and disordered eating have been steadily increasing over time. Anorexia in young women has steadily increased each decade since 1930, and the incidence of bulimia tripled between 1988 and 1993.

The chances are good that your daughter is struggling with her body image. A positive body-image cultivated during adolescence will serve her throughout her life, while a negative body image can take years to overcome.

Fortunately, there are things you can do to help. Regardless of your daughter's age, you can help her to cultivate a positive body-image and healthy self-esteem.

  • Become an example: When you improve your own body image and eliminate negative body-talk, this will dramatically help your child.
  • Discuss the concept of beauty with your child - teach them to recognize beauty in people of all different shapes, sizes, ages, and ethnicities
  • Encourage healthy lifestyle choices, but avoid suggesting that your child should look a specific way or be a certain weight or size
  • If your child is exposed to beauty magazines and television shows, make sure you talk about body image. Let them know that the images in magazines aren't real; they have been touched-up and air-brushed.
  • Let your child know that you love her exactly how she is, no matter what
  • Teach your child to be grateful for exactly who she is. If you are religious, you can teach her the following prayer: "Thank you God for making me just the way I am." If you are not religious, you can simply teach her to repeat this phrase to herself, acknowledging all the great characteristics she has, physically, mentally, and emotionally.
  • Show her how to be conscious about her thoughts: negative thoughts and feelings can have a negative effect on her well-being, whereas positive thoughts and emotions have the power to transform for the better.

For more information on body image, eating disorders, and personal empowerment please visit Sarah Maria's web site at www.breakfreebeauty.com.

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