Don't set unrealistic expectations Did you know that most of the images you see on television, movies and magazines aren't even real? A model for a magazine cover goes through hours of professional hair and make-up, has professional stylist, top photographers who know her "best side," professional lighting, and that's all before the chosen photo goes to a company where they remove stray hairs, wrinkles, blemishes and "extra" curves. Sometimes they even take the head from one model and photoshop it onto the body of another. What you see is totally made up! Understanding that the images you have in your head as the perfect body type have been altered and computer generated will help you as you set a realistic body image for yourself. It's also important to not set unrealistic expectations for weight loss. Once again when we see shows on TV where the people loose massive amounts in short periods of time, it gives unrealistic goals and expectations for weight loss in the real world. Setting realistic goals will help you feel accomplishments when you achieve the goals you set and will help you feel proud. Realize how amazing your body truly is! Have you ever taken time to think about how the amazing our bodies truly are? There are millions of microscopic functions that go on in our bodies every day, and you don't even have to think about them. They just happen! Your heart beats on it's own without us having to think or do anything to make it happen. The brain is constantly firing info all throughout the body telling which organ what to do at just the right time. Every organ does it's job without us having to tell it what to do or how to do it. Unfortunately, it often takes a crisis or a tragedy, such as a brush with death, a go-around with a disease, or a debilitating accident for some to realize that their bodies weren't so bad to begin with and that their body hang-ups were a big waste of time. How much time are you spending each day worrying about your weight, your body shape, the size of your rear? What could you be doing during that time? Instead of spending time upset or picking apart the things we don't like, how about we instead take time to marvel and be grateful for the health of our bodies and the amazing ways they function! Change the inner dialog How often do you find yourself standing in front of the mirror criticizing every little part of your body? Or maybe you like some features but are completely hung up on others? When we start the day by tearing ourselves down it carries with us all day long. We, even unintentionally, tell ourselves these negative things over and over and it becomes what we belive to be true about ourselves. To the point that even when people compliment us we can't believe them because we've told ourselves these negative things for too long. We have to change the way we think about out bodies and talk about our bodies, and yes even to ourselves. Psalms 139 13-16, "For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them." We were made with intention and purpose!We are fearfully and wonderfully made! Even when we have a hard time believing that about ourselves we can know that the One who made and formed us believes it about us! If we looked at ourselves the way our Creator looks at us it would give us a very different view of our bodies and who we are. Do something about it There maybe somethings about our bodies that we can not change, such as how tall or short we are, how big our ears are or our facial features. But there are things we can take care of and some things that we can change and that's where we can start. By taking care of the body we do have and making sure that we're eating healthy and activly invovled in exercising and making a lifestyle of health we can change things about our bodies. We may not be able to change everything and our changes maynot happen as fast as we would like to see but it's part of a life time of health that will have results for the long haul. "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can;and wisdom to know the difference."The prayer said by so many struggling with addictions and difficulties is very fitting here as well. Be an example The most critical messages our youngsters receive about their body image and their self-worth comes not from the media, but from what they see and hear AT HOME. For those with children or grandchildren, we have the responsibilty to be an example and to model good behavior. Kids watch and immitate the thoughts and behaviors of the adults in their lives and when they hear those adults complaining and tearing themselves apart the kids start to look at their little bodies in the same way.It's startling the number of children, especially little girls, starting around age 4-5 that are worried about their body image and dieting. They arestarting this obsession because of how they hear their parents talk about their bodies. Parents who maintain healthy attitudes about their own bodies, who model healthy eating behaviors, and who provide nutritious food for their family, preparing, serving, and sitting down to eat meals together with children as frequently as is possible, virtually immunize their child from developing eating problems. It's up to us as parents tomodel for our children a lifestyle of healthy eating, exercise and healthy thoughts as well. Let's do it for the children!