At 33 years old, I am outgoing, self-confident and comfortable with my appearance. But I wasn’t always that way. The high school years are a hard time for many girls and I was no exception. I obsessed over my body, convinced myself I was too fat dozens of times and tried pretty much every fad diet I came across. It was mainly a manifestation of low self-esteem that had nothing to do with my body at all, but it took me many years and a lot of mistakes to grow into the woman I am today.
While I know that raising my two boys will have its own challenges, I also know that they won’t be exposed to the pressures of dieting as badly as the average teenage girl is, and so any low self-esteem issues they have likely won’t manifest in that manner. But I also have three beautiful little nieces and the idea that they might one day go through something similar is so scary to me. After all, a recent study by Multi-Grain Cheerios of young women between 10-17 years of age found that three in five women have been on a diet, 52% of girls get their information about dieting and nutrition from family members and one in five girls under 18 is currently dieting.