Fri | Apr 19, 2019

Celebrate your body with your husband

Published:Saturday | April 13, 2019 | 12:05 AMCecelia Campbell-Livingston/Gleaner Writer

You are beautiful

No matter what they say,

Words can’t bring you down.

Oh no

You are beautiful

In every single way,

Yes words can’t bring you down.

Christina Aguilera - Beautiful

The diet industry is booming, primarily because people, especially women, are not comfortable in the skin they are in. Some marriages are in trouble because women with protruding bellies, ‘love handles’ and ‘spare tyres’ feel uncomfortable being naked in front of their partners. The confidence they once felt walking around the house in the buff is now a thing of the past.

Men, however, are more comfortable with their beer bellies and are confused when women cannot seem to enjoy the same freedom in showing off their bodies – flawed as that might be.

Family & Religion asked Rozanne Comrie, author, motivational speaker and advocate against child sexual abuse what she thought about the above scenario. She quickly pointed out that dieting does not necessarily solve the lack of appreciation for one’s body.

For her, you could diet for years, but if you don’t appreciate being in your own skin and put out the effort to take care of yourself, then you may either eat yourself to obesity or starve yourself to anorexia.

“There needs to be self-worth, which is obviously lacking in some women nowadays. Once we appreciate who we are and love ourselves, then we automatically will get uncomfortable in the unhealthy state that we are in,” Comrie shared.

She pointed out that some women are influenced by what social media determines to be the ideal body type, shape and look.

“Because of that, rather than eating more nutritious meals, exercising and allowing the excess weight to shed naturally, some women go on some crazy diets because of poor body image and not because they want to stay, look and feel healthy. Over time, dieting can result in physical illness and depression due to the fluctuation of weight loss and weight gain,” Comrie said.

‘Ill-shaped men’

Comparing women’s perceptions of their bodies and their discomfort with it to how men seem to be more comfortable with theirs, Comrie said that “ill-shaped men” are more comfortable in their own skin than women because women are more pressured to look a certain way in today’s society. Unfortunately, she said, contemporary media have decided on a specific body size for women that is ‘attractive’ to society.

“When a man puts on weight, a woman is usually okay with him. This is an example of double standards because women’s bodies are typically more rigidly scrutinised than men’s. Also, women tear down each other while men don’t do that to other men,” she said.

Women who are not happy with their bodies find it a problem to allow their husbands to feast their eyes on them naked, and even when the men shower praises on them, they feel they are just trying to be kind.

For Comrie, women are considered complex beings who, in most cases, are driven by their emotions. This can lead to jealousy of other women’s appearances.

“A lot of women want to look and feel great, but some go about it the wrong way. Instead of spending their money on fixing their outward appearance by buying the most expensive hair, clothing, make-up, implants, etc, they should spend it on buying the proper nutritional food that will allow them to live a long, healthy life by nourishing their body with the proper nutritional food that can aid in longevity,” she said, adding that beauty starts from within.

Referring to the Bible, Comrie said the best weight-loss plan can be found there as it teaches a plant-based diet, which is beneficial. She said special attention should be paid to the books of Genesis, Leviticus and Daniel.

Her advice to women who struggle with body image is for them to start practising self-love because for her, once you start loving your body, you will think twice about what you put into it. Instead of using diet as a habit, let it become a lifestyle change for you. She also suggested including the family in meal preparations.

Comrie also advised women to embrace themselves and accept the flaws that they can’t change instead of trying to be someone else.

“Enjoy your body, enjoy your husband, just do you,” she said.