So Lance Armstrong admitted he cheated and lied. And lied about cheating. He is not necessarily a bad person, just a person who made errors in judgment. He has already had to give up his titles and records, and he more than likely will be giving back a lot of his winnings and endorsement money. He will repay what he can to society by being a humble public servant (if he can get that whole “I was a victim of the pressure” cow chip off his shoulder).
But there is a cost associated with his cheating and lies that cannot be repaid. It is the cost to the other competitors in the Tour de France, and cyclists and cycling enthusiasts everywhere… not just the emotional cost of losing a hero, the resentment of being robbed of an award or a medal that should have been theirs, the hurt of being lied to… but the wounding to the self-esteem of those who believed that Lance could acheive superhuman peformance without enhancing drugs, leaving them some how incompetent.
Feeling less ___ than someone else is a normal part of life. But it seems unfair that those who choose unnatural enhancements would lie and place themselves in the same category as those who use the (sometimes lesser) gifts they were given… so that others feel inadequate by comparison.
So in order to level the playing field, allow me to suggest that from now on we separate into two categories of competition – the natural and the enhanced. Those who are willing to take chances with their health in order to improve their prestige, go right ahead. And those who don’t won’t have to compete (and lose) to those who do. [I have not heard anyone mention the possibility that Lance Armstrong's cancer might have been related to his drug use. But could it be?] Why did Lance have to lie? Because there are no competitions where doping is allowed. Let’s change that and then it can all be out in the open.
Take bodybuilding for example. We all know that Mr. Universe uses steroids. Please, don’t bother to defend him. His man-boobs give him away. So if you want to compete, there are the “fitness” competitions and there are the “natural” competitions. Two totally different ballgames. Nobody is deluded into thinking that they can become Mr. Universe on exercise and spray tans alone.
And why not give Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa their own Hall of Fame category? Most Home Runs on Andro. I mean they did hit the most home runs, right? Let’s just call it like it is so they don’t have to lie. That way we don’t go years and years holding up drug-addled narcissists as role models to our kids before the big fall from grace when we find out the truth. Why not let them start out in the graceless category right off the top?
No more false advertising. It’s a trend whose time has come. You know fashion ads in Israel now have to be labeled if they are computer-modified. What about surgical enhancements as well? It is highly unusual for the same woman to naturally fit into both size zero pants and a D-cup bra. But because some boob jobs look so real, many women believe the myth, and starve themselves only to find out that breasts, being made out of fat, are often the first to go.
So enhance away, if that’s your thing. I will be the last to judge. Own your choice and don’t blame “the pressure.” But please don’t lie and tell the world that you have a deviated septum, or that you just woke up one day 10 years younger and 2 cup-sizes bigger, or that you rode up a mountain range 7 times relying only on sports gel and willpower. Because everyone is someone’s role model. And the best role you can play is the one that’s real.
Family Eating Disorders Manual: Guiding Families Through the Maze of Eating Disorders
Editor: Susan Altan. Contributing Authors: Laura Hill, David Dagg, Michael Levine, Linda Smolak, Sara Johnson, Sonja A. Stotz, Nancy Little.
Published by The Center for Balanced Living, August 2012. ISBN 978-0-9883088-1-7
The Family Eating Disorders Manual is obviously intended to be read by family members of an individual with an eating disorder. However it also contains a wealth of concise, helpful information for the new or experienced professional. I wish this book had been available 15 years ago, or any time between now and then, as I would have recommended it to every one of my patients’ families. Before I had even finished reading it, I had already recommended it to a colleague who asked me how to help her sister, whose daughter is in treatment.
The credentials of the many authors are impeccable. Even before the publication of this manual, their combined contributions to the eating disorders field have impacted much of our current knowledge and practice. Unlike other books written by multiple authors, The Family Eating Disorders Manual is cohesive and structured. Although each chapter lists its individual authors, the topics flow and the format is standardized, unlike many compilations that are simply a hodge-podge of chapters each written by someone else.
The overarching theme of the book is that family members did not cause their loved one’s eating disorder, but if they are willing to choose the path of education and compassion, they can support and enhance their loved one’s recovery. The preface states that the book is based on the Center for Balanced Living’s family education program, developed in 2006 and then refined based on input from participants and data analysis.
Five of the first six chapters are set up as the response to questions we have all been asked innumerable times, such as “What’s happening to my loved one?” and “What can I do?”. The answers start out broad (“The neurobiology of decision-making and eating disorders”) and hone in on practical tools and suggested responses. The latter chapters and appendices cover behavior change theory as it applies to eating disorders, nutrition basics, caring for the caregiver, and an explanation of the treatment team approach and typical levels of care. Each chapter ends with “Questions for Reflection,” providing space for the reader to write his or her own answers and notes and enhancing the collaborative tone of the book.
Naturally, I took special interest in Chapter 8: Food as Medicine, ably written by Dietitian Sonja Stotz. I was initially skeptical, wondering if I would have to rip out this chapter before giving anyone the book, as I have been burned by family-oriented folks who discount dietitians. So please appreciate the significance of my conclusion: I wouldn’t change a thing.
Sonja articulately conveys the role of each member of the refeeding triumvirate – dietitian, family member, patient – while emphasizing the absolute necessity of both communication and structure. I especially appreciated her description of the many factors the dietitian takes into account when developing the recovery meal plan, something that might give those do-it-yourselfers pause. My favorite part of the chapter was everything – the way it encompasses so many positive messages while emphasizing appropriate boundaries. In other words, everything I like about the manual as a whole.
The Family Eating Disorders Manual fills a gaping void in the eating disorders field, and is not just for individual family members. It could be used as a leader’s guide in multi-family support groups, and a quick refresher for a professional who needs to catch up on the latest in the field. Offering a combination of education as well as strategy, the latest in research plus the voice of experience, empowerment along with respect, this book will be recommended daily by eating disorder professionals who will be thrilled that they didn’t have to write it themselves.
Available in print, PDF, and Kindle versions.
Kindle version $19.99 through Amazon http://amzn.to/138vhRR
Printed version $45 through Gurze Books http://www.bulimia.com/productdetails.cfm?PC=2063
PDF Downloadable version $19.99 Available through The Center for Balanced Living http://www.centerforeatingdisorders.org/main/index.php?page=121&module=263
To find an eating disorder dietitian in your area, www.EDDietitians.com/Treatment-Finder.
Great study out of Michigan by Drs. Suzanne Dooley-Hash, Rebecca Cunningham and Maureen Walton and their colleagues, who screened ER visitors for eating disorder signs. How brilliant! Any ED treater who has ever had a patient report an ER diagnosis of “dehydration” so severe to require IV fluids and then a discharge with no additional assessment or follow-up is saying “About time!” right now.
Their findings are absolutely critical and further support what eating disorder treaters already know but the medical profession seems to ignore – that many of the patients identified with eating disorders were male, and many of the patients of both genders identified were not visibly identifiable as underweight.
About 10 years ago I wrote an article for the Dallas Medical Journal called “Identifying Hidden Eating Disorders.” I interviewed an eating disorders-savvy doctor from each specialty I could think of on the clues they would recommend that other doctors consider.
The ER doctor I interviewed mentioned that patients with a foreign object lodged in their throat should always be evaluated for bulimia. He was not referring to kids who swallow marbles or pennies, but something like a toothbrush or pencil.
Fast forward about 5 years and an adult patient told me in session that she thought she had a spoon stuck in her throat, because she could feel it rising up when she vomited. I immediately recommended emergency care. Of course. Her response? She had already been to the emergency room, where the doctor had told her that “It will probably pass. Kids swallow marbles and pennies all the time.” This was after she pulled her back-up spoon from her purse to show him that she was talking about a plastic baby-feeding spoon, about 6″ long.
Needless to say, this spoon was not passing. Nor did it put a crimp in her regularly scheduled vomiting. As if the many dangers of having a spoon in one’s esophagus weren’t enough to ignore, the patient also reported being weighed at the emergency room (whole other issue, right? Can anyone explain to me why a patient with a spoon in her throat would be asked to take the time to be weighed?). Which I suppose isn’t an issue in theory, since the whole thing was deemed to be not an emergency… except that she took away from the experience that since no one commented on her weight being a problem, obviously that meant that she also didn’t have an eating disorder!
I shudder to tell you how long that patient had that spoon in her throat, refusing the recommendations of her internist, gastroenterologist, dietitian, and parents… all because of the ridiculous assessment she had received in the ER. By some miracle, she did not end up with a perforation, or a blockage, or sepsis, and eventually when she visited her hometown, her mother made arrangements to have the thing removed under anesthesia.
To this day I wish I knew the name of that doctor, because I have a couple of things I would like to say. In the mean time, I am happily grateful that this issue is undergoing increased attention, and I pray that it will make a difference in the training of ER clinicians and medical professionals in general.
The Michigan study is published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders, and a summary is posted on the Michigan website, here: http://uofmhealth.org/news/archive/201211/first-study-eating-disorders-teen-er-patients-suggests.
Many thanks to the authors for paving the way on something that should be, but clearly isn’t, an issue of common sense.
In his article on eating disorder recovery protection during the holiday season, Dr. Weiner writes:
“Continue working with your outpatient dietitian. Ongoing nutrition counseling with a Registered Dietitian provides powerful guidance, support and education to help patients overcome their fear of food and normalize eating behaviors, particularly during times of stress. If holiday travel keeps you from keeping your regularly-scheduled appointments, consider speaking with your dietitian by phone for a brief check-in or corresponding by email about your experiences and dietary challenges.”
Thank you Dr. Weiner for your endorsement and for helping elucidate the essential role of the eating disorder dietitian in the treatment and recovery protection process.
Feed every part of yourself during the holidays – mental, emotional, spiritual AND physical.
It will be harder to take care of others if you are not taking care of yourself. Schedule time for yourself, and keep the appointment, just as you would if it were a business meeting.
As much as possible, maintain your regular sleep, exercise and eating patterns. This is not the time to “go on a diet” or make drastic changes to your lifestyle. It is also not a good time to be sleep deprived.
Don’t skip meals, even if you have a big one coming up soon. Eat on time so that you are not starving when you are surrounded by food.
If you eat more than usual at a holiday meal or party, remind yourself that overeating occasionally does not cause instant weight gain and that your body knows what to do with that food. It is normal to eat more than usual during the holidays, and it really is okay. In all likelihood you will return to your normal eating habits the next day, and your body will normalize. In fact, if you honestly listen to your hunger, you probably won’t be hungry again for quite a while, and your total food intake for the day may be the same.
Recognize your limits and practice saying no. This includes when people offer you food. Never overeat because of pressure from others.
Listen to your body! Eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full, rest when you’re tired, and relax when you’re stressed.
Think of activities the whole family can do instead of sitting around eating.
Be flexible about your expectations – almost nothing can turn out exactly as planned, so hoping for it will only lead to disappointment.
Plan ahead how you will cope with uncomfortable situations. Have a “safe spot” you can escape to if family gatherings become stressful, and plan a way to excuse yourself. Think about realistic scenarios that might occur and plan how you will respond.
Get as organized as possible so you don’t have to duplicate effort. Write shopping lists and errands lists and organize them by geography. Take things with you on the way to work so you can do them on your way home from work.
Try not to count calories or weigh yourself if either of these adds to your stress. If the thought of not weighing worries you, find a friend who will weigh you backward and reassure you as long as you are within a 5 pound range. This way you will know you are within your usual weight range without panicking over a 1 or 2 pound gain that could easily be due to water retention after a big meal.
Don’t schedule so many activities that you become exhausted. List all the parties to which you are invited, all your errands, etc. Prioritize, then cross off those that are honestly not necessary or that will only add to your stress. Determine what you enjoy most during the holidays and schedule time for it. Determine what you enjoy least and cross it off your list! If you are really honest with yourself, you may realize most of your time is scheduled to make others happy. A little selfishness goes a long way this time of year toward making you happy.
Find a scripture or saying that is meaningful to you, and carry it in your wallet or purse. Turn to it for comfort or a reality check when stress gets high.
Walk away from no-win situations. Arguing when everyone’s stress is high tends to lead to more stress.
Try to look “on the bright side” whenever you can; laugh as much as possible, even (especially!) at your own mistakes.
Accept the things or family members that you cannot change. Figure out how you can change your behavior or attitude to cope and to take care of yourself. Prepare responses to things people may say that make you uncomfortable.
Make a pact with a friend or loved one to “just listen” to each other for 5 or 10 minutes each day. No talk, no advice giving, just listening.
Find time to be spiritual in your own way, whether it is through religion, faith, meditation, giving thanks, art or your own expression of yourself.
©2000 Understanding Nutrition, PC. Permission granted to reprint for educational purposes.
For any other purpose, or for more information, visit www.UnderstandingNutrition.com.
That was the lingering question this evening after Phyllis Bisch’s “Girls Group.” Phyllis asked me to speak to her teen support group about eating disorders and body image. It only took an hour, and it wasn’t complicated. I didn’t cure anyone’s lifelong issues, but it was information they haven’t received anywhere else.
It left me with my own questions: Why do girls have to get into trouble before we intervene? Isn’t growing up hard enough to qualify as a risk factor? Why don’t they teach this stuff in health class? Is it because you can’t take a test on self-esteem? Or that no teacher wants to deal with the emotional drama that this conversation can stir up? Or maybe that teachers are overwhelmed and there’s no funding for outside experts?
Maybe somewhere they are teaching about these issues. I would love to hear about how it has worked in a high school setting – a forum for students to air their questions in a safe environment where no one is labelled as having a problem and answers are honest and personal. Does that exist outside of alternative schools for kids in trouble?
The questions asked by members of the group were a window into their inner lives:
“How do you know when your food issues are an eating disorder?”
“What does it mean ‘if you don’t eat your body goes into starvation mode?’”
“What if you never feel good about yourself?”
“What if you think about food ALL the time?”
I know the answers to all those questions. But right now all I can think about is the final question posed to me at the end, about why no one ever talks about this stuff. Because that’s the one question for which I don’t have an answer.
I come from smarts. It’s genetic. But my childhood aversion to asking questions was definitely learned behavior.
My mom is a librarian whose motto is “Everything is information, you just have to know where to find it.” To this day if I happen to mention any medical condition, work problem, family issue, or upcoming project, she immediately emails me articles on the subject. And they keep on coming, long after the procedure, solution, or project is complete. My dad was a supergenius high school dropout information junkie who put himself through MIT and read me to sleep from the Wall Street Journal. His idea of quality time was quizzing me on How many feet make a mile? or the parts of an airplane motor for a nickel.
So I learned early on that asking questions was a danger. Asking how to spell a word meant carrying over the giant dictionary and an explanation of the Latin etymology or evolution from Olde English. Asking the difference between frogs and toads or why women have to wear shirts and men don’t meant up to 5 volumes of the encyclopedia and a 90-minute debate that effectively ruined dinner. And not knowing the answer to one of Daddy’s quizzes? That earned me a disappointed frown and he took back the nickel.
You can ask my brother if you think I’m exaggerating, but I kid you not, the first time my now-husband came to a Jewish holiday dinner at my mom’s, I warned him not to ask any questions or live to regret it. He obeyed, but my brother asked if we don’t eat nuts on Passover, why do we eat something made with sesame seeds? And out came the Jewish encyclopedia, the dictionary, and some serious childhood flashbacks.
My brother is a lawyer, so he’s used to arguments and debates. You might even say he thrives on them. As a conflict avoider, I chose to keep my big mouth shut. For many years, I refused to ask questions. Questions about school, questions about life. Whether I needed to know the exports of a North African nation or why boys tease girls instead of just saying they like you, I would find the answer myself, or I would just not know. Not knowing was not ideal, but it sure beat the ordeal of having to ask the question.
Until during my internship, a super-mean supervisor suggested that my lack of knowledge of what bowel sounds sound like reflected a deficiency in my program, in a tone of voice that reflected that my future was hopeless. Apparently she came out of the womb knowing it all, so woe to someone who admitted she didn’t have all the answers! Childhood wounds triggered again!
But my better-late-than-never confidence in myself and my moral indignation that someone would speak to me like that in public alchemically combined into the miraculous and healing realization that SHE WAS WRONG. Students aren’t supposed to know it all. That’s why we’re IN SCHOOL.
For the first time I realized that there’s no shame in not knowing something! How can you know until you ask the question? I wasn’t deficient, not only in my internship, but throughout my whole childhood. My parents weren’t trying to shame me for being ignorant, they were just answering questions the way THEY liked their answers, instead of meeting me halfway (or more) because I was a child.
So can you imagine my joy as a newly crowned dietitian when I admitted in an interview that I didn’t know very much? And my soon-to-be boss said she already knew I knew nothing, because all new dietitians know nothing? And she hired me anyway? I could definitely meet expectations at this job! In fact, I already deserved a raise!
Knowing that everyone I worked with was aware of how little I knew lowered the threshold of anxiety about asking even the simplest of questions. It was like a special perk I had never experienced - I could ask anyone anything with no fear of repercussions, reprimands, or dinner table recriminations. And definitely no running for the dictionary. They just – voila! – told me the answer! And explained it in detail if I so desired. And they paid me for this! And didn’t test me later! So I asked about everything under the sun!
Only once did I revert to old childhood patterns, feeling like I had to find the answer myself and feeling deficient when I couldn’t. This was back when one dietitian would cover the whole hospital for the weekend. Upon the request of a resident (someone who knew less than me? Incredible!), I scoured every book in the Clinical Nutrition Office to find out how much free water to add to breast milk for a tube-fed infant.
When I had finally exhausted all my resources and felt utterly defeated and inadequate, I suddenly remembered there were other dietitians in the world – I could call one at home! Hopefully someone who would just tell me the answer or tell me where to find it without suggesting I should already know. I chose wisely and reached Sophie. Her instant reply: Breast-fed infants don’t need any water.
Not tube-fed, bottle-fed, or breast-fed, nope, if they’re getting breast milk, they don’t get water. Not a drop. None at all. Whatever you need to flush the teeny tiny tube, if you even need any at all.
But knowing the answer didn’t make me happy. It made me deficient, because I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN it already. I had the courage to say this to Sophie, and thankfully I did, because that gave her the opportunity to reassure me that no one knows everything and sometimes the way people ask questions makes you think there’s an answer.
I needed to hear that reminder again - that not knowing an answer doesn’t make you deficient. Whether or not there is an answer, either way not knowing is okay. It simply means you don’t know yet, or alternately that nobody knows.
The eating disorders field is rife with questions, and many of them have no answer. Not because you or I don’t know it, not because we missed that day in school. But simply because no one knows the answers.
It is important to be able ask without shame, or fear of humiliation. It took me a long time to get to that point, and when I did, I found that most healthy people are perfectly happy to answer a question, or point me to the answer, without any incrimination on my character. Answering your questions helps me to move forward in my own healing and demonstrate that even now I am a student, someone who doesn’t have to know it all. But what I know, or think, or believe, I am 100% willing to share.
So I’ve been thinking about why I haven’t blogged, and the best I could come up with is that limiting belief that nobody might want to read what I write. But I decided today not to let that stop me. You may not know this about me, but Moses is my role model. When I was worried many years ago that I couldn’t do what I was called to do (speak out in public), I went to the Bible to read about Moses and the burning bush. I read how God asked Moses to speak His word and Moses told God he didn’t think he could do what God was asking. That was exactly how I felt! God asked me to talk to the world about some healing we needed to do, and I wasn’t sure I could do a good job. Or even if I did, maybe no one would listen. Or even if they listened, maybe they wouldn’t care. Worst of all, maybe they wouldn’t like me, or even think I was crazy. All the same arguments that Moses made. But God told Moses He would help him, and so that’s the message I took away. God wouldn’t put this need to be heard in my heart if He wasn’t going to stick with me and help me to do it. And voila, you can see what has transpired in the years since then. So although it isn’t God asking me to blog (at least not directly, but I suppose God had a hand in sending all those “Why you need to blog!” emails and articles my way), I am going to follow the path of Moses, who inscribed the Ten Commandments, even though, at least the first time, nobody was interested. What I have to say is not biblical in nature, and I don’t expect it to change the course of history, but since He asked, I’ll check my inner critic at the door and dive back in. Voila!
Thank you for all of your comments about Part I. To respond to Ms. Orenstein’s anti-princessistic views, I have asked my own Inner Princess to respond:
Peggy POV #1: Wanting to be a princess, princess-like, or admiring of princesses is bad for little girls.
The Princess graciously responds:
Peggy, I see beyond your fears to the princess within. Why not embrace your princess-longing to find your inner princess self! Those of us who have already realized that we are the Princess (or Queen if you wish) of our own domains are claiming our own power, not waiting for acceptance from others.
As every true princess knows, it is not the gown nor tiara that makes a princess. It is something inside that can never be taken away. Something like honor, character, perhaps even a spark of the divine! In other words, it is in every one of us, even the men and boys! It does not make us better than others, or more deserving, it gives us more responsibility. Believing in our princess-like powers does not mean we are selfish or deluded, it means we have imagination, and the ability to rise above our circumstances.
Like The Little Princess, Anastasia, or Elizabeth Smart, or any other princess who has been stripped of her trappings, even her identity, she still maintains her character. What is wrong with wanting to believe that you are special and deserving of respect? And one of the main things that helps a girl grow into a healthy self-respecting woman is a good relationship with her daddy… who of course thinks she is a princess!
Peggy POV #2: Disney princesses are an especially heinous influence on little girls and their development.
The Princess graciously responds:
Walt Disney did not invent princesses nor a fascination with them. Wanting to be a princess is a time-tested escape fantasy that does not correlate with stunted development. Imagining onself a princess does not equate with being spoiled or entitled – those are learned behaviors. And as every prince, princess or Disney movie-watcher knows, royalty is a responsibility as well as an honor.
Disney princesses (although remarkably slender as a group, and therefore not reflecting of all the shapes and sizes of the true princesses of the world) happen to be a very classy bunch. As evidenced by their depiction as individuals who:
Show kindness to others
Follow their own heart even when frowned upon by convention/society
Are resilient, do not give up without a fight
Try to right the wrongs they observe
Help others less fortunate than they
Speak with respect to others, never belittling or bullying
Respect their parents yet stand up to authority when it is unjust
Do not judge others based on appearance, social standing or financial success
Learn from their mistakes, admit their shortcomings, and are honest or learn to regret it
Are friends to nature
Believe in the good in all people (even their enemies can be redeemed if they are willing, because after all, they have character to, if only they choose to use it)
Demonstrate creative problem-solving and usually practice one or more creative pursuits
And when they fall in love or marry, they choose partners who respect them, who do not belittle or abuse them, and who love them back.
I am sure you can agree that these are all qualities that we hope for our daughters to embrace.
Peggy POV #3: The commercialization of princesses is a juggernaut that no parent can stop.
The Princess graciously responds:
Don’t sell yourself short Peggy. Remember that as a mother you are the most influential person in your daughter’s life. It’s all in how you interpret princess culture with your daughter. If you reinforce that princess means “you are better than everyone else,” then you are more at fault than any marketer or DVD. If you discuss the movies with your daughter and the qualities that you admire (or don’t) in each of the characters, you guide your child’s response. I know from your previous books that you are very familiar with media literacy, and that it’s an ongoing conversation with your daughter about respecting herself. Please don’t give up on our next generation yet! There is so much that those little princes and princesses have left to learn. They are counting on us to use a language that they understand. And if that is the language of princess culture, let’s turn it into something wonderful!
All my best wishes,
The Princess of My Domain
I noticed Jillian Michaels, my nemesis, staring at me from the cover of Ladies Home Journal this month (no, of course I don’t subscribe, I was at the library). The caption:
Lose Weight Faster: The Biggest Loser Tips and Tricks.
Doesn’t anyone remember what “You’re the biggest loser” used to mean? It was not something you would want to brag about on national tv. But never mind, mission accomplished LHJ, you got my attention.
Reading further, the next teaser on the magazine cover was:
Raise a Girl with Body Confidence.
(Rule #1: Don’t let her catch you reading diet tips from Jillian Michaels?)
Amazed by the incredibly twisted placement but nevertheless hooked, I turned to the purported body confidence article. Only to find, not an article, but a useless excerpt from Peggy Orenstein’s latest book, Cinderella Ate My Daughter.
I say useless because Peggy’s main advice (?) was this: Hope that your daughter is genetically blessed with society’s ideal size and shape. That’s her only hope.
I know you think I’m joking, exaggerating, or making this up. But I’m not. Peggy writes that she’s glad that her daughter isn’t heavy, because life sure is harder for people who are bigger than society’s ideal. Unlike Peggy’s friend’s daughter who is slightly larger than society’s ideal, for whom Peggy predicts a sad life of dieting, disappointment, and self-hate.
I have a prediction to make, too: Peggy Orenstein’s daughter is going to struggle with her self-esteem. Why wouldn’t she? Her mom has no reason to help her daughter form a good body image, because apparently that comes naturally when you’re pretty. (Somehow I missed that memo.) She’s not willing to challenge society’s unrealistic expectations in her own head, how could she possibly teach her daughter to do so? And knowing that your mom judges and pities people who do not meet her limited standards of acceptability and weight is not going to help matters.
Peggy, you are part of the problem. You look with sadness at your friend’s daughter, worried that she won’t have a good self esteem, but that lucky girl has a mother who teaches her to accept herself as is and that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. I wish she was the one who had written a book.