Tuesday, November 10

Body Image, Health, and Fitness What’s It Really All About? by Trice Hickman

Body Image, Health, and Fitness What’s It Really All About?
by Trice Hickman

Body image. It’s an issue that most women struggle with at some point in our lives—I know I certainly have, and still do. During my 20’s everything was perky and tight. I ate whatever I wanted and I still looked pretty good. When I entered my 30’s I began to notice subtle changes. Things weren’t as they had been a decade before, but, it was still all good! When I slid into my 40’s reality started kicking in, my metabolism slowed down, and I found myself wondering what had happened to my body. Even shopping, one of my favorite pastimes, became challenging.

*Cautionary Note*:   There is nothing more sobering than taking your clothes off in a department store dressing room and looking at your half-naked self under the glare of those ultra bright lights. As we age, we gain things we didn’t have before, and lose things we wish we could hold on to.

I don’t know a woman alive who thinks, “My body is great just the way it is!”
I’m sure such women exist, and that they are actually inhabiting this planet (well-adjusted aliens living among us, disguised as humans)…just kidding…a little! If I conducted a poll and asked the average woman to name one thing she’d like to change about her body, I guarantee she could come up with at least three different things off the top of her head. Some want thinner thighs, smaller waistlines, slimmer hips, and firmer everything! And on the flip side, some long for larger thighs, rounder behinds…and yes, firmer everything! Whether we’re big or small we fantasize about having the perfect bikini body. But let’s face it, even the svelte swim suit models gracing the fashion magazines are airbrushed to death, so what’s it really all about?...I believe it all starts with good self-esteem combined with good health and fitness habits.

Our society has become obsessed with beauty over substance. We live in an age of mid-drift bearing, booty-shakin’, breast implant having, show-what-you-got, in-your-face boldness. The unrealistic standards of beauty and body size thrust in front of us by way of magazines and music videos can make the average woman feel inadequate…and I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been guilty of succumbing to the hype.

I’ve often bemoaned and criticized my wide hips, thick thighs, and big legs. But slowly, and I mean very slowly, I’m learning to appreciate my curvy, grown woman shape. The other day I stood in front of the mirror, naked as the day I came into this world, and studied my body closely. Every inch of it. I closed my eyes, then opened them again. I spoke affirming words to the woman staring back at me. I embraced my taunt, smooth, skin that protects my body, and I thanked my big legs for allowing me to walk everywhere I need to go. I’m truly thankful for both. And even though I didn’t get around to praising my wide hips or thick thighs, I know I’ll get there soon, and when I do I will appreciate them, regardless of their size. This whole thing is a process—and it’s called acceptance. Loving who you are is a necessary exercise. Both the mind and body must be treated with reverence and care.

It’s important to be healthy, no matter your body size. There are thin women who are grossly out of shape and haven’t an ounce of cardio endurance, while there are overweight women who are fit and can run circles around their thinner counterparts. As I’ve gotten older, I realize how much more important it is to feel good than to look good (but for the record, I do like to look good, too!). I’ve also learned that educating yourself about proper diet and exercise, and incorporating both into your daily lifestyle is essential at any age. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables, drinking plenty of water, and moving your body in some sort of aerobic activity for at least 30 minutes a day can make all the difference in the world. When we do good things for our bodies we get great result. And when we love what’s on the inside, that’s an unbeatable feeling!

So tell me, how do you feel about your body and what issues are you struggling with, if any?  What are some of the things you’re doing to stay fit and healthy? Let me know and share some of the health and nutrition tips that have worked for you?  Email me your thoughts, suggestions or comments, here.  I truly want to hear from you!

About Author Trice Hickman
Trice Hickman
, is the author of Unexpected Interruptions, which won the Southeastern Virginia Arts Association's 2008 Afr' Am Literary Award for Best New African American Voice, and the Best Romance Novel Award at the 2008 African American Literary Awards Show. Her much anticipated follow-up, Keeping Secrets & Telling Lies, was released June 23, 2009, and received praise from readers and reviewers alike. Her third novel, Playing the Hand You're Dealt, was released August 24, 2010. Unexpected Interruptions, went on to garner rave reviews, win literary awards, and top several bestseller lists! Keeping Secrets & Telling Lies, and Playing the Hand You’re Dealt, were both received with equal praise and recognition by the media, bookclubs and literary leaders. 

After accomplishing these literary achievements, a major publisher offered Trice a book deal to purchase all three of the originally self-published novels. Kensingston Publishing Corp. (Dafina Books) is going to re-release all of the Trice Hickman titles for world-wide distribution.  Prior to becoming a published author, Ms. Hickman worked in both corporate and non-profit organizations. She earned a BA degree from Winston-Salem State University, and an MA degree from Wake Forest University. To learn more about Trice Hickman, her new releases and book events, visit her web site at www.tricehickman.com

Connect with Trice at:     http://www.tricehickman.com 
Friend Trice Hickman at: http://www.facebook.com/tricehickman  

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