Talk-show dynamo Wendy Williams has recently-released her sixth book, Ask Wendy. Similar to the popular segment she hosts on “The Wendy Williams Show,” Ask Wendy answers candid questions about taboo topics including sex, relationships and proper office etiquette. The 48-year-old personality also delves into her struggles with weight loss and self-esteem in her new book.
In a press interview with theGrio, Williams elaborated on what she discusses in Ask Wendy.
“I could lie to you and tell you that I’m fine with the way that I am right now, but the fact is my parents have done a number on me,” Williams confessed. “And that number will forever have me pinching an inch, checking in the mirror and obsessing over calories for the rest of my life… I’ve been on a diet every single day of my life.”
Americans are diet-obsessed. Researcher and author Judy Mahle-Lutter found 50 percent of American women are dieting annually, leading to a bustling multibillion-dollar industry. From Weight Watchers to Atkins, women are attempting to reconstruct their self-esteem by pursuing bikini bodies.
The media and fashion industries compound the issue by presenting unrealistic images of beauty and expecting women to attain it. This leads to lower self-esteem, a characteristic some parents impose on their children as is the case with Williams.
All hope is not lost. The Healthy Weight Network offers five tips for overcoming weight-related self-esteem issues.
Recognize that beauty, health and strength come in all sizes.
Real beauty encompasses what’s inside, your zest for life, your fun-loving spirit, a smile that lights up your face, your compassion for others, says Carol Johnson, author of Self-Esteem Comes in all Sizes. It’s being friendly, generous and loving, having strength and courage, and respecting yourself just as you are — goals that we all can achieve.
Be size positive.
Set an example of respect for size diversity. People naturally come in different sizes and builds, and that’s okay. If you are a large woman it’s especially important in our size-focused society to be a role model who radiates confidence, self-respect and friendliness for other adults and children who, sadly, may fear going out in public. Or, if you are a thin person, keeping thin through semi-starvation, remember this means an anorexic personality (anxiety, irritability, depression, inability to concentrate, social withdrawal, isolation from friends and family, preoccupation with food, loneliness, lack of compassion and generosity, self-centeredness), weak and brittle bones, and other serious health issues. Our society is currently obsessed with thinness, which hurts us all. When will this nation come to its senses, reject size prejudice, accept a wider range of shapes and sizes, and focus on health rather than weight? We each can do our part to bring about this healthful change.
Dress for success.
Dress in ways that make you feel good, that make your own statement and, most of all, that fit now. Clean out your closet of clothes that don’t fit; clothes you can wear only during dieting bouts. Give away or store too-small clothing. This makes room for clothes you will enjoy wearing.
Keep a gratitude journal.
Have you inventoried the richness of your life assets? Try it. Add to that inventory and each day write down three things you are grateful for in your gratitude journal. It can be humbling to realize the abundance of riches we have, and how much we take it for granted. The everyday joys of family, friends, home, community, country, health, work and the wonder of nature are all around us. Contemplating this can bring you deep serenity.
Strengthen your social support.
Include pleasant and stimulating interaction with others in your day, every day. Maintain nourishing relationships with family and friends. Promote communication and sharing of feelings in appropriate ways. Encourage positive self-talk, praise and support for each other. Getting involved in volunteer work is an excellent way to increase your social network as you lend a helping hand and a helping heart.
Chime in Clutchettes. What are other tips would you include for overcoming body image issues?