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Navel Gazing: For All of Us Obsessed with Weight and Appearance

na·vel-gaz·ing (n v l-g z ng). n. Slang. Excessive introspection, self-absorption, or concentration on a single issue

Just noticing the preponderance of posts, particularly by young women, who think that their weight and their physical appearance is the MOST IMPORTANT thing in the world.

I know about this.  I have spent a lot of years fixated on my weight and on losing those last 30 pounds.  I would tell myself it was about being healthy or protecting my heart or a million other lies, but really I want to look good in a bikini.

Actually, at one point I realized that I really believed that if I finally lost those pounds that everything else in my life would magically fall into place.  I would feel confident, powerful, and happy.

At one point, I did lose 30 pounds!  Guess what, my body still didn't look like I thought it should.  My life wasn't magically better.  I didn't feel much different.

I encourage all the young women here to examine their assumptions about why an ideal body is so important.

"The relegation of women to the social roles of wife and mother has several significant consequences... First, in order to become a wife and mother, a woman has to have a man.  Getting a man is presented as an almost unattainable and yet essential goal.  To get a man, a woman has to regard herself as an item, a commodity, a sex object... Since women are taught to see themselves from the outside as candidates for men they become prey to the huge diet and fashion industries that first set up the ideal images and then exhort women to meet them.  The message is loud and clear--the woman's body is not her own.  The woman's body is not satisfactory as it is.  It must be thin, free of "unwanted" hair," deodorised, perfumed and clothed.  It must conform to the ideal shape...Furthermore, the job is never-ending, for the image changes from year to year... In this way, women are caught in an attempt to conform to a standard that is externally defined and constantly changing..."

from Fat is a Feminist Issue by Susie Orbach

I also encourage people to realize there are so many more ways you can be using your time to have fun, to get healthy, to help others or help save Planet.  Lift up your eyes and open them to the World!  

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Wow, you are so right.  Its amazing how focused we are on external beauty.  And how even though we do want to be thinner to be healthy, most of the time it comes down wanting to look better and wanting to be noticed by others. 

And you are right also, that once we do lose the weight, it doesn't suddenly make everything else in our lives perfect. 

I think it is about learning to be happy where we are at now, and focusing on other things that don't have to do with weight and appearance.  Then, maybe the weight will come off without us even really thinking about it!

Great post, very inspiring.  Thank for sharing. :)


Thank you, Peaches!

Thanks! :)

I want to look hot but I want to be healthy more. :)
I personally think being pleased with my appearance can contribute to my self-confidence and thus happiness, but there are loads of other things that contribute to my happiness as well. My goal (for my body) is to be healthy, and I believe that when you are healthy having an attractive body will come with that.

I FEEL better than I've ever felt. That makes all the difference in the world to me.

Totally agree with this.  There's nothing wrong with wanting to be attractive, I just don't want it to be my primary focus. 


There is a sense of desperation and perfectionism that comes up over and over in people's posts; a willingness to sacrifice anything to look good.  And also I see a lot of posts putting out criteria for a mate that puts looks at the top of the list.  Yah, looks tell you something about the health of a person, and that is important when choosing a mate, but it's easy to begin objectifying others and having very superficial and unsatisfying relationships.


I don't want my goals to be defined by someone else, especially someone who's only purpose is to relieve me of my money.  And I don't want to be judged solely by how my body looks in a bikini.


Life is too short to spend all my time on my abs!  LOL!

nicely said :)

Thank you, Jon.  Very well put!  I agree that there is similar body-image pressure put on men, too.

I love reading your posts Greenmama.

Thank you, Fiona!  Hugs.

"I also encourage people to realize there are so many more ways you can be using your time to have fun, to get healthy, to help others or help save Planet.  Lift up your eyes and open them to the World!"

So true. People really living their passion NEVER have any excess weight issues EVER!

Live your passion!  Love that!

Thanks for posting this.  And I agree very much with Jon's thought above that from health comes happiness, confidence, etc.  That has been my experience completely.

I think this post is totally awesome! I'm a guy and I've been overweight for a long time (only HCRV for the last month and a half). But it never really mattered all that much to me, of course I cared, but not enough to take action (even now, doing it for health mainly). I think your statement

"Actually, at one point I realized that I really believed that if I finally lost those pounds that everything else in my life would magically fall into place.  I would feel confident, powerful, and happy."

is the core of the problem here (just like Jon said haha). From experience I have realized most people, including myself, think this way. And we pin it on all sorts of things. "When I get that promotion, everything will fall into place". "When I get married, everything will fall into place." "When I get fit, everything will fall into place."

The only problem is that once you reach that goal, if you do, you find that it doesn't bring you the happiness and satisfaction you hoped for. You merely find another thing to pin your problem on haha. It's hard.



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