The majority of women are concerned abou their appearance, starting as early as kindergarten and continuing until their 50s and older. Due to the media and fashion magazines, women are often focused on their appearance and may have poor body images. According to a recent study in the Journal of Women and Aging, only 12% of women over the age of 50 were satisfied with the size and shape of their bodies. The researchers found that these satisfied women worked very hard to stay trim by exercising about 5 hours a week and weighing themselves often. This was an average of 2 hours more per week than the dissatisfied women.
Interestingly, the women who were happy with their figures reported that they generally didn’t worry about dieting; only 10% of satisfied women reported dieting frequently compared to 39% of dissatisfied women. However, the satisfied women also had fragile body images. Forty percent of these women stated that they would be upset with a 5 pound weight gain.
The important message here is to focus on health instead of weight by eating right, exercising often, and sleeping at least 8 hours per night. Body image issues are prevalent in our society, but women can learn to feel more satisfied with their appearance by taking control and exercising more frequently.