Yahoo has a new (or new to me) body image series called It Figures. They talk to famous folks about their struggles with body image in the hope that their journey will help others as they work towards body confidence. Their latest features Abbott Elementary star (and all-around [email protected]$$), Lisa Ann Walter, who has been open about how co-star Sheryl Lee Ralph stopped her from saying negative things about herself. Growing up, Lisa Ann had boobs and a butt when thin silhouettes were the style, so she felt inadequate. It left her with insecurities and an eating disorder. Instead of embracing her body type, Lisa Ann was forever on a diet, resolving every New Year to lose 10 pounds. This year, she put an end to that toxic cycle and resolved to stop trying to lose those 10 pounds. Instead, she vowed to no longer be worried about the numbers on a scale.
Abbott Elementary star Lisa Ann Walter is happy to say goodbye to her recurring New Year’s Resolution.
“I made a purposeful resolution, that I was going to stop trying to lose the 10 pounds that I’d always been trying to lose since I was 14,” the star tells Yahoo Life. “I’m not going to worry about the number on the scale.”
These days, the actress, who is currently working with Fiber One on its “Fall Off Forgiveness” sweepstakes, prefers giving herself grace and moving her body in a way that makes her feel good. She created the competition show Dance Your Ass Off, which ran for two seasons from 2009 to 2010, because for her, dancing was far more fun than running when it came to working out. Now, she admits to “doing some arm stuff” so she feels confident in her red carpet looks — but she no longer feels the pressure she did as a younger woman to adhere to unrealistic body image standards.
“When I was young, it was the Charlie’s Angels look,” she explains. “We’ve gone through periods where it was that ‘heroin chic’ look, and then there was the period that came out with the Kardashians, which was my figure naturally growing up that they shamed me for … and I still had an eating disorder, because it wasn’t skinny enough.”
Of her time spent dieting, she adds, “When you go into that all-or-nothing kind of mentality, there needs to be a perfect number on that scale that you allow yourself to be. It’s false. It doesn’t work. It’s unsustainable. It’s a recipe for disaster. We all need to get much more realistic about the healthy version of the body that we are meant to have.”
[From Yahoo! Life]
I wholeheartedly support Lisa Ann’s resolution. Living by numbers is setting us up for disappointment. And that all-or-nothing she talked about is a killer. You take seven pounds off and feel great but then you stall for a bit. Instead of feeling marvelous about the seven pounds, you beat yourself up about the remaining three. It should be about health. Goals should be to be able to walk an extra block or swipe out the occasional French Fries for a salad. Or reverse that, treat yourself with some fries every once in a while because we deserve fun things. But the scale shouldn’t get to dictate how severely we live our lives. And I say this as a hypocrite, of course. I’ve felt great about how I look, stepped on the scale and had my entire day shattered by what was staring back at me. I’m still working on this myself.
Lisa Ann reiterated in this article how much Sheryl has helped her stopped speaking negatively about herself. We need to see more of this. I agree with those that ask others not to mention their weight at all, even if it’s complimenting a loss because it reinforces the idea that a gain would be worth criticizing. Instead, we should support each other by refusing to let each other talk down about ourselves, especially our bodies.
And just a side-note, a few of you were concerned about me being on a starvation because I said I ate 1/8th of Hugh Jackman’s calories yesterday. I’m not, I just can’t math. I promise I’m eating what I’m supposed to. I’m sorry if I made anyone nervous.
Photo credit: JPI Studios/Avalon and Cover Images
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