For the majority of my life, I struggled with my body image and had a very dysfunctional relationship with both food and exercise. I was born in 1965 and grew up when Twiggy was the world’s most famous model—the “look” that was valued at that time was long, lanky, and thin, thin, thin! My very well-meaning mom, who swore by the credo, “You can’t be too rich or too thin,” was diligent about keeping her own weight as low as possible and made sure that I understood that being thin was equated with being attractive and successful.
The only real glitch in the situation was that I was built more like a lineman than a model. All my life I was a sturdy little gal—never frail and tiny like so many of my classmates growing up. Wanting the best for me, my mom warned that I had a “problem” figure and needed to carefully monitor my food intake so as not to get fat. I was taught that it would almost be better to be dead than fat. I personally did not see the problem, but as a kid you believe what you are told. I internalized the message that my body was a “problem” and dedicated myself to finding a solution.