Love Me, Love Me Not

Two sisters may have two very different body types but both can find themselves not quite measuring up to their idea of a dream body. Judith Sparks*, of Oak Park, MI, and Esther Mann*of Cleveland Heights, OH, are sisters with no family resemblance to each other. Judith takes after her maternal grandmother, with no bust to speak of, a wasp waist and very wide hips. Esther takes after her father's side and is voluptuous, tall, and possesses a long square torso. Both have battled obesity and yo-yoing weight gains and losses.

A Losing Battle

"I'm as thin now as I was when I got married at 18," says Judith, "but my hips look so wide and out of place that I keep dieting. My mother keeps telling me to stop, that my face is getting gaunt. She says I'll never lose those hips no matter how thin I get. I'm beginning to think she's right. It seems to be a losing battle."

Slack and Saggy?

Sister Esther has been on a strict diet, supervised by a dietician for two years and is happy that her weight has gone down, but is less happy that her breasts seem to be getting smaller as the weight comes off. "My husband doesn't really care if I'm fat or thin, as long as he can get to these babies," says Esther giving a fond jiggle to her bosoms. "So, while I really need to lose weight, I worry he won't find me as attractive with smaller breasts. They seem to be getting slack and saggy. Look, my back doesn't hurt as much and I have so much more energy, but I thought I'd feel better than this about the way I look."

The grim reality for these sisters and for women worldwide is that there is only so much we can do to change the way we look, even taking into account the myriad types of plastic surgery available today. There comes a point where we have to work not so much at changing but in accepting and loving our bodies as they are. Esther thinks she just may have found the trick. "I spend at least five minutes a day in front of the mirror saying affirmations to my own image. I say stuff like, 'Esther, your eyes are an amazing color, and your legs are to die for.'

Sometimes I'm not even telling the truth, but I believe that if I keep it up, I'll start to internalize the compliments."

*Names have been changed

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