This is a type of mental illness, wherein the affected person is concerned with body image manifested as excessive concern about and preoccupation with their body. The person thinks they have a defect in either one feature or several features of their body,  which leads to psychological distress, which causes clinically significant distress or impairs occupational or social functioning. Again this is not a serious problem for me; however, even after considerable weight loss I still find it hard to see myself as slim and attractive.

The onset of these symptoms probably started in adolescence when the hormonal shift began and I went seemingly overnight from a lithe sporty stick insect to being curvy and big breasted. I also started to experiment with make up and always wore too much. It is still a mask today and I have to be very ill or tired not to put my face on. My father calling me a slut at the age of 11 hardly helped my self-image.

Self-criticism in any form is not healthy and I am sad that I spent so many years at war with my physical appearance. As a mother myself I am very careful to strike the right balance between health and obsession. Talk of weight and dieting is avoided while showing my daughter how to eat sensibly and exercise regularly.

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