Author Suggests Larger People Stop Dieting, Start Accepting

By Ahmed, Shaheen | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), January 10, 1997 | Go to article overview

Author Suggests Larger People Stop Dieting, Start Accepting


Ahmed, Shaheen, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Shaheen Ahmed Daily Herald Correspondent

While a New Year's resolution is a chance to take a good look at our lives, most of us look no further than our waistlines.

The average American tips the scales with an extra eight pounds after the holiday season.

As the new year gets under way, svelte models and enticements from diet centers and fitness clubs spur many into watching the calories and pounding the pavement. For those people who have been struggling a long time to lose weight, however, 1997 will be another year of pain without gain.

Cheri Erdman, who just published her latest book, "Live Large!," offers an alternative to self-denial and physical torture in the new year: "Don't diet. Be happy."

After 33 years of constant dieting, this resolution has been the result of a personal odyssey for the author of "Nothing to Lose."

Erdman, 48, started her first diet at 5 and continued "dieting as a way of eating" until the age of 38. She lost and regained 400 to 500 pounds.

Tired of her struggle for fulfillment, she finally changed her outlook.

"I just decided that I was going to stop doing that craziness to myself and to begin to learn to accept and appreciate the body I already have," she said.

Today, Erdman works as a professor and counselor for the College of DuPage. She leads classes for larger women (defined as those weighing 30 percent more than the height-weight chart norms) and classes for all women. The classes deal with health, self-esteem issues and size acceptance.

"It's not a class about losing weight," she says. "It's a class about learning how to stop dieting."

Getting off the diet treadmill can be a revolutionary task because of economic forces and cultural pressures that work against self-acceptance.

"I think that we live now in a culture that really stresses, especially for women, that physical appearance is everything, fitness is everything, youth is everything," she said. "By doing that, you wind up creating a market to buy goods and services. It's sort of like you promote fear - 'Don't be too fat, don't get old. You can do this, you can do that to change yourself so that you're thin and young forever.' So they market fear and sell you hope."

Women are the main targets of this message. Erdman believes weight is at least a feminine, if not a feminist, issue.

"A woman can be five pounds overweight over what she thinks she should weigh and start feeling the pressure ... whereas a man can be very, very fat before people will say something," she said.

Arguments about what constitutes beauty aside, Erdman tackles the heart of the matter when she addresses the issue of health for larger people. While Erdman stresses the importance of exercise, she discounts the connection between size and health.

"There are people who say 'You can't be heavy and healthy,'" Erdman said. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Author Suggests Larger People Stop Dieting, Start Accepting
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.