"Whatever one frequently ponders becomes the inclination of the mind." 

(The Buddha)

Buddha's statement sums up the essence of why I am on a quest to give up "beauty sickness."

If my mind is constantly pondering how I look, what I weigh, how my body compares to other bodies, these will become the topics my mind will lean toward - incline toward - most often.

Whatever you and I frequently ponder becomes the inclination of our minds.

And social scientists tells us that women have been conditioned to spend an inordinate amount of time pondering how our bodies look to the world around us. 

We get societal triggers to ponder our bodies and our looks all the time:

We see the cover of a magazine in the check-out aisle at the grocery store.

We ponder ...

We see ALL the ads for diet programs or drinks or workout videos on Instagram.

We ponder ...

We turn on the TV to watch  ... well, anything!

We ponder ...

We go outside our own homes and people comment on our looks.

We ponder ...

This constant pondering about our looks is called body surveillance. And women have been trained to do it almost constantly.

Think about all the misspent time.

When we engage in constant body surveilance, our brain power is directed away from more important things like work, dreams, goals, education, and how to use our gifts, talents and skills to make the world a better place.

Instead our mental energy gets redirected toward all kinds of body surveillance nonsense like:

  • "I can't believe my jeans are tight again. I have to exercise more"
  • "I wish that creepy guy wasn't looking at me while I walk up to get my coffee."
  • "I wonder how many calories are in this entree."
  • "I wish I looked like the model on that magazine cover. She must have self-discipline. I am a failure."
  • "I can't go on this trip. I will be ashamed to be seen in a swim suit."

And on and on and on it goes.

Women spend far more time engaging in this kind of misspent energy than we want to.

It's time to take our attention back. Take our energy back. Take our focus back.

Let's do what we want to do to feel healthy, strong and relatively well-dressed and then let's get out into the world and change it! Run for office. Lead the company. Raise kids. Raise money. Create policy. Start a business. Write the book. Pastor the church. Plant a garden. LIVE.

Let's use our limited energy capacity to focus on the big things in life.

As Renee Engeln says in her book Beauty Sick -

"We shouldn't have to sacrifice our valuable focus and attention in exchange for body monitoring. 

Our minds have too many more important places to be."