Kathy Najimy on Accepting Your Body
Debbie has a secret that she's been keeping for almost half her life. "The only thing that I've never admitted to anybody is how insecure I am with the way I look," she reveals. "Not only do I not look at myself unclothed, but I won't let me husband either. I feel that if I lost 10 pounds, I would feel 100 percent better."
Debbie has been obsessing about her body for 15 years, ever since she had kids. "My body has never been the same," she laments. Rachael asks Debbie if she honestly doesn't think she looks attractive. "Whole-heartedly, 100 percent -- I don't look good," Debbie says.
Though she admits she wears a size 4 or 6 jeans, Debbie explains that the problem goes beyond being able to fit into her clothes: "It's not even the scale, it's not even the size. It's how the proportion of where the weight went. It used to be more all over and now it's in my stomach and I don't like it."
In order to help Debbie, Rachael brings in someone who has an alternate view of body image -- actress Kathy Najimy. The Numb3rs star discusses the mixed signals women receive from the media. "There was a cover of a magazine once that had Mary Kate Olsen as 'Too Thin' and on the side it had Kirstie Alley as 'Too Fat.' I looked at it and thought, isn't this perfect? Isn't this exactly what we're telling women now? That you're wrong, that you're just not how you're supposed to be. You're either too thin, too fat, too old, too short."
When Debbie says that even when she was 13 pounds lighter she felt like she needed to lose 10 pounds, Kathy responds, "It's not because you're crazy. It's because you live in this society where we're told every single day that we're not who we're supposed to be."
Rachael asks Kathy if there's any way to break the cycle of thinking that Debbie and so many other women face. Kathy suggests taking on the mindset of "Oh my gosh, I'm alive and I'm living this life and I can either do it in fear or in regret, or I can do it in joy. OK, I don't have the exact stomach I want or the exact thighs I want. OK, I'm processing that ... bummer ... the world tells me I'm different. And then let that go and move on."
Debbie admits that she does recognize the good things in her life, but that the weight issue still lingers. "I am grateful, but if I look in a mirror I get very upset," she says.
"Then stop looking at the mirror!" Rachael admonishes half-serious. Kathy tells Debbie that there is some leeway she can take. "Do whatever you need to do to feel happy and healthy," she says. "If you need to work out more or change your diet to be healthy, I'm all about that. But I'm also about women realizing their life. You look back and you've wasted it [by obsessing] -- we've wasted it."
Kathy continues: "I don't think it's by accident that we're obsessed because what it keeps us from is joy and our lives and our family and changing the world. And guess what -- we need all of you women and all of the girls and all of your energy on making this world a better world."
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