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40% of 9-10 year old girls have tried to lose weight, 78% of 17 year old girls are unhappy with their bodies, and 37% of the articles in teen magazines for girls are focused on their appearance. Maria Newfield, a woman who beat her own body image-related demons, publishes a book teaching radical self-acceptance to women everywhere.

Maria Newfield’s own experience of recovering from eating disorders inspired her to find out more about women and body image. When she learned some terrifying statistics about how women and girls view their bodies, she knew she had to take action. The book 19 Steps to Loving Your Body: A Confidence Guide for Women was the result.

During her research, Maria discovered that:

The average woman in Britain worries about the size and shape of her body EVERY 15 MINUTES and only 2% say that they are happy with their body;
80% of 10 year old children are afraid of being fat.

Approximately 7 million girls and women in the US have an eating disorder; More than 50% of 10 year old girls wish they were thinner; 95% of all dieters will regain their lost weight within 1-5 years; 35% of “normal dieters” progress to pathological dieting. Of those, 25% will progress to partial or full syndrome eating disorder.

Maria Newfield learned that not only are the vast majority of women dissatisfied with their bodies, but that the diets they put themselves through are ineffectual and can be seriously damaging to health.

“As women, we are taught to hate our bodies. Then we diet and though we may initially lose weight, all the research shows that we gain the weight back. Dieting teaches us that our bodies are wrong, that we can’t trust our own hunger signals, and that we must deny ourselves. This is not good for women’s self-esteem, and it causes us to be preoccupied by hating ourselves. This has to stop!”.

In her book, 19 Steps to Loving Your Body: A Confidence Guide for Women, Maria Newfield describes, step by step, how to start loving our bodies, how to treat them well, and how to stop criticising ourselves, and others, for how we look.

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