Look and Feel Great at Any Weight

You don't have to be a size 6 to be fit and fabulous

By Heather Hatfield
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic - Feature

Reviewed By Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD/LD

"I am a size 14, I'm curvaceous, I work out every day, and I feel great," says Elaine Magee, MPH, RD, author of more than 20 books and a WebMD Weight Loss Clinic consultant.

And not only can larger-size women be healthy and feel terrific, they can look every bit as stylish as their size-6 friends, says full-figured supermodel Emme (who knows all about looking fabulous).

It is possible to have a body image like Magee's or Emme's -- one that's healthy and positive -- even if you aren't skinny.

Why, then, do so many full-figured women feel so bad about their bodies, even when they're at a weight that's healthy for them? And how can they, like Magee and Emme, start to like what they see in the mirror?

Several body image experts interviewed by WebMD offer practical tips for feeling good about your body. And Emme has style hints that will help you dress to look your best.

Getting Over the Norm

"As we develop and grow, we begin to place a value on what we see in the mirror -- which is based on experiences but also on the cultural norm, with a thin body being the preferred type," says Kathy Kater, LSW, a psychotherapist in St. Paul, Minn., who specializes in body image and eating and weight disorders.

But the problem with the cultural norm in America is that human beings aren't meant to be one size or one shape.