You know her from Full House, the reboot Fuller House, and her recent stint on Dancing with the Stars but did you know that Candace Cameron struggled with body image in her younger years? There was a time when she seriously struggled with bulimia and, as a result, she says she is dedicated to helping her own children feel comfortable in their own skin.
Mother to Natasha, 18 (who recent competed for a brief time on The Voice), Lev, 16, and Maksim, 14, the now 40-year-old actress says: “As a mom, I’m always telling my children, ‘Love who you are.’ You are beautifully and wonderfully made. You are unique and there is no one like you. Embrace it and love it.’”
It’s good to know, however, that she realizes that, despite her best efforts, her children could still face body image problems. Being proactive, she told Dr. Oz that she said to her kids: “If there is a point of struggle in your life, the first step is to tell someone. I think that’s the hardest thing to do, and once you share it and get it out there, then you can look for ways to recover.”
Drawing from her own experience, how does she promote a healthy relationship with food in her household? “I’ve had to learn to view food as my fuel and something I can enjoy, and do enjoy and am allowed to enjoy in moderation,” she said. “I can no longer look at food as my source of comfort because that’s what I was doing. I would feed my emotions with food.”
Cameron continued: “I think that there are so many misconceptions about eating disorders. I think a lot of people look at them as a young teenage girl’s disease and they’re not. It affects 30 million Americans, and it doesn’t discriminate against men, women, age, race, color, nationality.”
She’s absolutely right. Disordered thinking about food is not only prevalent in America but it’s also encouraged. She speaks about having fed her emotions as part of her illness but, really, how many movies or television shows make light of this sort of thing?
Going through a breakup? Grab a pint of ice cream.
Had a tough day? You deserve a pizza.
Want to win a man (or woman)’s heart? Cook for them!
They don’t call it “comfort food” for nothing! Does that mean that we have to stop enjoying our favorite meals or occasionally indulging during a moment of heartache? No. It does mean, however, that we need to start to acknowledge how difficult it is to establish and maintain healthy eating habits in a culture that encourages unhealthy patterns. Once we become aware of this dynamic, we can start to make changes – bit by bit, one person at a time.
Candace Cameron doesn’t always say things that most people will agree with but her message about body positivity is an important one for the masses.