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Mary J. Blige and self-proclaimed 'Fat Chick' want you to love your body

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If you've ever put off doing something because of your weight, Katie Couric, Mary J. Blige and a woman who has named herself the "Fat Chick" have a message for you: Love yourself for you who are, not how you look. On her Dec. 20 talk show, Katie teamed up with "Fat Chick" Jeanette Lynn DePatie and Mary J. Blige to talk about how to improve your body image.

Jeanette told Katie that she was thin until puberty. Then, as she gained weight, she started to get the message that because she was plump, certain activities and goals were not appropriate for her. But Jeanette vowed to overcome that stereotype. Now she's a professional fitness guru and author of "The Fat Chick Works Out! Fitness that's Fun and Feasible for Folks of all Ages, Sizes, Shapes and Abilities" (click for details).

Katie cited statistics showing that young girls increasingly are obsessed with their weight, worried about dieting, about their size and judging themselves for how much they weighed rather than what they achieved. She also talked with young women who suffered from eating disorders and sought to learn to improve their body image.

Jeanette emphasized that she believes fitness and health lifestyles should not be limited by weight. She feels that anyone can benefit from exercise. As to why she calls herself a "Fat Chick," Jeanette feels that helps her be more approachable and accessible to people of all sizes.

Mary J. Blige told Katie that she actually hated her body at one point in her life. Now she's been training regularly, focusing on staying healthy, avoiding "sagging" and looking fit rather than skinny.

Exercising since the 1990s, Mary J. takes pride in focusing on fitness. She told Katie that she's doing it for her fans because she wants to be a positive role model. And Mary J. expressed her appreciation for her fans by singing from her new album "A Mary Christmas."

In addition, Mary J. recently visited Dr. Mehmet Oz's talk show. She talked with him about her ban on booze and her desire to shape up: Get the details by clicking here.

Why it's worth changing your views on your weight: Scientists have discovered that three out of four women suffer from some level of disordered eating. This condition can result in lack of nutrition and emotional problems such as anxiety and depression. In addition, if you have children, they can become more self-conscious about their own weight.

In addition, disordered eating can lead to an eating disorder. In the United States, 20 million women and 10 million men suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some time in their life, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, or an eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS), according to the National Eating Disorders Association. Learn more about Dr. Mehmet Oz's exploration of eating disorders by clicking here.



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