06/15/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

A Message Of Balance

We'd like to take a step back this week and clarify our message, as it has often been misconstrued. In a word, the lesson we want to teach other women is balance. Like millions of other women, we wasted many years of our lives feeling confused and guilty about our bodies and what we ate. We read tabloid magazines at the gym, constantly comparing ourselves to skinny celebrities and striving to be perfect, and ultimately we became victims of the beauty and diet machine that sucked money out of our pockets and filled our minds with guilt, self-doubt, and conflicting information. We were not only scared to eat a banana (thanks, Dr. Atkins!), but we were missing out on precious, juicy moments of life by wasting our time feeling insecure. Some of you may think that this behavior should be categorized as an eating disorder, while many of you are probably nodding in agreement, having felt the same torment over what you put in your mouth and what you see in the mirror.

Whether you consider it an eating disorder or not really doesn't matter, because the sad truth is that body image "issues" are the norm for most women. We all grow up hearing, "Have a shake for breakfast, a shake for lunch, and a sensible dinner," and too many of us hear our beautiful mothers complain about hating their thighs. We also read interviews with seemingly flawless celebrities who admit to never feeling good enough, and this shows us that what you look like makes virtually no difference when it comes to self-confidence - women of all weights, shapes and sizes share the same problems when it comes to food and body image.

Luckily, a light bulb went off over our heads one day and woke us up. Through our friendship, we realized that this way of living and thinking was not only a giant waste of time, but it was also holding us back in so many other areas of our lives. We decided that we were going to stop letting these obsessions rule us, start enjoying our lives, and begin taking pleasure in things like cupcakes and pizza instead of dreading them. One clue that what we suffered from was not an actual eating disorder is that it was easy for us to find this balance. We were just normal girls who needed a friend to tell us, "You are sexy, you are beautiful, you are perfect the way you are," and we were this friend for each other. When we saw how dramatically our lives changed by making this simple attitude adjustment, we were inspired to become this same type of friend to women everywhere. And so we wrote How to Eat Like a Hot Chick to help other women feel beautiful and to encourage them to remove the guilt they feel about food. We wanted to stop teenage girls from hating their bodies and to change their internal monologue from "I am a fat pig" to "I am a Hot Chick!"

But our message isn't just to eat whatever you want and you will magically drop 20 pounds and feel hot. It is simply about balance. If you want to enjoy a bunch of chocolate-covered pretzels, then you should do it and not feel a shred of guilt, but in order to feel your best, you should cut calorie corners elsewhere--take the mayo out of your tuna, lighten up on the olive oil on your salad, and remember to exercise. Our goal is to encourage women to eat, eat with pleasure, and eat guiltlessly, all while making smart food choices that will make them feel even better.

We are not doctors. We are women who have experienced these problems and want to help the other women out there who need to read some uplifting words about how to squash negative thoughts about their bodies and sensible advice for balancing out their diets. And although some of you have a lot of fun ripping us a new one every week, we have also received dozens upon dozens of emails from women who have lost weight, let go of their obsessions with food, or finally feel "hot" for the first time in their lives. For those of you who are still complaining about the piece we wrote on hidden mayo, remember that that information helped other people lower their cholesterol and make room in their diets for ice cream cones - and if we can get one woman out there to eat ice cream without guilt, then we know that we've done our job, and one we can feel proud of.