Tag Archive | body image

I Like Myself, and That’s Okay: a reblog

Do yourself a favor and start your week off right with this amazingly candid, inspirational, and witty article by the fabulous Stephanie d’Orsay: I Like Myself and That’s Okay.

A brief excerpt:

I am not saying that I’m anywhere near ideal or perfect, but since when in life are we all supposed to be striving for perfection? As women, I think we’re expected to constantly put ourselves down, to agree that we hate our thighs when one of our fellow femmes complains about hers. But you know what? I like my thighs too.

Imagine that — a woman who likes her thighs. Yes, I have cellulite, no I don’t have a thigh gap, but I still like my thighs. They are mine, and they are powerful, and I appreciate them. So ladies, it’s okay to like yourself, believe it or not. It’s okay to talk about yourself in a positive light, and it’s okay to not give in to the latest marketing scheme that’s trying to tell you that this is NOT okay.

And you know what? It’s also okay if you aren’t quite there today–  it takes time to truly like yourself, especially if you’ve spent years doing just the opposite. As long as you are committed to treating your body with positivity and compassion, in time you will come around to appreciate all that your body does, even though it’s not perfect. In time, you too will come to like yourself. At some point, when another female who isn’t quite there yet will complain to you about X body part of hers. And you will smile warmly, and say “You know what? I actually like my “X”. It may not be perfect, but it’s mine”.

And maybe in that moment, you’ll inspire another woman to like herself too.

Ciao for now

-E

Advertisements

Is your scale weighing you down?

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched people (and ladies, it’s usually us) step on the scale at the gym and see their face overcome with defeat and shame. I want to run over to them and tell them to focus instead on inches lost instead of pounds; on strength gained instead of lost; and on energy and happiness that comes from exercise instead of the lethargy and depression that comes from being sedentary.

weight on scaleSource

Has this ever happened to you: You step on the scale one week to see you’ve lost 2 pounds (hooray!)…only to weigh in the next week and realize you’ve gained them both back (ugh)? It happens to the best of us, but the reality is that the number on the scale doesn’t mean a whole lot about your physical fitness, and it doesn’t mean jack SQUAT about your self worth.

number-on-a-scale    Source

 

The worst is when I hear someone say something like, “I gained 2 pounds since yesterday! What’s wrong with me??” Listen, it takes an EXCESS 3500 calories to gain one pound. So unless you ate an additional 7000 calories on top of what you normally ate, you didn’t truly gain a pound. I mean, I could weigh myself…step off the scale and drink a 16 oz water (zero calories mind you)…and step right back on that same scale and weigh one pound more. Would you believe I “gained a pound” right before your eyes in less than 5 minutes? Yeah, I thought so.

I can tell you from my own past experience that when being overly focused on weight and the number on that scale, I enjoyed working out less and actually saw less progress! Now, on the rare occasions that I weigh myself just to check in, I actually mildly panic if the number dips because I’m like, “oh no!! I better not be losing muscle!!”  Plus, did you know a pound of muscle takes up far LESS SPACE than a pound of fat. What does that mean? You could be getting smaller and tighter and not weigh an ounce less!  I know, right? Don’t you feel enlightened?

fat-VS-muscle Source

Do yourself a favor…break up with your scale for a while and instead, focus on how you feel. How’s your energy level?  Do you feel challenged with your physical activity level? Are you eating enough? How are your clothes fitting? Do you feel happy?

I can tell you that if you’ve ever felt like you were a slave to those numbers on the scale in front of you, giving yourself an opportunity to experiment with being free from that could open up a whole new way of looking at things. I may be completely wrong and full of boloney, but then again, what if I’m right 😉

Ciao for now,

-E

 

 

Everybody Knows Somebody…Get in the Know

February 23-March 4, 2014 is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. Did you know 69 percent of girls ages 10 to 18 confirm that photographs of models and celebrities in magazines inspired their desired body shape? And men make up 10 to 15 percent of the population with anorexia and bulimia, but are the least likely to seek help due to the gender stereotypes surrounding the disorders.

eating-disorders

Supporters illustrate their personal connections to eating disorders for this week’s campaign…Source

An eating disorder is categorized as a mental illness where there is an unhealthy relationship with food. Someone who suffers from an eating disorder often struggles with body image and disrupts their normal activities with unusual eating habits to alter their appearance. This cause is so dear to my heart because, as many of you may know from reading the “about me” section of this blog, I overcame my own personal struggle with eating disorders. I feel so fortunate to be on the other side of this nasty, confusing disease, and I am very dedicated to raising awareness to hopefully spare others from what I went through. I’m very open and candid when speaking about my experience talking to someone one-on-one, but I haven’t quite decided how I feel about writing the details of it. So for now, let me share five facts to keep in mind about the devastating impact of this issue shared by thinkprogress.org:

1. Thirty million Americans will suffer from an eating disorder at some point in their lifetime.

According to the National Eating Disorder Association, an estimated 20 million U.S. women and an additional 10 million U.S. men will struggle with a “clinically significant” eating disorder at some point in their life. Eating disorders include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, or what’s defined as an “other specified feeding or eating disorder” (OSFED). Although many Americans incorrectly assume that it’s easy to spot an eating disorder, the people who struggle with this condition can actually come in all types of shapes and sizes, and are typically adept at hiding their symptoms.

2. Anorexia is the most fatal mental health issue.

One out of every five people with anorexia eventually dies from causes related to the disease. The rates of suicide among people who suffer from eating disorders are higher than the rates among other psychiatric disorders, largely because anorexia is often accompanied by depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. A 2003 study found that people with anorexia are 56 times more likely to take their own lives than people who don’t suffer from an eating disorder.

3. Disordered eating is on the rise among children.

Disordered eating is an issue that tends to manifests itself in children and young adults. A full 95 percent of the Americans who have eating disorders are between the ages of 12 and 25, and the majority of those people report that their unhealthy relationship with food began before they turned 20. Perhaps partly because of the unrealistic body images that are persistently marketed toward kids, this issue is getting worse. According to a recent study, hospitalizations for eating disorders in children under 12 years old increased by a staggering 119 percent between 1999 and 2006. Eighty percent of U.S. girls say they’ve been on a diet.

4. Eating disorder patients often lack sufficient health coverage.

Despite the fact that disordered eating impacts millions of Americans’ lives, and early intervention has been proven to be an effective method of treating the condition, people who struggle with anorexia or bulimia often can’t get the medical care they need. Just one in ten eating disorder patients typically receives treatment. That’s often because eating disorders are difficult to diagnose and insurers don’t always cover the wide range of mental health treatments that can be necessary to address them. Some states have taken their own steps to expand coverage for eating disorders, which isn’t considered to be an “essential benefit” under Obamacare’s new exchanges. Fortunately, though, the health reform law does prevent insurers from denying coverage to individuals with pre-existing conditions, which includes eating disorders.

5. The government doesn’t designate much funding toward eating disorder research.

“Eating disorders are complicated and vexing problems and we don’t exactly understand the pathophysiology of them. Certainly there is both a genetic component and an environmental component,” Dr. Aaron Krasner, a practicing psychiatrist, explained to Forbes this week. Some eating disorder prevention advocates argue that’s because there isn’t enough funding designated for research in this area. The National Institute of Health (NIH) allocates just 93 cents in research funding per affected eating disorder patient, compared to $88 per affected autism patient and $81 per affected schizophrenia patient. Figuring out how to address eating disorders would be in the government’s best interest, though — one study estimated that hospital costs associated with anorexia and bulimia can top $271 million annually.

If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, don’t be ashamed, afraid, or embarrassed to ask for help. Go to nationaleatingdisorders.org, talk to a professional, attend a support group, or you can even message me personally here. Freedom and a better life are possible, and totally worth the hard road to recovery.

xoxo

Ciao for now,

-E

10 Things I Want My (future) Daughter to Know About Working Out

I don’t have a daughter yet, but this is what I want to pass on one day…and for now, I want to pass on to my sisters and friends. xox

wellfesto

Mid-way through a recent group exercise class, the teacher lost me.  She didn’t lose me because of some complicated step sequence or insanely long set of burpees; I mentally checked out because of a few words she kept saying over and over.  “Come on!  Get that body ready for your winter beach vacation!  Think about how you want to look at those holiday parties!  PICTURE HOW YOU’LL LOOK IN THAT DRESS!

View original post 649 more words

You’re An Animal!

Despite having several kick a** gym sessions this week, I’ve been feeling a bit “meh” about my progress. I know I’ve been consistent with training, and have been eating fairly clean (but I don’t count calories or limit myself to treats like wine or chocolate…because well, they make me happy! haha) So it’s really for no particular reason that I don’t feel as ripped as I normally feel after a gym session.

1344478936200_8378665

The reason I’m sharing this is because I know there are readers out there who will totally relate to this nonsensical feeling of “meh.” And I’m sure there are ways to be scientific about figuring out why…food diaries, cutting out treats, etc…but honestly, I don’t want to be that rigid because I don’t think it’s good for my mental health.

That being said, I got up at 5:30 this morning, as I usually do, and headed to the gym. Today was mainly shoulders and I focused on how many more reps I am able to do now, and with more weights than when I started weight training. I finished up with some ab work and bumped into a friend I knew at the gym and he was like “Wow, I was watching some of your moves you were doing earlier…You’re an animal! Keep up the great work!”

whos-awesomeSource

It felt great to hear the positive reinforcement, and it just goes to show you that sometimes we can be our own worst critic. We see ourselves every day, and it can be difficult to notice the changes that others are seeing that are the result of our hard work. Never mind the fact that the most important changes are likely happening on the inside!

Having an off-day? An off-week? Push through. Don’t quit. Hard work always pays off, even if there are days where you can’t see it in the mirror. Be kind to yourself…after all, you’re an animal! 😉

Ciao for now!

 -E