Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Be beautiful and also, buy this Big Mac

Hello, friends. I hope you are all doing well and feeling good!

A few things to touch on today...

First a little story: Earlier this week, I was driving from one place to another and decided to count the number of times an advertisement told me to eat something (both visual and audio). Thirty-three. In three miles. Then I went home and decided to count how many times I was prompted by my reading materials, ads, and TV programs to be unrealistically thin. I stopped at 40, because it was getting to be pretty obvious what was going on: a whole lot of contradiction.

I wondered to myself, "Where are the ads that tell me to accept myself? And where are the messages that encourage me to eat healthfully simply because it's good for me, not because it will make me skinny ?" And the answer was clear: no where in close viscininty, that's for sure!

Why yes, yes I do! Here's the Photo Credit

That's why I would like to use this opporunity to applaud the American Medical Association for one of its latest announcements. On June 21, 2011, The American Medical Association voted at its annual meeting to support the ad-industry in discouraging unrealistic, hurtful, harmful body images in advertising. Yes, thank you!!! Read this article about the great news. "The AMA's policy encourages ad associations to work with public and private health groups to develop guidelines deterring ads Photoshopped beyond reality, especially in publications oriented toward teenagers. "

It's not going to solve the problem overnight, but it sure is a step in the right direction!

See any great ads lately? Please share here!

I've been bad

Have you been "bad"?

How often do we hear that word tossed around in circles of (usually) girls, women, ladies?

"I was so bad this weekend. I ate 20billion hotdogs 40 thousand donuts, and countless Long Island Ice teas"

Well if you did eat that much, you would be in a pretty bad place-probably in a hospital.
but were you really BAD? Did you rob a bank? How many people did you kill?

Bad is something we inflict on ourselves Bad=guilt=binge=bad=guilt=binge you get the cycle

You are forgiven, for you have not sinned

All foods can fit into a lifestyle. I am never here to be the food police and tell you who's under arrest. Eat what makes you feel alive, well and whole. Don't deny, just make decisions that make you feel good. Because that's never bad.

via Cora:

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves. -Mary Oliver

what will you do this week that is good?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Quotes from a Dinner Party...

I had the pleasure of meeting a friend of a friend at a dinner party on Monday night. He is an architect who worked on well-known buildings in Boston including the Ritz in the theater district. He is a vegetarian. He is Buddhist. And now, he is training to take care of hospice patients. Amazing. But these are not the things that stand out. It's something he said, which I am about to share with you:

"If you do not go to the place within yourself that scares you, there is no way to transform yourself. You cannot stay still in a safe place and expect to learn who you truly are. We change with every stage in life. You must journey to the place within that is unknown and explore what you find there. This is how we grow, this is how we change, and this is how we love ourselves."

Be well, enjoy the day, and do one thing every day that scares you.

Monday, June 20, 2011

A Letter to my Hair

Dear Hair,

Thanks for covering my not-attractive-when-bald head. Thanks for blowing in the breeze, keeping my head warm in the snow, and obeying when i pull you up into a tight ponytail or bun. I haven't always, but right now, I really like you. And I want to say thanks.

Thanks for being red and curly (just like dad's!) when i was a little tyke.

Thanks for making my sister and I look adorably innocent for a period of time, while you were straight and blond.
Thanks for enduring endless knots and "ratsnests" as I forget about brushing you while I played in the woods, and dirt, getting quite a bit of sap stuck in you.
I now understand that below is not your fault.
curly, frizzy hair was new to me and my mother (thanks puberty) and I really didn't know what to do with you. so i brushed you. poor decisions. (as evidenced below. am i really publishing this?)

Thanks for enduring awkward tween/teen years as I pulled bangs out of pony tails, experimented with straightening and just generally didn't know what the heck to do with you.

Thank you for being curly. Thank you for letting the sun give my strawberry-blonde locks highlights, which look better than any professional can do. Thanks for enduring the occasional straightener. I'm doing that much less now if you noticed. I've embraced my curls. Thanks for not extending the 10 minutes it takes for me to get ready every morning, by requiring that you be blown dry, or straightened or curled. Thanks for getting ready by air.
We've had our good days and our bad days, and it's been an off-and-on relationship. It's a long time coming, but I can now for sure say that i love you hair, so Thank you.


Do you have a love or hate relationship with your hair? are you pro-dying/curling/straightening or au naturale? please do tell!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Body Image & Beauty Sleep

Sleep is the "forgotten" health variable. Sure, we know we should eat healthy, drink plenty of water, exercise, etc, but too often do we overlook catching our zzzz's as an important part of having a healthy body and a healthy mind.

However, sleep is no simple task. It's often a struggle for those of us who have a hard time shutting off the thoughts running swiftly through our minds. For others, sleep comes naturally. It's a very personal thing, and it's different for everyone. But the one similarity we all have with sleep is this: We need it.

A recent study on the connection between body image and sleep was presented yesterday at the meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies in Minneapolis. The study found that teen girls who felt felt pressured to be thin had more difficulty sleeping than their body-confident peers. It's possible that because these girls struggle w/body image, they experience more anxiety than the typical teen (which is a LOT of anxiety, needless to say). It's this nervousness that creates a waterfall of thoughts right before bed, keeping these sleep-deprived teens up all night.

When we lose sleep, we lose a lot more than just sleep. Our food habits become ruled by cravings (especially carbohyrate sources), and we may become irritable or unpleasant to be around. Lack of sleep can decrease work productivity, sex drive, intellectual abilities, enjoyment of the pleasures in life... and when these things dwindle, so does our confidence, leading to more body image woes. And the beat goes on.

But there is no magic wand to swirl around our heads at bed time to make these thoughts disappear! We have to work at it, just like everything else. Here are a few ways to help you get some more shut-eye...

  1. Be your own Body Image Activist: Throughout the day, eliminate "I hate my body" thoughts and incorporate "I am able" thoughts. The less we verbally abuse our bodies, the less our bodies will rebel against us, thus allowing more sleep time.

  2. Get Moving: Even if you feel tired, exercise. That's not to say that you shouldn't take breaks, because if you've been reading Guiltless, you know I am a strong advocate for taking breaks when you need it. But when we exercise, we get rid of all that stressful, angsty energy that keeps us up at night. So sweat it out for more sleep!

  3. Lay off the nightly caffeine: I enjoy a cup of coffee after dinner. But more often than not, I end up getting less sleep. (This is a monumental discovery, I know.) I say give your body it's last cup around 2 p.m. That way, when it's time to hit the hay, you're energy levels aren't hitting the roof.

  4. Focus on the right stuff: Turn off all the lights (yes, including the TV and the lap top). Get rid of all the sound (no iPods either). Close your eyes and take deep breaths, paying attention to every inhalation and exhalation. If you feel some thoughts creeping back up into your brain, picture every single part of your body falling asleep. First your toes, then your feet, then shins, all the way up to your head. It works. I know it sounds a little eclectic, so you don't have to make the decision to do this every night. But at least sleep on it.

That's all folks. Hope you get some much-deserved shut-eye!

What strategies do you use to fall asleep in times of high stress?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Health is a Luxury?

"Feeling healthy and feeling good about yourself is not a luxury - It's an absolute necessity"

-Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor was quite a smart woman. Too often I think we think of taking care of ourselves as a luxury. oh I don't have time to care for me-i have too many other things going on! The truth of the matter is, is that without a little self-love and me-time, it's far too easy to start feeling stressed and like things are out of your control.

So step back and devote at least 5 minutes of this brilliant Monday just to you. Take a walk outside. Buy yourself some flowers. Take the time to paint your nails. Put on some soothing music and just relax. feel good about yourself-it's a necessity, not a luxury!

What will you do for YOU today?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Get your Mojo Back!

I came across a great new website called BodiMojo, and I thought it would be fun to share it with you. Created by researchers at Northeastern University, BodiMojo is a website aimed at improving teens’ body images.

Think back to when you were a wee teen (or maybe you are one right now). What was your general consensus on your body? If your reply is, “I’ve always had nothing but love and appreciation for my body,” then more power to you! But if you’re like millions upon millions of people in the world, it’s likely your answer was just the opposite.

That’s why researchers and study author Debra Franko, clinical psychologist at Northeastern, created BodiMojo. The site includes games, tools, a store, a personal page for each user, quizzes, news, etc. While the website is focused on teens, it appears to me that it could be effective for all ages!

BodiMojo hopes to reduce the risk of eating disorders, but it also includes great info on other risky stuff like sex & drugs, and as if I didn’t love it already, it also includes a whole lot of info on nutrition and fitness! And they even have a BodiMojo for your Mobile. Awesome.

When researchers evaluated the website, they found that it had a more profound effect on females than males. It’s predicted that this is because the website is largely focused on emotions, and some teenage boys may not be all that enthused about spending time talking about their feelings. But they are working on fixing this baby up so that it appeals to a wider population, and I think that deserves a round of applause [insert clapping here].

Check out any other cool resources lately? Share here!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Alli: Live Happy?

When I go to the gym I guiltlessly catch-up on all of my celeb gossip via People, OK! Etc etc.
Flipping thru the pages I saw an ad that read: Eat Healthier. Live Happier with a picture of a beautiful laughing girl. I loved it! "Yes!" I thought, "a beautiful inspiring ad in a popular magazine, we need more of these!" Then I glanced at the ad again. Alli. A weight loss pill that blocks your body's ability to metabolize fat, so when you eat it, um, goes right through.

I don't know about you, but personally Anal secretions don't sound glamorous, beautiful or a happy life.

Oh and even if you do stick to the no-fat diet plan they recommend, Mayo Clinic and the Alli website warn of these "treatment effects":
  • Gas with an oily anal discharge
  • Loose stools or diarrhe
  • More frequent bowel movements
  • Hard-to-control bowel movements

Does that sound like "Living Happy"?????? Sure makes me want to improve my health just through plain ol' eating healthy, and getting some movement. While caring for me, in a loving way, no Depends required.

What upsetting/disturbing/awful ads have you seen lately?

Friday, June 3, 2011