Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wake Up Call

A recent survey showed that on average, women have 13 negative body image thoughts every day. Wake up call: This is about one self-abusive thought per waking hour.

When we have these thoughts, we're training our brains to focus on negativity. And the more brutal thoughts we have about ourselves, the easier it is for our brain to go there. The good news is, these brain injuries can be healed with a little time, self-appreciation, and practice.

It's time to reboot, recharge, and rewire our minds.

1. Reboot: As soon as your open your eyes in the morning, let the very first thought you have be a positive one. For example, "I know how to appreciate joy, so today will be a good day."

2. Recharge: Give yourself a little extra love. Maybe that means you take a break in the middle of your work day to go for a walk, or perhaps you treat yourself to your favorite yoga class. Whatever it is that you know will give you that extra energy and enjoyment, simply go for it.

3. Rewire: If you feel those abusive thoughts creeping in, STOP THEM. They do not own you, and you will not fail at anything if you let them go. Instead of completely insulting yourself with a thought like, "You'll just never be good enough" (would you say this to your friend?), point out all the things you do great and give yourself the credit you deserve.

"You are very powerful, provided you know how powerful you are."
~Yogi Bhajan

Monday, September 26, 2011

You Deserve It!

How many times this past week did you tell someone you loved them? Did you share your time with those around you, devoting yourself to them and making them happy? This is important and wonderful and undoubtedly make you extremely happy. But did you ever stop and tell yourself that you loved you? Did you show your body the respect it deserves?

"You, yourself, as much as anyone else in the universe, deserve your love and respect."


So take some time this morning to show yourself a little love. Take an extra stretch as you roll out of bed. Instead of bemoaning your stomach as you get dressed rejoice in the strength of your core, legs and arms. Instead of beating yourself up over this weekend's indulgences, resolve to feed yourself the things your body craves today.

You Deserve it!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Take care

By: Steph Horton

Body image & inner-confidence change throughout the different stages of life, but that doesn't mean we don't have control. In fact, the tighter we hold onto the reigns of our self-perception, the more gracefully we will transition into new life-chapters.

People of all ages can relate to this. From the boy entering his first year in high school to the woman who is about to have her first child - our perception of ourselves will either give us strength and confidence to move forward or it will hinder us and make us feel anxious about the road ahead.

This is why we must take care of our self-image, much like we take care of our most precious possessions. It's often something that is overlooked - especially when life is so busy with work, family, events, obligations. I propose that it's time to start taking the time to give special attention to our relationship with ourselves.

Here are a few things I believe you can do to strengthen the friendship you have with yourself, and in turn, make life just a little easier:

1. Meditation - Sit still in a quiet, comfortable room and just listen to the sounds around you. Turn off your phone. Turn off your computer and your TV. Turn off your mind. Eventually, your inner voice will emerge and it will likely reveal something that has been causing you pain at some level. Acknowledge this thought, listen to yourself, but then allow yourself to move on through each and every thought until your mind is finally quiet. Once you reach that point (however many sessions that may take), give in to the silence and simply enjoy it. You'll come out of it feeling refreshed and recharged.

2. Physical Activity - Pick your favorite way to move - whether it's dancing, walking, running, swimming, yoga - whatever - and do it! Even just for 10 minutes. It's a great way to get rid of stress and and a nice way to get some "me-time" in.

3. Hobbies - What relaxes you? Do you like to cook? Pick a new recipe and have at it! How about reading? I'm sure there's a new book you've had your eye on. Whatever you do for fun, take at least one hour this week to indulge a little in your favorite hobby.

These are just a few words that will hopefully inspire you to listen to yourself and remember that you are worth the special attention. Be well and enjoy the day.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Talking about Weight Stigma

Marci Anderson is an RD who specializes in eating disorder treatment whom I hold in very high respect. She's a wonderful person both as a friend and colleague. Once a month, she and other individuals interested in ending eating disorders gather on Twitter to talk about topics that relate to self-esteem, body image and food. This twitter chat is called #ended and it's a fantastic way to share your opinion and connect with others who want to make this a more body-positive world.

This Wednesday (September 21st at 8:30pm EST) @MarciRD and @BEDAorg will be addressing the topic of weight stigma.

You might be asking what exactly is weight stigma? Weight stigma is bullying, teasing, negative body language, harsh comments, discrimination, or prejudice based upon a person’s body size. Weight Stigma is something that shames and hurts many people (of all shapes and sizes) and it is time to spread an awareness of how harmful it is to all and talk about it.

About BEDA
Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA) was founded to help those who have binge eating disorder, their friends and family, and those who treat the disorder. BEDA provides individuals who suffer from eating disorders with the recognition and resources they deserve to begin a safe journey toward a healthy recovery. To learn more about BEDA check out: Marci's website and blog are also fantastic-look at Marci RD

RSVP on Facebook and we hope you join in!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A genetic connection to self-esteem?

Life scientists from UCLA found that the gene Oxytocin, which is responsible for feeling empathy, is involved with breastfeeding, and is associated with the stress response, is also associated with self-esteem.

"'This study, to the best of our knowledges, is the first to report a gene associated with psychological resources..." -UCLA Newsroom.

Photo Source

Read the full article here.

I mostly agree with the statement: "Genes may predict behavior, but do not determine it." The study sounds interesting, but I think that self-love and forgiveness are more powerful than any gene.

Share your thoughts. Do you think it's possible that a gene could predetermine our self-esteem?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Guiltless Recommends: Body Gossip

We do a lot of gossiping about bodies. So why not make it positive?

I love the British website Body Gossip. Never heard of it? It's a powerful campaign about body image. From their website:

"We're collecting real people's stories about their real bodies. Because realistic beauty needs celebrating and supporting. You don't need to be a writer - just write truthfully about your body!"
Founder Ruth Rodgers collected stores from real people about their real bodies and collected them into series of poems, scripts, and the beginnings of a play, film and book. It's a gorgeous work in progress.

This powerful poem about recovery from eating disorders could bring tears to your eyes:

Check out the stories on their website , watch their videos on YouTube and follow them on Twitter @_bodygossip

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

One year. No mirrors. Could you do it?

I read this article, which lead me to this blog, and I absolutely had to share it! Mirror, Mirror...OFF the Wall is a blog written by 28-year-old UCLA doctoral student Kjerstin Gruys who has taken a pledge to not look in a mirror or reflective window for A YEAR. Gruys is engaged to be married, and as many of us can relate, once she went from girlfriend to bride-to-be, a little voice inside her reared it's ugly body-critical comments from the depths. In order to combat these unhealthy thoughts, which we all have from time to time, Gruy's decided to stop looking in mirrors...all-together...for a year....INCLUDING her wedding day.

I love this idea. Could you go one day without looking in a mirror? How do you think this would influence your perception of yourself? Pretty neat!

Read the article and check out her blog and follow her on twitter and follow Gruys on her journey as she learns how a year without mirrors can change your body image and self-perception!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Optimism Rx

Optimistic people have a 30% less chance of having a heart attack or dying of a heart condition. Journal of Positive Psychology says to write in a journal for 15 minutes about your best qualities, hopes for the future, and things you are grateful for to boost your optimism.

Day dreaming could save your life!

So this weeks prescription is a healthy dose of optimism! Suggested dose: 15 minutes of gratitude, hope and guiltlessness. There is no toxic upper limit so feel free to overdose

What is one thing that you are optimistic about today? Enjoy your (hopefully) Labor-Free Labor Day Guiltlessly!

Friday, September 2, 2011

What Are You Apologizing For?

Guest Post: Sara Grambusch is a writer and eating disorder activist who can be found on her blog.

“I’m sorry”. The majority of the times I hear this sentence are almost never indicative of true regret, a lesson learned, or a relationship mended. I often hear people furiously apologizing for random situations out of their control and for which they are not responsible. Sound familiar? Are you a chronic apologizer? Saying “I’m sorry” excessively can create guilt, low self esteem, or an unrealistic fear of conflict. When we find ourselves in one of those situations where “I’m sorry” is about to needlessly pop out, try one of these alternative, self-affirming reactions.

1) Trust Yourself – Unless your intention is to ruin other people’s day, it is highly doubtful apologizing multiple times in a twenty-four period is going to be necessary. Know that you have the right to feel confident and comfortable in your actions.

2) Accept The Situation – If you feel like apologizing for an awkward situation you happen to be present for, instead of taking on responsibility just comment on the reality of what’s happening. Maybe it’s humorous.

3) Help Your Fellows – If you and a stranger collide in a crowded area, instead of apologizing for an accident, ask if they are alright. It might turn into pleasant grocery store banter rather than something to feel guilty about.

4) Embrace The Heartfelt Apology – Sometimes saying sorry is necessary. Do your best to recognize those situations and make your apologies genuine and meaningful. Look at what you learned through this situation.

Think twice next time you are about to say “I’m sorry.” Ask yourself “What am I apologizing for?” If that question doesn’t prompt a specific answer and a real emotional reaction, save it and embrace your right to live guiltlessly!