When kids are younger — especially before they’re consuming tons of media and have friends — they get almost all of their behavioral cues from their parents. If their parents think it’s okay to call people names, then they’ll think it’s okay to call people names. If their mom hates her body, they can learn to hate their bodies, too.
If you want kids to learn that all people are equal and good, it requires vigilance. You can’t change the world around you — and you can’t always protect them — but you can explain to them that everyone’s equal, and you can say it again and again.
This goes double for disparaging your own body in front of your children. My mom always struggled with what she perceived to be fatness, and therefore was always on a diet. I don’t know how may disparaging comments I’ve heard her say about herself in my life, but if I had a dollar for every one, I could probably pay for my enormous amounts of therapy.
It’s hard enough to be a woman in our sexist culture, and the greatest gift we can give our girls is confidence in themselves — and that includes their bodies. As a parent, you’re competing with a plethora of outside influences — TV, advertising, friends, bullies, teachers — for your child’s attention. Inevitably, we’re all fucking up the kids around us — don’t worry, we’re teaching them good lessons, too! — but this is one thing that’s so fucking important. A girl’s sense of self is everything.
So, so sad. But I’m not surprised. (Maybe that’s even sadder?)
Every day I receive messages from young girls who want to be healthy, but the underlying tone is always wanting to ‘fit in’. A fear of being ‘fat’. Many resort to unhealthy practices to attain a body they consider ideal, even if they never end up acheiving (or simply can’t acheive) that body.
Would you trade years of your life for a smaller waistline? If so, the work you need to do is above your neck… not below it.
You cannot hate your body healthy: healthy is a place you get to with love. :)
“In one of the more interesting polls I’ve seen, more than three-fourths of the 231 dieters surveyed said that they would take a pill that would guarantee they would achieve or maintain their desired weight even if it would lower their life expectancy. On average, they were willing to give up 5.7 years. Moreover, 91% said that they would not take a pill that would lengthen their life by five years if it guaranteed that they would also remain overweight. This was a small sample, but it is consistent with other research. For instance, a book published just last year showed that the desire to fit in or be “normal” — rather than improving health — is the primary motivation for many people who undergo weight-loss surgery.
These findings may seem puzzling, but they are not so surprising when you consider weight-loss attempts for what they really are: efforts to protect against weight-based discrimination. The fact is, fear and loathing of fat are real, and American attitudes about fat may be more dangerous to public health than obesity itself.
What should be done about weight-based discrimination?
The answer is to call for increasing tolerance and appreciation of diverse body types. This year, before embarking on yet another diet, ask yourself why you want to lose weight. If it is to improve your health, perhaps you should focus on health-enhancing behaviors that are more directly linked to health: pledge, for example, to get more sleep, eat more fruits and vegetables, get regular physical activity, or spend more time with friends.
But if you are trying to change your body to shield against discrimination and stigma, consider making a different kind of New Year’s resolution: to stand up to intolerance and bigotry in all its various forms, whether racism, sexism or fatphobia.”
“Eat a cheeseburger”
“She looks disgusting”
“She’s clearly unhealthy. Skin & bones. Gross”
“That’s not what a real woman looks like”
“She’s clearly anorexic. Someone feed her”
“Anyone who thinks this is beautiful is warped”
“She’s just TOO thin.”
“To me being that skinny is just as bas as being obese!”
“Real men prefer women with curves”
“She looks like she’s going to die”
A few comments from The Victoria Secret fashion Show this year. Which I don’t watch, but was bombarded with on social media anyways. The evening of the show, I avoid Twitter like the plague. It’s a body shaming apocolypse, and I find myself disppointed in some of my favorite people whenever they share these seemingly “innocent” opinions. It’s so common to talk ‘bodies’ amongst women, that many don’t even realize or consider their comments as ‘bullying’ or ‘inappropriate’.
“Calling women “disgusting & anorexic” totally changes everything for the better and helps them in the long run”
- Said NO ONE with any insight into eating disorders and body image. In fact, it makes everything soooo much worse.
Just a quick reminder: anorexia is a mental disorder. An illness. A pretty brutal one at that. It’s horrible. All consuming. Shameful even. Devastating in some cases. And so, so misunderstood. Same goes for bulimia and the myriad of other eating disorders out there.
SOME people with anorexia become very, very thin for their frames, and many do not. Some people are naturally very, very thin with no disorder whatsoever. Some people have an eating disorder and remain overweight. Because it’s a mental disorder, it’s not something that can be diagnosed based on appearances alone. There’s also a range in the realm of disorders; some can be milder such as someone who is constantly ‘dieting’ and ‘restricting’…but still eating a little. Perpetuating the idea that only the thin can suffer from anorexia, makes it harder to diagnose the millions of women who have it but are not quite “thin” enough for it to be apparent. Because everyone’s looking for thinness as a sign something’s wrong, behaviors that are actual signs to be worried about often go unnoticed. (language, eating patterns, withdrawal, fixation on food etc).
Can you imagine how many more girls (and boys) would be treated earlier if we stopped focusing on looks and started focusing on behavior warnings and signs? (family members of those who suffer from eating disorders often blame themselves for not noticing warning signs that were very clear in hindsight). By the time most are diagnosed, treatment becomes very, VERY difficult.
“Hi Chichi! My brother recently started Crossfit and keeps talking about Pood’s, but I don’t think he knows what a pood is (I asked him and he refused to tell me, haha). What’s a pood?”
A pood is a unit of measurement; one pood is equal to about 16.38 kilograms, though it’s typically rounded to 16kg (about 36lbs).
In Crossfit, pood’s are just another way to describe weight used or prescribed: 2 poods is 72lbs, 1 1/2 poods is 54lbs etc, 1/2 a pood is 18lbs, 1/4 pood is 9lbs etc. Pood’s first started being used in Russia, Ukraine & Belarus and aren’t a common use of measurement for everyday things anymore. Chances are, if you’re talking about poods these days, you’re referring to kettlebells and Crossfit. :)
If you’re using dumbbells instead of kettlebells convert the pounds approximately (you may have to round down or up to the nearest 5lbs)!
Fun fact: The kettlebell is the Russian “girya”. In 1704, strongmen-types were known as “gireveks”. because anyone who used them became pretty strong.
Hope this helps! (You should probably tell him what they are so he doesn’t embarrass himself at Crossfit, lol).
If you’re in category #1: Take a few days to monitor your eating: you may not have noticed where all the ‘extra’ is coming from. Keep a journal, or text yourself from your phone. A week is usually enough to know where you need to make some changes.
If you’re in category #2: Boost your calories slowly (200-500 a day) until you’re back on track, and consider taking a few days off from the gym. Your body needs some reassurance that it’s not in danger before it starts being efficient again.
Using that amount of weight for your workouts won’t do much to get the body you want.
You’d be surprised what an increase in weight can do for your results, and how much you’re able to handle (you’re stronger than you think). Many women are brainwashed in thinking that higher reps is the way to go: we tend to think that 50 plus reps with a light weight is somehow better than 12 with a heavier weight. Let this sink in: if you fatigue your muscle in 10-12 reps, you’ll see better results than if it takes 50+ to get there.
As a rule of thumb, you should boost the load (weight) you are using by about 10% every few weeks to keep yourself from plateauing (or try harder modifications, like pulses, one leg reps, or added instability).
Next time you’re at the gym: find the weight you’ve been using, and add a few pounds. Try a set of your favorite exercise, and see when you fatigue (when proper form isn’t possible). If you complete more than 12 reps, rest, and go up by another few pounds for your next set. Continue until you’ve found the right weight for you, and start with that weight next time. It’ll be tough at first, but a few weeks later, feel free to grab that old weight and be amazed at how EASY and LIGHT it seems. You won’t go back, I promise you.
Just a few tips that can help you keep the holiday healthy! Thanks to those who sent theirs in!
Note: The holidays are truly about being with family and friends. There’s no need to give up your favorites, and remember that it takes 3500 EXTRA calories to gain a holiday pound. Indulge, try not to overindulge, but have FUN and enjoy yourself. If you’re counting calories instead of catching up, STOP! You can get back on track tomorrow, but you can’t re-do Thanksgiving.
If you’re worried about gaining, know that you can always get back on track! Plan to boost your exercise routine, or add some more activity in your day to day for a week or so. Eat clean before, eat clean after, but if you NEED that pumpkin pie, don’t deny. Let yourself have a (portioned) slice. :)
TIPS FROM TUMBLR
healthybuddha: I’m making “skinny” versions of recipes and not telling my family until after the meal!
cocoaandkisses: I do the same as healthybudda, make healthy, vegan versions of my favourite recipes for everyone so I don’t get the chance to eat crap!
barenakedlife: Since I’m not responsible for the food, my game plan is to fill up on protein and greens first and enjoy the rest in smaller portions.
annatheanomaly: I try not to stress much but rather make sure at least 3/4 of my plate is “colorful” as it will contain the most nutritious food.
ChewsyEater Try to fill up on veggies first!
AROUND THE WEB!
@EverydayHealth “Avoid adding salt when you can! Too much salt can cause your body to retain water and make you feel bloated.”
@WomensHealthMag “Slow DOWN. Your stomach and small intestine tell your brain they’re full only after 15 minutes. But if you hoovered your meal, your brain won’t get the memo until after you’ve helped yourself to seconds.”
@ToneItUp “Don’t fast! Fasting up to a big meal tends to make your body more likely to store fats from foods when you finally eat, makes you MORE hungry and might lead to larger portions. Eat small meals like you normally would, and don’t go in hungry.”
@Blisstree “Divide your plate! If you actively think about dividing your plate into sections, you can control your proteins, veggie and carb intake better.”
@FitBottomedGirls “Space out your helpings. Take smaller portions, & remember that you can have more the next day. Holidays are about spending time with friends and family, so make a conscious effort to take a break between bites and enjoy the conversation.”
@TheDoctors Leftovers: If you keep food at room temperature for more than two hours, it begins to grow bacteria. Eat your extras in 3-4 days, or freeze them. If you have leftover gravy, eat it within 2 days, or boil it for 3 minutes to kill bacteria.
@SarahFit for Laughing Cow. “Holidays come once a year and should be embraced, but remember not to over indulge and practice portion control. Incorporating exercise is also very important to maintain your weight during the holidays”.
And we carry it around all day.
There’s a reason why you hear fitness-y types shouting from the rooftops that smaller weights aren’t as effective: to sculpt & condition a muscle, the weight should pose a challenge for it. If you’re body’s used to carrying a certain amount of weight all day, it’s not going to work for you in the gym.
If you’re using small weights (or that’s all you have) think about investing in a heavier pair this holiday season. You can also try using 2 weights in each hand, or loop a resistance band around them to make them more effective. Typically, it takes 2-3 weeks for a muscle to adapt to a heavier challenge: that’s when giving it a new one (adding a pound or more resistance) is ideal. Some women use the same 5lb weights for years (not judging, I did it too) without seeing how adding more weight can truly benefit their bods.
A lot of women claim to get bulky after a few training sessions with heavier weight. Not only is that physically impossible (if gaining muscle was that easy, bdybuilders everywhere would rejoice), but the causes aren’t what you think. Swelling after training is common, and sometimes women mistake that for bulk (the swelling goes away after a day or two). Also, if they’re not simultaneously watching their diet and promoting fat loss, muscle simply pumps the fat to the surface (there’s fat UNDER the muscle as well). This can create an illusion of bulk, which can be minimized through overall training and lowering your body fat percentage.
How much weight to use differs from exercise to exercise and person to person. A good way to measure is to find out what your 6-8 rep MAX is (finding a weight that makes it HARD to do 6 reps, but impossible to do 8 reps). Use 70-80% of this weight for your exercise and you’re sure to be challenging your muscles the right way. For a woman who can do 6 bicep curls with a 20lb weight, this means she should be using 14-16lbs for her bicep routine. If she can do 6 reps with a 10lb weight, she should be using 7-8lbs. This is based on a routine with 12-15 reps: the more reps you do, the lower the weight should be, but you’d be training for endurance and not muscle strength. It’s okay to mix the two up during your routines, but try to hit your muscles in the strength zone at least twice a week. As you get stronger, this number will go up, so test yourself every 2-3 weeks.
So, if you’re ‘pursing’ it at the gym, remind yourself that your results, overall fat loss and toning, can get a good kick in the butt with a harder challenge! Believe me, you’ll SEE and FEEL the difference, and those smaller weights will simply fade into your closets. And you’ll look at them and think they’re cute…
LOVED this piece by Elizabeth Nolan Brown. (Blisstree is fast becoming one of my favorite websites, can you tell?)
Nothing makes my skin crawl quite like when I hear women comment on other women’s bodies. No matter why they are doing it, it’s never okay and hurts us all in the long run. “She’s too fat”, “She’s too skinny”, “She’s gained weight”, “She’s had plastic surgery”. ENOUGH! It literally makes my head explode.
If we truly want women to love themselves and their bodies, we need to stop making them feel so damned ashamed of them! We shouldn’t be worried we’re going to be judged by each other every time we step out of the house (a recent study suggested that 80% of women are scared of being judged by other women when they go to the beach - not men). And every time you comment on a body, even a celebrity one, you’re commenting on millions of other women who fall into that body type. I mean, no wonder eating disorders run so rampant in Hollywood: the scrutiny is insane!
So while I love the comments in support of Christina, there’s no need to tear down her previous body in order to show support. Bodies change: girl’s looked good at every stage. She can gain more, lose more, switch it up: that’s what happens when life gets stressful. She had a baby. She got divorced. She’s busy. Hell, who knows! Who cares?
Women lose and gain weight for all kinds of reasons, and stress is a MAJOR factor. I remember being stressed (beyond stressed, I was in the middle of a depression) and while I had lost weight, I wasn’t in an unhealthy range. Having friends and family comment on my body made me feel insecure, judged and honestly made me feel uncomfortable around them. And they thought they were helping.
What I’ve come to learn is that when we comment on other women’s bodies, we’re actually saying more about ourselves than the person being commented on: it shows our insecurities, our weaknesses and our issues with the world. But we don’t need to put those on someone else to validate them.
OWN YOUR SHIT. Leave other women out of it.
And read this post, it’s freaking awesome. :)
Christina Aguilera is one of those celebrities, like Kirstie Alley, whose drastic and continuing weight fluctuations are kind of shocking. But the way people are writing about these Aguilera photos from last Saturday’s Michael Jackson tribute—in which the singer appeared heavier and wild-haired in a leotard and fishnets—is offensive and absurd.
Maressa Brown at The Stir says Aguilera “appears to have no real idea about what she’s been doing to her body.” RadarOnline speculates that Aguilera is “totally unaware of how she looks” (which—with the omnipresent attention to her body and look—I find unlikely).
Radar then trots out a nutritionist, Jackie Keller of Los Angeles’ Nutrifit, to explain how because Aguilera had an eating disorder in her teens, and has been ‘yo-yo’ dieting ever since, her metabolism and ‘self-perception’ must be shot.
“Going through periods of eating really bad food an
And I don’t blame her one bit.
If she was an overweight star being bullied for being too big, women everywhere would be livid.
Once again, a reminder: STOP commenting on other people’s bodies. Fight the right battles.
LeAnn brought up some good points in her interview with Ellen, including the fact that calling someone ‘anorexic’ takes away from the real disease, that’s killing millions of girls. It’s also irresponsible, and makes bullying behaviors towards regular people (not celebs) more acceptable, instead of not.
I know it’s difficult for some to feel sympathy for someone who’s “thin”, since we tend to relate more to the bullying of the overweight. But bullying is bullying, and it’s never okay. And if you’ve been following along here, I don’t think commenting on ANYONE’S body is okay or acceptable.
Also: those that may in fact be anorexic can be traumatized by those comments. So while it might seem fun to post comments about someone’s body, those who suffer from the real disease may end up worse off, triggered, or scarred by comments about a body that they already hate. Aside from that, it’s not helpful to anyone and reinforces the idea that looks matter. If they shouldn’t, then we shouldn’t comment.
So, while you might not care for LeAnn’s music, her acting, or her choices, back off the body, ok? I’m not her biggest fan, but even I don’t think the body hate that’s come her way has been nice, fair or just.