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I’ve been seeing more and more of these ads on my dashboard, and I think it’s despicable. Using thinspo marketing (and taking advantage of people who are suffering or on the verge of suffering from eating disorders) is shameful, wrong and morally reprehensible.

If you see an image similar to the one above with the link “need to lose weight” (or something similar), please remove it, delete it, unfollow, and whatever you do, don’t click.

How NOT To Help Someone With An Eating Disorder

Excerpt via Blisstree

Fat Loss Factor isn’t all that different from other online diet plans: It’s unclear how it works until you buy, their advertising all seems shady, and it’s incredibly difficult to find legit reviews about their weight loss methods. But they’re distinguishing themselves by targeting a demographic that others don’t dare: Anorexic teens, via the pro ana community on Tumblr.

The strategy sounds almost too horrific to be true, but the posts–which have been put up under several stock tumblr accounts–are undeniably meant to provoke the anorexic teen girls and women who belong to pro ana communities. In the example below (which links out to FatLossFactor.com), the post is not only visually triggering; it’s actually tagged with popular terms used by the pro ana community on tumblr, including “pro ana,” “thinspo,” “thinspiration,” and “eating disorder.”

WARNING: Content may be triggering for those with eating disorders or body image problems. Read more: http://www.blisstree.com/2013/01/08/food/fat-loss-factor-pro-ana-ads/#ixzz2HafDVy9c

10 High Protein Breakfasts (That Do NOT Include Eggs)
If you’re getting tired of eggs as your main breakfast protein, here are a few more options to get your day started on the right muscle-lovin’ foot! 

10 High Protein Breakfasts (That Do NOT Include Eggs)

If you’re getting tired of eggs as your main breakfast protein, here are a few more options to get your day started on the right muscle-lovin’ foot! 

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Do photos of friends & co-workers trigger self-esteem bombs? You’re not alone. 

When it comes to comparing ourselves to unrealistic images, most of us wouldn’t think to include our Facebook timelines. But maybe we should. According to the Center For Eating Disorders at Sheppard Pratt in Maryland “600 Facebook users, ages 16 to 40 about their body image and self-esteem. More than half said that Facebook makes them more self-conscious about their bodies and weight. And, surprisingly enough, men were some of those with the most negative feelings”.

The last 10 years have seen a dramatic rise in images, social media and instant sharing. We’re only starting to see how this drastic shift is affecting our behavior, our sense of the world around us and our self-esteem. Do you find yourself carefully untagging photos where you think you look ‘fat’, are making a ‘face’, are too ‘shiny’, are showing some muffin top, are at a bad angle or is otherwise maybe unflattering (to you)? Hey, we all do it - I’m not judging. But while we’re all trying to put our best face forward, we may be guilty of sending out an unrealistic portrayal of the real US. It’s true: not every picture is flattering, but we don’t always look ‘awesome’ in real life. So why hide it online?

Digital cameras + social media = acute hyperawareness of our “image”. It’s become currency, and every photo taken carries the threat of being posted somewhere. This knowledge makes us more likely to screen our photos, pose a certain way, make ‘camera ready’ faces, ask to see photos for approval and remove photos we believe to be unflattering, even if the photos themselves may not be all that bad.

We’ve also become very particular and careful about what kind of image we want to represent us on our profile pic or what we want others to see … which may not be ‘us’ at all. The majority of Facebook photos have been through an editing process even without photoshop: they are carefully chosen, planned, tagged (or untagged), filtered, cropped, “grouped” & presented in a particular way.  A highlight reel, if you will. We tend to avoid posting the images we don’t want people to see. Images that make you ‘jealous’ or may incite negative self-thoughts have been carefully selected from dozens of others that didn’t make the cut (or were deleted on the spot thanks to digital cameras). Comparing ourselves to the Facebook photos may be just as unrealistic a practice as comparing us to women in magazines.

We focus a lot on photoshopping in the media, but perhaps we should focus a little more on our own image ‘editing’. 

If we want the media to start portraying women in a more diverse light, maybe we should start with ourselves. Would letting our friends see us in our less than flattering light really be all that bad?

Read More

A little while ago I got a question asking how I felt about liposuction, gastric bypass & other weight loss/fat loss surgeries. It kept me up half the night, and in the end I decided not to post my answer.

I’ve taken a very firm, non-judgmental stance when it comes to individual’s and their bodies: that goes for weight loss surgery too. I spent hours trying to answer the question because I wanted to address the tone of it: it reeked of judgment & fatphobia (I believe the word ‘fatties’ was used and the surgeries were mentioned as an ‘easy’ way out). Ugh.

Surgery is not easy. The possible repercussions are serious, some fatal. Patients who opt for these surgeries are generally in or close to a life or death situation. They are desperate. And for whatever reasons, they were not able to connect with & implement diet & exercise into their routine. I’ve seen the words ‘lazy’, ‘quick fix’, ‘cheating’ & other negatives thrown around in regards to people who choose these options. I don’t agree. But I think we can all relate to feeling “hopeless”: we all find our ‘hope’ differently.

At the end of the day, I’m pro-people. I know that diet & exercise are key to significant & sustained weight loss, but I’ll never be-grudge someone who made the risky & very personal decision to help themselves through surgery. To me, that’s not cheating. It’s finding their ‘hope’. And once you have hope, you become unstoppable. I can’t relate to needing to lose over 100lbs, or having my weight be THE obstacle in my life. But I can relate to needing hope.

Is it unfortunate that other methods didn’t “work”? Yup, and I think they’d agree. Is it a choice I’d make (or recommend)? Probably not. But when it comes to simply being supportive of those who’s lives have changed because of it, that I can do. Without judgment. With every “best wish” I can muster.

Read Jim’s story here.

It’s Eating Disorder Awareness Week, and BlissTree is knocking it OUT OF THE PARK with helpful tips, stories of REAL recovery, thoughts on body positivity in the media, resources, myth busting and trigger talk.

Even if you don’t or haven’t suffer from an eating disorder, this kind of information is incredibly helpful, insightful and useful to help spot signs, identify triggers and dispel the MANY myths about eating disorders (and the range of disorders possible - it’s about far more than what you look like or how much you weigh).

For those of us in the fitness/weight loss industry, it’s important to identify the signs of unhealthy behaviors and relationships with food for our clients (and with ourselves). Please take some time to browse through the material here & share the body love.

Psst - most of the posts are informative/positive, but there MAY be a trigger or two in there for you. Be cautious if so. 

Highlights & Must Reads

Kathryn Budig on Body Image And The Myth Of ‘The Yoga Body’

Carrie Arnold: ‘Why My Struggle With Anorexia Wasn’t Just About The Weight’

Eating Disorder Lit: Helpful Or Triggering?

Angela Liddon of Oh She Glows: ‘I’m At My Best After Recovering From My Eating Disorder’

8 Online Eating Disorder Resources Everyone Should Bookmark

Love Of Fitness, Or Exercise Bulimia? How To Tell The Difference

A History Of Eating Disorders, From Holy Anorexia To Demi Lovato

"Instead of tweeting snarky instructions for Angelina Jolie to eat more, or ripping apart other women for their choices in attire, why not focus on the positive?"

BlissTree’s latest post hits the nail on the head. Are things perfect? Nope. Is there room for improvement? Hell yes! But body shaming & judging our way to bad ass body love is simply NOT possible. If half the energy spent knocking Angelina was spent promoting body acceptance, maybe we’d be one step closer to a world where looks actually DON’T matter.

Read the full post here. (AND (fist pump, happy dance!!!!) - check out the featured quote from yours truly!)

Psst - It’s Eating Disorder Awareness week, a topic that goes hand in hand with much of the body shaming we saw at the Oscars. I’ll be posting more on that later (with some great resources for friends, family & those suffering), but in the meantime, here are some bad ass posts from Blisstree to kick it off.

Kathryn Budig on Body Image And The Myth Of ‘The Yoga Body’

Love Of Fitness, Or Exercise Bulimia? How To Tell The Difference

Angelina Jolie Looked Skinny At Oscars; Saying ‘Eat A Cheeseburger’ Still Isn’t Body Positive

If you or someone you know is struggling with eating issues, call the National Eating Disorder Association’s Information and Referral Hotline at 800.931.2237

Superbowl Sunday is here! Woot!

I love the Superbowl, even if I’m not the biggest football fan out there (I’m a Habs girl. What can I say?). I didn’t even know who was playing until a few hours ago. Honestly, I watch because of the tights they wear, the man piles (they really just seem to love throwing themselves on top of each other don’t they?), the sweaty aggression and I really like when they tap each other on the bum. I’m also watching for the halftime show (I’m a Madonna and M.I.A mega fan) and have my fingers crossed for a streaker. :) Should be fun!

Despite all this, I have a STELLAR record when it comes to picking Superbowl winners. My secret? I pick the team with the better booties. And I’ve been right 90% of the time! I haven’t seen the team tushies (yet), but I’ll post my thoughts here before kick off! I’m not kidding, it works! Using my logic, better glutes make better players. Plus, it’s kinda fun to check out the man candy: football boys have fabulous buns. Do they ever.

Other stuff I’m up to today…

1. I’ll be doing the Miss Representation challenge during commercials (though I’m not sure if I’ll get the American commercials here. Oh, Canada). If it becomes clear that I’m not seeing the same stuff, I’ll post my worst offenders when I catch them on YouTube tomorrow. Tweet me @fitvillains if you see any I should mention!

2. I’ll be doing a modified Dirty Dozen workout before kickoff! (6 reps each instead of 12 - same amount of time, but moving quicker raises the heart rate and gives me some bonus cardio. Each 6 rep circuit counts for 1/2 a round instead of a full one. If you want to use it as a strength challenge workout, you can also double your reps to 24 each and count each round as 2). Join me if you want to get a little sweat in before kickoff!

3. I’ll be making the Tone It Up guacamole & attempting to make my own tortilla chips. Should be interesting, but I’m not planning on eating a lot (I’m oddly sensitive to avocados, and I’d prefer to watch the halftime show from the living room and NOT the bathroom). We’re doing healthy quesidillas for dinner, and have tons of chopped veggies and black bean hummus ready to go.

If you haven’t planned what you’re eating for the game today, here are a few fab reading suggestions that can help you out! Superbowl Sunday is the second biggest eating day of the year. You can still have a great yummy time, but offset some of the damage by making a few tasty & healthy swaps.

6 Simple And Heathy Super Bowl Snacks via Blisstree

Superbowl Food Shockers via Shape

Healthy Game Day Swaps via Women’s Health

Soooo… who are you rooting for? Patriots or Giants?

"No matter someone’s body history, their weight is allowed to fluctuate. Jones isn’t obese, and she isn’t publicly discussing any concern for her size or health. She may look a little heavier than she did a few months ago, but you know what ? So do I. And it’s not because I’ve let my health go, or I’m going through an emotionally difficult time. Weight fluctuation is normal and even healthy to some degree. And Jones just doesn’t seem to me like she’s on the brink of becoming obese again or putting her health at risk. And, given that she’s been proactive about managing her weight in the past, I somehow doubt we all need to stay up at night worrying that she’ll find help if she needs it".

Read More via Blisstree.com

Photo via The Daily Mail

Just because someone is skinny doesn’t mean they are healthy and/or fit. Over the years, I’ve seen plenty of models that were “skinny-fat.” In other words, even though they were 5-feet, 10-inches tall and weighed 125 to 130 pounds, they were relatively “fat” with 23 to 25% body fat.

In my opinion, women should be more concerned with their body fat percentage rather than the number on the scale. There’s a tremendous visual difference between a 5’8”, 130 pound woman who is 15-16% body fat, and another woman who is the same height and weight but is 23-25% body fat. The bottom line is that women should strive to be strong and lean, rather than simply thin.

Joe Dowdell, C.S.C.S, founder and CEO of Peak Performance on what kind of “body type” he thinks best represents fitness.

Read the rest of the article here & click on to read the discussion regarding Equinox ads (see above… would you know those ads are for a gym?) & fitness marketing: "Most Of You Find Equinox Ads Insulting; All Fitness Ads Can Be Misleading"

My own 2-cents: I posted this to highlight the difference between weight and body fat percentage. Most of the time, when people are trying to lose that last 5-10lbs, what they should be concentrating on is the make-up of their bodies, NOT the scale. My concern is that some of you will focus too heavily on the numbers (weight) being quoted as ideal: it’s not. A woman who weighs 125-130 lbs at 5ft 10 will be incredibly slender, and it’s not an achievable, average or realistic weight for everyone. (That’s only slightly more what I weigh at 5ft 2inches). Don’t focus on the numbers, or compare your weight to that of others: three women of the same height and weight can differ in size tremendously depending on their body composition.

I have 2 friends who are the same height and weight, but we vary in pants size tremendously (I wear a size 2-3, while they are relatively higher at a size 6 and 8 respectively). The only difference is our body fat percentages: mine is lower & I have more muscle. I weigh the same as them despite being up to 6 sizes smaller. Vice versa, they have more body fat than I do, and since body fat takes up more room, they appear larger than their weight would suggest.

Don’t focus too heavily on the scale, and never compare your weight to someone else’s: there’s more to getting the body you want than simply shedding pounds.

Can you relate to any of these? I sure can (don’t touch me less you’d like to be smacked).

There is no such thing as the perfect yoga instructor for everyone: some of these pet peeves will be other people’s favorite parts of class. But I bet there’s at least 1-2 things on this list you’d like to tell your yogi!

(via Blisstree.com)

Note: not talking about the bodies, but rather the clear and obvious distortion of them. In some cases, the distortion is rather horrific.

Support a photoshop free world with your dollars: save them instead of spending them on unrealistic ideals. While it’s great to be anti-photoshop in your words and posts, magazines will continue to give us what we’re telling them we want with our actions

Cover models are so heavily photoshopped even THEY don’t recognize themselves. And in MOST cases, the model (or celeb) is not in control of the final product, as is the case for the image above.

Innnnteresting reaction post from Hanna of Blisstree! If you’re in dinner party mode this holiday season, you might want to give it a read!

I sincerly doubt his comments will curb the minds of those who practice yoga, but none-the-less, they are making the news.

Excerpt from Blisstree.com

Father Gabriel Amorth, the Chief Exorcist at the Vatican (who has carried out more than 70,000 exorcisms during his tenure) not only claims that yoga is the devil’s work, but it’s also just as sinful as Harry Potter.

"Practicing yoga brings evil as does reading Harry Potter. They may both seem innocuous but they both deal with magic and that leads to evil."

"Yoga is the Devil’s work. You think you are doing it for stretching your mind and body but it leads to Hinduism. All these oriental religions are based on the false belief of reincarnation."

A little far fetched & a wee bit nutty if you ask me. He’s 85 if that helps you understand where he’s coming from any better.

Read the full post from Deborah Dunham here!

The average turkey weight has increased at least 121% since 1929.

Find out why in this post from Blisstree!

You can’t win unless you put your name in the game! Do it.

And if you win, tell me ALL about it. :)

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