Archives for December, 2011

Body Image

Top 11 Weightless Posts From 2011

Today, I'm sharing the top 11 Weightless posts that received the most views in 2011. Below, you'll find posts on everything from self-acceptance and self-care to body image boosters and Health At Every Size.

Also, I want to thank you for reading Weightless. It means a lot to me that you come here, comment and read my words. I hate to sound cliche, but it's true: Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
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Body Image

Creating Body Image Traditions

With the holidays in full swing, I've been thinking a lot about family traditions. For instance, in Russia, New Year's Eve is a huge holiday.

Everyone has a New Year's tree with beautiful ornaments, and we exchange gifts at midnight on December 31st. We've been celebrating this way for decades --- maybe even a century --- and have carried these traditions over to the U.S.

Traditions are important. Tradition connects us to our family, to our faith and to ourselves.

(By the way, if anyone just started singing the song "Tradition" from "Fiddler on the Roof," let me just say that a) I understand and b) you're awesome.)

It gives us something to look forward to. And it carries our heritage from generation to generation.

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Body Image Boosters

Why Resolutions To Diet Or Lose Weight Don’t Work

Every year, many of us, very many of us, resolve to shed pounds by dieting or exercising most days per week. We resolve to be rigid and strict with ourselves. We resolve to rein ourselves in.

Maybe we say we're not eating any chocolate ever again. Or we'll just have one dessert a week. And we'll only skip a workout if we're super sick.

Maybe we pick exercise that we don't like very  much but know that it's "guaranteed" to burn calories. Maybe we wake up before the sun comes up because an hour of exercise is supposedly superior to 30 minutes.

Resolutions get a bad rap. And I think it's because for so many people, resolutions look like the above.

They're filled with shoulds. And who looks forward to making resolutions that we don't want to do in the first place? Or ones that we want to accomplish but don't respect our bodies? Or ones that don't dig deeper to discover what we truly want?

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Body Image

Body Image Booster: Befriend Your Body

Every Monday features a tip, activity, inspiring quote or some other tidbit that helps boost your body image, whether directly or indirectly — and hopefully kick-starts the week on a positive note!

Got a tip for improving body image? Email me at mtartakovsky at gmail dot com, and I’ll be happy to feature it. I’d love to hear from you!

A big part of having a positive body image is taking good care of yourself. It's supporting your body by being gentle and compassionate.

Doing so creates a positive cycle. Taking good care of yourself relaxes and soothes your body, which, of course, helps you feel more relaxed. Once you're more relaxed, you're less inclined to beat up on your body. Because we know that stress can fuel an already iffy body image (or emotional eating).

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Body Image

The Power Of Trusting Yourself

Yesterday my friend and talented blogger Shannon Cutts published a post on her blog, Mentoring & Recovery, that really resonated with me. And I think it will with you, too.

She talked about having the confidence and knowing yourself enough to do what's right for you.

This is especially relevant to body image and disordered eating. When we rely on diets and other people's rules for eating, it's because we don't trust ourselves to make decisions about what to eat, when to start eating and when to stop.

We worry that we can't be trusted. That if left to our own devices, we'll eat the entire fridge --- and pantry. (And many magazines and "experts" like to nudge us toward this very idea.)

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Body Image

Pregnancy & Body Image: Building Boundaries

"Being pregnant is in no way, shape or form an under-the-radar kind of experience. After a certain point, people will notice you. And they will make it clear, each in their own way, that they notice you. That level of exposure can be tough to handle --- especially when it's so body-focused," according to authors Claire Mysko and Magali Amadei in their great book Does This Pregnancy Make Me Look Fat? The Essential Guide to Loving Your Body Before and After Baby.

People might do everything from asking how much weight you've gained (and commenting on whether that's too much or too little) to asking if you're having twins to judging what you're eating to touching your tummy without asking permission.

The best way to deal with all this attention? Create some boundaries!

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4 Ways To Soothe Yourself Without Stress Eating

"Many eating problems aren't really about food. They are about self-soothing," writes clinical psychologist Susan Albers, Psy.D, in her book 50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food.

And the holidays may be a time when we need extra soothing. While the holidays are filled with joyful moments, they can be stressful.

You might have to see family you're not particularly fond of. Or add 20 tasks to your already long to-do list. Or travel across the country. Or deal with more responsibilities at work.

All the while you might be in desperate need of comfort and calm. And perhaps looking for it in all the wrong places.

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Body Image

Body Image Booster: What Do You Believe In?

Every Monday features a tip, activity, inspiring quote or some other tidbit that helps boost your body image, whether directly or indirectly — and hopefully kick-starts the week on a positive note!

Got a tip for improving body image? Email me at mtartakovsky at gmail dot com, and I’ll be happy to feature it. I’d love to hear from you!
I believed in Santa until I was about nine. Yes, that's right. (And, in fact, I still do.)

The holidays are all about our beliefs in something, our religious beliefs, our beliefs in love, compassion, family, friendship and generosity.

Our beliefs, of course, can color our perspective on life, ourselves and our actions. So, today, I thought we'd dig deeper and examine our body image beliefs.

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Wanting To Be Thin Doesn’t Cause Anorexia But It’s Still Damaging

{via pinterest}
In our society, there's a common belief that thin models and unrealistic images in ads and magazines cause eating disorders, specifically anorexia nervosa.

But the thin ideal (the desire for thinness) doesn't cause anorexia. Instead, it plays a different but still damaging role, writes eating disorder specialist Sarah Ravin, Ph.D, in a recent post on her website.

This distinction is important because saying that eating disorders are the result of wanting to be thin trivializes these serious illnesses and makes it seem like EDs are a choice. It's like Dr. Ravin says: You can't choose to have anorexia any more than you can choose to have autism or schizophrenia or epilepsy.

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