Archives for Body Image
A few days ago, while I was riding a stationary bike at the gym, an older gentleman we'll call Greg walked up to me and said, "You know you can lose a lot more calories on the elliptical or treadmill, right?" Lose a lot more calories? I thought. I’m not trying to lose calories. I’m trying to gain leg strength and endurance... I just smiled and thanked him, and told him I was winding down after a pretty intense weightlifting session (which was true, too). After the exchange, I started thinking. So many people assume we’re at the gym to lose weight (especially us girls -- sorry y'all, but you know it’s true). Sure, I wanted to drop a few pounds when I joined, but I've since learned there's so much more to gain at the gym -- and I'm not just talking about muscles and strength. However, I realized Greg had an unintentional point: There are things to lose at the gym -- they just go way beyond weight.
I was recently asked to write a short, informational fictional story about someone with body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). How did it go? Let's just say my screen stayed blank for longer than I would've liked.
Guess what, ladies: When it comes to issues with body image, it seems we're not alone. According to a recent HuffPost Women project, some men deal with some of the same body image issues we women deal with... ...however, their reasons might be a bit different from ours.
As many of you know, I joined a gym earlier this year, and one of the perks I listed for joining my particular gym was the manager’s promise to personally assist me whenever I asked. Well, because my beau is a bit of a workout junkie and set up a few fairly awesome routines for me, I never had any questions. Until a few weeks ago.
A few weeks ago, I published a post on my thoughts about before-and-after pictures of our bodies. Since then, I've been thinking about how that idea relates – perhaps more positively – to before-and-after pictures of our minds. I've always dabbled in exercise and healthy eating, but it wasn't until a few years ago that I got serious about it; not just for my body, but also for my mind. My "before picture" was horrendous, to say the least. I was extremely out of shape, both physically and mentally. I couldn't stand to look at it, much less let others see it. Now that I'm more serious about how I treat my body, I have a healthier, more glowing "after picture." I feel a sense of pride when I step back and look at all the positive changes I've made in my life (again, both physically and mentally), and I don't mind showing others and helping them work toward beautiful after pictures, too (hence, the birth of "Your Body, Your Mind"!). So, if you could take before-and-after pictures of your mind, how would they look? I'll go first!
Probably most of us are familiar with “workout selfies,” but I doubt any of us have seen many that were taken to eradicate the stigma of mental health rather than, you know, show off a nice booty.
Thanks to actress and author Lena Dunham, now...
Thanks to actress and author Lena Dunham, now...
So many of us exercise and eat healthy to improve our physical appearance, and while that's definitely a perk (though, I've already expressed how it's only one of the many perks of healthy living!), there's so much more to beauty than the physical. We forget this from time to time (sadly, some of us never actually know it). As a reminder (or lesson), I've dug around and found 15 quotes about beauty -- real, meaningful personal inner beauty, as well as external world beauty -- to live by.
The National Eating Disorders Awareness (NEDA) Week kicked off on Sunday, February 22, 2015. This year's NEDA theme, "I Had No Idea...": [...] aims to promote public and media attention to the seriousness of eating disorders and improve education about the biological underpinnings, environmental triggers, warning signs and how to help those struggling. In honor of that, I thought I'd join the movement and share with you some facts about eating disorders you might not have known, and I encourage you to click on the source links to learn even more about eating disorders.
I have to admit: I love before-and-after pictures off all kinds. Home renovations, furniture restorations, even makeup transformations -- you name it, chances are I love looking at it. Except when it comes to before-and-after pictures of our bodies. I’m a bit on the fence about those. On the one hand, it’s inspiring to see someone get in great shape; it can make you feel like you, too, have the power to be your fittest self (not to mention, it makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside for the person who’s succeeding his or her goals). On the other hand, it could make you feel as if you’re not measuring up. If this person can look this way after this period of time, why can’t I?
Lately, I've been super focused on getting fit. After my father’s death (and all the subsequent life-altering experiences that came with that while trying to juggle “regular” everyday life such as work), I put on a few pounds, made excuses not to run or attend yoga classes, and -- well -- just basically put my physical health on the backburner. Now that I've had some time to adjust, it’s time to get back on track. I joined a gym in January (and am proud to say I've made it out of the “January Club”!), started cleaning up my diet again, and have been browsing various yoga classes to find something that’ll get me out of my living room and back into the studio. (Now, if only this pesky bitter cold winter would pass, I could get off the treadmill and back to the park!) Anyway, during this journey back to getting fit, I’ve done some thinking about why I want to get fit. Simply put, it’s for me. I want to feel better physically (which always makes me feel better mentally) as well as feel comfortable in my own skin again (another mental perk!). During these musings, I started wondering about the reasons not to get fit. That’s right; while I firmly believe in physical wellness and how it impacts our mental health and wellness, I also believe there are reasons you should avoid when getting in shape...and I think many of you will be able to relate.