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You Don’t Have to Try To “Get Your Body Back”


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There’s a pervasive cultural myth that as women, we should be “trying to get our bodies back.”

As a therapist in private practice in Rockville, Maryland, specializing in helping individuals with body-image issues, I am particularly passionate about raising awareness about the myths that we are told around our bodies.

Whether it’s post-baby, post- college, or any other life stage, we are sold two major lies by the diet and beauty industry, surrounding this notion of trying to “get your body back.”

Myth # 1: Our bodies are meant to stay the same over time.

There’s a societal belief that our bodies are meant to stay the same over time and that any changes are a “failure” on our behalf.

However, the reality is that our bodies are meant to change as we age. Our bodies are not slabs of marble. Thus, putting your self-worth into your body or appearance-is a recipe for discontent. As humans, it is natural for our bodies to change over time, whether that means weight changes, changes in body-shape, or signs of ageing. We are simply not meant to look the same as we did in high school, until the end of our lives!

Additionally, there may be physiological reasons why your body is changing. For instance, during menopause, women often gain belly-fat. However, this is actually adaptive, as it helps women to produce more estrogen (which they produce less of during menopause).

Jessi Haggerty, a registered dietitian and certified personal trainer, explains,

“When your ovaries no longer produce estrogen, the body’s adipose tissue (fat tissue) takes over to produce and regulate estrogen in the body. An increase in body fat is our bodies’ way of adapting in order to regulate estrogen production as we age. Since estrogen depletion is the main cause of many of the negative side effects associated with menopause, increased regulation of this hormone can help mitigate many of these undesirable symptoms.”

Further, diet-culture and the beauty industry teaches us that we should try to reduce or eliminate other signs of ageing and changes in appearance, such as wrinkles. While men and women both face these pressures, I believe that a fixation on appearing “youthful” and “attractive” is more pervasive among messaging targeted towards women.

Having the privilege to age, is not something that everyone will have the gift of experiencing. What if instead of seeing signs of ageing as flaws, you took a moment to feel gratitude for the years full of laughter that caused the creases on your face?

Additionally, after giving birth women are also faced with a ton of societal pressure to “get their bodies back.” After birthing an actual human life (what could be more amazing?!) women are promptly reminded of their true value, which is their ability to “look attractive” and “be thin” (I hope that you can recognize the sarcasm is this sentence).

What if instead of seeing stretch marks and post-baby body-differences as “flaws,” you took some time to be thankful for the amazing thing that your body just enabled you to do?

Myth # 2: Women’s worth is found in their appearance, weight, and body.

We are sold the lie over and over again that our value as women is found in our appearance, weight, and body. This myth serves to fuel the $60 billion dollar diet industry, sell tons of beauty products that promise to “eliminate cellulite,” and “reduce wrinkles,” and also keeps women from achieving their full potential in this world.

When women spend their time fixating on their appearance and body, they are devoting precious time-which they could be using to impact real change in the world.

When you fixate on how your body looks it takes away valuable time that you could be using to pursue your passions, strengthen your relationships, or reflect on other things. No one writes in someone’s obituary: “she was so thin” or “she was the perfect weight.” What would you like to be remembered for? Work to shift focus to the things and people in your life that truly matter.

The Bottom Line

If you are struggling with a fixation on your appearance or body, it’s so important to be compassionate with yourself. It’s not your fault that you are struggling with this. These cultural messages have been learned, and with time and support-they can be unlearned.

Despite what societal messages say, I know this to be true. You are not more valuable if you take up less space in this world. Further, your worth is not found in your body size or shape.

Your true value is found in the sparkle in your eyes when you laugh, the way that you pursue your passions, how you give back to others, and in your relationships. You are enough. You are worthy of love and belonging, just as you are.Read more at:prom dress


11:44 Publié dans Fashion | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)


This Is What Happens To Your Body When You Fall In Love


During our first childhood “crush,” we all experienced butterflies in the stomach, nervousness, and a racing heartbeat. We were infatuated and couldn’t take our eyes off of the object of our affection.

Anyone else remember anxiously awaiting the recess bell so we could see them on the playground? Or hoping that the teacher assigned you a desk right next to theirs? Indeed, chemical reactions were taking place in our young brain and body and – in a way – giving us our first (albeit immature) taste of love.

Truly, a fascinating chain of chemical reactions takes place when we’re head over heels. From the relationship’s beginning, to first climbing under the sheets, and finally saying those “three words,” here’s what goes on as your body is falling in love.


Falling in love, and its effects on the body, are strikingly similar to being addicted to drugs. Chemicals that cause a euphoric high – adrenaline, dopamine, oxytocin, and vasopressin, are all released at some point during intimacy. Dopamine is the brain’s pleasure chemical, and is what causes feelings of elation and energy around our loved one.

Helen E. Fisher, a biological anthropologist at Rutgers University, states “Romantic love is an addiction. It’s a very powerfully wonderful addiction when things are going well.” Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans of the brain in love bear strong resemblance to those experiencing a high.

Lovers are also like drugs, in the sense that the more time you spend with them, the more hooked you become.


Just as having one too many cocktails lowers anxiety, fear, and inhibition – and makes you more boastful and confident – the “love drug” oxytocin produces the same effect. Researchers at the University of Birmingham observed the effects of alcohol and oxytocin on the brain, and though they impact different parts of the brain, the effects are very similar.


When you feel strongly attracted to someone, no matter the time or place, a reaction occurs within the brain’s sympathetic branch, the SNS. This stimulation causes pupils of the eyes to dilate (become wider). Try this out on your date, boyfriend, girlfriend, or spouse – it’s fun stuff!


Becoming anxious (sometimes, very anxious) before an important event (e.g. a big date, wedding day) is more than a nervous “twitch.” An influx of the brain chemicals adrenaline and norepinephrine can produce physical sensations, such as craving and desire. Also, your brain will focus intently on the person of affection.


When you really begin to like (perhaps love) someone else, the brain may release the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol can cause the stomach’s blood vessels to constrict; perhaps leading to feelings of nausea and lack of appetite. This physiological response may explain why many couples don’t eat much on their wedding day.


Corticoliberin is a peptide hormone released during a stress response. Also known as the “corticotrophin releasing factor,” separation from our loved one for any period of time can exacerbate any stress response. The “withdrawal symptoms” of anxiety and depression are similar to those of an addict weaning off a drug.


Pheromones are “smell chemicals” that animals, including humans, excrete and sense. Biologically, this changes the behavior of another animal. In more humanistic, simple terms, we are attuned to our partners pheromones, which increases s*xual desire.

Dr. Fisher states: “Once you fall for someone, their smell can be a powerful thing. Women will wear their boyfriends T-shirts, and throughout tales in history, men have held on to their lover’s handkerchief.”


Fisher’s first groundbreaking study was in 2005, when she analyzed the brain images of individuals in love. A total of 2,500 brain scans were taken. Each participant were shown a picture of their “special someone” then a picture of an acquaintance. The images revealed drastic differences.

The first noticeable effect was the flood of “feel-good” dopamine chemicals in certain regions of the brain. Other noticeable differences involved two other areas of the brain: the caudate nucleus and ventral tegmental area. The former is strongly linked with reward detection, and the latter is associated with “pleasure, focused attention, and the motivation to pursue and acquire rewards.”Read more at:red carpet dresses | short prom dresses


12:34 Publié dans Fashion | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)


Wedding band sinks, but hope still floats


I need your help.

Yes, you already knew that. It’s clear I need all kinds of help. But this is an emergency, so I’ll get right to the point.

My wedding band, which has been on my finger for more than three decades, is missing. I noticed this at work Monday as I looked down while typing. It took a bit to register. Wait, what? No gold wedding band?

Gone. A surprise, because it’s been there since 1984. Or did we get married in 1985? Ha. Just kidding. It has never, ever slid off.

Pretty much, I’ve had to pull it over the knuckle on a few rare occasions when I did remove it for perfectly valid reasons to protect it, like painting our house or trying to remove a fuel pump from the gas tank of our old van back home.

This time, I have no recollection of removing it.And I don’t recall absent-mindedly fiddling around, without thinking (which is frequent), and just kind of drop it.

So, it is officially lost.

My wife was none to happy to hear about this since she bought it for me and slipped it on my finger on our wedding day. It’s been there on our many moves and new jobs and new kids. Through the laughs and the tears, through the hugs and the glares, through the births and deaths, that ring was there.

Now, it’s gone.

But I haven’t given up hope of finding it because I think I know where it might have slipped away.

I was wearing it Thursday, it’s there in a picture of me and my brother. My wife said she’s sure the ring was attached to my finger when we were in church Sunday.

I sat and pondered. Where could I have lost it? Retrace my steps, if you will. They led to, unfortunately, Anini Beach and snorkeling Sunday afternoon.

I was there, swimming around, watching three turtles (yes, three at once) at the cleaning station. Perhaps the coolest thing I’ve seen. I snorkeled farther out, above the coral, watched another turtle from a distance, before turning back. On the return to shore, on one stroke, I went too deep and my left hand struck something. I stopped and looked to check for bleeding. None. (Yes, I was worried about blood in the water attracting a shark, even at Anini Beach). I survived, paddled furiously, and reached land. But I have a feeling the ring did not; that it slipped off. I think it’s still out there.

So I’ll be returning to search, as hopeless as that sounds, and if anyone else happens to be heading to Anini Beach to snorkel, I ask that you keep an eye out for a gold wedding band. If I’m right, it’s in front of the park, well to the right of the boat ramp, about a hundred yards or so out there, past the turtle cleaning station and toward the buoy. Great directions, right?

But it would delight my wife is it was found, and I like to keep my wife happy.

Ironically, when I was in high school, I found a wedding band when I was carrying out my janitorial duties to earn money and pay my tuition. I knew the teacher whose classroom I found it in and sure enough, the next day, I returned it to him. He was relieved and thanked me. Said I probably saved him from disappointing his wife.

So, if you wouldn’t mind, go snorkeling at Anini Beach. If you happen to found a gold wedding band out there, call me. A reward? Sure. It isn’t worth much money, but when it comes to love, it’s priceless.Read more at:plus size prom dresses | vintage evening dresses


11:48 Publié dans Fashion | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)