Bias. Stereotyping. Prejudice. Discrimination. Bullying.
These ugly words describe a serious problem weight stigma. Our culture is entrenched in the belief that fat is bad, people with fat are bad, people who exceed a BMI of 25 are unhealthy, and that only a narrow range of body sizes are beautiful. Billions of dollars are spent trying to attain the cultural ideal, but the more we diet, the further we move from it. A recent Calorie Count post talked about new research showing just how damaging weight stigma can be.
Whether subtle or blatant, weight stigma is broadcast into our living rooms and shows up in our classrooms, break rooms, and exam rooms. For many of us, weight stigma hits even closer to home: right between our ears!
Making the invisible, visible
What beliefs about weight have you internalized? Are those beliefs helping or harming?
By internalizing this cultural bias, we condemn ourselves to living within its limitations. We allow the bully to move into our brains.
You can only change what you are aware of. Without awareness, you may repeat old, even painful, patterns simply because they are familiar. In other words, you create your own reality.
What is the reality you are creating?
I’m not letting the bullies off the hook, but if you believe them, you become them. For example, you may have old tapes that sound something like this:
- I’m too embarrassed to be seen exercising.
- I can’t go to the gym until I’ve lost some weight.
- I’m trying to eat healthy but I’m not losing weight—it doesn’t matter what I eat.
- I’ll get diabetes because I can’t lose weight, so why change the way I eat?
- I can’t eat what I love in public, so I’ll binge later in private.
- I’ll never look like I did in high school, so why bother with healthy eating and exercise?
- I don’t deserve someone who loves me because I’m too fat.
- I don’t feel sexy because of my weight.
- I don’t see how my partner can think I’m sexy so I thwart his/her attempts.
- I don’t believe my husband when he tells me I’m beautiful.
- I don’t want to go to the doctor because I regained the weight I lost.
- I don’t take my blood pressure medicine because I know I should lose weight instead.
- I won’t buy new clothes until I reach my goal weight.
- If I was thinner, I would ask for that promotion.
- I’d love to travel but I want to lose weight first.
- I love going to the beach but I hate putting on a bathing suit.
Making the impossible, possible
What if? What if you booted the bully from your brain? Ask yourself, “How could my life be different if I didn’t buy into those limitations?”
- I’m exercising.
- I go to the gym.
- I’m trying to eat healthy.
- I’m at risk for diabetes so I’m changing the way I eat.
- I’ll never look like I did in high school. I’m eating healthier and exercising.
- I eat what I love.
- I deserve someone who loves me.
- I feel sexy.
- My partner thinks I’m sexy.
- My husband tells me I’m beautiful.
- I go to the doctor.
- I take my blood pressure medicine.
- I buy new clothes.
- I’m going to ask for that promotion.
- I love to travel.
- I’m going to the beach.
Boot the Bully from the Block
Take your power back. Boot the bully from your brain! Then, lets boot the bully from the block! To learn more about weight stigma, visit: BEDA Online.
Are you dealing with a weight stigma? What steps are you using to change it?
Michelle May, M.D. is the award-winning author of Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat: How to Break Your Eat-Repent-Repeat Cycle. Download chapter one free. Dr. May is also the founder of the Am I Hungry?® Mindful Eating Workshops and Facilitator Training Program that helps individuals learn to break free from mindless and emotional eating to live a more vibrant, healthy life
- I got my new BODYPUMP & BODYSTEP Releases. I just watched the step and it's awesome, just like 84 is : )
The History of Yoga
The history of yoga is long and steeped in tradition. Contrary to what some people may believe, yoga was not developed as the newest way to slim down so they could fit into a smaller pants size.
The history of yoga goes back 5,000 years. It originated in India, and the first time the word yoga was found in written form was in the Rig Vada, one of the sacred texts used by Vedic priests. Yoga is a means of achieving spiritual enlightenment.
Originally, yoga techniques were passed down from teacher to student through word of mouth. These techniques had never been written down until the Indian sage Patanjali wrote down a systematic method of yoga in the Yoga Sutras. Patanjali is considered to be the father of yoga.
According to Patanjali, there are eight limbs of yoga, which lead to the ultimate goal of enlightenment.
Yama - abstaining from violence, stealing, lust, greed
Niyam - developing devotion, purity, studiousness, contentment, discipline
Pranayama - controlling the breath
Pratyahara - going inward and withdrawing attention from the outside world
Dharana - concentration
Dhyana - meditation
Samadhi - merging with the universal consciousness
The Swami Vivekananda added to the history of yoga by bringing it to America. In 1893, he addressed the Parliament of World Religions and discussed the path of yoga. As a result of his speech, it quickly began to blossom as a practice in many areas of the country. Yoga has since gained major popularity in the United States and many different styles including Hatha, Bikram, and Iyengar, are practiced by millions of people.
Knowing the history of yoga can help you, the practitioner, realize the richness that it has to offer. More than just a means of being fit and trim, yoga can help you live a healthy, whole, and empowered life.
Della Menechella is a yoga and fitness enthusiast who has been involved in fitness for over thirty years. Here website http://www.beauty-fitness-yoga-source.com/ is filled with practical information about how you can make yoga and fitness a positive part of your life.
Physical Activity Linked to Lower Rates of Cognitive Decline, Researchers Say
By Charlene Laino
WebMD Medical News Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD
July 20, 2011 (Paris) — Two new studies add to growing evidence that physical activity helps to keep older people’s brains sharp.
Neither study shows cause and effect, only that there is an association between exercise and cognitive health.
But in both studies, participants who exercised the most were substantially less likely to suffer memory loss and other signs of cognitive decline, compared to their more sedentary counterparts.
“Most importantly, the association [between slower cognitive decline] and physical activity was not limited to people engaged in vigorous exercise,” says researcher Marie-Noël Vercambre, PhD, of the Foundation of Public Health at Mutuelle Generale de l’Education Nationale in Paris.
Even taking a brisk, 30-minute walk every day was associated with a lower risk of cognitive impairment, she tells WebMD.
Both studies were presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference here and simultaneously published online in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Older Women With Heart Problems Benefit
Vercambre and colleagues at Harvard Medical School examined the effect of physical activity on mental decline among about 2,800 women aged 65 and older participating in the Women’s Antioxidant Cardiovascular Study.
All had cardiovascular disease or at least three risk factors for heart disease , placing them at substantially higher risk of cognitive decline, she says.
Participants filled out questionnaires on their recreational physical activities, such as walking , bicycling, and stair climbing, at the start of the study and every two years afterward. Then they were divided into five groups based on how active they were.
Participants also were given a battery of cognitive tests, at the study’s outset and three more times over the next five or so years. The tests measured memory, the ease with which one could complete a given task, and other mental skills.
Results showed that women in the highest two-fifths of physical activity had substantially lower rates of cognitive decline than women in the lowest exercise bracket.
“There is a strong association between greater physical activity and reduced cognitive decline in women with vascular disease or coronary risk factors,” Vercambre says.
Taking a half-hour brisk walk, or its equivalent, each day appears to delay mental aging by five to seven years, she says.
The researchers point out that the study has several limitations, including use of telephone interviews for some cognitive testing and potentially unreliable self-reporting of physical activity by the older participants.
A More Objective Measure of Physical Activity
In the second study, researchers used a more objective measure of energy expended during physical activity, employing the so-called doubly labeled water technique to determine how much water a person loses.
The study involved 197 men and women participating in the larger Health, Aging, and Body Composition study. Participants, whose average age was 75 years, had no mobility or cognitive problems when the research began.
Over the next two to five years, those in the highest third of energy expenditure were substantially less likely to develop clinical cognitive impairment than those in the lowest third.
Cognitive function was measured using the Mini-Mental State Exam (MMSE), a brief test of mental skills, including attention span and memory.
About 2% of people in the highest third suffered declines in cognitive function, compared with 5% in the middle third and 17% in the lowest third.
In a surprising finding, the participants’ levels of energy expenditure did not completely correlate with how much physical activity they reported they did.
The results were reported by Laura Middleton, PhD, of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto.
Exercise Good for Everyone
In an editorial accompanying the studies, Eric B. Larson, MD, MPH, of Group Health Research Institute in Seattle, said exercise “is definitely worthwhile” no matter what one’s age and “is likely to be of increasing benefit as [one] advances into old age.”
Ronald Peterson, MD, director of the Mayo Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., tells WebMD that physical activity improves the flow of blood in the brain . Also, animal studies suggest that exercise may release enzymes into the brain that attach and destroy Alzheimer’s-associated plaque, he says.
The results are in and they’re not just for your body! Recent scientific testing at Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand has revealed that the new BODYSTEP™ Athletic format resulted in an extra 10% of calories burned per class.
The new athletic format also increased the overall training intensity of the program, with a 9% increase in heart rate - meaning you, and your class, get fitter faster.
The study tested eight participants and compared their energy expenditure, average heart rate for the whole class, average heart rate for each track (both individually and for the group as a whole) in both the original and new Athletic formats.
BODYSTEP™ Athletic launches in release 85. Be sure to let us know what you think by visiting lesmills.com/blah
- We are releasing BODYSTEP 84 in my 9am class tomorrow. This is a challenging workout I really love this release!