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We care more about "likes" on social media posts, than actually being liked as people. Getting positive feedback on an online post is like getting a standing ovation from friends and strangers all over the world. How can something so meaningless seem so important and why is it hurting our kids?
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As dangerous as these rapid weight-loss practices are for adult athletes, the potential damage to young athletes is even scarier. In some sports, kids as young as eight years old using extreme measures to lose weight before competition.
Eating disorders don't care if you're male or female, under 10 years old or over 50 years old. They'll destroy anyone who's ripe for the picking. When I speak at school or to parents about body image, the issue of media manipulation always comes up and for good reason. We are definitely influenced by what we see and hear in our magazines and TV screens, but does the media CAUSE eating disorders? I say no.
For those of you who've been thinking that it's been far too long since the internet has given us a way to judge and hate our bodies, you can relax because there's a brand new "am I skinny enough?" challenge fresh from China that's trending like crazy, called the "belly button challenge."
For years, marketers have told boys and girls which toys "should" interest them, instead of encouraging them to choose freely. This makes no sense. Why should we limit kids that way? An incredible new campaign called #NoGenderDecember seeks to fix that problem.
I get a lot of emails during this time from people wanting tips and tools to help them get through the holidays without letting their eating disorders overwhelm them. But this article isn't for them. This article is for the people who love them and who will be spending meal times with them during these holy days and need to know what they can do to help.
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In case you haven't heard, Calvin Klein is the latest clothing company to come out with a campaign that has a lot of people extremely pissed off. The campaign is called, "Perfectly Fit" and it features model Myla Dalbesio modeling what Calvin Klein is calling their "plus sized" underwear. It should come as no surprise that 27-year-old Myla is not what most people would consider anything even close to plus sized. I suppose I understand the outrage in principal, but why are people still so shocked when a company that is known for promoting one kind of beauty continues to do just that? Frankly, if Calvin Klein wanted to do something seriously shocking, they would use a model who was older than 25 years old and wore a size bigger than a four.
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After years of being told that we don't know how to eat, we've actually started to believe it. This makes us completely vulnerable and therefore prime targets for any new diet plan or product that come our way. When did we lose faith in ourselves and start putting all our trust in complete strangers, who care more about healthy incomes than healthy consumers?
Having experienced life with an eating disorder myself, I fear what lies ahead for Rachel. Right now her entire self-worth is being based on how she looks and how much weight she lost. What's going to happen if her body fights back and puts on a few pounds? How will she feel about herself then?
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Why does it feel like even before the tinsel's been removed from the tree or the wax has melted from the Menorah, we are bombarded with messages from TV talk shows telling us it's time to repent for everything we've eaten or had to drink during the holidays? Here are a few common mistakes we make post-holiday season.
Why should the word fat be illegal? It's not offensive unless we make it offensive. Try this: instead of banning fat talk from your home, invite it in with the understanding that the second it starts to get mean, it will be asked to hit the road. Fat isn't offensive, using it as an insult is.
The focus of our petition is less about hurting Lululemon and more about helping women. Our goal isn't about bringing Lululemon down, or forcing them to sell merchandise they don't want to, it's about starting a conversation that will open the eyes and minds of so many people who insist on judging a person's level of health by their weight.
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Thanks to Caroline Berg Eriksen's post-pregnancy selfie that she took just four days after giving birth to her daughter we have been pulled back into the "what should women's bodies look like?" debate. Let's stop paying so much attention to the bodies that we can't relate to and start embracing, celebrating and taking care of the ones we do.
When a mom in Manitoba sent her two kids to school with homemade lunches that included roast beef, potatoes, carrots, oranges and milk, she was shocked to receive a note from the school telling her that their lunches were deemed "unbalanced" and were supplemented with Ritz crackers. The school follows the strict guidelines of what many believe to be a very outdated Canada's Food Guide and felt that the "grains" category had been neglected. To add insult to injury, this mom was fined $10 for her oversight. I'm confused, and if I was this mom, I would be livid.
There have been a lot of comparisons made over the last week or so between Abercrombie & Fitch founder, Mike "We only like the cool kids" Jeffries and Lululemon founder, Chip "Our designs aren't flawed, your bodies are" Wilson. But there's one big difference between these two clothing moguls
Being healthy includes living an active lifestyle and eating a variety of foods in moderation, but being healthy will look different for different people. Wouldn't it be awesome if we could actually see more than one version of a fit body represented in the media? Instead we're bombarded with image after image perpetuating the myth that the skinniest women are always the fittest and the men with the most muscles are always the strongest.
My problem isn't with Maria as a person. I don't believe that she was intentionally trying to hurt anyone, and there's a very good chance that she had no idea how this image would add major fuel to the already blazing fire of contempt in a society that glorifies the skinniest bodies and demonizes pretty much everything else.
This morning, a friend of mine sent me what's now become the infamous photo of fitness trainer and uber lean and toned mother of three Maria Kang, with the caption "What's your excuse?" I was a hard bodied, fit looking mother of two and it's because I've been there that I am so frustrated by the myth it represents. What's my excuse? Here are just a few.
Kids have started getting excited about the bounty of candy they'll be getting and their parents are getting anxious. There is so much focus being put on the issue of obesity recently that we have become terrified of every calorie and fat gram we consume and are unfortunately, passing this fear on to our kids.
Heading back to school after summer vacation can be stressful for kids. A lot can happen to a young person's body over summer vacation. Some kids will experience a growth spurt, while others will need a little time to catch up. Here are a few things you can do to help your kids start the school year off with confidence.
While healthy lifestyle changes are a good thing, it can be surprisingly easy to cross the line from fit to fanatical. It's not hard to understand the dangers that come from eating too much of the wrong types of food or not getting enough physical activity, but it can be much harder to grasp how too much of a good thing can also put your health at risk.
Dear parents of an overweight child, how many times have you said something a little unkind to your child about their weight because you felt it would benefit them in the future? Confused about what to say and not to say? Here are a few sentences that should be immediately and permanently deleted from your vocabulary.
This isn't about whether or not Marion Bartoli is attractive, this is about the fact that it just shouldn't matter. She won at Wimbledon! I'm disgusted that there's more discussion going on about where she ranks on the "sexy meter" than any of her matches.
Nine-year-old boys are asking why they can't have six-pack abs like Jacob from Twilight and eight-year-old girls hate their "chubby" tummies. What can we do as their parents to help them feel better about themselves? I offer tips, tools, games and projects to help parents empower their kids with the self-esteem they deserve. Here are some fun ideas to get you started.
We live in an image-obsessed, fat-phobic, thin is in, skinny jean-wearing, thigh gap-measuring, binging and purging, forever dieting, body-hating society where kids barely out of preschool are begging their mothers to keep them home from school because they feel like they're too fat to fit in. And that pisses me off.
Six in 10 girls quit activities they love because of how they feel about their looks. Last month, Dove launched its Girls Unstoppable campaign with the goal of preventing girls from giving up on the sports and activities that can help them build their confidence and self-esteem.
Recently I was asked if I ever worried that I was putting my children at risk for developing eating disorders by being so open and honest about my own. The truth is that they always knew their mom was a bit "different," they just didn't know why. I may have convinced myself that they were oblivious to my disorder, but how could that be true when we'd be walking out the door to go for dinner and one of them would ask, "Are you eating today, Mommy, or just watching?" or they'd shout, "Look, Mommy's a dinosaur!" because the bones of my spine would poke out so sharply from under my skin.
I completely understand the pressure famous moms are under to retain their "Hot chick" status during and immediately following their pregnancies, but how great would it be if they didn't cave into that pressure? Pregnancy isn't a crime, so why the need to hide all of the evidence?
Most women, famous or not, feel tremendous pressure to live up to the bizarre and completely unrealistic ideals of our image and skinny obsessed society. Is it really an issue that Kim Kardashian is comfortable showing off her growing, changing body or is the real issue that we're uncomfortable looking it? I honestly believe that we have forgotten the miracle that childbirth is. Show me a woman who has tried unsuccessfully to conceive, and I'll show you a woman who would joyfully trade her flat stomach and narrow hips for the stretch marks, expanded rear end and growing belly that can accompany a pregnant body.
One fifteen-year-old girl shared that her father will eat the french fries off her plate while explaining that he's trying to save her from getting fat. There are so many parents who believe that they're helping their kids by constantly offering diet advice when they may be setting them up for lifelong battles with food.
As a parent, I'm less concerned with the food that's available at my children's school than I am with the physical activity that is NOT. If our school boards think they are doing our kids a favour by keeping them tied to their chairs and computers, they are sadly mistaken. All the professional and financial success in the world means nothing if you don't live long enough to enjoy it.
The judge has spoken, the ruling has been been made and our right to drink super sized, sugar loaded beverages remains intact. "The rule prohibits selling non-diet soda and some other sugary beverages in containers bigger than 16 ounces." I have no problem with the government wanting to help us get healthier, but I do have an issue with it just wanting to make us skinnier.