a voice in the wilderness

"Acceptance is the ultimate paradox: we cannot change who we are until we accept ourselves the way we are." ~ Melody Beattie
THE UNEXPECTED LESSON I LEARNED FROM LYING ABOUT MY FAT LOSS STORY
December 16, 2013 · by Mina Yun · in Diet, Exercise, Fat-Loss

A few weeks ago, I posted a before-and-after picture of myself on Facebook.  As much as I loathe the thought posting half-nekkid pictures of myself in a public forum, let alone THE most public forum on the planet, I did it to show the world what was possible with the right nutrition, the right lifestyle and the right attitude:
As a side note, the fact that I was days away from turning 41 could’ve suggested that I was also experiencing the onset of a mid-life crisis.  But I digress.
Within minutes of posting my pic, a flurry of comments poured in:

They were all so incredibly heart-warming and encouraging.  And as far as Facebook posts go, the positive remarks served to measure my sense of self-worth and value in the world.   (Isn’t that what Facebook is all about, anyways?)
Except it was all a big lie.
Don’t get me wrong:  those pics are real.  That is my body.  Unedited.  Unaltered.
It’s just that I took both pictures within 10 minutes of each other.
This was a social experiment inspired by an Australian personal trainer who took her before-and-after pics within 15 minutes of each other, simply by performing a few clever tricks with her clothes, posture, hair, and some tanning lotion:
The 15-minute diet. Hey, I did mine in 10. Beat that, girlfriend.

When I saw what she did, I thought to myself, could I pull that off, too?
I put on the tightest pants I could find, slouched my shoulders, and stuck my belly out in the first pic.  And then a few minutes later, changed into a bikini that didn’t cut my crotch in half, stood tall with shoulders back and chest out, stuck my hips to the side for a little sass, and flashed a smile in the second pic.
AND SHA-BAM!
Instant fat loss.
The truth of the matter is, this is way more common than you think.
The fitness and beauty industry alters, edits, and fakes before-and-after pictures all the time.  And just to prove a point, here is a clip from the documentary, Bigger, Stronger, Faster, in which photographers confess to all kinds of dishonest shenanigans, such as taking before-and-after photos on the same day, and blatant photoshopping:

THE UNEXPECTED LESSON I LEARNED FROM LYING ABOUT MY FAT LOSS STORY

A few weeks ago, I posted a before-and-after picture of myself on Facebook.  As much as I loathe the thought posting half-nekkid pictures of myself in a public forum, let alone THE most public forum on the planet, I did it to show the world what was possible with the right nutrition, the right lifestyle and the right attitude:

As a side note, the fact that I was days away from turning 41 could’ve suggested that I was also experiencing the onset of a mid-life crisis.  But I digress.

Within minutes of posting my pic, a flurry of comments poured in:

Pur Fitness

They were all so incredibly heart-warming and encouraging.  And as far as Facebook posts go, the positive remarks served to measure my sense of self-worth and value in the world.   (Isn’t that what Facebook is all about, anyways?)

Except it was all a big lie.

Don’t get me wrong:  those pics are real.  That is my body.  Unedited.  Unaltered.

It’s just that I took both pictures within 10 minutes of each other.

This was a social experiment inspired by an Australian personal trainer who took her before-and-after pics within 15 minutes of each other, simply by performing a few clever tricks with her clothes, posture, hair, and some tanning lotion:

The 15-minute diet. Hey, I did mine in 10. Beat that, girlfriend.

When I saw what she did, I thought to myself, could I pull that off, too?

I put on the tightest pants I could find, slouched my shoulders, and stuck my belly out in the first pic.  And then a few minutes later, changed into a bikini that didn’t cut my crotch in half, stood tall with shoulders back and chest out, stuck my hips to the side for a little sass, and flashed a smile in the second pic.

AND SHA-BAM!

Instant fat loss.

The truth of the matter is, this is way more common than you think.

The fitness and beauty industry alters, edits, and fakes before-and-after pictures all the time.  And just to prove a point, here is a clip from the documentary, Bigger, Stronger, Faster, in which photographers confess to all kinds of dishonest shenanigans, such as taking before-and-after photos on the same day, and blatant photoshopping:

wholelifenutrition:

Wild Rice, Kale, and Cranberry Pilaf
Here is a hearty, antioxidant-rich, winter pilaf recipe for all of you wild rice fans out there! This simple recipe makes a perfect addition to your holiday table. It can even be used as a stuffing for turkey. I like to add chopped, roasted hazelnuts just before serving. It’s seriously good, and good for you!
Read More

wholelifenutrition:

Wild Rice, Kale, and Cranberry Pilaf

Here is a hearty, antioxidant-rich, winter pilaf recipe for all of you wild rice fans out there! This simple recipe makes a perfect addition to your holiday table. It can even be used as a stuffing for turkey. I like to add chopped, roasted hazelnuts just before serving. It’s seriously good, and good for you!

Read More

(via tumblrgym)

Which World Do You Belong to?

I copied this from the comments section:

I once was very slim. I caught the eye of admirers wherever I went.

I never had to think too hard about what to wear, everything looked great on me.


It was effortless for me to be strong, active and slim.


I judged the fat people, thinking them beneath me for some reason. I don’t know why I felt that way, but I remember that I used the fact of their fatness to disminish their value to me as a person. I didn’t quite judge them the way you summarized in your post, but almost.


Two worlds.


And I was happy in the first world, oblivious to the struggles people face in the second world.
Then karma happened.
Life happened.


I developed an illness that left me constantly exhausted and in pain.
With very little energy, I had to choose what mattered most to me and use my energy for that.


What mattered most was relationships with my spouse, my children, my friends.
What mattered most was time, creativity, further learning, discovery.
What mattered most was being helpful and kind.
What mattered most was meditation and peace. Learning to accept.
The exhausting illness has doubled my weight.


I am now fat. And sore. And exhausted. And content, creative, loved and loving.
I now walk into a room and I no longer catch the admiring eye of others…at least not the same kind of person who used to notice me. (But, happily, I can usually find someone who has already learned to look past the surface, or who is attracted by my vibrant flair of style.)
I meet an old friend or relative or acquaintance and they are shocked at what has “become of me”.


Some people want to coach me back to slimness. I know I do not have the time or energy for that.
And some people use the fact of my size to dismiss me, the same way I used to dismiss people who are fat. This reaction I recognize, as it is what I had once done. I understand, and I forgive.


I have lived in both worlds.
I am learning to not judge; I would not have bothered to learn this if I had stayed slim.
I am learning that there are not two worlds, that people are too complex to be divided that neatly.
You are right, there is but one world and people are diverse.
I am learning that we are one.
Be blessed, and thank you.

7 months ago

colleenclarkart:

image

Click “Read More” to see the rest of the comic!

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Emotional Eating is Your Friend

11 months ago - 1

"Okay, so here’s why girls don’t get flattered when guys comment on their bodies."

Why Body Acceptance Isn’t For Everyone All The Time

article source: http://www.rolereboot.org/life/details/2013-07-why-body-acceptance-isnt-for-everyone
By Laurel Hermanson


The recent push toward body acceptance is a move in the right direction, says Laurel Hermanson, but demanding that she love her body does nothing but make her feel guilty that she doesn’t love her body.

“Each of you is perfect the way you are…and you could use a little improvement.” —Shunryu Suzuki, Sōtō Zen monk and teacher

Fat shaming. Fat acceptance. Get a bikini body. Love your curves. Obesity is a lifestyle choice. Obesity is a disease.

Confused? I am. If you spend any time on the Internet, you’ve likely seen or participated in the conversation about weight and body image. To read most blogs posts, opinion pieces, or news articles is to be bombarded with contradictory messages. Lose weight and look great! Love your body just the way it is!

I find both messages tiresome. First, I don’t like being told how to think or feel about anything. More important, the polarity is patronizing and divisive. Where in this “conversation” is there room for individuals to have their own feelings, independent of what other women (and men) insist is the “correct” way to think about one’s body?

Judging other people based on their weight—or any physical trait—is senseless and inexcusable. If you disagree with that, you might as well stop reading. Otherwise, bear with me.

Let’s say I complain to a friend that I’ve gained weight. She says, “Stop it. You’re beautiful.” While those words are well-intentioned, they are also dismissive. They will not convince me that I am fit or beautiful. They can’t change the fact that I feel uncomfortable in my body. Likewise, demanding that I love my body does nothing but make me feel guilty that I don’t love my body.

I believe an ideal scenario is one in which friends could openly and empathetically discuss weight, rather than sidestepping the topic with, “You’re beautiful.” We do this out of discomfort, which would be fine if it didn’t stop the conversation. When we refuse to talk about fat, we let it control us. And in that moment there is judgment disguised as support. Eliminate the judgment, and talking about weight becomes easier and healthier.

We need to talk about weight. Roughly two out of three U.S. adults are overweight, with one out of three considered obese. American obesity rates have more than doubled since 1980, and remain the highest among all of the high-income countries in the world.

The U.S. weight loss industry has always been big business, playing on consumer susceptibility to fad diets and get-fit-quick schemes. Marketdata Enterprises predicts the market will grow to $66.5 billion this year.

That’s a lot of people who not only don’t love their bodies, but feel compelled, coerced, even desperate to part with a great deal of money along with unwanted fat.

The American Medical Association recently voted to define obesity as a disease, a controversial move. Proponents claim the decision will encourage physicians to take obesity more seriously and provide patients with medical treatments including counseling, drugs, and surgery. The costs of these treatments may or may not be reimbursed by health insurers.

The AMA’s own Council on Science and Public Health disagrees. They say the definition could push overweight people toward costly drugs and surgery rather than lifestyle changes. They also say the measure used to define obesity, the body mass index, is simplistic and flawed, and that otherwise healthy people might be over-treated because their BMI indicates they have a disease.

It appears there is no more consensus in the medical community about how to treat overweight bodies than there is in the larger community about how to feel and talk about our bodies.

The medical arguments are noteworthy, but I’m more interested in the ongoing public dialogue about body image.

Initially, I shared photos on social media that contrasted the curvy and voluptuous celebrities of yesteryear with the gaunt and emaciated stars of today. That a single image could show how our society’s version of the “ideal” female body has shifted over the years was shocking. Granted, some of those comparisons were offensive to naturally thin women, but that seemed like collateral damage in a push for much needed change.

What followed was a campaign—on the Internet, in print advertising—celebrating women who refused to be defined by their body size. Again, progress! I wanted to virtually high five all my sisters demanding to be recognized as whole, beautiful, proud women who didn’t give a shit about what society expected them to look like. Because hell yeah, we are so much more than our stomachs and thighs and butts, our skin and hair and teeth.

More recently, the loudest voices insist that we all love our bodies regardless of size or shape. We shouldn’t call ourselves fat or believe that we are anything less than perfect. What began as a backlash against a society that made women feel unattractive if they didn’t look like models or celebrities has morphed into what sounds like a rallying cry for mandatory self-love.

I think that’s fantastic for people who are ready to love their bodies. But body image is personal and complicated and everyone should be allowed to feel love or hate or indifference about their bodies without pressure to conform to the latest cultural shift. Otherwise, how have we really progressed from hating our bodies because they weren’t thin enough?

Some people have struggled their entire lives with being overweight. Teased as kids and publicly scrutinized as adults, they are tired of being judged. They deserve to be accepted by everyone, including themselves. As a friend said, “I think most of the time, I could be fine with my body just the way it is if the rest of the world was OK with it. But it’s the constant reminders in the media, in life, in clothing sizes and comments and looks when I decide I’m going to enjoy an ice cream cone with my family. People go out of their way to let you know you’re fat.”

I have had body image issues since I realized bodies were different and there were issues to be had, but I have rarely been overweight. Mostly I’ve been slim, something I compulsively tell people I’ve met in the last two years. Some ask, “But were you healthy?” And I was. I ate well, exercised, and felt great. But thanks to a newly sedentary lifestyle and a penchant for burritos, I’ve gained enough weight in the last couple years that I am no longer just uncomfortable, but unhealthy as well. I’m not ready to accept this new me.

It’s not easy to navigate the in-between place of feeling bad about my body and not knowing what to do with those feelings. I try to think in terms of choices. I can 1) continue to hate my body, 2) decide to love my body the way it is, 3) accept that I am unhappy with my body right now, which would ideally lead me to 4) make some changes, not just to look better, but to feel better, and to feel better about myself.

My self. I am more than my body, yet my body carries me through life in many roles. As a mother, I want more from my body. I want to feel strong and energetic instead of limp and sluggish. I want to be active and fun and outdoorsy. Above all else, I want to be a good role model so that my daughter will keep looking in the mirror and saying, “I look good!”

I’m trying to find my place, a halfway point that will allow me to accept my discomfort while working toward health, and genuine love for my body. Because there is more than one way to love your body. You can love how it looks, and you can love it by taking care of it.

Health Coach Meg Worden works with clients from all over the world, people with diverse cultural perspectives of health and beauty. Her holistic approach focuses on small actions that will start increasing comfort and acceptance.

"The answer is not just acceptance without action, or white-knuckled, shame-based actions, but a fluid marriage of acceptance and actions that are deeply tied to your core values,” Worden says. “Consistent practice creates an intrinsic reward system so you want to feel the way you feel when you feed your body well, and move it around. You are, inevitably, more comfortable. You get back up faster, and keep going with intentions that supersede the ‘lose weight so I’ll be lovable’ story. Acceptance isn’t just accepting your size, it is also accepting your humanity.”

Most important, Worden believes that being healthy isn’t the end result, but a vehicle to get what you want out of life.

I ask myself what I want out of life. I want to swim with my daughter without getting winded in five minutes and being sore for two days. I want to take her hiking and kayaking and camping. I want to teach her to love preparing and eating healthy meals. I want to live long enough to see her grow into a world where she will not be judged by her appearance.

I want to love my body. Eventually, I will—on my terms. My body, my choice. I won’t love it because someone told me I should. I will love it by taking care of it and then appreciating how it helps me get what I want out of life.

Role/Reboot contributor Laurel Hermanson is a freelance writer and editor in Portland, OR. Her first novel,Soft Landing, was published in 2009. She is currently working on her second novel, Mommune. She blogs about almost everything at Grace Under Pressure. Find her on Facebook and Twitter.

 ’Sexy swimsuits are not only for Sports Illustrated models’: ‘Fatkini’ blogger debuts stylish beachwear for sizes ten to 24

By Olivia Fleming

Gabi Gregg, the blogger who last year coined the term ‘fatkini’ asa retaliation against society’s obsession with super-slim summer bodies, has launched a swimwear line for U.S. sizes ten to 24.

Miss Gregg, of GabiFresh, encourages other full-figured women to feel confident in their swimsuits, and has inspired hundreds of women to throw away their insecurities - and dare to wear a two-piece.

Now, in collaboration with swimsuitsforall, the U.S. size 18 writer has produced a five-piece capsule collection of stylish maillot bathing suits, bikinis, and cover-ups in bright prints and loud neon hues.

Apologetically confident: Gabi Gregg (pictured), the blogger who last year coined the term 'fatkini' as a retaliation against society's obsession with super-slim summer bodies, has launched a swimwear line for U.S. sizes ten to 24

Apologetically confident: Gabi Gregg (pictured), who last year coined the term ‘fatkini’ as a retaliation against society’s obsession with super-slim summer bodies, has launched a swimwear line for U.S. sizes ten to 24

Miss Gregg, who also writes a style column for InStyle magazine, told Refinery 29: ‘I think swimsuit shopping can be horrendous if you’re going to stores that don’t offer your size, but finding a stylish option that fits you well can actually make you feel great!

'It can be tough to find on-trend bathing suits in plus sizes, and I hope this collection helps.'

Last year, the 25-year-old gained internet notoriety after she posted a request for women of all shapes and sizes to send in pictures of themselves wearing swimwear.

Thirty-one women emailed Miss Gregg to participate in the online picture gallery, nicknamed Fatkini, which was created after the blogger posted several images of herself wearing a swimsuit on GabiFresh.

Shaping body images: In collaboration with swimsuitsforall, Miss Gregg, who is a U.S. size 18, has produced a five-piece capsule collection of stylish maillot bathing suits, bikinis, and cover-ups in bright prints and loud neon hues

Shaping body images: In collaboration with swimsuitsforall, Miss Gregg, who is a U.S. size 18, has produced a five-piece capsule collection of stylish maillot bathing suits, bikinis, and cover-ups in bright prints and loud neon hues

Fun in the sun: Miss Gregg, of GabiFresh, encourages other full-figured women to feel confident in their swimsuits, and has inspired hundreds of women to throw away their insecurities - and dare to wear a two-piece

Fun in the sun: Miss Gregg encourages other full-figured women to feel confident in their swimsuits, and has inspired hundreds of women to throw away their insecurities - and dare to wear a two-piece

In an age where Victoria’s Secret models are viewed as an ideal, Miss Gregg was quickly lauded for her inspiring approach to give real women confidence.

'I'm super passionate about plus size women wearing great swimsuits unapologetically,' she wrote on GabiFresh.

'After all of the excitement surrounding last year's Fatkini, I thought designing a few of my own would be a wonderful way to continue the movement.'

Moshe Laniado, president and CEO of swimsuitsforall, added:’Gabi’s story tore down old notions that sexy swimsuits are only for Sports Illustrated models.

Summer sexy: The beachwear collection, which was shot by New York-based photographer Lydia Hudgens, will be available beginning May 15, in sizes 10 through 24 and priced from $49 to $99

Summer sexy: The beachwear collection, which was shot by New York-based photographer Lydia Hudgens, will be available beginning May 15, in sizes 10 through 24 and priced from $49 to $99

Bold and bright: The collection includes convertible bikinis ('you can wear them halter style or strapless, and the bottoms can be worn super high-waisted or folded down to your comfort level'), a flattering one-piece, and a printed cover-up

Bold and bright: The collection includes convertible bikinis, a flattering one-piece, and a printed cover-up

With aplomb: Miss Gregg wrote on GabiFresh, 'I'm super passionate about plus-size women wearing great swimsuits unapologetically'

With aplomb: Miss Gregg wrote on GabiFresh, ‘I’m super passionate about plus-size women wearing great swimsuits unapologetically’

'Gabi’s “fatkini” stories shed light on the misconceptions about women, body image, and swimwear. The idea that all women can look amazing in a great swimsuit is what swimsuitsforall is about.'

The beachwear collection, which was shot by New York-based photographer Lydia Hudgens, includes convertible bikinis (‘you can wear them halter style or strapless, and the bottoms can be worn super high-waisted or folded down to your comfort level’), a flattering one-piece, and a printed cover-up.

GabiFresh for swimsuitsforall will be available beginning May 15, in sizes ten through 24 and priced from $49 to $99.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2317820/GabiFresh-Fatkini-blogger-debuts-stylish-beachwear-sizes-10-24.html#ixzz2T8qwwKRe
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Yoga: Not just for Young, Skinny White Girls




http://www.decolonizingyoga.com/yoga-not-just-for-young-skinny-white-girls/



Picture someone who practices yoga, who do you see?
Did you picture a young, beautiful, flexible, thin, Caucasian woman? Do you think she can recite the Bhagvad Gita in Sanskrit while doing a one-handed handstand?
Yes, there is a Yogi stereotype and it makes me cringe. Where do I fit in? Can a size fourteen black woman fit in amongst what the media has created as the ultimate yoga beauty standard?
What about Yoga for the rest of us? What about the non-white, size 14, over 35 year old woman, who can’t fit into anything Lululemon (well maybe the headband)? Just sayin’. Whenever people meet me and I tell them I do yoga they seem shocked and even judgmental about my size. Then I kick up into handstand and I say: take that.
Every Yoga teacher training I take I am awash in all of this.
I instantly feel out of place and uncomfortable in my own skin, my brown skin. It has come to my attention that not many black folk do yoga, let alone train teachers and own a yoga studio. I am certainly in the minority. I like to think of myself as a trail blazer. I have never seen a yogi like myself on the front of Yoga Journal. The images perpetuated by the media seem to set the same ideal we see in fashion magazines. I thought Yoga would help us step aside from all of this.
Come as you are to your mat!
My first yoga experience was practicing at my mother’s side at the age of six. I rediscovered it in my late twenties after years of killing myself in the gym trying to look perfect. Yoga has taught me that I am perfect just the way I am. Yoga has helped me deal with growing up in a dysfunctional and abusive household.
I am not all those horrible things I was called when I was growing up.





I am a beautiful divine being deserving of love and happiness, even if I feel look like I don’t fit. Yoga has helped me break the cycle of abuse that so many people find themselves in. I am happily married to a wonderful man who cherishes me. We have two beautiful children together.
As I step into the future of yoga, I step away from lots of things, and evolve the practice of my own heart. What I will remember is what I tell my students all the time; stand in your own power. Root down through your feet, firm your legs, lengthen your spine and open your heart to the possibility that you are perfect as you are no matter what the media or society tells you. Sometimes we lose sight of that and we get caught in that idea that yoga is a function of beauty, when yoga is an expression of beauty, discipline, sacrifice and love. Yoga teaches us to feel with our hearts and experience with our bodies.
Remember everyone can do yoga. We breathe, we feel, we stretch, and we connect fully to ourselves, even if we don’t look like a supermodel.

Yoga: Not just for Young, Skinny White Girls

http://www.decolonizingyoga.com/yoga-not-just-for-young-skinny-white-girls/

Picture someone who practices yoga, who do you see?

Did you picture a young, beautiful, flexible, thin, Caucasian woman? Do you think she can recite the Bhagvad Gita in Sanskrit while doing a one-handed handstand?

Yes, there is a Yogi stereotype and it makes me cringe. Where do I fit in? Can a size fourteen black woman fit in amongst what the media has created as the ultimate yoga beauty standard?

What about Yoga for the rest of us? What about the non-white, size 14, over 35 year old woman, who can’t fit into anything Lululemon (well maybe the headband)? Just sayin’. Whenever people meet me and I tell them I do yoga they seem shocked and even judgmental about my size. Then I kick up into handstand and I say: take that.

Every Yoga teacher training I take I am awash in all of this.

I instantly feel out of place and uncomfortable in my own skin, my brown skin. It has come to my attention that not many black folk do yoga, let alone train teachers and own a yoga studio. I am certainly in the minority. I like to think of myself as a trail blazer. I have never seen a yogi like myself on the front of Yoga Journal. The images perpetuated by the media seem to set the same ideal we see in fashion magazines. I thought Yoga would help us step aside from all of this.

Come as you are to your mat!

My first yoga experience was practicing at my mother’s side at the age of six. I rediscovered it in my late twenties after years of killing myself in the gym trying to look perfect. Yoga has taught me that I am perfect just the way I am. Yoga has helped me deal with growing up in a dysfunctional and abusive household.

I am not all those horrible things I was called when I was growing up.

yoga journal

I am a beautiful divine being deserving of love and happiness, even if I feel look like I don’t fit. Yoga has helped me break the cycle of abuse that so many people find themselves in. I am happily married to a wonderful man who cherishes me. We have two beautiful children together.

As I step into the future of yoga, I step away from lots of things, and evolve the practice of my own heart. What I will remember is what I tell my students all the time; stand in your own power. Root down through your feet, firm your legs, lengthen your spine and open your heart to the possibility that you are perfect as you are no matter what the media or society tells you. Sometimes we lose sight of that and we get caught in that idea that yoga is a function of beauty, when yoga is an expression of beauty, discipline, sacrifice and love. Yoga teaches us to feel with our hearts and experience with our bodies.

Remember everyone can do yoga. We breathe, we feel, we stretch, and we connect fully to ourselves, even if we don’t look like a supermodel.

justd43:

This is how I feel when I do crunches *like the puppy* XD

justd43:

This is how I feel when I do crunches *like the puppy* XD

(via ahahahakaty)