Month: April 2014

Weight, what?

The Summer months are fast approaching and even if it weren’t for the change of weather I would know. How? Well the push to make people feel bad about their bodies of course. Cosmopolitan has an entire section of their website dedicate entirely to how to be ‘bikini ready’. It seems to me that a bathing suit ready body is more a state of mind rather than a size but I imagine that doesn’t sell as well.

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I was recently reading a great article from Cracked.com where a woman shared her experience of being in a weight loss commercial. I have seen how before and after pics can be doctored, I know about the camera tricks. However it is amazing when you see some of these transformations and hear the ‘testimonials’. She explains how the individuals involved are never on the same program and how they blatantly lie to tug at insecurities many of us face. I recommend a read as it is eye-opening and a little terrifying

No carbs, no sugar, sleep 8 hours a night, drink 8 glasses of water, exercise 5 days a week. We have all been told over and over again what to do to lose weight. On a very logical level we know that if you eat poorly, you feel poorly and look poorly. That little voice in your head beats you up yet you keep munching. Most of us do so the question is, why?

My hunch is that somewhere along the way we’re taught that unhealthy food is a treat. It’s something that is used to comfort, to make us feel better when we’re down. The problem is that a lot of these treat foods can have very addictive qualities. Our brain can get a high off these foods. We love the way it feels to eat them, no matter the consequences.

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If you are hoping to feel better about yourself this Summer I recommend you start with a food journal. This is not about keeping track of your calorie intake, it’s not that type of journal. It is about writing down how you feel when you’re eating. For example:

1:00pm – Had a sandwich for lunch, decided to skip breakfast which felt really good.

2:00pm – Tea break, had low-fat milk and 4 biscuits. Jesus, I feel fat already. What is wrong with me? Why couldn’t I just have one?

5:00pm – Had a take away for dinner. It’s shit food but I had a shit day. Ugh, I feel miserable…

If you have a negative relationship with food that can change. Instead of focusing on a number on a scale take some time to sit with your feelings. As your attitude towards food changes so will your attachment to it. Or maybe you’ll learn it’s how you comfort, numb or grieve. If that’s the case then talking to someone can help, you don’t have to deal with all of life’s stresses on your own.

Starting today don’t beat yourself up for what you’re eating. Take some time to explore why you’re eating. I did an article on body image a few months ago, if you feel like reading more have a look.

“I am beginning to measure myself in strength, not pounds. Sometimes in smiles.” – Laurie Halse Anderson

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#Timetotalk2

When was the last time you said how you really feel?

Myself and my friend Sinead Lynch at Silver Linings have made a video looking at how the Irish and Canadians can avoid their real feelings.

Although we attempt, (please excuse my exaggerated Canadian accent) to use humour to highlight how we all can cover our true feelings. I do believe it is important to talk to someone when you are having a hard time. Life is not always easy, for many people it can seem like everyday is an uphill struggle. Sharing your internal strife with another person can sometimes help lighten the load.

And remember that animals this cute exist. That can help too.

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There’s always time to talk.

“What does your anxiety do? It does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, but it empties today of its strength. It does not make you escape the evil; it makes you unfit to cope with it if it comes.” – Raymond Cramer

Spring

The trees are budding and the flowers are beginning to bloom. The days are longer and the mornings are brighter; as they say, Spring is in the air.

Entering a new season is always a time of change. Personally, I prefer the change into warmer days and shorter nights. I notice how other people seem to prefer this time as well. There have been many studies done to show how the winter months can make us feel quite down. Us humans are not alone, watch the way these cows behave from being let out after a long winter.

With this time of change try to embrace the positive around you. If you feel your life has very few silver linings then try to enjoy the simple things. Like the new flowers and the green leaves beginning to get sunlight for the first time. Us humans have always had a connection to the changing seasons, it meant renewed life. The Pagans celebrated the Winter solstice because it meant that the darkest days of the year were over. The light was returning and they had survived, it was a great time for a party. This is the reason why Christmas is celebrated when it is.

Why not try to embrace that connection to the seasons yourself? With our focus on other things we so rarely get to observe and enjoy the changes happening to the world around us. The winter weather is a hassle and the summer sun is too hot. We can so easily complain about things we cannot change. Why not just sit back and observe? Being present is no easy feat but beginning with the weather is a great start. There is nothing you can do about the rain or snow which means you must accept it. That’s an important lesson no matter what time of year it is.

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Enjoy this change of season and allow yourself a few minutes to remember something we so often forget. A connection to this planet we call home.

“What I need is the dandelion in the spring. The bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction. The promise that life can go on, no matter how bad our losses. That it can be good again.” – Suzanne Collins

Nice Stuff

It’s a rainy day here in Dublin and after a hectic week I welcome it. The rain allows me to stay inside and potter around. I know many of us can get caught up in all the stresses of daily life. Therefore, I offer you to take some time sit back, relax and enjoy some videos that will hopefully make you smile.

For anyone who was/is a fan of Breaking Bad.

Enjoy the rest of your week and remember there is ALWAYS time for yourself. You just have to take it and make it.

“Each day means a new twenty-four hours. Each day means everything’s possible again. You live in the moment, you die in the moment, you take it all one day at a time.” – Marie Lu