Gaining Weight

30 03 2011

Although losing body weight is generally what concerns people about their body, other people are attempting to gain weight. They are not trying to get “fat”, its more often than not, attempting to put some meat on their bones. This is generally a male’s concern, not so much a female concern. As nice as it sounds to be underweight, it definitely has its concerns as well. In an article on it says that,  “Those who are extremely lean tend to have weaker immune systems, making them prone to infections, surgical complications, and slower recovery times for illness. They tend to have low muscle mass, and less than ideal hair, teeth, and skin composition. They may have disruptions in the ability to regulate hormones and protect bone health, and women could become unable to menstruate.”

However for those of you that are trying to bulk up a little bit here are some tips:

“In following their suggestions, it’s important to do things in moderation and to have patience. Healthy weight gain, just like healthy weight loss, takes time and requires a conscious effort to apply good habits”

Recommended Ways to Gain Weight

  • Have meals with the right balance of proteins, carbohydrates, and the right kinds of fat (such as unsaturated and monounsaturated fats, olive oil, canola oil, pistachios, almonds and walnuts). Heinemann suggests the following ratio: 60%-70% carbohydrates, 10%-15% protein, and a small amount of fat.
  • Eat foods higher in calories, vitamins, and minerals, as opposed to higher in fat or sugar.
  • Pack more nutritious calories in each serving. For example, you may add grated cooked eggs to mashed potatoes, ground chicken to soups and gravies, cheese in casseroles, eggs, and soups, and nonfat dried milk in soups, shakes, milk, and mashed potatoes.
  • If you get too full too fast, try having more high-calorie foods or slices of foods as opposed to consuming the whole thing (raisins versus grapes, granola and Grape Nuts versus corn flakes, mango slices versus the whole mango).
  • Limit drinking beverages to a half-hour before and after a meal.
  • Drink mixed juices (apple/berry, peach/orange/banana as opposed to one juice beverages) for a higher calorie intake.
  • With moderation, you may add in good fat sources to meals such as nuts, avocado, olives, and fatty fish (salmon and mackerel).
  • Snack in between meals. Nuts, dried fruits, and yogurt are good options, but it’s also important to find nutritious foods that you will enjoy.
  • Have a nutritious snack before bedtime, such as a peanut butter sandwich.

Conflicting Signals

29 03 2011

There is a big contradiction in what the media says and what it shows. I read an interesting article, that says that “Magazines are becoming increasingly willing to write about the fact that it’s unreasonable to expect that every woman in the country should be a size six, but it’s much harder to change the images.”

In talking with a director of a big magazine they said that, “Women look at magazines and want to see a fantasy,” the art director told me. “They don’t want to look at real women, they want to see the ideal. You can’t use an overweight woman in a beauty shot, because it’s a total turn-off.” I think this portrays very well the point of view of the media. Their goal is to make money and convince people to buy their product no matter how it is effecting the mentality of the population.

“There’s a certain cognitive dissonance going on here: The art director told me she doesn’t think that magazine photos of flawless and gaunt models have anything to do with why many women who read those magazines find that their sense of imperfection and self-loathing increases with every page they turn. “I absolutely agree that the obsession with thinness in this country is crazy,” she told me. “But there’s nothing we can do about it.”

In a separate article, they say, “It turns out that the hazards of being overweight and the benefits of weight loss have been exaggerated, the doctors note. It’s all a matter of degree. For most people who dwell in the gray zone of modest flesh creep, the message is simple: stop worrying and start living.” So what I would like to suggest to you is pick the sources very carefully on what you believe and make sure its viable. There are so many sources to get health information. In a sense, your health is a commodity and you control how much you sell and buy of it.


23 03 2011

A self image disorder is more than just a quick fix. Telling someone to just stop, or tell them they look good or not to worry about it is like telling a “wingless bird not to fly”. Distortions of a persons body are so crippling that harmful thoughts and actions can and will be performed without even a second thought. There is so many things causing these thoughts.  Such as, family members, social pressure, media, and boyfriends or girlfriends. In recent studies. the numbers in eating disorders have skyrocketing and the prevalence is astonishing.

This is a video I found recently, that is really quite traumatizing but is so relevant. Children are so vulnerable to the medias affect and so they need to be taught at  a very young age who they are and what they stand for. I hope that by watching this you will realize that these images are harmful and avoiding them is necessary. 90% of the images we see a day are processed sub-conciously, which means we do not have control and they are effecting us in ways that we are not even aware of.

Wanting to be Someone Else

19 03 2011

This weekend I was able to watch Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. There is a scene in this movie that prompted me to write this blog. The characters in the show are tempted by their greatest weakness. Lucy Pevensie is the youngest of the 4 Pevensie children. She has a beautiful older sister named Susan. At one point in the movie, she repeats a magical spell that will make her as beautiful as Susan, so she thinks. But what really happens is she is put in Susan’s body and Lucy no longer exists. This terrifies her and she realizes that she is beautiful and she likes being in her body.

This was a really good lesson because even though I am the oldest in my family, I have cousins and aunts that I look up to and wish I were them sometimes. But I think it is really important to remember we are who we are for a reason and although accepting that can be hard, it is necessary for progression.

In an article I found it says that, “Acting in accordance with one’s core self—a trait called self-determination—is ranked by some experts as one of three basic psychological needs, along with competence and a sense of relatedness. Yet, increasingly, contemporary culture seems to mock the very idea that there is anything solid and true about the self.” You are the only one that can be you. And you are irreplaceable.

The Need for Support

15 03 2011

Social interaction is necessary in daily life. As human beings, we have a need that must be fulfilled by those that surround us, whether they be family members, close friends, acquaintances, neighbors, co-workers or colleagues. These people that support us are very influential to our success and progression. Similarly, people with body image issues rely heavily on these people for support.

Here are a couple of tips that I got from an article about what not to say to people who have eating disorders:

1. Its not about you

2. Its not about weight

3. Its not about time

4. Its not about atttention

5. It IS about care and concern.

A person on the road to recovery will first need to admit that there IS a problem, and so if you are the one they need to confess to, make sure you react with love and care towards them. You need to be trustworthy and concerned about them, FOR THEM, not your self.

Summer is coming!

9 03 2011


I learned in my Health Promotion class recently that the rate of eating disorders spikes up in the months of February and March. At first I couldn’t identify a cause for this, until my teacher pointed out that the cause could be that people are preparing for the summer months and are concerned about looking good for the nice weather. This caused me to think of tips that would avoid creating an eating disorder, it is okay to want to look good but it just needs to be done in the right manner. Make sure you ideals are realistic, because what you see is 99% retouched.

Here are some tips I thought of to prepare to look good in the summer:

-Do a regular amount of push-ups a day or other toning exercise

-Avoid the tanning salons

-Cut down on unnessecary sugars

-Eat more vegetables and fruits

-Relive stress

-Avoid soda and energy drinks

Barbie’s Effect

8 03 2011

“Statistics show that two Barbie’s are sold every second somewhere in the world. In fact, the average American girl from ages 3 to 11 owns 10…We know that the more time we spend with anything, the more influence it has on us.I think the same is true with our time. If we spend hours and hours playing with Barbie dolls, they are bound to have an influence on us.”  And the image that Barbie creates for little girls to look up to is not a flattering or realistic approach to real life. This is creates a distortion of body image, and it implants into young girls minds.

If Barbie were a real live women should be 6′ 0” tall and only a 108 lbs. This is incredibly repulsive sounding. There was a women that tried to make herself look like Barbie, she paid $55,000 and had over 20 plastic surgeries done on her body. That is incredible. There was a study done Barbie dolls with ridiculously small waists make girls want to be unrealistically thin, which can indirectly contribute to eating disorders and insecurity later in life. So is having a Barbie doll bad, I do not necessarily think so, but is 10 over the max? And how much does it really effect you body image?