Archive for the ‘Health’ Category
So how am I doing on the path of Health At Every Size? Size acceptance? Self love?
If you had asked me a few months ago I would have said I’m doing fine…just a little concerned about some weight gain. Because isn’t weight gain always a concern?! Weight has been a concern since childhood.
Then I lost the scale. And I was frantic. I knew it was in the bedroom somewhere. Jim had cleaned out under the bed and didn’t replace everything exactly as it was. So the scale was lost somewhere under there with the containers of gift wrap and Jim’s workout clothes.
I told Jim he had to find it. “Because if I don’t have the scale how do I know whether to hate myself?”
I laughed. I always laugh and make jokes. Even when I don’t feel like it. Better to laugh at myself or the situation than let someone do it first or to feel uncomfortable.
But something inside me stopped because I knew I wasn’t joking. How can I exist without knowing the exact number on the scale on any given day?!
Hate myself. Did I really hate myself because of a number? On a scale? Was one pound either way worth hateful feelings? Would I hate my family or friends for the number on the scale? Of course not! Their numbers don’t matter! But mine…
I thought I was farther along in the HAES journey. I thought I was long passed the scale-as-judge phase. But I wasn’t. I had started weighing myself again because of the weight gain. My rheumatologist told me to watch the weight. My internist suggested weight loss surgery. Of course my mind has been on the scale! That damn number…
I’m trying to get over the number. I’m trying not to weigh myself. I want to throw away the scale…but I can’t. I don’t know why I’m hanging on to it.
That’s where I am. Stuck trying to go beyond the scale but still watching over my shoulder to make sure I don’t get to far away from it. I understand that this is something a lot of people experience. I’ve been told it’s hard to get over the years and years of accumulated messages about weight loss and death fat. Still, I thought I was further along…
I wasn’t even going to write about this. I thought no one needed to hear my whining. Then I saw Golda Poretsky’s TED Talk on weight. It inspired me to share my stumble. Just in case any of you are feeling the same way.
Because we really are more than a number on a scale. We really are people and not just bodies. It really is inside that matters. And weight does not equal health.
If you’re struggling, talk to me. If you’re not struggling any more, talk to me. If you don’t think you’re gorgeous, talk to me–because you are dammit!
It’s that time of year again. January first rolls around and it’s time to make resolutions. Of course, the diet industry wants to improve profits (it was predicted earnings would be over $65 billion by 2010) so they convince you that you need their services.
Watch television at night and most of the commercials are about weight loss. It’s enough to make a viewer stabby! I started counting the commercials one night, but got overwhelmed. Every company has a diet and they all want us to use their’s.
Vulnerable people will continue spending their hard-earned money on Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem, and countless other companies that lead you to believe they can help you lose some weight. Unfortunately, they have no idea how to help you keep it off and how to prevent you from regaining what you lost plus a nice padding of extra weight to make it a super special experience.
That’s the beauty of being in the diet business. If more than 95% of the people who lose weight gain it back in a few years, these same people will continue needing the diet business to lose again and again and again. This has to make the corporate honchos simply orgasmic. And we, the vulnerable masses, continue to pad their pockets.
Because we just know that something…someday…somehow…will work. I mean, there are enough people who will tell us what worked for them:
- I drank iced water by the gallon
- I drank hot water with lemon
- I ate nothing but grapefruit
- I ate nothing but bacon
- I eat according to my blood type
- I eat like a neanderthal
- I eat like an astronaut (you know–those prepacked, predigested meals…)
The advice is never ending. The sad thing is that some people have tried every method mentioned above and others, and still aren’t happy with their weight.
There is another option and I hope you’ll consider it. It’s called Health At Every Size. The premise is that eating freely and getting movement that you enjoy will help you reach a higher level of health. Of course, the health level isn’t measured by a number on a scale or the size of your jeans.
It’s an easy program to follow because you need nothing special. You just have to stop beating yourself up. Take the time to really look at yourself and understand how wonderful you are. Turn off the TV, stop watching the news, and throw away the women’s magazines so you stop receiving the negative messages that are thrown your way every single minute of every day. Stop listening to the people who tell you you are nothing more than a weight or a size, and know that they are wrong.
Check out the Health At Every Size movement. Learn about movement that isn’t about pain and gain: The Fat Chick, Curvy Yoga, Heavy Weight Yoga. Check out great blogs by inspirational people: Ragen Chastain’s Dances with Fat, Living 400 Pounds, Dr. Deah. This isn’t a complete list–follow links and discover other great, supportive people to help you with this new journey.
Most of all, be kind to yourself. Love yourself enough to step off the diet roller coaster and embrace sanity instead of insanity. I’m here to support you as I continue my journey along this path. Together we can change ourselves for the better!
School sports can be a wonderful opportunity for a child. Being on a sports team helps a child learn valuable lessons about hard work, self-esteem, physical discipline, team building, and competition. Sports are among the most popular extracurricular activities enjoyed by students, with more than 7 million high school students participating annually.
Yet, school sports carry with them a risk of physical injury. In high school sports, there are around 2 million injuries each year, with 500,000 visits to the doctor and 30,000 hospitalizations.
Here’s a look at some of the safest school sports, when factoring in injury rates:
1. Boys’ basketball
Interestingly enough, injury rates for boys’ basketball programs are lower than that of girls’ basketball. While girls’ basketball rates aren’t terribly high (see below for more information) they are statistically different. Injuries for boys’ basketball can include things such as jammed fingers, stress fractures, knee sprains, jumper’s knee, muscle strains, and eye injuries. In rare cases, the injury can be severe enough to keep the student out of school for a few days, but almost never more than one week.
Volleyball injuries aren’t especially common, either. Many volleyball injuries have to do with the repetitive overhead motions in the game, such as blocking or spiking. Finger injuries are common, too. Some of the specific injuries that can occur in volleyball include rotator cuff tendonitis, patellar tendonitis, finger jams, ankle sprains, muscle strains, ACL injury, and lower back pain. Like the other sports on this list, it’s rare for a volleyball injury to keep the student out of school for more than just a couple of days.
School baseball programs are highly competitive and physically demanding, yet they’re also one of the sports with the least amounts of injury. The most common injuries during baseball tend to be concussions or head injuries caused by the ball hitting the batter, collisions at home plate or in the base paths, or even when an outfielder dives for a fly ball. Arm injuries such as shoulder strains, tendonitis, and torn ligaments are common, especially for pitchers. Gashes and cuts are common, too. The quick motions in baseball also lend themselves to hamstring and groin injuries. Over time, repeated injuries of this nature can cause serious problems, but this is extremely rare in school sports.
Like baseball, softball lends itself to shoulder injuries. About 10% of softball injuries are shoulder-related. Ankle and knee injuries are common, as well, as are hand and finger injuries. Ligament sprains, muscle strains, contusions, and fractures can affect any of these areas. Softball injuries only very rarely result in the student being out of school for more than a few days.
5. Girls’ basketball
The incidence of injuries in girls’ basketball is higher than boys’ basketball (as well as all of the other school sports in this list). The common injury list is similar to the boys’ basketball list, with a notable exception: knee injuries are more common in girls’ basketball than they are in boys’ basketball.
6. Soccer (boys’ or girls’)
Soccer is somewhere in the middle in terms of injuries. It’s nowhere near as injury prone as football (which is at the top of the list), but it’s significantly higher than most of the rest of the sports above. Ankle sprains are by far the most common injury for both boys’ and girls’ soccer, accounting for around 20% of injuries for each. Concussions are common in both, although more common in girls’ soccer. Thigh and upper leg strains are common in both boys’ and girls’ soccer. Girls’ soccer also has an increased risk of knee sprains. In about half of cases, injuries put the student out of commission for less than a week, but in about 30% of cases the injury put the student on recovery for 1 to 3 weeks. The remainder – about 15% – had the student out for more than three weeks.
Preventing school sports injuries
While school sports injuries can’t be avoided altogether, they can be prevented. Strong conditioning programs, as well as programs that educate students about sports safety, have been shown to reduce the incidence of injuries in a given program.
If your student is considering school sports and you’re concerned about injuries, talk with your student about the rates and types of injuries. You may find that your student is willing to given another sport a try. At a minimum, raising the safety issue may encourage her to think strongly about safety, and focus on conditioning and avoiding injury.
About the Author
Dorothy Wheaton, PA-C, is the lead clinical provider for Careworks Health Clinics, an organization that offers multiple urgent care centers and walk-in healthcare clinics in the Northeast United States.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Aveeno. All opinions are 100% mine.
Since it’s National Oatmeal Day and Aveeno uses oatmeal in a lot of it’s products, I am giving away two packs of Aveeno products! Details for entering are at the end of the post!
I love oatmeal! In fact, I participated in a lively discussion on a mutual love of oatmeal on Facebook recently. Now I can enjoy my oatmeal and remember high school friends fondly as I do!
I love to eat my oatmeal with frozen blueberries, a splash of milk, and a dash of sugar. I don’t use instant oats, but I do cook them in the microwave. In addition to now thinking of high school friends, I also remember my Gramma Pfannenstiel who made us oatmeal when we stayed overnight. That steamy goodness sweeps me right back into her kitchen.
With my incredibly problem-prone skin, I appreciate the oatmeal in Aveeno products. It’s soothing and helps out tremendously. I’m so glad the Aveeno people thought about using oatmeal in their products!
How much do you love oatmeal? Any recipes to share? Has anyone tried cold oatmeal? I saw some recipes on Pinterest over the summer that had promise, but I never tried them!
Want to win a package of Aveeno products that utilize oatmeal? Comment below before Friday, November 2, 2012, at 5 pm to be entered into the drawing. I’ll draw two winners at that time! Sorry, the giveaway is open to residents of the United States and Canada only.
I found this video in an Upworthy email yesterday. I have found the best videos through them, but this one is the most special of all. It was done by Karen Walrond (aka @Chookooloonks) who wrote the book The Beauty of Different.
Watch it and know that you, my dear, are beautiful in every way!
I’m not going to politicize this. We can leave that to the people in Washington.
I am going to remind everyone that life is for living, people are for loving, and any minute everything can end. The people going to the movies didn’t know that they would be facing tragedy by doing so.
So many times we live life waiting for tomorrow. Things get put off and never get done. Words aren’t said that need to be said. Wounds aren’t healed that need to be healed.
Let’s not live like that. Let’s embrace every moment we are alive. Let’s smile and share with the people around us. Let’s make everyone a friend–even the strangers we meet throughout the day. Forget being negative and complaining. Because is your life really so bad?
Life is a gift.
Now go hug someone. Tell your children you love them. Squeeze your partner extra tight today.
Step away from the computer and go live…
Today is World Sjogren’s Syndrome Day. Most people probably had never heard of this disease until Venus Williams was diagnosed with it last year. Even then, it probably passed through minds without another thought.
Unless you’re one of the people struggling with an undiagnosed illness. Maybe reading about this strange syndrome made you perk up a little because your symptoms seem similar. Maybe it took you to your doctor who might have only heard about Sjogren’s Syndrome on passing in medical school and thinks it only has to do with dry eye and dry mouth. Maybe you got lucky and your doctor does know some things about it.
It takes an average of 6.5 years to get an accurate diagnosis of Sjogren’s Syndrome, according to the Sjogren’s Syndrome Foundation. It took me almost 10 years to be diagnosed. My complaints were of hand pain. There were days my hands hurt so badly that I would just let them lay limp in my lap because doing anything else with them hurt. My internist sent me for a nerve study where the neurologist said I didn’t have carpal tunnel as suspected but that I might consider finding a rheumatologist.
At the first visit with my rheumatologist (if you’re in Chicagoland and would like his name and number, I’ll be happy to provide it!) he spent nearly an hour asking questions. Then there was a blood draw. When I returned I discovered that I had Sjogren’s Syndrome. I am SS-A and SS-B antibody positive. Also, females in my family seem to have autoimmune disease issues.
Honestly, I was only concerned about the joint pain. My hands were the worst and what I complained about most, but most of my other joints hurt too. I wanted that pain gone. I never considered my dry eyes or mouth an issue. I thought I was “normal.”
Why am I sharing this with you? Because I know someone is experiencing the same thing and I want to encourage you to get answers. Research your symptoms. Talk to your primary physician. Talk to people you know.
How am I living with Sjogren’s? Better than some, worse than some. My dry eyes and mouth are manageable. I make sure I have plenty to drink when I eat and talk. I take a lot of medications to help improve quality of life. Some people think meds are evil; I think they let me be mobile. A few years ago I had to make a choice if I wanted to continue with constant pain. I made the choice for medication. Someone else might make a different choice.
I encourage you to be vocal and proactive in taking care of your health. Ask questions. Become informed. Do your research. Share your findings with your physician and dentist.
This is the only life you get, so you want to live it in the best way possible!
A new one from the WTF?! file. Brides-to-be are using a nasal feeding tube to lose the last 10-20 pounds before the big day.
Once again, I cannot even begin to make these things up! Yes, brides are using a feeding tube–normally reserved for the seriously ill–as a way to lose weight so they fit into their wedding dresses.
According to the article:
The K-E diet, which boasts promises of shedding 20 pounds in 10 days, is an increasingly popular alternative to ordinary calorie-counting programs. The program has dieters inserting a feeding tube into their nose that runs to the stomach. They’re fed a constant slow drip of protein and fat, mixed with water, which contains zero carbohydrates and totals 800 calories a day. Body fat is burned off through a process called ketosis, which leaves muscle intact, Dr. Oliver Di Pietro of Bay Harbor Islands, Fla., said.
Frankly, I always thought ketosis was a bad thing. Certainly not something a bride under the stress of soon being married needs to experience!
I understand the desire to be perfect on your wedding day. It’s something our society promotes. Little girls aren’t planning weddings years before they even begin dating so they look frumpy and disheveled on The Big Day. But, all brides are beautiful! Honestly, have you ever been to a wedding where you wrinkled your nose and whispered to the person sitting next to you that the bride looked hideous?
Of course you haven’t, because that never happens! Whether the bride is a size 0 or a size 100, she will be pretty.
Instead of starving yourself before your wedding, you should leave a little extra room in your dress so you can consume chocolate and alcohol the weeks leading up to the ceremony. You’ll have a final fitting and a pinch or two will take the dress in to fit if you over estimated. But you will have had the luxury of knowing you didn’t need to starve and diet through showers, bachelorette parties, and the rehearsal dinner. And you’ll be able to sit on your wedding day.
But first, you need to buy a dress that doesn’t require you to lose 20 pounds before it fits. Do yourself a favor and size responsibly…
I was disheartened to hear about Disney’s exhibit to promote healthy habits by denigrating the very people the exhibit was aimed at–the young children who go to The Happiest Place On Earth for vacation. You can check out these blog posts to see the details: here and here.
However, Disney has changed their minds and the exhibit is closed while they rework it.
Can you imagine going on vacation, and being barraged with the message that there is something wrong with you? You take your children to Disney and have them face images of you labelled ” The Glutton,” “Lead Bottom,” and “Snacker.” Yup, I resemble “Snacker!”
Suddenly Disney is just a very high-priced place of torture. As the parent resembling The Villians, you feel shame and dismay. Even if you are in perfect health, albeit obese. Even if you’ve tried and tried to lose weight. Even if you’ve lost and gained weight over and over again. You, the bank for this trip, are also the very epitome of a bad example Disney is thrusting at your children.
What if your child resembles one of The Villians? As a parent, my message has always been you are perfectly fine as you are, people are all different, eat your fruits and vegetables, which I reinforce by providing a healthy array of food. But now Disney is telling my overweight child that they aren’t ok; they are The Villian.
As a parent, I don’t want Disney sending these messages to my children. I don’t want to take my kids to Disney and have them feel bad about themselves. I, especially, don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on a vacation where the majority of my family will be viewed as The Villians simply for how we look.
I had a hard time articulating in 140 characters to someone on Twitter why this exhibit was a bad idea. She saw Disney promoting a healthful message. She didn’t see that anything was wrong with portraying The Villians as Disney did. Unfortunately, lots of people see it that way. And they see nothing wrong with condemning people simply for how they look, without considering what lies underneath the obesity. Not all fat people are unhealthy. Ragen Chastain over at Dances with Fat does a much better job of breaking things down than I do, so I refer you to her blog.
Now that Disney has re-thought their exhibit, I hope many other people rethink their prejudices. Are the fat people in their lives really The Villians?