Baboon Gets Hands-On With Reporter, She Rolls With It

Green – The Huffington Post
Baboon Gets Hands-On With Reporter, She Rolls With It
Fox 40 reporter Sabrina Rodriguez wasn’t expecting to be groped at the Lodi Grape Festival, but she handled her awkward encounter with a baboon like a true professional.

And, as you can see, it made for a pretty funny on-air blooper.

Watch above to see how well Rodriguez handled a cheeky, unexpected greeting from Mickey the baboon during a live shot.

Healthy Living – The Huffington Post
5 Super Drinks That Will Help You Be Immortal
Forget smartphones, immortality is the hot new thing in the tech business. From Oracle boss Larry Ellison to Google cofounder Sergey Brin, billionaire tech executives are spending millions to avoid a date with the Grim Reaper. While the work being financed largely involves man-made solutions like nanotechnology, robotics and stem cells, the key to longevity is already available from the source of life itself: nature.

Nutrition expert and author Dr. Rhea Mehta says eating “living” foods like vegetables and fruits can both prevent the effects of aging as well as fix pre-existing health problems.

“If you eat dead foods that are highly processed and cooked and consume very little water, then it only makes sense that you are going to look a little bit more dead. In our case dead means aged,” explains the Toronto-based toxicologist. There is a scientific basis for the age-old cliche, Mehta adds, noting “an apple a day keeps the doctor away because an apple is pre-biotic, meaning it has soluble fiber… It feeds your gut bacteria. Same with chia and flax seeds.”

On that premise, here are five easy snacks that will help you live longer, stronger and healthier:

Super-Berry Antioxidant Smoothie:

Long recognized as an important molecule for preventing cancer and heart disease, “antioxidants are great. They are found in things like blueberries, blackberries, goji berries,” says Mehta, explaining the health reasons behind this recipe. “There’s a really high antioxidant effect through berries which is one of the reasons why I capitalize on them for this recipe. They’re also sweet and beautiful tasting.”

1 cup greens (choice of romaine, spinach, kale, chard, bok choy)

1 cup berries (choice of blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries)

1/4 cup goji berries

1 tbsp raw cacao (raw chocolate powder) [Note: the combination of cacao + berries has a synergistic effect on the antioxidant capacity]

1 tbsp almond butter

1 tbsp chiaor hemp seeds

Blend all ingredients and serve. Add more water as necessary.

Recommended as a whole-food meal substitute or afternoon snack.

Exotic Anti-Inflammatory Smoothie

Inflammation, cited as a primary driver of diseases including cancer, “can be the result of the environment, but one of the big causes is the western diet — basically the influx of toxins into our body.” This includes processed foods, especially those with saturated fat, common allergens, such as wheat, soy and dairy and foods that are high in refined sugar.” These highly processed sugars, like high-fructose corn syrup, Mehta notes, “are different from the natural sugars you find in fruits, which are actually used by your body as energy. Sugars hidden in processed and packaged foods are the leading contributors to diseases like diabetes and the metabolic syndrome. Fruits are composed of fiber and nutrients like B vitamins, antioxidants and minerals, which make them a powerhouse whole food. Of course, even fruits should be eaten in moderation, as our bodies convert excess sugar into fat. To keep the sugars in fruit from being tagged as “excess” and causing a spike, you can eat them with things like avocados, nuts and seeds — basically foods with “good fats”, which help to slow the uptake of sugars into your blood. “

Base: unsweetened almond or hemp milk (2.5 cups)

1 cup greens (choice of romaine, spinach, kale, chard, bok choy)

1/2 cup pineapple (fresh or frozen)

1/2 cup papaya (fresh or frozen)

1/2 avocado

1 tbsp flax oil or flax seeds

1 tsp spirulina, chlorella or blue-green algae

Blend all ingredients and serve. Add more dairy-free milk or water as necessary.

Recommended as a whole-food meal substitute or afternoon snack.

Cleansing Anti-inflammatory Lemon Drink

For those who are too busy or simply uninterested in creating smoothies, a quick cup of warm water and lemon goes a long way. Busy zoomeratis need only “squeeze the bunch of lemons once every few days and then throw the juice in the fridge in a sealed glass jar and have a little concentrate.” The combination of warm water and lemon “will instantly start cleansing your liver and your bloodstream and essentially start your engine for the day.” For the more ambitious, this lemon drink is both tasty and cleansing.

base: warm water, 1 cup

1/2 lemon, freshly squeezed

1/8 tsp turmeric (freshly grated or powder)

1/8 tsp ginger (freshly grated or powder)

1/8 tsp cinnamon (freshly grated or powder)

pinch cayenne

raw (unpasteurized) honey to taste (optional)

Stir and drink on an empty stomach.

Recommended first thing in the morning and in between meals.

Fruit ‘N Nut Chia Pudding

“Seeds like hemp and chia are excellent because they are not only rich in protein and essential fatty acids, but they are also high in fiber, which is healthy for your gut,” says the nutrition expert. “The fiber is going to be supporting your gut microflora which aid in nutrient absorption and the balancing of good bacteria. Our gut microbiome, when healthy, also produces vitamins that we rarely get from our diet (like vitamin K).”

2 tbsp chia seeds

1/2 cup unsweetened almond or hemp milk

1/8 cup walnuts, chopped

1/4 cup berries (blueberries and/or blackberries)

1 tbsp sesame seeds

Add chia seeds to milk, stir and let sit for 10 minutes, mixing once or twice.

Add remainder of ingredients, mix and serve.

Green or White Tea With Organic Leaves

While green tea has been popular with health conscious boomers for decades, white tea is quickly becoming de rigueur among the longevity set. “There is a difference in the amount of antioxidants,” says Mehta. ” There’s a lot of debate over what’s considered healthier. Green tea is a bit of a classic but white tea has recently been discovered as having more antioxidants. If you want to get the most out of your one tea a day, I would go with white tea.”

Add lemon and/or ginger slice (optional).

Recommended: In the morning and/or in between meals.

“If you are eating primarily living foods, if you are drinking a lot of water, if you are chewing really well, if you are deep breathing, if you are happy — if all of those were in place, I believe you could definitely look 20 years younger.”

‘I Expected A Monumental Change In Myself After Sex’
Throughout the months of September and October, HuffPost Teen is highlighting the way teens think and feel about sex through anecdotes written for our series, “Teen Sex: It’s Complicated.” All of the authors are teenagers who have agreed to be published anonymously. If you want to share your thoughts, join the conversation here.

By Elise, 16

To me, the word “sex” means a lot of things. Throughout my life I have had a lot of opinions about sex thrust upon me (pun intended ha ha). I have gone to Catholic school for 10 years and they are quite adamant about their sex mis-education. I was told from a young age that sex was for marriage, condoms and oral contraceptives do not work, and no matter what, premarital sex WILL result in both pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

That being said, my parents took a more liberal approach to things. My mother has instructed me to wait until I have a steady, committed relationship before I start having sex. She believes it is a positive thing and you shouldn’t be ashamed of it. She told me she would prefer I wait until after high school, but fortunately, trusted me and my decisions.

Through my short, yet vast, life experiences, I have formed an opinion of my own. Sex is a beautiful thing. It can create life, or just good feelings. But like all good things, an excess usually isn’t great. We must be smart about sex. If you aren’t planning on children, you should always use a condom and birth control.

I don’t think we should be ashamed of our sexuality. It’s a part of our lives and the world and we shouldn’t be embarrassed of it.

I have had sex. I slept with my boyfriend last spring. We are still together. Based on what I have been told about sex, I had mixed feelings. No matter how much he reassured me, I had a subtle fear my boyfriend would stop loving me. I also expected a monumental change in myself after sex. But afterward, I felt the same. I still loved him, he still loved me (to the teenage extent of love), and I felt okay with myself.

I didn’t feel the need to broadcast it to the world, but I wasn’t ashamed of what we had done either. Sex is a part of my relationship, but not the foundation or even a main focus. It is something that brings us closer. I don’t regret it one bit.

Why You Should Visit Loved Ones With Alzheimer’s — Even if They Don’t Recognize You
There was a lady — Helen — who had dementia. Every time her daughter, Heidi, visited, Helen showed no sign of recognizing her daughter. Heidi was heartbroken. Time after time it was the same. She’d visit and get no response whatsoever, so finally she made the painful decision to stop visiting. It only upset her and she believed her mother felt no pleasure during their visits

Here are some reasons to keep visiting, even if your loved ones don’t recognize you:

1. They May Recognize You but Not Be Able to Express it

It’s always possible, however, that your loved ones do recognize you but are just not be able to show it.

I had a personal experience which I believe demonstrates this. I volunteer to visit three ladies with dementia at a local memory care facility. One of the ladies I was assigned to visit was named Doris.

Doris was so frail that just about the most I could do with her was sit and hold her hand. I also talked to her a little, but she rarely said anything in response. In fact, she rarely said anything to anyone. She showed no sign of recognizing me from my previous visits.

Then one day — during my sixth visit — as I was holding her hand, she put her other hand on my arm and began caressing it. I had the distinct feeling that she remembered me. I don’t think she would have been so openly affectionate with a total stranger.

I wasn’t really surprised when I found out that Doris passed away just a few days after that visit. I was so happy I’d gone all those times and that she’d been so responsive during my final visit

2. They May Remember How Often You Visit Even if They no Longer Remember Their Relationship with You

I was speaking at an Alzheimer’s family support group recently. A man there told me that he visited his wife, who had advanced-stage dementia, nearly every day, even though she didn’t recognize him as her husband. He learned early on, however, that she knew when he’d missed a day. She’d always say, “You didn’t come yesterday.” Once he realized that she did remember if he’d been there, he tried even harder to never miss a day.

3. They May Enjoy Being Visited, Even if They Don’t Know Who You Are

I had another personal experience which led me to this conclusion. Although I was fortunate enough that Ed, my Romanian life partner with dementia, always recognized me, he had many visitors he didn’t remember. I was present during some of these visits and it was always perfectly obvious that he enjoyed spending time with them. When these people were there he’d often hold hands with one of them the whole time. And he’d have a long, pleasant talk with them.

4. You May Feel Gratified That You’ve Given Them Pleasure

Although the main focus of your visits are your loved ones, you might find there’s an unexpected benefit for you, too. You may initially feel hurt or frustrated that they don’t remember you, but if you can get over that hurdle and if it’s clear that they are enjoying the visit, you will probably feel gratified that you gave them that pleasure. You may remain in a good mood for some time afterward.

Can anyone think of other reasons you should visit loved ones who don’t recognize you?

Marie Marley is the award-winning author of Come Back Early Today: A Memoir of Love, Alzheimer’s and Joy. Her website (ComeBackEarlyToday.com) contains a wealth of helpful information for Alzheimer’s Caregivers.

What Chaplains Can Learn From David Hilfiker
David Hilfiker decided to come out of the closet last year — the Alzheimer’s closet, that is. After experiencing a few startling lapses of memory, Hilfiker, 68, a family physician who practiced in a rural Minnesota clinic and later an inner city clinic in Washington, D.C., was diagnosed by a neurologist as having mild but progressive cognitive impairment. So rather than keep his condition to himself out of embarrassment or fear, Hilfiker has been writing a daily journal and blogging about it in an effort to help others learn how to cope with the disease.

Writing is a natural inclination for Hilfiker, who in a desire to create a more just society published several well-received books about his past experiences. His first book, Healing the Wounds (Pantheon, 1985) is about his rural practice. Not All of Us Are Saints (Hill and Wang, 1994) chronicles his time as a poverty doctor in the inner city. His latest book is Urban Injustice: How Ghettos Happen (Seven Stories Press, 2002. His blog is called “Watching the Lights Go Out: a Memoir From Inside Alzheimer’s Disease.”

“It’s important to remember there are multiple stages,” says Hilfiker about the disease, “and it’s different at every stage. I don’t need physical care yet.” He acknowledges that he is able to talk openly about it with his wife and family and they have discussed his condition in great detail, outlining future plans, a big part of which is the eventual caregiving. Hilfiker has been married to Marja for more than 30 years and they have a loving and close relationship. They have three grown children and three grandchildren and live in the Columbia Heights area of Washington, D.C.

Hilfiker believes it’s important for chaplains to find out what kind of relationship the caregiver has with the patient. Are they able to talk openly about the condition? “Some people cannot talk about it at all,” he points out, because they are in denial. “There are some,” he adds, “who are mentally incapable of recognizing the disease.” He advises not to push too hard. For example, chaplains who suspect a patient is worried or curious about it might approach the subject by asking: “Do you notice any issues with your memory?” rather than “Do you think you have dementia?” It’s important to get comfortable talking about it; encourage them to get tested. Normal slowing of memory does not mean illness and there are some forms of dementia that can be treated.

Further along for the caregiver is the issue of how to know when the patient needs help. It’s a struggle to find a balance, to recognize the subtle difference in when to help and not to help. Hilfiker gives an example of how little things can affect the situation. Recently, when he and Marja were leaving a museum exhibition, he had trouble finding the sleeve of his jacket. Sensing his difficulty, Marja immediately helped him put on his jacket. However, not wanting to feel he was already disabled, Hilfiker grew irritated and insisted he could do it himself. For some reason he resented the help. So how does a caregiver know when to be totally helpful and when to let the person find his or her own way? For example, if he never has to worry about putting on his jacket properly, he will eventually forget how to do it. “You don’t want to disempower the person too early,” he says, noting that his wife is not always going to know when to help.

There is a question, too, of understanding and acknowledging the subtleties of caregiving. “Some caregivers may want to take over,” he points out. If a caregiver takes over, the person will actually forget how to do things for himself. “And is a spouse the right person to be the caregiver?” Some may be loving and giving and able to do it, like Marja, he says but others may not have the right personality or may grow to resent the burden, no matter how much they love their spouse. “The spouse (caregiver) needs to be counseled regularly about how to care for him or herself.” Hilfiker’s daughter, a social worker, recently reminded him that when the time came for total caretaking, she was going to have an argument with her mother because Marja, who loves David, may want to care for him at home for too long.

The caregiver and the patient and those people close need to sit down early, talk about how it’s going to work, such as learning about Medicaid or Medicare financing, living wills, and when it will be time to be in an institution.

Hilfiker said a gift of confronting his disease is that it lets him focus on living in the present. “It is the primary focus of prayer and meditation, the purpose of chants and other music and art,” says Hilfiker, himself a practitioner of meditation and yoga as well as biking. The future hasn’t happened yet, so the only place we’re actually alive is in the here and now. Living in the future can create a particular sadness, as he relates in his blog. “It is really Marja who will suffer the most. Not only will she have to shoulder the increasing burden of caring for me, but she’ll also lose the source of the physical, emotional and spiritual support in our relationship. The greatest pain that I feel from this disease, is knowing what awaits her. The only time I get really weepy is when I dwell on that.”

On Hilfiker’s website you will find a link to communications tips for caregivers when interacting with dementia patients such as using humor and controlling anger here, as well as a list of links to other helpful websites on Alzheimer’s disease here.

For more by Eric J. Hall, click here.

For more on Alzheimer’s, click here.

The Malpractice of an Unhealthy Life
In medical school, when we learn about cardiovascular disease and diabetes, a key piece of the treatment protocol is “lifestyle change,” which means healthier dietary choices and regular exercise. This makes sense on paper. It is a noninvasive and a relatively inexpensive form of intervention. But practically speaking it is among the most difficult prescriptions to implement. Shedding pounds is hard work. Keeping them off is harder. Furthermore, there is very little if any guidance in traditional medical education regarding how to help patients in this respect. Nutrition and exercise physiology are virtually absent from medical school curricula and have been for decades.

When working with obese adolescents, physicians-in-training learn the efficacy of a step-by-step approach. Giving a litany of directives to these patients can lead to their following none of them. Suggesting a single or small number of actionable changes at each visit often yields the best results. For example: Start by cutting out full-calorie soda, follow that with exercising three times a week, then eating more fruits and vegetables, then understanding appropriate portion sizes. This series of adaptations can yield substantial weight loss.

Occasionally, prescription regimens themselves create or exacerbate the problem. In psychiatry, for example, numerous common and highly effective antidepressant and antipsychotic medications lead to excessive weight gain that the prescribing physician must be prepared to address. I recall one patient with schizophrenia who ballooned 40 pounds over the course of a month. His antipsychotic medication dramatically improved his debilitating auditory hallucinations and intense paranoia but also caused him to sleep more and boosted his appetite. As we counseled this patient on portion sizes and the importance of getting out of bed daily, I doubted whether we were practicing our own advice. Exercise was generally the first thing I would relinquish when I triaged life during the toughest weeks of medical residency.

In 2008, according to the CDC, 40 percent of American men were overweight and 32 percent were obese. Male physicians only marginally beat that statistic, with 37 percent overweight and 5.3 percent obese. Of American females in 2008, 28.6 percent were overweight and 35 percent were obese. That compared with female physicians at 26 percent and 6.2 percent, respectively. The unsurprising conclusion is that physicians have weight issues just like everyone else. Physicians’ weight issues though may have broader consequence. Research has shown that weight impacts medical care. A 2012 study by Dr. Sara Bleich and colleagues at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins found that physicians with a normal body mass index were more likely to carry out weight loss discussions in their obese patients compared with physicians who were overweight or obese themselves (30 percent vs. 18 percent). During one memorable medical school lecture, a nationally-recognized pulmonologist stood before us and said that a physician who smokes cigarettes is committing malpractice. What about those of us who were 10, 20, 30 pounds or more overweight?

Until recently, exercise has always been a chore for me. I never really enjoyed jogging. And I’d had enough spinning classes narrated by music at a decibel that would make my ears ring. I had also tried other forms of group fitness, generally classes taught by instructors who knew nothing about my goals or why I attended class in the first place. I had yet to find a gym that would hold my interest for more than a month. Exercise, I’ve learned, is actually a deeply personal activity, requiring a personalized solution. My salvation came late, but at last it emerged when a friend who is an actor told me about a place that is, as he put it, a combination of theater camp and marine basic training. The institution is Mark Fisher Fitness, or “MFF.” Clients are “ninjas,” and the majority of them are performing artists. The gym is a “clubhouse.” Every ninja must undergo an assessment of strength and agility before entering the clubhouse to ensure a safe workout. Technique is paramount. The motivational approach, significantly more difficult than it sounds, is “one percent better each day.” Instructors meet weekly to discuss each member so, in keeping with the community ethic made famous by Cheers, everybody knows your name. Plus your life story.

2013-09-24-MF.jpg

Mark Fisher demonstrates a burpee with fellow ninjas.

The approach at MFF is holistic. The importance of rest, hydration and nutrition are integrated into cross training classes and reinforced in informative monthly newsletters. Such “knowledge bombs,” as they’re called, include a healthy sleep target of seven to nine hours nightly and consuming 96 ounces of water daily. Ninjas learn about making healthier dietary choices, guided by the mantra, “food that your grandparents would recognize.” There is also a focus on the percentage of protein that should be in your diet to lose fat and gain muscle, and low calorie substitutes to foods like peanut butter (check out PB2). Fitness classes involve interval training with resistance bands and kettlebells. There is a cycle of classes that increase in intensity every week and changes every month.

Life at MFF is effusive and energetic, rich with high fives and profane language. Mark Fisher himself is a former actor-singer-dancer who found his calling as a fitness instructor by training fellow actors with whom he toured. The rest of the instructor cast includes belting divas, professional drag performers, a pediatric clown from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, an Emmy winner, and people who generally love Elaine Stritch. One trainer, Brian Patrick Murphy graduated from Ole Miss as a self-described frat boy with a big heart, prances around class in a pink speedo bikini bottom “just like any other straight dude.” Another instructor/entertainer, Matt Wilson, recently led a class dedicated to the Rocky Horror Picture Show wherein he began the workout in a suit, ripping it off mid-way through class to reveal fishnet stockings and heels, which he proceeded to exercise in for the remaining 30 minutes. The classes are as psychically motivating as they are entertaining, each session ending with a moment of meditation.

2013-09-24-MW.jpg

Matt Wilson teaches a class.

One of my fellow ninjas, Katie Finneran, who is a two-time Tony winner and cast member of the Michael J. Fox Show, used to spend hours each week lifting weights and running. She was constantly exhausted and not pleased with her training results. Amid the constraints imposed by work and motherhood, efficiency is the sacred antidote to the scarcity of time. She notes feeling more energized by strenuous workouts at MFF that last just one hour. In her words: “Training at MFF nourishes my entire life with the added perk of a completely transformed body.”

For me and Katie, laughing our way through an intense workout surrounded by interesting and passionate people has been life changing. For the first time, I enjoy exercise. At my most recent annual physical, my primary care doctor told me that I am the healthiest I’ve been in a decade. Additionally, the lessons I have learned at MFF have informed my work with patients, including how to think holistically about nutrition and fitness, how to individualize a regimen, and how to design one that is executable. Working out with an instructor in a pink speedo is not for everyone. Others will thrive on morning jogs or spinning or dance classes or a Y membership. The important thing, for physicians as much as everyone else but arguably in particular for physicians in our role as healthcare guardians, is finding the mode of exercise that can be a way of life.

2013-09-24-RA.jpg

Katie Finneran and I laughing our way through a workout with our trainer, Brian Patrick Murphy.

All photographs by Blair Jarvis.

Good News – The Huffington Post
Jim Carrey Tells His Favorite Bedtime Story As Only Jim Carrey Can
Sorry parents, Jim Carrey just set the bar really high for bedtime stories.

The actor and comedian recently appeared on “Ellen” to promote his new children’s book called “How Roland Rolls”. It tells the story of a wave named Roland who is afraid of crashing into the shore.

Carrey said his inspiration for the book came from his father who used to tell his own bedtime stories. But as expected in the Carrey household, simply reading a book just won’t do. He retold one of his dad’s stories — animated faces and all.

Obviously, we hope his next book comes with an audio edition.

(Hat tip Viral Viral Videos)

Prabhjot Singh, Sikh Professor, Responds To Hate Crime Attack With ‘Gratitude’
Prabhjot Singh, the Columbia professor who suffered a brutal hate-based attack on Saturday night, spoke out to express his incredible response to the mob beating.

People keep asking me what it feels like to have been assaulted in a hate crime,” Singh wrote in the New York Daily News. “Honestly, I can’t come up with a better response than simply ‘gratitude.'”

He went on to explain, “I’m thankful for a few reasons. If they had attacked me any more violently, I may not be awake right now to tell my story. If they had attacked me even half an hour earlier, they would have harmed my wife and one-year-old son. And if they had attacked me anywhere else, I may not have had bystanders there to save me.”

Singh earlier said in an appearance on Huff Post Live, “Ultimately I think to simply go out and punish those individuals who have acted out on hate crimes is insufficient. More broadly, we need to have a real national conversation around ‘Who looks American? What does it mean to be American?'”

His friend Simran Jeet Singh wrote in a blog about the incident that “Prabhjot has dedicated his life to serving the underserved,” as Director of Systems Management at the Earth Institute as well as within his local Harlem community.

Singh’s vocation as a healer of bodies as well as communities is evident from his response to the attack, as in a Monday statement he said that he would like to educate his attackers and “invite them where we worship.”

He wrote that he and his young family, including a one-year-old son, have no intention to move, but will continue doing good work and outreach in their area. “My hope is that our family continues to be a part of this neighborhood, from visiting parks and playgrounds to building relationships through our work, he said. “I believe this will bring about positive change that strengthens us through our diversity.”

Education is the key to stopping hate crimes. Singh wrote in the NY Daily News, “Even more important to me than my attackers being caught is that they are taught. My tradition teaches me to value justice and accountability, and it also teaches me love, compassion and understanding.”

He hasn’t let the attack ruin the love he has for Harlem, a place where he’s lived for some years, and intends to raise his child in. Singh has chosen to be thankful for his life rather than bitter about the attack.

“So today, my response is gratitude. Tomorrow my response will be gratitude, as well. To the nurse, to the elderly man and to the other good Samaritans who came to my aid; to my Harlem community, my Columbia community and my Sikh community; and for my role as husband, father, doctor, American, teacher, advocate and neighbor.”

Read his full statement here.

GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
Love, Your Body
September 23-27 is Weight Stigma Awareness Week.

On the third day of our “Am I Hungry?” retreat, I surprised everyone by asking them to step on the scale. The energy in the room shifted noticeably. My request was met with a mixture of surprise, audible groans, nervous giggles, outright rebellion and even frank hostility.

You see, by this point in the retreat, we had bonded around the common goals of breaking free from the eat-repent-repeat cycle, improving our health and pursing a vibrant life fueled by fearless, pleasurable eating. I had made it very clear that none of those goals could be measured on a scale. Yet here I was, inviting them to step on.

As the first person, Kim, tentatively approached the scale, she set her jaw, slipped off her shoes, and stepped on. When she looked down, relief and a huge smile spread across her face. Instead of some arbitrary number, the verdict read, “sexy.”

Soon, everyone in the room was excitedly lining up to step on the Yay! Scale (created by Marilyn Wann) to discover whether they “weighed in” as perfect, ravishing, cute, lovely, etc. We laughed as some of them still insisted on taking off their shoes. What a difference there was in the energy in the room!

Afterward, we talked about the negative impact that living in a weight-focused culture has had on our health and well-being. Some of the consequences that people described were:

Lowered self-esteem

Yo-yo dieting

Guilt and shame

Holding back from living their lives until they reached some arbitrary weight goal

Feeling that they were undeserving of many of the things that they deeply desired

Temporary pride that was ultimately unsatisfying

Consuming precious time, energy, and focus

Distraction from focusing on a sustainable healthy lifestyle

Dismissing one’s intrinsic self-worth

We also discussed the effect that weight stigma has on lives. It is clear that weight bias hurts rather than helps, yet many people had absorbed those same messages and were using them against themselves. A more deserving use of our energy is to live the vibrant lives we crave and deserve.

It is time to end weight stigma. Question the weight-based messages you hear from the outside. Are they hurtful, shaming, biased, or discriminatory? Become aware of your internalized messages. Remember, when you say negative things to yourself, your body can hear you! Self-care begins from a place of unconditional acceptance.

Here’s a little “homework” that may help you begin to heal your relationship with your body: Have your body write a letter to your brain to let it know how it feels. Allow it to tell you what it really wants and needs.

Open the letter with Dear __________ (your name),

Allow your body to express hurt, anger, or sadness about the things you’ve thought, said, or felt about it in the past. Let it talk about the effects of those thoughts and words. Then move on to let your body tell you what it really wants from you: unconditional love, acceptance, appreciation, a variety of nutritious and delicious foods, joyful movement, rest, play, and/or other specific requests. End the letter with:

Love,

Your Body

For more by Michelle May, M.D., click here.

For more on diet and nutrition, click here.

#alkalinity #alkalinitymovement #7.2 #sevenpointtwo

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