Being Proud of Your Body

Let’s face it – we all have body flaws, and it’s easy to get insecure with seemingly perfect-bodied models and celebrities or even with the gorgeous girl down the block. After all, the reality is that we really can’t have it all, and though each one of us surely has an asset or two, there is usually a body part we feel insecure of or we want to change.

But hey, this entry is not about dwelling on those liabilities but actually learning to love them, for there are better reasons to do so.

You are not alone. I guess first thing you’ve got to realize is that you’re not alone. So you have stretch marks in your butt or big thighs. Guess what? Millions of women across the globe share your problem. In fact, many people probably have worse cases. So do what you can to be healthy and solve the problem, but if it’s beyond your power already to do anything more about it, then take relief at the fact that you’re not the only one who has it. It becomes all about your perspective.

Celebrities. So you decide to feel better about yourself, idly switch on the TV or browse a magazine, and instantly feel that normal wave of envy as you see the gorgeous bodies of celebrities. Guess what? Even celebrities suffer through body liabilities, although the excellent makeup and expensive surgical treatments may not reveal it. Reese Witherspoon has proudly declared that she has stretch marks and cellulites because she is human too. But does that stop Reese from looking fab? Never. Besides, even celebrities grow out of their hot bodies after several years. Even if they resort to all the surgeries and face lifts in the world, it’s never the same “freshness” anymore. We all got to age sometime.

Of course, being secure is easier said than done. But I guess it’s really all about perspective. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to improve, especially for health reasons (in which case it is a must!), but once you’ve tried every cream, treatment, or workout you can to no avail, then maybe it’s really time to start accepting what you have and be proud! It’s either you live a life of insecurity or live it with head held high and exude the sexy confidence that comes with acceptance. It’s your body, it’s your life, it’s your choice.

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Having the body you want!

There are no substitutes for eating healthy and regular exercise, but experts say that your attitude can make a huge difference to your weight loss success. We’re talking about cutting out the “mental fat”—the negative thoughts keeping us from shedding the physical fat. Just as losing weight won’t happen overnight, improving your thought process will also take time. Be patient with yourself and work at it a little at a time.

It’s easy to make excuses for not losing weight but changing our own thinking will help us lose weight faster an easier. It is all in the mind.

Visualize yourself thin. Imagine how you’ll look 6 to 12 months down the line. If you have old pictures of your thinner self, dig them out and put them up in a prominent place (like the refrigerator or on a bulletin board in your office). Remember how you felt back then. What habits did you have then that allowed you to be healthier? See if you can incorporate your better habits from the past back into your lifestyle now. Remember to see yourself in a positive light. Having a positive attitude and being happy with yourself will be helpful in achieving your health goals.

Make a list. List specific reasons why you want to lose weight. Perhaps you want to be more attractive to a certain someone, maybe you want to be able to fit into your old clothes again, or maybe you’d just like to have more energy. Whatever your personal reasons, great or small, write them all down on an index card. Look at your list every morning and carry it around in your wallet or purse. On the back of the card, write down motivating phrases to give yourself encouragement.

Think about activities you wish you could do that you can’t do because of your weight. If you can, cut out a picture of that activity from a magazine and hang it near your desk (or somewhere else that’s visible), so that you’ll have something to look forward to.

Identify self-sabotaging thoughts. Pay attention to your negative thoughts. We all have them. They may be something like “This is too difficult,” “I’ll never be able to lose this much weight,” or “I’m too tired.” You can’t stop them from entering your head but you can learn to respond to them constructively.

Don’t be overly critical of yourself—focusing on your negative aspects while minimizing your positive ones. Just because you feel or believe something doesn’t actually make it true. Of course, there are no wrong or bad emotions, but identifying why something makes you feel bad can help prevent those situations in the future. If you get in the habit of identifying your self-sabotaging thoughts, you can nip them in the bud before they blow up into an ugly depression.

Distract yourself from cravings. Create a list of things you can do to distract yourself from tempting food. Perhaps you can read a book, flip through a magazine, or play a video game. The next time a craving comes up, do one or two things on your list. You may have to do more, but eventually the craving will pass. Cravings will pass 100 percent of the time.

Create small goals for yourself. Write down a list of tiny things you can do to improve your lifestyle. We all know that it’s difficult to make huge changes to our lifestyles. So try accomplishing smaller goals. Try doing some of the activities listed below.

Take a 30-minute walk in the afternoon.
Eat one more serving of fruits or vegetables today.
Forgo that soda or glass of wine and just have a tall glass of ice water.
Order a side salad instead of those french fries.

Replace old habits with new ones. It’s easier to replace an old habit with a new habit than it is to break an old one altogether. For instance, if you have a sandwich every day for lunch, choose low-fat turkey on wheat and skip the mayonnaise. Have plain or sparkling water instead of a regular sugared or diet soda. If you like to have an afternoon snack, grab an apple or a handful of your favorite nuts instead of a candy bar. There are so many ways you can replace even entrenched bad habits with healthier good ones. Be creative and have fun with it.

Keep a journal. Get a little notebook and keep a log of your weight. This way you can determine what is and isn’t working and track the progress you make. Also, write down what you eat. Keeping track of the foods you eat will help show patterns. You may not have realized that you eat ice cream right out of the freezer every night after dinner, but your journal will keep you honest. Just knowing that you’re going to write down what you’ve been eating may keep you from reaching for that extra serving of mashed potatoes.

Plan for the future. Every night before you go to bed, plan for the next day. Whether it be scheduling exercise in your calendar or prepacking healthy snacks (like fresh fruit, cut veggies, or low-fat popcorn), get ready for tomorrow.

This also applies to grocery shopping. Make a list before you go grocery shopping that includes fresh fruits and vegetables you like. Replace calorie-heavy, fatty foods like chips and cookies with baked crackers or dried fruit.

Armed with a plan and tools to help you maintain that plan, you’ll have an easier time meeting your goals.

Be nice to yourself. When you’ve been good, do something nice for yourself. Reward yourself with something you enjoy (but not with food rewards, of course!). Perhaps you can enjoy a trip to a movie theatre, buy yourself a new book, or go for a foot massage.

For instance, if you walked up the stairs to work this morning, treat yourself to a bit of Internet surfing or an online game before tackling your job. If you’ve lost 5 pounds, reward yourself with a new haircut. Whatever you do, give yourself rewards proportional to the goals you accomplish.

Surround yourself with support. We all need emotional support, especially when times get tough. Find friends and family to help you. You may even be able to find a diet buddy or join a support group Many studies show that having a healthy social network is better for your overall health. Dieters who have friends and family pulling for them achieve better success than those who try to go it alone.

So pick up the phone, call a friend, and flex those mental muscles.

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Swim and Heal

Much has been said about the good things our body can get from swimming, as the seemingly innocent gliding and moving in the water is supposed to be a total body workout. Since the actual benefits of swimming are still a bit vague to me, I looked for more specific answers to why it’s good for us in more ways than one. Check out what I found:

1. It strengthens the heart, lungs and muscles.

Swimming conditions all body types, from the perfectly normal ones to those plagued with alarming conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, or arthritis. In fact, doctors often recommend swimming as an activity to those recovering from a major surgery or heart operation because it is a not too taxing yet effective workout. Regular swimming also builds lung stamina and muscle strength without straining connective tissues like other workout activities could.

2. It’s a great calorie-burner.

Swimming uses all the major muscle groups in the body, which makes it a great weight loss workout and body toner. This is why many swimmers often have toned arms, legs, and tummy, which is one of the major fat problem areas of everyone.

3. It’s the perfect stress reliever.

Swimming is a meditative workout because it deals with not just the body but also the mental state. Exercising while enveloped in warm water induces a calm and relaxing feeling that not only reduces stress, it also help clear one’s mind as it improves delivery of oxygen to all muscles and stimulates blood circulation.

4. It works wonders in pregnant women.

Expectant women are often forbidden to do any moderate to heavy physical activity, but swimming is one of those activities that can actually aid them in their condition. For one, it strengthens the abdominal muscles that are very important when carrying and delivering the baby. Experts say that swimming also reduces the common negative symptoms associated with pregnancy, like high blood pressure and stiffness.

5. It’s a perfect bonding activity.

Now we all know about this one. Swimming is one of the best and healthiest activities we can do to bond and enjoy with our families and friends. The great thing about swimming as a bonding activity is that you can choose to talk and interact with people yet you can also swim off anytime and do your routines and beneficial exercises whenever you want.

Care to share more swimming perks?

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Oh My Yogurt

One of the simple, accessible, and healthy snacks I like to eat is yogurt. I love how I can indulge in something fruity and semi-sweet without being too scared of the calories. Of course, it also depends a lot on the brand and flavor of the yogurt. For me, I like strawberry and chocolate flavors in general. How about you? 🙂 Well, regardless of what type of yogurt we like, here’s a list of just a few of the benefits we can get from it.

1. Yogurt is a wonderful source of calcium because it can provide up to 40% of the daily calcium value we need. And we all know how good calcium is to our body. It not only keeps our bones and teeth strong, it also promotes overall strength and wellness for more years to come.

2. Yogurt helps boost our immune systems because of its friendly bacteria composition. Yogurt fights against bacterial infections and diseases like food poisoning. A healthy level of good bacteria is also great for digestive health.

3. Yogurt is a great alternative food to the lactose intolerant or simply to the non-milk drinkers, like me. I was born with a natural aversion to milk but I’ve always loved all the other dairy products like cheese and of course, yogurt.

4. Yogurt can be served in a lot of ways, so if you or your kid don’t really like yogurt in its solo state, you can incorporate it into other stuff so you can still avail of all the health benefits it can give. For instance, you can serve it with nuts or your favorite fruits like bananas, strawberries, raspberries, or peaches. You can also add a different flavor, like chocolate or mocha. You can also substitute it for high fat ingredients like heavy creams. You can even make it into delicious ice cream. There are a lot of easy to follow yogurt recipes on the net.

5. Yogurt doesn’t make you fat. Of course, there are sugarless and with-sugar versions of yogurt, so it’ll be good to check on the labels first or do your research before buying a particular brand. Nevertheless, yogurt in general contains much less sugar, calories and fats than the usual sweet snacks like ice cream or pastries. If you want to be absolutely strict about it, choose the sugarless and zero-fat versions.

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How to Maintain Healthy and Flowing Hair

Want to have healthy and shiny locks for years to come? Lots of entries on hair tips have been posted in this site but when it comes to our tresses, we can never get too many beautifying and protection tips. Check out more of these through the following guides to healthy hair I have acquired from experts on the net.

1. Protect your hair against sunlight and pollution.

The sun and pollution are two of the main enemies of our hair. Ultra violet rays dry and discolor our hair while pollution takes away the sheen of our locks. Since the sun today is especially more harmful, always wear a hat or a cap when you know you’re going to be exposed to it. You can also wear a bandanna or other hair clothes that are both protective and stylish. In addition, you can apply natural hair sun screen formulas before getting out in the sun.

2. Choose a natural-bristle brush.

Avoid using cheap plastic brushes or combs because these have seams that tear or split apart hair, especially if your hair is thin and fine. Use a soft boar bristle brush or natural bone or wood combs to avoid damage.

3. Brush properly.

Brushing allows us to stimulate our scalps and spread our natural hair oils from the root to tip of every strand. If your hair has a lot of knots and snarls, try to pull them apart first with your fingers before using a comb to brush from the bottom and slowly working your way up. Remember to keep your brush clean and wash it at least once a week with baking soda or your shampoo to get rid of bacteria that may have accumulated.

4. Towel gently after washing hair.

After showering, don’t rush and comb your hair. Take time to towel your hair properly, blotting it bit by bit to get the water out. Be careful not to pull hair or squeeze with the towel too tightly because wet hair is very fragile and can easily break.

5. Shampoo immediately after swimming.

If you just went for a dip in the pool or a swim in the beach, don’t forget to rinse and shampoo immediately to get rid of chlorine and salts that can damage your hair if it sticks to it for too long.

6. Do not shampoo every day.

Unless you are exposed daily to high city pollution, do not shampoo your hair every day as this can cause your glands to be hyperactive or may quickly dry your hair. Allow your hair to release its natural oils by shampooing every other day. If you are treating your hair for certain problems like dandruff, then it would be alright to everyday with your dandruff shampoo upon instruction. If you are constantly exposed to dirt and pollution and have no choice but to shampoo every day, use milder and natural-based shampoos that won’t dry up your hair.

7. Take vitamin and mineral supplements.

Deficiency in some vitamins and minerals often reflects on our hair and makes it look unhealthy and unattractive. If you are deficient of some nutrients, you might want to take supplements to boost your health and keep your hair glowing and healthy as well.

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The Hot Halter Top

Today let’s talk about the halter top, one of my favorite types of tops. Why? I think it’s one of the more complimentary styles of tops that can flatter almost any body type and shape because of its flexibility. Read on to know why halter tops in general are hot.

1. It emphasizes the cleavage.

Halter tops often have a plunging neckline, great for women who like to show off their cleavage without wearing anything too revealing like a spaghetti-strapped or tube-type blouse. If you want to wear a halter top but do not want show any skin in the breast area, you can wear the ones that have more high-cut necklines.

2. It elongates the neck and the face.

If you want to elongate or highlight your smooth neck, a halter top is definitely the way to go. It’s v-shaped neckline perfectly complements the chest to neck area and creates an elongated illusion up to the face. It also works great for those who have shorter necks or rounder faces who want a thinner look. Worried that your neck is already long enough? Layer on with some great necklaces and you’re good to go.

3. It highlights the shoulders and collarbones.

Many women like to emphasize the popular parts of the body like the legs, breasts, rear, and back, forgetting that there are other sexy parts like the shoulders and the collarbones. Some women are really blessed with beautifully shaped shoulders that have sexy curves and bone placement. If you’re one of them, flaunt this asset of yours with a wonderful halter top with thinner straps.

4. It exposes the back but not too much.

Halter tops often expose the upper part of the back but not as much as a fully backless top would. Thus, halter tops are great if you want to show off just half or a quarter of your back. Most women have really smooth backs because it is a body part that is not often exposed to the sun, air, and other factors. Wearing halter tops allow women to still show off some great skin even if they don’t feel comfortable exposing the other parts of the body.

5. It adds that “oomph” to a casual, everyday look.

Wearing a halter top, even just an ordinary one, is definitely a step up from the regular T-shirt or sleeveless blouse because of its more intricate cut and the tricky way it presents a woman’s body.

What do you think of halter tops? 🙂

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