Everyone experiences a bad mood every now and then. However mild or severe your gloomy attitude may be, the practice of yoga can lift your spirits so you can say goodbye to your bad mood for good.
The following are a few examples of how yoga can help turn your frown upside down.
Elevated GABA levels
Researchers have found that practicing yoga can raise the brain’s level of gamma-amino-butyric acid, which is the brain’s primary inhibitory neurotransmitter. When GABA levels are low, we can experience anxiety, depression, and a decreased zest for life. When GABA levels are high, we feel elated, happy, and interested in living life to the fullest. Read Full Post >
“You look great! But I should not be wearing sleeveless shirts. Look at my arms jiggle!”
Sound familiar? If so, you are one of the many women who engage in fat talk. Simultaneously, a method of fishing for compliments and tearing yourself down, fat talk is something that simply needs to stop.
In a recent study, 93 percent of college-aged women admitted to engaging in fat talk. It’s something that has become part of how women speak with each other.
“Even if you don’t feel that way about your body, women talk that way as if that’s how they should be talking,” said Jan Hoffman on the Today Show. She also wrote about the topic in a recent article for the New York Times. Fat talk has invaded our conversations and our culture. Read Full Post >
Don’t look now but people are making something out of nothing, again. We condemn celebrities for being too heavy, for being too thin, and it seems now those who are just at what is a healthy, normal weight for themselves. When will it stop?
Zoe Saldana‘s donning the cover of Allure magazine this month and while people should be talking about her talent showcased in the upcoming Star Trek sequel, or even her activism with organizations like the Wounded Warrior Project, we all have to stop and waste blog space, morning show air time, and breath discussing the importance or relevance of telling the world this woman weighs 115 pounds. Quite frankly, who cares?
The five-foot-seven-inch actress told Today’s Savannah Guthrie that she has just always had a thin frame. And so that is the way the world, and nature, works. Some people are born with very thin frames, some people are born with large frames, and some people are born with your regular ‘ole run-of-the-mill frame. But, alas, it’s not all that simple. We were told “An image like this can activate a schema for a person to think they’re fat compared to this person,” by Jennifer Thomas, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School and assistant director of the Eating Disorders Clinic and Research Program at Massachusetts General Hospital.
According to Thomas, most adult women aren’t going to be as thin as Saldana. In fact, she reminded that most adult women couldn’t reach a body shape like that without severely limiting her intake.
Saldana defended Allure’s decision to publish her weight on the cover, suggesting that they were trying to draw a comparison between such a small person having such a strong personality and drive. “115 pounds of grit…” reads the line that is apparently fodder for controversy. The way I see it, if she doesn’t mind the world knowing how much she weighs, why should the rest of us? Actresses aren’t shy to speak up when their images have been Photoshopped to a fault, and if Saldana has all the grit Allure suggests she has, I imagine she would have taken a stand about this.
Rachael Leone wrote at Yahoo! that the publication of her weight was “unnecessary,” saying that just when it seems we’re making progress in the portrayal of women in magazines we take a step back again. Cheryl Phillips at Examiner asked if a similar headline would have appeared had Saldana been heavier. Thomas pondered over the value, too, suggesting that publishing the weight didn’t give us any additional data. “We can look at her and see that she’s tall and thin.”
If you want to talk medically, Saldana’s BMI is an 18.0, which, according to the CDC, puts her in the underweight category; something Thomas confirmed. Her medical care, nor that of any other individual, isn’t really any of our business (heard of HIPPA?), but if we wanted to make a case of this for the sake of Zoe’s health, we could raise that argument. But frankly, there doesn’t seem to be anything unhealthy about the way she lives.
The actress is a regular at Pilates and works with a personal trainer. As well, she partakes in active vacations like snow skiing. She appears to have a balanced approach to her diet, which is eating what she likes but staying active enough to counteract the pasta she admits to over-indulging in sometimes. She abides by the mantra that we only live once.
So, as I said, who cares if Zoe Saldana is 115 pounds? I weigh 140 pounds. There, it is. I don’t expect anyone is going to stop the presses for that information. I take care of myself, I’m comfortable in my own skin, and I’ve worn the same size jeans since college, something that didn’t change before/during/after my pregnancy. I think Allure would find I’m as gritty and strong as Zoe is and I don’t know that the fact that I do it in a slightly weightier package than the star makes a difference.
Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries makes no buts about his company’s target demographic: really, ridiculously, good looking people. Jeffries has been at the helm of A&F for 18 years, and has sexualized the brand to near soft core pornography status. If you’ve ever been in one of the chain’s stores—more akin to a club with its pungent fragrance and techno racket—you’ve probably noticed the lack of women’s size XL and XXL clothing. A&F also refuses to carry a women’s pant larger than size 10. They only carry men’s XL and XXL to market to beefy weightlifters and athletes.
These shallow tactics aren’t employed by accident. The company’s marketing strategy is solely geared towards their idea of “good looking” people. Jeffries told Salon in 2006, “It’s almost everything. That’s why we hire good looking people in our stores. Because good looking people attract other good looking people…We don’t market to anyone other than that.”
Along with not selling clothing that doesn’t fit Jeffries’ “good looking” criteria, A&F does not hire people they find too large or ugly. The hiring process is bizarre, with the manager scouting the store for attractive people and imploring them to apply. Of course anybody can apply, but the process takes place at a kiosk in the store, so the manager can give you the once over and file your app accordingly. Read Full Post >
In the aftermath of the Oklahoma City Thunder‘s 29-point blowout over the Houston Rockets in the NBA Playoffs last week, a CBS Houston relationship columnist named Claire Crawford felt inclined to give sports blogging a shot.
Crawford’s first foray into this new medium was epic. She’s become a search bar staple, but not because of her prodigious basketball analysis. Here’s what she took away from the game: “The Rockets looked terrible in Game 1,”—obvious, but so far so good—”but some say they weren’t the only bad-looking people on the court.” The rest of the prose is a bit elementary, so I’ll sum it up for you. She more or less called Thunder cheerleader Kelsey Williams “too chunky” for her position. Queue the social media firestorm.
The passive aggressive jab at the beautiful and fit Williams has Claire Crawford—pen name of real life blogger Anna-Megan Raley—in some hot water. Disdain for Crawford/Raley has been universal, and support for Williams has poured in from all over the web. The reasoning behind Crawford’s criticism is all speculation, but one could assume she might have been trying to boost her own self-esteem. It’s also insane; Kelsey Williams is an athlete, and a gorgeous one at that. Maybe Crawford just wanted to get her 15 retweets of fame, or maybe it’s a reflection of our society’s sea change in perception of beauty. Read Full Post >