Unthinkable Things I Did For My Mental Health

As a young kid who already weighed 120 lbs in fourth grade, I had been the center of attention of fat-shaming individuals in our community. For instance, my classmates’ monicker was Ms. Piggy, considering I was short and had a pinkish skin. Whenever the P.E. teacher asked us to run around the field, the students would act like the world’s shaking during my turn. But even at family gatherings, some aunts would say, “Being chubby is cute for now. But if you don’t wish to be an old maid, you need to lose weight soon.”

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What I Did To Lose Some Weight

Because of such experiences, I grew up thinking that my fatness was unacceptable and that I should do everything to get rid of it. So, whenever my parents were not home, and they would give me money to order pizza or whatever I wanted, I would keep the money and not eat at all. Of course, I felt hungry, but I endured my tummy aches because I genuinely wanted to lose weight. Sometimes, even at school, I would not eat lunch no matter how much my friends tried to drag me to the cafeteria. My parents only found out when they found me in the nurse’s clinic one morning, doubled up in pain. A series of tests in the hospital later, the doctor said I developed an ulcer. Needless to say, skipping meals not only failed to slim me down but also gave me a health condition.

The second thing I tried when I was in sixth grade was to join the girls’ volleyball team. My choices were softball, football, and volleyball, but I favored the latter because I saw how much the players were running and jumping up to hit the ball. I did not realize that the coach refused to accept potential players at the first meeting – she wanted the applicants to train with the team for a week before picking some of us. I took the challenge, assuming that little girls could not practice so much. But then, I was proven wrong when the coach made us do circuit training on the field for an hour every day. After the fourth day, I gave up on my dream of becoming a volleyball player.

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I did not try to lose weight again until I was in college, but it did not mean that I made peace with my chubbiness in the year before that. I merely waited until I was 18 years old so that I could buy slimming pills and teas that promised to help me shed pounds without much effort. So, I bought them as soon as my parents left me in the dorm.

I must say that the slimming tea worked well by making me go to the bathroom 30 minutes after drinking it every time. The pills also curbed my appetite, so I did not feel hungry for more extended periods. After a month of using the said products, my shirts and jeans felt a little loose around my body. I thought, “Hmm, this is it!” I went on to shed 10 pounds in two months, thanks to them, and my parents and friends all believed that it happened because I started going to the gym. (No, I did not do that.)

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However, during the summer break, I had to stop taking the pills and drinking the tea because I spent it in my parents’ home. They had been against such methods of losing weight and made me promise that I wouldn’t ever try them, but I just felt the need to try anyway. So, in the few weeks that I was there, I gained all the pounds that I lost and then some.

Doing The Unthinkable For My Mental Health

Mom caught me crying about my weight gain a day before going back to the dorm, and I had no choice but to confess everything I did to shed pounds. Mom could only hug me out of pity and apologized for not being able to protect me from the fat-shamers all my life. Her words, however, acted as a trigger for me to realize that there was no reason for me to go from size 12 to size 0 as long as I was happy with my body.

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So, when I returned to the dorm, I flushed the pills and teas in the toilet. I threw away all the books that I got to inspire me to lose weight, too. Then, I began to wear clothes that would show off my thick legs, arms, and overall curvaceousness. Little did I know, men found it hot, while women said it was empowering.

I would not have learned to love myself and embrace my body if the slimming products and other weight-loss techniques did not fail to deliver. But would I try another weight-loss method anytime in the future? No, thanks! I already took that rode that many people traveled, and it only ate away at my mental health. Now, I would make it my life’s work to show other fat-shamed girls like me that it’s okay to have more meat under the skin, that other people were wrong for forcing their standard of beauty on others.

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Family Guidelines On Supporting A Loved One With An Eating Disorder

 

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If a family member or significant other is diagnosed with an eating disorder, life won’t be as normal as you want it to. Eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia affect the entire family. Each member is expected to struggle with his life and how he or she can fit into this life.

You may have many questions and encounters, especially when you are not sure how you will deal with your loved one. These tips and guidelines are created to help you go through those tough times so that you will be able to offer support while capably taking care of yourself amidst the challenges that the family is confronted with.

There are no fast and convenient answers. If a person with an eating disorder is to be cured, he will have to make dramatic changes in his behavior and views. Some members of the family may be forced to make necessary changes as well. We suggest that you take advantage of personal and online help to make going through these changes as smooth and successful as possible.

Encourage your loved one to consider counseling. Support them by showing compassion, support, and empathy. One way showing them these would be to be steadfast in your suggestion for your loved one to get into counseling. If he is an adult and does not want it, try communicating with the counselor yourself, with the aim of better understanding the disorder to capably support your loved one when he decides to get help. A counselor or therapist will also help you build boundaries for yourself so that you will learn how not to allow your loved one to show ED behaviors.

Don’t get too involved in conflicting discussions over food, being overweight, or eating. If you are concerned that your loved one may be dehydrated, has had dramatic weight loss or gain, and other issues, contact your therapist right away. If you don’t have one, reach out to one and try talking it out with him or her, along with your loved one is possible.

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Accept certain attitudes. If one of your family members has anorexia, and he is designated to do the food shopping and cooking on that day, consider that he might use this position to deny his own needs to eat. Show him that you care for him, and you are concerned if he has had something healthy to eat.

Avoid manipulating the loved one with an eating disorder. Don’t use lines like, “you are destroying this family,” or “just give up already.” Your loved one is not to blame for what happens to you – you are. Every one of us is responsible for his or her welfare.

Don’t forget to care for yourself. Yes, you do love your family, and you want to help in whatever way you can to help your loved one recover from her sickness, but this doesn’t mean that your world has stopped turning for other areas in your life. Don’t ever forget to have fun, build relationships with other family members and friends, and work and play hard to achieve your dreams.

Be more verbally and physically expressive of your emotions to your family. Be truthful about getting frustrated, angry, and weak. Share your feelings with your family and, in the process, grow closer together.

Be sensible about diets and other fads. Be honest with yourself before deciding to go on a diet and exercise plan. What is your goal? Is it to become less insecure or to be healthier? Are your planned activities mainly for weight loss? It is difficult for the person suffering from an eating disorder to attempt to change what they think about weight loss when other loved ones encourage the importance of being thin and sexy.

Appreciate your loved one for her good deeds, achievements, and other positive qualities. Telling your loved one who has an eating disorder about the positive side of her can help her improve her self-confidence and a self that is safe, distinct, and steadfast.

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Be there for him when he needs emotional and social support. If you’re having a tough time doing this, you might consider asking for one yourself so that you’ll learn new ways of building closeness and love between family members. We often repeat what we learned from our past relationships.

Asking if your loved one is feeling better won’t do any good. This question is a handful and implies that the concerned individual must quickly recover so that everyone else will be rid of the stress and anxiety from caring for her. Rather, observe if she has improved or if her behavior has been more subtle and consistent. Find out if she is becoming less judgmental of herself. After all, eating is just an indication of the primary issues in the first place.

Ultimately, understand that your family or significant other is perhaps hesitant to get rid of her usual routines related to disordered eating. In time, with the help, support, and love from the whole family, coupled with the proper treatment, your loved one will be on her way to recovery and healing.

 

 

 

Coronavirus: Food Safety And Nutrition

All of us are following safety protocols due to the spread of Coronavirus. We are staying home, limiting travels, washing hands frequently, and practicing social distancing. But nobody says too much about managing food and nutrition. In this article, we will try to discuss food safety and management amidst the global pandemic.

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How To Safely Grocery Shop

One of the great news during this pandemic situation is that most experts think that Coronavirus does not spread through food. But despite that, the virus lives on surfaces, which we might potentially get into contact with. Some of the possibilities of transferring the virus are from grabbing the boxes off of the shelf, holding the cart handle from the store, bagging the items, and paying through dollar bills. And because the virus can still live on surfaces, bringing it home from the store is incredibly high. So to reduce that risk, here are a few things we can do.

Shop Less Often – Shopping is essential because we need supplies in our daily lives. However, due to the fast spread of the virus, we must limit our contact with the public. Therefore, it would be much better to purchase at least two weeks’ worth of groceries at a time. And if possible, we should consider our groceries to get delivered. That way, we won’t have to expose ourselves to the crowd. If in case we need to go to the store for any reason, we can try and go early to avoid crowds. For unfortunate instances that we have a high-risk medical condition, it is better to ask a friend a favor to do the shopping for us.

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Practice Social Distancing – Grocery stores, though they are still essential during this pandemic time, are a place that can also expose people to the Coronavirus infection. That is because of the possible asymptomatic cases that are hard to detect. With that, it is vital to distance ourselves no matter what. If possible, we should stay 6 feet away from others. That is about the length of two shopping carts.

Never Touch The Face – No matter what happens, it is crucial not to touch the face while shopping. Since we probably have touched a lot of things in the grocery store, we should not put our hands anywhere our faces. If in case we need to scratch or remove something from it, we have to sanitize first and use a clean sanitizing tissue or wipes. Aside from that, we always need to wear a mask. But note, the mask must be placed in a position where it covers the whole area of the mouth and nose. Also, as soon as we can, we need to wash our hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 to 30 seconds. It goes before and after handling purchased items in the grocery store.

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Toss And Wash Items – Paper and plastic bags from the store should be tossed out in the garbage. If it is not a hassle, we need to take items out of the box they come in and discard the box after, such as cereals and others alike. For produce, we need to wash it thoroughly with water or produce cleaner. We need to avoid using chemicals or household cleaners on food.

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In the best of times, good hygiene is the key to avoiding infectious diseases. And right now, it is the most important thing we need to focus on. We have to do our best to shop safely so that we can protect ourselves and our loved ones at home.

 

COVID-19 – The Perks Of Exercising

For the past few weeks of staying at home during this pandemic crisis, some of us have already changed routines. Maybe some of us managed to clean our house and reorganize our stuff to prevent boredom. Of course, some spend time binge-watching some movies and TV shows as well together with families. Others may already finish working on a project that they left pending for a long time. But for some, I know they find an opportunity to practice health and wellness through doing regular exercise. In this article, we are going to look at some of the perks of exercise in both physical and mental aspects.

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Physical Benefits

Since studies show that the Coronavirus targets the immune system, particularly damaging the cardiovascular and respiratory functions, exercise becomes a great help for the organs’ improvement. Working on specific physical activities will strengthen the cardiac muscles that surround the heart and lungs. Therefore, it pumps a significant amount of blood value with each stroke, decreasing the possibility of a reduced heart rate. It also promotes the reduction of health risk factors. These include the development of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, and even signs of the Coronavirus. People who are more active in physical activities also have a lower risk for breast and colon cancer. Thus, exercise has the potential to increase people’s chances of living healthier and longer.

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Exercising also helps in the circulation of red blood cells, which improves the flow of oxygen into the body’s lungs, making it stronger and better. It decreases the risk of physical malfunction by muscle strengthening and incorporating balance coordination. Thus, securing better and enhanced motor skills. Aside from that, exercising regularly supports an increased metabolic rate. Therefore, it allows the body to use enough energy to repair bones and muscles as well as replenish nutrient storages. But note, the metabolic rate depends on the intensity of the exercises and an individual’s current fitness level. Therefore, individuals must consider the type of physical activities they will do that will involve extreme running, bending, and jumping. And for the best part, exercise supports a natural way of weight loss management.

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Mental Benefits

In a pandemic time like this, where people are frequently anxious and stressed about the negativity everywhere, exercise becomes beneficial in a lot of ways. It helps increase an individual’s well-being and self-awareness. It promotes the growth of endorphins that boost natural brain immunity that helps reduce the perception of pain. Light to medium exercises can also improve mood, supports the gain of mental energy, and reduce stress and anxiety. It allows the brain to function on its full potential without the worry of strain and too much exhaustion. Aside from that, exercise secures better mental development that aids in balancing emotional discomforts.

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Another great advantage of exercise is its contribution to better night sleep. Research has shown that any regular physical activity can help individuals to get a faster and deeper sleep. And as frequent the body and mind experience the overall balance from exercising, it can support an improved sleep duration that allows total rejuvenation. Thus, when there is enough sleep, people can expect better brain function. These include enhanced memory, critical thinking, problem-solving ability, alertness, and concentration. Exercise can also reduce the signs of mental fatigue, which contributes to lower self-esteem. Thus, when regularly accomplished, it can boost confidence.

So for those people who haven’t tried exercising, you might want to take this pandemic situation as an opportunity to get physically active. Not only for the sake of physical fitness but also for mental and emotional stability.

Relationship Between Fast Food And Calorie Intake

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Men are found to have higher obesity rates when talking about developed countries, but in developing countries, women have higher rates.   Childhood obesity counted 18.5 percent representing different age group and ethnicity.  Overweight people comprising two-thirds of the population makes obesity and becoming overweight an epidemic in developing countries.

Advertisers lure us with images of a healthy and happy life spent running along the beach with the sun shining overhead, then heading home to eat our grapefruit and take our diet supplement. Unfortunately, the reality of long-term weight loss is a lot more complex and involves learning a new set of life skills. — Melanie Greenberg Ph.D.

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Life’s Too Short, Why Deprive My Sweet Tooth

Sweets can make you fat.  Although sugar is said to be the prime source of energy for your body, having too much sugar in your diet can make you gain excess pounds.  For some not to increase weight, they try hard to wake up early and hit the gym before going to work or do their daily routine.  Some try to deprive themselves of their cravings, but it always doesn’t work that way.  Giving in to our sweet tooth leaves us often feeling remorseful and sometimes sad.

 

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