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In the Hot Seat: The Ugly Duckling Turned Swan

In the Hot Seat: The Ugly Duckling Turned Swan

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder–at least that’s what we’re told. Many of us agree that personality and intelligence are far more important than physical appearance. A person’s attractiveness should be a superficial concern.

All of this sounds great, but science tells us that attractive people have an easier time in life than less attractive individuals.[1] How does it feel to be an average-looking person who doesn’t meet beauty standards?

Some people turn to plastic surgery to improve their appearance and end insults and bullying. Plastic surgery has its risks, and it can be dangerous. We’ve all heard of plastic surgeries gone wrong or seen the person who is addicted to having more work done. For some of us, though, becoming more attractive is well worth the risk.

Today in the hot seat, we’ll talk to Jackie, a young woman who underwent an elective rhinoplasty (nose job). We’ll explore how she felt before and after her surgery. We’ll also chat about how her family and boyfriend felt about her decision to get surgery.

Changing faces

Lifehack: Why did you get plastic surgery?

Jackie: I always had a really big nose. It wasn’t just big–it was crooked. Kids were pretty harsh to me in school. They called me “the goblin,” beat me up, and mocked me mercilessly.

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Even as an adult, I could tell people were staring at my nose when they talked to me. I know that it affected me socially because people didn’t want to be associated with me when we went out. My nose made me look ugly.

I knew that as soon as I could save up enough money, I wanted to get a nose job.

Lifehack: What have you learned from the experience?

Jackie: I learned that surgery doesn’t fix poor self-esteem. The recovery for my nose job took a long time. When I got out of surgery, I looked like I had been in a bar fight. The swelling didn’t totally disappear for almost a year.

Even though my surgeon talked to me about the recovery timeline, I was still shocked when I saw my face without the bandages for the first time. The surgery helped with my self-esteem, but I also had to learn to love myself.

Lifehack: Does your family know you went under the knife?

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Jackie: They were very supportive of my decision, and they helped a lot during recovery. They saw this surgery as a chance for me to take control of my appearance like never before.

Lifehack: Would you recommend plastic surgery to others?

Jackie: It depends. A surgery to repair an injury or help with breathing problems is definitely a good choice.

If there’s no medical reason to make the change, do lots of research first. My surgeon did a great job, but the changes she made were permanent. I had to adapt to a new face. My smile looks so different now. It took me a while to feel good about my choice.

Lifehack: Will you have more work done in the future?

Jackie: No. I think I’m going to be happy with myself just the way I am. I’d only do it if an accident or illness caused me to need reconstructive surgery.

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Lifehack: Did you have any stories of getting back at your bullies after they see your new face?

Jackie: A guy that used to harass me in school tried to pick me up in a bar when my boyfriend stepped away to get us a round of drinks. The guy didn’t recognize me, but I knew who he was. I said, “My memory must be better than yours. Since you didn’t want anything to do with me when I was a goblin, I don’t want anything to do with you now.”

His jaw dropped. Then, my very attractive boyfriend returned with my drink.

Lifehack: How does your boyfriend feel about you now that you are different?

Jackie: He’s my husband now! He loved me before, and he still does. He says that if I’m happy with the way I look, that’s all that matters to him.

Lifehack: Are you happier now?

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Jackie: I am. It wasn’t the overnight miracle I thought it was going to be, but through time I’ve built confidence and learned to love myself.

Lifehack: Do you believe that beauty is more important than brains?

Jackie: No way. Substance beats style every time. Beauty is fleeting, but you’ll always have your mind and your sense of humor.

You have to change more than your face

Getting plastic surgery is a big decision that can have life-altering effects. Even though Jackie’s experience was positive, she had to do a lot of inner-work before she felt good about her new nose.

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Anna Chui

Anna is a communication expert and a life enthusiast. She's the editor of Lifehack and loves to write about love, life, and passion.

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

ablab

    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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