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6 Ways to Stay Sane in a Weight-Obsessed World

6 Ways to Stay Sane in a Weight-Obsessed World

With society almost solely judging people by their weight, it is not easy to feel great with a body that doesn’t hold up to the standards that the fashion and beauty industries portray. It is therefor not surprising that the number of people being ashamed of their appearance and hating their bodies is constantly on the rise.

Chances are you, your family members or friends go from one diet to the next, desperately hoping to find the magic solution for immediate weight loss. We all critique certain body parts and wish to be taller, slimmer, prettier and just plain better.

This disconnection from our bodies leads to misery, sadness and an overall feeling of failure and lack of self-control. I know what I am talking about. I used

    to hate the body I was born with. My upper arms were too big, I was too short, my nose too broad and my legs too sturdy. I turned against myself and was at war with my body for most of my life. At the age of 10, I developed an eating disorder and almost died because of it. Sadly, my story is far from being an exception.

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    However, it does not have to be that way. There are simple ways for us to radically change our body image and there is hope for all of us to fall in love with ourselves by embracing our perfect body in its glorious imperfection.

    In this post, I’d like to share a few killer ideas with you.

    1. Let Go of Toxic Relationships

    One of the best ways to instantly improve your self-esteem and your body image is to surround yourself with family and friends who appreciate you for the person you are and not the size of your jeans. Real friends and genuine family members will never even think about reducing your worthiness as a person to your weight, height or other measurements. Use your common sense to sort through the people that surround you and only, and I would like to repeat myself, only give those whose values are truly aligned with yours the gift of remaining in your close circle of trusted allies.

    2. Throw away your scale

    In today’s world it’s normal to have a scale in your bathroom, isn’t it? It’s even normal to weigh yourself every morning. However, when you come to a point where the number on the scale determines whether your day will be a great one or a horrible one or whether you have been a good person or a bad person, it is time to throw the scale away. Don’t let this little appliance give you either a false sense of control or a way of terrorizing you. Don’t let a thing have such an enormous power over you and your life. Do you really believe that you are just a number? If so, you should really make a reality check.

    3. Stop engaging in fat talk

    Fat talk is easy, fun and it is such a sociable thing to do, isn’t it? Everybody does it and by now it has morphed into a perfectly normal and socially accepted form of connecting with others. It is great to have a friend tell you that no, you are not as fat as you think you are and no, you don’t have to go on yet another diet, isn’t it?

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    Yes, but this constant talk about weight, the regular comparisons and the tendency to put yourself down is doing so much more harm than good. It’s destroying your self-esteem, your sense of worthiness and, in my opinion, even your intelligence. I am quite certain that you can find other, deeper, more important topics to talk about with your friends and family than kilos, pounds or food groups.

    4. Be a role model

    Many children grow up with parents or other role models who are always on a diet. My parents never failed to mention that “starting tomorrow, we won’t eat anything anymore” after we had celebrated a delicious dinner at a restaurant. Sentences like these, as innocent as they may seem in your own mind, can and will influence others on a deeper level than you can imagine.

    So, instead of demonizing food and its glorious taste, be a role model and show gratefulness for all the different flavors we’re blessed to be able to enjoy.

    5. Ask yourself what really matters

    As I went through my many horrific years of being eating disordered, I could only focus on calories, exercise and the abuse of laxatives. Despite my many interests in history, languages, traveling, politics and more, most of my energy was wasted on superficial topics that brought me nothing but grief.

    If you’re caught in the same vicious circle of dieting, then give yourself a break or even an intervention and ask yourself: does this really matter? Does having a six-pack or a certain number on the scale really add any value to my life, my relationships or even my career? Am I wasting my time, energy and intelligence by focusing on appearances instead of investing in my whole self?

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    If you dig deep, you’ll soon come to the conclusion that, yes, you are wasting your time and the things that really matter have nothing to do to with the circumference of your thighs.

    6. Make the sane choices

    With all the messages that the media is feeding us, it’s easy to forget that we have our own brain. Yes, I really wrote that sentence. We believe that we can lose 15 pounds in five days if we only buy this magazine. We believe that we will have a complete body transformation if we only buy this DVD. We even believe that if we drink a certain shake, we’ll shrink two sizes within a week.

    Do we ever stop and ask ourselves what it is we’re buying into? Do we ever consider that those messages are nothing but lies? Yes, but only after we’ve unsuccessfully tried the “magic” pills and the “miraculous” diet plan.

    It’s time that we, as women and men, come back to a place of making sane choices. We all know what is good for us. We all know which foods will make us gain weight and which will keep us healthy. We all know what our bodies need, but we ignore our own awareness far too often.

    I am challenging you to sit down, dig deep and let go of all the false hopes that the advertisements sell you. I know, I just know, that you will find the right balance of eating, exercising and living within yourself. You just have to let the knowledge in.

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    Staying sane in a world that is obsessed about sizes, inches and weight loss is not easy, but I know that you, yes you, are able to do it. I know that if you try, you’ll be able to uncover your true self-worth and you’ll realize that it has nothing to do with your weight.

    Stay healthy. Stay active. Stay sane.

    Featured photo credit: via Shutterstock

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    Science Says Screaming Is Good For You

    Science Says Screaming Is Good For You

    There are many reasons why people might scream – they’re angry, scared, or in pain (or maybe they’re in a metal band!). Some might say that screaming is bad, but here’s why science says it’s good for you.

    “For the first time in the history of psychology there is a way to access feelings, hidden away, in a safe way and thus to reduce human suffering. It is, in essence, the first science of psychotherapy.” — Dr. Arthur Janov

    Primal Therapy

    Dr. Arthur Janov invented Primal Therapy in the late 1960’s. It is a practice that allows the patient to face their repressed emotions from past trauma head on and let those emotions go. This treatment is intended to cure any mental illness the patient may have that surfaced from this past trauma. In most cases, Primal Therapy has lead Dr. Janov’s patients to scream towards the end of their session, though it was not part of the original procedure. During a group therapy session that was at a standstill, Dr. Janov says that one of his patients, a student he called Danny, told a story that inspired him to implement a technique that he never would have thought of on his own.

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    How it Started

    “During a lull in our group therapy session, he told us a story about a man named Ortiz who was currently doing an act on the London stage in which he paraded around in diapers drinking bottles of milk. Throughout his number, Ortiz is shouting, ‘Mommy! Daddy! Mommy! Daddy!’ at the top of his lungs. At the end of his act he vomits. Plastic bags are passed out, and the audience is requested to follow suit.”

    It doesn’t end there, though. Dr. Janov said that his patient was quite fascinated with that story, and that alone moved him to suggest something even he believed to be a little elementary.

    “I asked him to call out, ‘Mommy! Daddy!’ Danny refused, saying that he couldn’t see the sense in such a childish act, and frankly, neither could I. But I persisted, and finally, he gave in. As he began, he became noticeably upset. Suddenly he was writhing on the floor in agony. His breathing was rapid, spasmodic. ‘Mommy! Daddy!’ came out of his mouth almost involuntarily in loud screeches. He appeared to be in a coma or hypnotic state. The writhing gave way to small convulsions, and finally, he released a piercing, deathlike scream that rattled the walls of my office. The entire episode lasted only a few minutes, and neither Danny nor I had any idea what had happened. All he could say afterward was: ‘I made it! I don’t know what, but I can feel.’”

    Delving deeper

    Dr. Janov says he was baffled for months, but then he decided to experiment with another patient with the same method, which lead to a similar result as before. The patient started out calling “Mommy! Daddy!” then experienced convulsions, heavy breathing, and then eventually screamed. After the session, Dr. Janov says his patient was transformed and became “virtually another human being. He became alert… he seemed to understand himself.”

    Although the initial intention of this particular practice wasn’t to get the patient to scream, more than once did his Primal Therapy sessions end with the patient screaming and feeling lighter, revived, and relieved of stresses that were holding them down in life.

    Some Methods To Practice Screaming

    If you want to try it out for yourself, keep reading!

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    • Step 1: Be Alone — Be alone. If you live in a place that you can’t be alone, it might be a good idea to talk to your family or roommates and explain to them what you’re about to do and make sure they’re okay with it. If you’re good to go, move on to step 2.
    • Step 2: Lie Down — Lie down on a yoga mat on your back and place a pillow underneath your head. If you don’t own a yoga mat, you can use a rug or even a soft blanket.
    • Step 3: Think — Think of things that have hurt you or made you angry. It can be anything from your childhood or even something that happened recently to make yourself cry, if you’re not already crying or upset. You could even scream “Mommy! Daddy!” just like Dr. Janov’s patients did to get yourself started.
    • Step 4: Scream — Don’t hold anything back; cry and scream as loud as you can. You can also pound your fists on the ground, or just lie there and scream at the top of your lungs.

    After this, you should return your breathing to a normal and steady pace. You should feel lighter, like a weight has been lifted off of you. If not, you can also try these other methods.

    Scream Sing

    Scream singing” is referring to what a lot of lead singers in metal or screamo bands will do. I’ve tried it and although I wasn’t very good at it, it was fun and definitely relieved me of any stress I was feeling from before. It usually ends up sounding like a really loud grunt, but nonetheless, it’s considered screaming.

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    • Step 1 — Bear down and make a grunting sound.
    • Step 2 — Hiss like a snake and make sure to do this from your diaphragm (your stomach) for as long as you can.
    • Step 3 — Breathe and push your stomach out for more air when you are belting notes, kind of like you would if you were singing.
    • Step 4 — Try different ways to let out air to control how long the note will last, just make sure not to let out too much air.
    • Step 5 — Distort your voice by pushing air out from your throat, just be careful not to strain yourself.
    • Step 6 — Play around with the pitch of your screams and how wide your mouth is open – the wider your mouth is open, the higher the screams will sound. The narrower or rounder your mouth is (and most likely shaped like an “o”), the lower the screams will sound.
    • Step 7 — Start screaming to metal music. If you’re not a huge metal fan, it’s okay. You don’t have to use this method if you don’t want to.

    If you want a more thorough walkthrough of how to scream sing, here’s a good video tutorial. If this method is too strenuous on your vocal chords, stop. Also, make sure to stay hydrated when scream singing and drink lots of water.

    Scream into a pillow

    Grab a pillow and scream into it. This method is probably the fastest and easiest way to practice screaming. Just make sure to come up for air.

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    Always remember to make sure that you’re not going to disturb anyone while practicing any of these methods of screaming. And with that, happy screaming!

    Featured photo credit: Sharon Mollerus via flickr.com

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