In this day and age when you can ‘PAY’ for the body you want. You have no idea what went on behind the scenes.
Refuse to compare your body parts to another woman’s.
Refuse to be discontent about the body you have.
Refuse to ceaselessly berate yourself for not having the ‘right size’ of this or that.
If you choose to PAY, no qualms girl. Its your body and your choice.
But until then and even after, love your body, every single part of it.
There will ALWAYS be someone with bigger, firmer, smaller, just the right size, curvier, perfectly toned, etc.
Can you work on your body to tone up and lose weight if you want to? You definitely can.
I have found however that losing weight alone does not automatically translate to loving yourself and your body.
So yes, eat right, get physically active, go beast mode on you if you please but always remember to love yourself where you are right now and even after.
Many have worked themselves up into an obsession of being skinny or something else they fancy yet they stand in front of the mirror and still find something to dislike/hate about their bodies.
When you stand in front of the mirror – say to yourself.
I LOVE MYSELF
I LOVE MY BODY
I AM ENOUGH
You can take it a step further and affirm every single part of the body, start with the ones you are most uncomfortable with.
Believe me, your body starts to respond better and your glow is irresistible.
So whatever transformation you choose to work on; acne, smile, make up that suits your face, toned arms, clearer skin – seek professional advice, get educated and get to work. These things usually happen over the process of time NOT MAGIC. Be patient with yourself. NO COMPARISON. No berating.
Remember that some things persist for a certain age and nothing beats drinking lots of water, ditching artificial sugar and consuming minimal or no processed food.
Dear young lady, love YOU just the way you are for if your eyes are out on the streets looking for someone who has it better you will find a ton and there will always be an endless supply to fuel your discontentment.
As we approach the holidays and a new year, it’s important to count our blessings and focus on the health and well-being of ourselves and those we care about. And perhaps the single most important thing you can do for your health and financial security is to make sure you have adequate health insurance.
Health care open enrollment is going on right now and North Dakotans can sign up for or change their health care plans to make sure they’re getting a plan that works best for them and their families.
But this year, you have much less time to research and choose a plan through healthcare.gov, known as the health insurance marketplace, than in past years. Open enrollment ends on December 15 — a month and a half earlier than last year — so time is running out to choose a plan for those who don’t get coverage through your job, Medicare, Medicaid, or Tricare. That’s why it’s so important that you act quickly to secure coverage — and remind your friends and family to do the same.
The administration drastically cut the length of the open enrollment period this year, and also slashed federal funding for in-person assistance known as navigators who help you select a plan and sign up for coverage. We’re seeing the direct impacts in North Dakota. Minot State University, for example, saw its federal funds to help North Dakotans find care slashed by 96 percent. And Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board doesn’t have enough funds to help North Dakotans sign up for coverage as it has done in previous years.
Since 2013, the uninsured rate in North Dakota has been reduced from 11 percent to 8 percent, in large part due to the work of organizations like these that helped families sign up for coverage.
Because of the shorter enrollment period and reduced resources, I created a new webpage to help folks explore their health care options and choose the best plan for their individual needs. Please visit it to find resources at www.heitkamp.senate.gov.
North Dakotans can shop for plans, determine financial assistance eligibility, sign up for coverage, and receive application assistance or appeal a decision by visiting www.healthcare.gov or calling 1–800–318–2596. There are five ways to apply for coverage: online, by phone, with in-person help, through an agent, or by mail.
Despite the administration’s misguided decision to cut open enrollment period and support for assistance like North Dakota’s navigators, enrollment across the country has actually risen compared to previous years. That’s because families know how important it is to have health insurance — whether you have a preexisting condition or are in perfect health. You never know when you’ll need medical care, and no one should be saddled with a debilitating bill from the emergency room simply because they missed the open enrollment period and don’t have health care.
I have long said that the health reform law isn’t perfect. But there are many pieces in it that are helpful, and for years I’ve been pushing to make it work better for North Dakota families and small businesses. For example, I’m leading an effort to delay the Health Insurance Tax to prevent burdensome premium increases. And I recently helped put forward a bipartisan plan to immediately make health insurance more affordable and accessible for North Dakota families.
Every individual and family should be able to get access to affordable, quality health care, and no one should have to go bankrupt to pay for health care for a child with disabilities, a sick family member, or just an emergency that you never thought could happen. I encourage every North Dakotan who lacks health insurance or needs to make changes to their coverage to do so before the December 15 deadline. There isn’t time to waste as protecting your health is too important.
by Janelle Wolak, Designer
Naked and Afraid
The year is 50,000 BCE. You live on the African savanna. You woke up on the wrong side of the hearth. Your fur wrap isn’t fitting properly, and you keep shrugging it back into place. To compound this annoyance, you forgot your spear back at your hut.
As you amble along picking berries, you suddenly hear wild shrieking behind you. Nervously, you peer through the brush to see a wild pack of rabid hyenas charging towards you. Naturally, they’re hell-bent on eating you for lunch. Naturally, you run like hell.
But where do you run to? Since you’re a human with fully evolved instincts, you run for a refuge on a high point, like a cave on a hilltop.
When you get there, you’re breathing heavily and your adrenaline is still pumping. The hyenas are losing interest. You gaze back at the savanna beneath you, the vast expanse dotted by trees and small lakes, and a calm sets in, the first of your day, the first in a while.
This feeling of calm and restoration when we look out over open, savanna-like landscapes is universal, an instinct that hasn’t changes for eons. It’s an evolutionary adaptation that increased the likelihood of survival for our nomadic ancestors.
This instinct persists to this day. In one study of artistic preferences, respondents across ten countries uniformly expressed a strong preference for realistic, representative paintings that feature water, trees, plants, large mammals — basically, generic European calendar art. The fact is that, in nature-like settings, patients heal faster, children learn more quickly, and workers are more productive. As a rule, in such environments, we homo sapiens feel less stressed and think more clearly and creatively.
To be sure, humans have the ability to adapt to any kind of natural environment, be it the desert or the Arctic tundra, or one day even Mars. Adaptation is our defining characteristic. But there’s an essential, ingrained part of us that isn’t adaptable at all. Through countless iterations of modernity, this part stubbornly goes on craving views of water, trees, and rolling landscapes. As the evolutionary biologist E.O. Wilson puts it: “we have a Star Wars civilization with Stone Age emotions.” In other words, our emotional needs haven’t changed in millennia.
The stress hormones that so adeptly redistribute blood flow to our muscles and once saved us from stampeding hyenas are now the bane of our existence: they impede us from finding health and happiness in urban environments. Think about it. We evolved in dispersed familial groups. We certainly didn’t adapt to be crowded together in cell-like apartments that would be considered inhumane for most zoo animals. The sensory overload of cities triggers stress hormones and keeps them in overdrive.
The repercussions are multifold: cities reduce emotional resiliency, lower immunity, suppress memory, increase depression, and double the risk for mental disorders like schizophrenia.
Why, then, do 80% of the Americans live in urban areas? Why do we live in spaces that subjugate our innate, primordial preferences for space and security?
One reason is obvious: urban environments present the most efficient and sustainable way for large human populations to live interactively. We’re lured by the prospect of work and opportunity. The results, however, can be dehumanizing.
Toward an Instinctual Architecture
There’s a solution to the mismatch between our innate emotional needs and our current habitats. Instead of suppressing our instinctual needs for greenery, blue skies, and open landscapes, let’s embrace them. Sustainable architecture is about maximizing efficiency and conserving energy. But the third, equally important leg of this construct needs to be maximizing our connection to nature to nurture our health, mental acuity, and sanity. Let’s make city living sustainable for humans by taking concerted efforts to incorporate natural light, materials, patterns, and views into our designs.
If you can’t go hikes on the weekends or sit in the park on your lunch break, recreate the savanna in your apartment or workplace — to soothe and (properly) stimulate all of your senses. Paint the ceiling blue to emulate the horizon, put in textured hardwood floors to mimic the forest floor, add a small fountain that resembles a trickling brook, or install artificial lighting that simulates natural light and syncs with your circadian rhythms.
If your own human health and happiness isn’t reason enough to bring the outdoors inside, do it for the increased productivity and the bottom line.
What if we told you that we’ve got your answer for how you can avoid the dentist office?
October is National Dental Hygiene Month, which recognizes the teams of dentists and dental specialists dedicated to ensuring optimal experiences for their patients. To date, the use of tele-dentistry (telecommunication for dental care, consultation, education, and public awareness) has not become an integral part of the dental practice, but its implementation is becoming a necessary need for the sustainment of oral health throughout society.
According to the CDC, cavities (also known as caries or tooth decay) are one of the most common chronic conditions affecting both children and adults globally.
- More than 80% of adults, by age 34 have at least one cavity
- Every 1 in 5 children, ages 5–11, have at least one cavity
- Every 1 in 7 adolescents, ages 12 -19, have at least one cavity
- On average, an annual cost of $113 billion relates to dental care in the USA
If left untreated, cavities can lead to pain, missed days at school and work, and can significantly decrease your quality of life. The HealthTap app allows you to communicate with a board certified dentist about your oral health concerns, because let’s face it… no one likes going to the dentist unless they have to!
The good news is that cavities are preventable. Visiting your dentist twice a year is key to making sure your smile lasts a lifetime. However home oral care for you and your family is just as important as in office dental visits.
Here are the must-follow guidelines for home oral care:
- Brush using circular motions on all surfaces of your teeth and your tongue for at least two minutes, twice a day. Supervision and education of good brushing techniques for your child under age 6 is very important.
- Use a fluoride toothpaste. Children younger than age 2 should not use fluoride toothpaste unless your dentist advises so. If your drinking water is not fluoridated, ask your dentist about oral fluoride supplements for your child.
- Flossing is essential for reaching those hard to reach places between your teeth and keeping your gums healthy.
- Talk to your dentist about fissure sealants for your child. Applying fissure sealants to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth can prevent cavities for many years.
- Talk to your HealthTap dentist from the comfort of your home or learn more about oral health in the HealthTap library.
Author: Simitha Singh Rambiritch
The spa break is evolving. Facemasks and bubble baths at Champneys no longer cut it if one is to keep up with curve, I am told. A new trend in the luxury travel industry in order to cater for the needs of a new generation of elites has announced itself. There is no room for relaxation at these nu-wellness boot camps. The road to replenishment is rough, and those who seek physical, mental and spiritual enlightenment better be prepared to put in the work. Ah, who wants to have a nice time on holiday anyway?
A recent article published in Travel, an offshoot magazine as part of the publication City A.M documented the various activities available to you if you want to get well at one of their camps. Just a glance and you see phrases like ‘colon massage’ ‘coffee enema’ and ‘self-imposed starvation’. Yep, as I said, these ‘treatments’ are seriously not for the faint-hearted. Now we ask with the utmost respect, that burning age-old question, what is the point?
Well, the world is changing and the frenetic lives of the people on the planet are becoming unaccustomed to waiting for results. Gens X, Y and Z would rather have a fast, high-intensity path that delivers optimum results, instead of committing to a full-blown dietary plan and exercise schedule during their working lives. Why? Because they don’t have time.
These treatments are meant to flush out the system and completely rid the body of toxins, something that is valuable for the mind and for the soul as well. The green juices flow like water at these resorts and fasting is readily encouraged. It may not be anyone’s idea of relaxing, but those that try it say they feel rejuvenated and would do it again in a heartbeat.
The managers, business partners and executives of the city live a fast-paced lifestyle and simply don’t have time to waste during their downtime. The holiday time they get (minimal) has to be spent efficiently. As much as these abhorrent-sounding methods of cleansing hurt, they are life-altering, which is entirely the point. Dramatic changes are never going to be easy, are they?
Specifically, head to resorts in the Philippines for a thorough toxin cleanse, Portugal for an anti-aging course, Peru to be violently sick and India for the more spiritually conscious amongst you searching for enlightenment. The Daddy of countries that offer these kinds of boot camp-spa hybrids in their full-fat entirety is actually Thailand.
Scarlet Winterberg, who wrote the aforementioned article, writes about vows of silence and starvation, with those undertaking the courses experiencing out of body visual manifestations and religious experiences. Whichever way you slice it; these resorts where people come to cleanse themselves are doing a roaring trade. The proof I suppose, is in the pudding, and whether or not I would have the guts (no pun intended) to try it, those that do claim to be feeling immense benefits. With life in the city as demanding as it is, is it any wonder people are finding new ways to get healthy, fast? Don’t knock it ‘till you’ve tried it, I suppose.
Today’s modern economy is very much based on human brain power — the knowledge and creativity of the workforce (also called knowledge economy). To demonstrate, the latest figures from 2015 show that intangible assets that teams of people create, like patents, trademarks, copyrights and other intellectual property, comprise 84% of the S&P 500 market value^1 . Since people are the ones developing these intangible assets that are organizations’ greatest assets (although financial statements say otherwise- more on that in this Huff Post piece), let’s make the connection between how promoting employee health and wellbeing at the office can yield positive gains for the bottom line.
We spend upwards of 90% of our time indoors, so it’s beyond a doubt that these spaces in which we live and work have physiological and psychological impacts on us ^2 . Evidence-based research shows that incorporating nature-inspired or biophilic elements into office design will have a positive impact on our productivity, health and wellbeing.
Biophilia is a term popularized by biologist, E.O.Wilson in the 1984, to describe the innate human attraction to nature^3 . Biophilic design incorporates the colors, textures, sights, smells and sounds of nature into interior design, as well as better access to outdoor nature. Many studies have shown that such designs reduce stress, blood pressure levels and heart rates, while increasing productivity, cognitive ability and general-well being 4.
So, let’s say, “thank u, next,” to cookie-cutter office plans and promote biophilic design in the workplace instead. The primary causes for worker productivity loss are: absenteeism, loss of focus, negative mood, and poor health^5 . Our built environments aren’t necessarily the cause of these ailments, but a well-designed office space, where the average US employee spends more than 43 hours per week may reduce them^6,7 . Measuring rates of absenteeism and presenteeism can demonstrate why businesses can no longer afford to ignore the value of of biophilic design.
Both Stewart and Kumar had just wrapped up client projects at their company, frog design, and they had a few weeks before they both began their next client project. So, Stewart, an industrial designer, and Kumar, an experience designer, teamed up to see if other women felt as strongly as they did that the pelvic exam needed a redesign.
After conducting a mini-research project, in which they interviewed both patients and providers of pelvic exams about their experiences, Stewart and Kumar found that almost everyone felt the same way they did about pelvic exams: anxious. And especially anxious about the vaginal speculum.
Stewart and Kumar shared their findings with co-workers Rachel Hobart, a visual designer, and Fran Wang, a mechanical engineer. Together, Stewart, Kumar, Hobart and Wang named their project yona, which Hobart says is a combination of “yonic” and “vagina,” and the four of them started working on it in their free time.
The more they researched, the more “egregiously shocked and angered at the incredibly dark history behind [the speculum] that none of us knew about,” Wang says. The dark history that Wang is referring to is largely tied to Sims.
Wang and the rest of the Yona team came up with a speculum redesign that would be more user and patient friendly. One of the biggest differences is the auditory experience. The speculum that’s used in most exam rooms is two-billed and metal, meaning that when it’s opened for size, it often makes a ratcheting noise. The new speculum is covered in surgical silicone, and instead of a two-billed device, has three leaves that would gently open, with no audible ratcheting.
The Yona team isn’t the first to think of redesigning the speculum. Other companies like FemSuite and Doctors Research Group Inc. have redesigned the speculum, but their designs never went anywhere, reportedly due to unwillingness of doctors to adopt new practices.
Though Kumar knows the medical industry is a hard one to disrupt, she argues that Yona’s redesign is really not asking doctors to adopt new practices, rather to improve existing ones. Yona’s speculum redesign is still in the prototype phase, and hasn’t been implemented in exam rooms yet, but they’ve received encouraging feedback from the reproductive health community.
Lisa Jongewaard, the lead clinician for the San Francisco Planned Parenthood clinic, says that when the Yona team showed her a prototype of the new speculum she was ecstatic. Not only is it more patient-friendly, but Jongewaard says that there are a lot of benefits for the health provider as well. In her daily practice, she says that there is a certain way she has to hold the speculum in order not to pinch the patient’s labia. After experimenting with Yona’s speculum prototype though, Jongewaard thinks it would be almost impossible to pinch a patient’s labia.
“Having that as part of the design going into the pelvic exam — thinking of a woman’s comfort — is pretty novel and wonderful that we’re finally looking at that,” Jongewaard says. “It’s super exciting to see young women who are just passionate about women’s health and reproductive health.”
While Yona remains very much a passion project — Kumar, Stewart, Hobart, and Wang work on it evenings and weekends — they envision a future in which gynecology doesn’t have a “father” anymore. Instead, gynecological tools and practices will be designed by, and for, people that actually have vaginas.
We have the power of choice.
We also are granted the privilege to fail.
While failure can be overdone, it is going to happen.
We must find a way to overcome the failures.
I should know.
I’ve failed a lot.
But like you (I can only imagine), I’ve gotten up each time.
You see, I don’t think we are terribly different.
We are much the same.
But if someone were to ask me what “separates” me it is this:
I stick to things longer than most would.
Don’t give up. Use me as an example of someone who failed and failed but kept getting back up.
I had a belt around my neck.
Before that, I started drinking tea. But I was drinking Lipton. By the gallon.
Only to find out it was ~2000 calories each time I drank this “healthy” drink.
Then I switched to Diet Tea.
Then bagged tea.
Then loose leaf tea straight from China.
Now I’m drinking coffee.
The point is there is a process.
If I would have beaten myself up (which I did) to the point of no return, I wouldn’t be here writing this.
You too have failed but have gotten back up and have reference points on which you can call back upon.
It is powerful.
“I had a belt around my neck”
I contemplated suicide more times than I can count.
More times than those close to me would want to be aware of.
Even now, they think I’m teetering on the fence of breakdown (I’m not).
I am no longer teetering anywhere.
I am all in.
And you can be too.
Be the hero in your own story because everything you do matters.
And the reversal is true. If you treat life as if it doesn’t matter, as if your role in the Universe doesn’t matter, you negatively impact everyone around you.
As Alexsandr Solzhenitsyn said:
If you live in pathology you pathologize your society. One person can do this. Don’t think you are small.
Act as if what you do makes a difference.
Because it does.
Act as if you are more powerful, courageous, and stronger than you could possibly imagine.
Because you are.
But you must — We must start now.
Today is all we have.
Tomorrow is predicated on our daily practices today.
After the darkness of each night, the golden rays of morning fill our life with lots of hope, enthusiasm, energy… … Isn’t it?
If you see the sky at dawn and dusk time, if you see the birds flying in herds in the sky with lots of conversation among themselves, if you see the new leaf, new flower in small plants in your terrace garden, if you could see the whole life coming out for day long activity and struggle whether in the fields or factories, you would definitely feel the beauty of life all around you.
Come out of your own “self” some time every day to live like an ordinary human being and feel the fulfilling difference.
It is, no doubt, equally true that life is full of ups and downs, but if we open our hearts, say an emphatic “Go to Ego” and embrace the changes of life, believe me, even in most difficult situations, we can feel that life is full of suspense and splendid things. And after all who has all the goods and no odds in life. So, complaining and grumbling all the time have little meaning.
Swami Vivekananda says this in his own simple way, “we find ourselves in the position for which we are fit, each ball finds its own hole; and if one has some capacity above another, the world will find that out too, in this universal adjusting that goes on. So, it is no use to grumble…. Always grumbling he will lead a miserable life and everything will be a failure. But that man, who does his duty as he goes, putting his shoulder to the wheel, will see the light… When you are doing any work, do not think of anything beyond. Do it as worship, as the highest worship….”
And, by the way, happiness is not a happening; it is a state of mind. You can have everything in the world and still be miserable or you can have relatively little and feel unbounded joy. See around you and you will appreciate the truth of these words.
Where can we go to find God if we cannot see Him in our own hearts and in every living being? -Swami Vivekananda
It’s all knowing, life is very precious and hope is the main driver. Everyone passes though different phases of life from childhood to senior citizenship, but no matter, how young or old you are, you can still be creative and influential, provided you have faith in yourself and a conviction to do what you think is right.
The great Hindi poet Ramdhari Singh Dinkar expressed these sentiments in the following lines:
खम ठोकता है जब नर / पर्वत के जाते पांव उखड़ /
मानव जब जोर लगाता है / पत्थर पानी बन जाता है…
(When you try fearlessly with a firm resolve, even the mountains give the way; when you put your best of efforts, success comes running.)
So, just do your best and enjoy life. Believe me, it has many better and exciting moments in store for you. Undeniably, life is very challenging yet very beautiful. Believe, you do agree.
As always, I’m keen to know what you think on this subject. Hence, request you to post comments to share your views and experiences.