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How To Learn To Love Your Body

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I want to start this by letting you in on a little secret:

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Your body does not have to change for you to start loving it more.

You do not need to lose a pound, an inch, tone up an arm, reduce a wrinkle or build more muscle before you can start loving your body more.

The reason? Body love, just like any other form of self-love, is a choice that you make. It is something that comes from the inside and radiates out –not something that is based on an outer circumstance that then filters its way back in.

I Used To Hate My Body Too

I used to hate my body. When I say hate, I really mean hate. I loathed it. My stomach would flip over when I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I would cry over photographs of myself. I would lament the size and shape of my thighs and belly to anyone who would sit near me long enough to listen.

All that body hatred really just sucked me down into more and more body hate. I thought that if I continued to focus on all of the things I did not like about my body, it would give me the motivation I needed to eat better and work out more and generally do the things I thought I needed to do to change my body, so that I could eventually love it.

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Body Hate Never Motivates Positive Change

It never worked. I am talking about years and years of trying to hate my body into submission. One day, after a particularly rough bout of low self-esteem I thought of the saying, “if you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always got.” This helped me realize that all of my years of trying to hate my body into perfection had never yielded the results I wanted, and that maybe it was time to take a different approach.

Loving My Body Where It Was

This is when I decided to start loving my body, just the way it was, in this moment. Of course this was more easily said than done primarily due to the fact that I was now so used to hating my body. To make the process doable for me, I started with outward actions. I started to change a few of my self-destructive behaviours, turning them into self-constructive ones.

At first, nothing all that special happened. It was hard work not to slip into my old routine of berating myself and wanting to punish my body. However, over time as I stuck with my new habits, a miraculous thing began to happen. I started to actually feel better about my body. Nothing really changed on a physical level, but my thoughts and my emotional reactions to myself started to shift and transform. I started to care less about what I looked like, and started to care more about how I felt. I started to love the uniqueness of my body, rather than loathing it. This process totally and completely transformed my life, which is why I want to share some of my tools with you today. It is my hope that you can start to shift how you think and feel about your body starting right here, right now – no diet required.

Body Love Action Number 1: Dress How You Want To Dress NOW, Don’t Wait For A Goal Weight Or Shape

I was always waiting until my body looked how I wanted it to look before I would give myself permission to dress how I really wanted to dress. I was constantly choosing my clothes based on what I thought would make me look ‘thin,’ rather than what I actually liked. The other thing I always did was wear clothes that were either way to tight or way to big for me –as a way of proving I could fit into a smaller size or as a way of trying to cover everything up. Neither ever made me feel very good, and at the same time I was energetically rejecting my body all day long by wearing clothes that did not fit.

I highly encourage you to go through your closet right now, and get rid of anything that does not fit you. Then, choose new items that you actually like – don’t worry if they flatter your ‘shape’ or make you look this way or that. Wear what you feel good wearing, and wear clothes that fit you where you are right now. Not only will you feel more comfortable this way, you will also be energetically sending your body a signal that it is safe, and that is a good thing. If you don’t want to purchase anything new, that’s okay too –just choose to wear your best fitting items that represent your personal tastes in this moment.

Body Love Action Number 2: Throw Out Your Scale – Forever

girlweightKnowing how much you weigh in a number of ways is totally useless. The number on the scale is going to fluctuate – and if you are anything like me, every time it does it is going to send you into a tailspin of thoughts, most of which are going to be negatively charged. This is going to cause you stress, and stress is the last thing you need when you are trying to learn to love your body.

The number on the scale, at the end of the day, means nothing. How you feel inside your body is so much more important. Knowing your weight has zero benefits. If you are overweight and unhealthy, you don’t need to know the exact number of pounds you are right now to know that what you are doing is not serving your body. Likewise, constantly weighing yourself when you are in a place of war with your body is only going to add fuel to the body fighting fire. Throw out your scale and never, ever get a new one.

Liberate yourself! It may be scary at first, but soon you will realize it was a really good choice to let it go.

Body Love Action Number 3: Move To Feel Good, Not Lose Weight

I used to kill myself working out. I worked out for hours a day, doing things I didn’t enjoy because I was sure they would give me the body I wanted eventually. Again, it never happened. Punishing myself with working out basically led me to adrenal burn out, lots of stress hormones, a messed up metabolism and a totally skewed idea of what my body actually looked like.

As soon as I stopped that madness and chose to do only exercises that I enjoyed, I began to heal. I started to actually enjoy movement, which meant it was not another thing on my list of things I had to do that day, but was a welcomed reprieve and a place to just breath, tune in with myself and enjoy the bliss of moving. It does not matter what you choose, just choose something that you enjoy doing. If you do not currently have a fitness routine, I highly encourage you to start one knowing that you are doing it because you love your body, not because you are trying to change it. Movement is supposed to feel good – so make that your mandate. You move every day in a way that makes you feel good.

Body Love Action Number 4: Make A List Of Everything Your Body Does For You, Then Sit With It For A While

It is so easy to fall into the trap of thinking about everything you wish your body was that it isn’t. This negative thinking pattern will only create more and more negative thoughts. I have found that actively interrupting this cycle is one of the best ways to turn your patterns around so that you start to notice all of the things that you love about your body, more often than you notice the things that you don’t like.

Remember your brain is a pattern-seeking machine –if you set it to finding the negative, it will do that. If you set it to seeing the positive, it will do that too. Every night before you go to bed, I suggest you make a list of at least 10 things you appreciate about your body –more if you can think of them. After you have completed your list, just sit with that list for a while and really feel appreciation for your body. It is amazing what can happen when you make this a regular practice.

Body Love Action Number 5: Refuse To Speak Negatively About Your Own & Everyone Else’s Body

Finally, make a commitment to yourself that you are going to stop speaking negatively about your body, and about everyone else’s body.  This means no more sitting and complaining about your thighs or belly to your friends. No more asking your partner if your dress makes you look fat. No more pointing out how unattractive other people are. Make a pact with yourself that you are now like Thumper –at least where your body and others bodies are concerned – “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”

There is nothing to gain from saying bad things about yourself or others. It wont make you thinner or prettier or more muscular to tear yourself or anyone else down. The more you can speak words for affirmation about yourself and your body, the more you are going to feel those words. This is how you turn your negative thinking around -first through what you express with your words. Speak lovingly about yourself and watch how your feelings transform.

Your Body Deserves Your Love

It’s doing the best it can to carry you through your life, to help you live your days doing what you want to do. The more you can align yourself with your body, the more ease you are going to experience in your day to day life –and you deserve that. Try these practices for at least 30 days and see what happens. You may just discover that your body was never really so bad after all.

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

Watch the interview here.
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Awareness

Boy or Girl – Baby Gender Selection Issues

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Some parents have the possibility to opt for gender selection; however, being able to decide whether to have a baby boy or girl is a controversial issue.

Many couples expecting a baby do not think it’s a big issue whether they have a boy or a girl; however there are several medical, social, and personal reasons that could influence parents to recur to some form of gender selection.

Like many other controversial practices, the legality of gender selection, also known as sex selection, varies from country to country.

The Legality of Baby Gender Selection

The United States has perhaps some of the most relaxed laws regarding baby gender selection in the world. Most European countries and Australia, on the other hand, have bans on sex selection and only allow it for medical reasons. For example, if a parent is a carrier of a mutation or gene with more chances of manifesting itself in a certain gender, baby gender selection is valid. However, if parents simply wish to balance the ratio of boys and girls in their family, they are not allowed to recur to sex selection.

This has generated a form of medical tourism in which couples from countries where gender selection is illegal, like the UK, travel to the US in order to be able to choose whether to have a baby boy or girl.

On the other hand, sex selection is illegal in the two most populated countries on Earth, China and India. In these countries, baby gender selection has been performed clandestinely for many years and for reasons other than family balancing or avoiding genetic diseases. In these societies, having a baby boy is preferred mainly for cultural and economic reasons. Parents believe that boys have better chances of earning income and eventually support them when they reach an old age.

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Methods of Baby Gender Selection

There are two major types of gender selection methods: the first one is called sperm sorting, and involves separating X-chromosome sperm from Y-chromosome sperm by flow cytometry, a purification technique in which chromosomes are suspended in a stream of sperm and identified by an electronic detector before being separated. Intra-uterine insemination or in-vitro fertilization can then be performed with the enriched sperm. The success rates for this method vary from 80% to 93%.

The other method, called pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, consists in generating several embryos through in-vitro fertilization, which are then genetically tested to determine a baby’s gender. The chosen embryos can then be implanted. This method has a success rate of almost 100%; however, it can be quite expensive, costing up to $15,000.

Issues Regarding Baby Gender Selection

While there are few objections against baby gender selection when it is performed for medical reasons, it has become a highly controversial issue when it is used for balancing the number of boys or girls in families. Some people raise the obvious ethical question of whether people who opt for gender selection are “playing God” by manipulating whether to have a baby boy or girl. Others believe that new parents will raise a baby more appropriately if he or she belongs to their preferred gender.

Gender Imbalance Caused by Baby Gender Selection

Gender selection has caused demographic concern in China and India since it has contributed to generate a gender imbalance in the populations of those countries. In some regions of China, for example, the sex ratio for newborns is 118:100, boys to girls. This phenomenon has in turn been associated with social problems such as an increase in violence and prostitution.

It seems like a logical solution for governments around the globe to legalize baby gender selection but to analyze the personal reasons why each couple intends to select a baby boy or girl. Gender selection for medical reasons should even be encouraged, since it could prevent serious genetic diseases such as cystic fibrosis, Huntington’s disease, and Haemophilia A. Balancing the gender ratio of a family should be accepted if by doing this, a healthy family environment is created. On the other hand, China and India have shown that baby gender selection as a result of a bias towards a particular gender can not only create a gender imbalance in the population, but contribute to social problems as well.

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

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Awareness

Organic Certification: What the USDA Organic Label Means

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Organic and natural labels mean different things, and various types of labels tells you what percentage of ingredients are actually organic. We'll explore what to look for.

  • Reflect On:

    Do you sometimes buy products thinking they are organic or fully natural based on their wording? Have you later found out that those products aren't natural or organic at all? Read labels more closely at grocery stores to be aware.

Don’t get conned by fraudulent claims of “natural” or “organic.” Learn what to look for, and why it’s important, to ensure you’re getting the quality you are paying for.

The industrial age of the 20th century brought about changing agricultural practices that have generated increasing alarm about the effects of these practices on the environment and health. The use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, antibiotics, hormones, irradiated and genetically altered food and fiber products has created a groundswell of rightful concern. It has led to the growing demand for non-toxic, organic products that many are willing to pay a higher price for to ensure the healthful purity of food and clothing provided for their families.

With such profit opportunities, it’s little wonder that the lucrative organic product market has suffered abuse with so-called “organic” labels being fraudulently placed on products that have not earned the right. As a result of pressure from farming and consumer groups, legislation for the standardization of organic certification was introduced in the 1980s. It has been updated to include more vigorous enforcement and control methods since, with the current standards established in 2002 by the USDA.

The Standards of USDA Organic Certification

Specific standards must be met in order to legally claim a product as USDA certified organic. Organic producers must utilize methods that conserve water, maximize soil health, and reduce air pollution. The specific standards to earn USDA organic certification include:

Free of synthetic chemicals such as insecticides, herbicides, fertilizers, hormones, antibiotics, and additives

Free from irradiation and genetically modified organisms

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Agricultural products grown on land that has been free of prohibited substances for a period of three years

Animals used for meat, eggs, milk or other animal products must be exclusively fed foods that are organically grown, may not be given antibiotics or hormones, and must have access to outdoors.

Clean and sanitized harvesting and processing equipment throughout the process from harvest to finished, packaged product

Detailed chain-of-handling records from the field through final sales

Physical separation of certified organic products from non-organic products throughout the process of production

Regular on-site inspections from USDA-approved inspectors to ensure compliance

Understanding the Certified Organic Label

Once the rigorous process of certification has been completed, organic producers may place the USDA certified organic seal on their products. Currently, there are four levels of certified organic products, with a specific definition of the percentage of organic ingredients the final products contains. They are as follows:

• 100% organic: all production methods and ingredients are USDA certified organic.

• Organic: at least 95% of the production methods and ingredients are USDA certified organic with remaining ingredients included on the National List of allowed ingredients.

• Made With Organic Ingredients: at least 70% of the ingredients are USDA certified organic with remaining ingredients included on the National List of allowed ingredients.

• No organic wording or seal: less than 70% of the ingredients are USDA certified organic and no claims may be made on the front or back of the product.

Manufacturers or producers who knowingly label a product “organic” when it does not meet the USDA standards are subject to fines up to $11,000 per violation.

Why Organic Certification is Important

When you see the official USDA organic certification seal on food, clothing, and bedding products, you can be assured that these products have met the meticulous standards required and are free of chemicals, toxins, antibiotics, and hormones. When you see the USDA certified organic label, you will understand the value of the higher priced organic products as compared to non-organically produced products.

With the current stringent organic certification requirements enforced by regular inspections from USDA accredited agents, the USDA certified organic label has great meaning and importance to the consumer. Look for the label to know that you are getting the quality you are paying for.

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

Watch the interview here.
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Awareness

WHO Finds Global Lack Of Inactivity Rising Especially In Wealthier Countries — What You Can Do

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Inactivity is on the rise and it's the cause of a wide range of health concerns. Our population is only becoming more inactive, not less, and it's time to change that.

  • Reflect On:

    There are many factors of our modern world that make us less active. Our jobs, driving rather than walking/biking, too much screen time. What can you do differently to bring more activity into your life? What story stops you from starting?

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that more than a quarter of the entire population on this planet are not getting enough physical exercise, this number has barely improved since 2001. There are many factors that contribute to this, but just how much damage are we doing by failing to be active?

The lack of physical exercise raises the risk of many health problems, such as heart disease, type-2 diabetes and various types of cancers.

Interestingly, according to their study published in The Lancet Global Health, higher income countries, such as the UK, were among the least active population. Women were also found to be more sedentary throughout the world, excluding two regions in Asia.

The study looked at self-reported data on activity levels from 358 population based surveys covering 168 countries and included 1.9 million people.

The populations of higher income countries, which include the UK and USA showed an increase in the proportion of inactive people and had actually risen from 32% in 2001 to 37% in 2016, in the lower income countries it remained at 16%.

Those who were classified as inactive did less than 150 minutes of moderate exercise and around 75 minutes of intense activity per week.

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It was found that women were less active than men overall, except for in South and Central Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and higher-income Western countries. The authors believe that this was caused by a few different factors including extra childcare duties and cultural perspectives that may have made it more difficult for them to exercise.

Why More Inactivity In Wealthier Countries?

According to the researchers, in the wealthier countries, many of the jobs have transitioned to more office or desk jobs, meaning a more sedentary type of lifestyle. On top of that much of the population of these countries drive automobiles or take public transit to and from work which in many cases accounts for a lot of their time.

In the lower income countries, many of the jobs require the people to be more active, are physically demanding and people often have to walk to and from their jobs.

The WHO has had a goal to reduce the global levels of inactivity by 10% by 2025, the authors of the study feel that at the rate we are currently going, this target will be missed.

Lead author of the study, Dr. Regina Guthold said, “Unlike other major global health risks, levels of insufficient physical activity are not falling worldwide, on average, and over a quarter of all adults are not reaching the recommended levels of physical activity for good health.”

Regions with increasing levels of insufficient physical activity are a major concern for public health and the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases.”

Co-author, Dr. Fiona Bull added, “Addressing these inequalities in physical activity levels between men and women will be critical to achieving global activity targets and will require interventions to promote and improve women’s access to opportunities that are safe, affordable and culturally acceptable.”

According to the WHO,

Exercise guidelines for 19- to 64-year-olds

How much?

  • at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity every week
  • strength exercises on two or more days a week that work all the major muscles
  • break up long periods of sitting with light activity

What is moderate aerobic activity?

  • Walking fast, water aerobics, riding a bike on level ground or with a few hills, doubles tennis, pushing a lawn mower, hiking, skateboarding, rollerblading, volleyball, basketball

What counts as vigorous activity?

  • Jogging or running, swimming fast, riding a bike fast or on hills, singles tennis, football, rugby, skipping rope, hockey, aerobics, gymnastics, martial arts

What activities strengthen muscles?

  • lifting weights, working with resistance bands, doing exercises that use your own body weight, such as push-ups and sit-ups, heavy gardening, such as digging and shovelling, yoga

What activities are both aerobic and muscle-strengthening?

  • circuit training, aerobics, running, football, rugby, netball, hockey

Final Thoughts

I was surprised to see that the WHO didn’t touch on inactivity due to too much screen time — watching television, Netflix, Facebook scrolling, messaging, texting, browsing etc. Certainly, the increase in screen time plays a roll with the amount of inactivity, especially in the higher income countries. If you are someone who spends too much time staring at a screen, then it is important to consider the above information. Can you limit your screen time and replace it with something active? Or would you consider jumping rope, or rebounding while watching the television? Our health is our greatest wealth and having awareness about an issue is the first way to create change and take responsibility for our lives.

Could you walk or bike to work instead of drive? What about trying a new sport? Could you commit to adding a few hours each week of physical activity? These small decisions could have a profound impact on your health, longevity and overall well-being.

Much Love

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

Watch the interview here.
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