Browsing Tag:

self esteem

In Health, Random Thoughts on
December 13, 2017

I quit dieting. Here’s why…

By Francesca Roznicki

“I feel like I’m reaching a place where I don’t really want to focus on losing weight. I know I don’t look awesome. I know I’m overweight. But I feel like I don’t hate the way I look enough to make it a priority. I don’t want to get bigger. But I just wanna eat what I want and not feel guilty about it. Is that insane?”

This was the text message that started it all. That started the shift. That started the fall back to myself.

I sent this message to my husband on a Thursday afternoon and part of me was worried he would come back with something that would challenge my ability to go down this new path. I worried he may say something like “you just gotta keep at it” or “you’re doing great” – something that was supportive but also made it difficult for me to “give up”

But instead, he came back with a response that supported my fall down the rabbit hole of body-positive, self love.

He simply said “nope. I feel the exact same way”

And so that’s where it started.

For years, I have been thinking I loved my body.

For years, I have been thinking because I don’t stand in front of the mirror pointing out my flaws, that that meant I liked myself – never mind the fact that I actively avoided looking in the mirror when coming out of the shower.

For years, I thought because I followed weight watchers- which touts that it is a lifestyle change, not a DIET- that I was changing my lifestyle. I wasn’t dieting.

But I think I also knew that this wasn’t true. I joined weight watchers for the third (Fourth? Fifth?) time, after my youngest son was born in 2016. And a year and a half later, I was only down about 10 lbs – when I wanted to lose 50. I struggled over and over again to “be on track” to “stay committed” and yet nothing seemed to work.

Even though I know that my weight watchers leader talked about loving your body through the journey, self-love at any size etc. I felt like I didn’t “hate” my body enough for that to stop myself from wanting to eat whatever I wanted to eat – and then the guilt would set in and I would religiously track my foods and struggle to find my willpower for 2-3 days before, inevitably, The entire cycle would start over.  This went on for well over a year.

I was so tired of the cycle. I was sick of the guilt. I was sick of wanting to just love my body, but feeling like I couldn’t because it wasn’t “perfect”

So after that text message exchange with my husband, I started seeking out all the body positive, body love messages I could. Pinterest was a great start – lots of inspirational quotes, which lead to book suggestions and blog writers I would love to follow. An hour later, I canceled my weight watchers account. And that night, we ordered Chinese food and I enjoyed it guilt free – for the first time in years. Food without guilt. What a concept…

So while this journey is so new for me, I wanted to share it with others so you can join me on learning to love your body. Below are some suggestions on how to start the body love process – books, hashtags etc. And please, reach out if you have anything to share. I am by no means an expert – but I’m learning and I’m committed to loving my body and helping other women learn that their bodies are worthy of love – just as we are. 

***
Reading suggestions (what I’m reading now)

  • The Goddess Revolution by Mel Wells
  • Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls : A Handbook for Unapologetic Living by Jes Baker

Hashtag suggestions (what I’m looking up on Pinterest and Instagram)

  • #bodylove
  • #bodypositive
  • #bopo
  • #loveyourbody
  • #selflove
  • #selfcare

Some of my favourite quotes (what I’ve pinned on my #bopo Pinterest board)

Francesca Roznicki is a married stay at home mom of two boys living in Edmonton, Alta. She has always had a passion for writing but found it hard to commit to regular writing after her kids were born. One day she decided that “starting where she was” was the most important part and now she happily shares stories of her life, crazy mom moments, recipes and more on her blog “Bloom and Bliss” 

In Health, Lifestyle, Parenting on
July 21, 2017

How Kindness Leads to Happier Healthier Kids

By Alisa Taylor

It seems so simple. Just be kind to each other. Mean comments online have far-reaching effects and can be devastating for our kids. What starts off as something meant to be funny or a joke, can quickly escalate into something embarrassing or hurtful. A child’s fragile self-esteem can be shattered in one disparaging remark or one unassuming photo. With so many kids fuelling their confidence through their online personas and the reliance upon “hearts” and “likes” for self-preservation, it is not a surprise that self-esteem is falling. In a recent UK study, researchers found that just 33% of 14 and 15 year old girls felt good about themselves. Researchers suggested that the decline in girls’ self esteem was linked to their online activity.

With the ability to share messages and pictures now, cyberbullying, hurtful comments and the pressure to “act” a certain way online is a new dimension our kids have to navigate. These online pressures spill into real life for them. As parents, we didn’t have this online world to navigate growing up. The mean words ended at the school yard or in a note we could tear up and throw away. They didn’t follow us home and spread to our safe places. But there is something we can encourage and model for our kids that will not only contribute to a healthier and safer environment both online and offline, but will also improve their well being. Kindness.

Random acts of kindness are scientifically shown to help us lead longer, happier, more energetic lives. That feeling we get after performing a kind act or doing a good deed is often referred to as the ‘Helper’s High’. The term was coined by Allan Luks and is described as “the powerful physical feelings people experience when directly helping others”.

Acts of kindness contribute to the release of the hormone oxytocin which plays a role in lowering blood pressure and improved cardiovascular health. Oxytocin also assists in reducing inflammation, which contributes to the aging process. In a study in the Journal of Social Psychology, a group of participants who performed a daily act of kindness for 10 days reported a higher boost of happiness compared to the group who did not. And possibly the best side effect of kindness? The fact that it is contagious.

One kind, thoughtful comment or gesture has a ripple effect that can positively influence the recipient, those who witness the act as well as the kindness provider. Those feel-good emotions that are stimulated, tend to reinforce the power of a good deed and motivates us to keep it going.

Our kids don’t have to be friends with everyone they meet or talk to online, but we can encourage them to be kind to everyone. The spread of mean messages can be prevented by a movement towards kindness and the upward spiral that follows. Encourage your kids to choose kindness and they will live a happier, healthier life because of it.

“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”   – Maya Angelou

Alisa is a former Criminal Intelligence Analyst and has worked in law enforcement for the last 15 years. She is passionate about keeping kids safe and kind online and ensuring they thrive in our digital world. When Alisa isn’t online, you might spot her in the YEG river valley with her dogs, husband, and daughter or escaping the city for a weekend of camping.  You can follow Alisa on her blog The Lotus Page as well as on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram