If You Don't Like it, Change the Channel

I know I said that I was only going to post once a week and this would make two. And yet, I just saw something on TV that made me comment. It turns out that a writer on Marie Claire made some comments on her BLOG that require addressing in some manner.

Apparently, Maura Kelly was assigned to review or comment on the show Mike and Molly on CBS. I don’t know if you have seen the show yet, which is why I include the link. It is cute and it deals with the obesity epidemic head on. People who are overweight and obese will joke about their situation. I am not skinny, nor do I want to be a size 0. I can relate to their struggles with weight or feeling uncomfortable with the idea of breaking a piece of furniture because of their size (OK, I have yet to break any chairs or tables, there is the fear though).

The sad thing is that Ms. Kelly’s blog starts of with some very valid points. She starts by talking about our unhealthy obsession with perfection and the cost to our economy of the obesity epidemic. Mike and Molly are not simply overweight, they are on the obese side according to her statements. However, I don’t see any reason why they cannot have a show. We are surrounded by rowdy and disrespectful “reality housewives”, shows about addicts kicking the habit, teenage pregnancies and others. The same way I don’t think these shows are advocating bad behavior, addictions or teenage pregnancy, I don’t think that is the point of Mike and Molly. I believe the point of this show is that life does not end because you are heavy. And there is where Ms. Kelly missed the mark.

The bottom line for me is very simple: if I don’t like a show on TV, I change the channel. There is a thing in most houses called a r-e-m-o-t-e control. Ms. Kelly, just take it in your hand and change the channel.
Now, in the same link where the article is, you will see her apology for being insensitive. I found her apology interesting because if you read it all the way through, she seems to be justifying her very simplistic view of the issue of obesity. Let me be clear with all of you: OBESITY is not about food. You can eat healthy and exercise for the rest of your life. If you don’t deal with the issues that made you gain the weight in the first place, you will never be a “normal” size.

Ms. Kelly mentioned that her review might be colored by her background with anorexia. I have been on both ends of the spectrum. When I was young I was anorexic and now I’m battling for my health (my weight is of no interest to me, my health is). I don’t pretend to guess what drove her to make the comments she made. I do believe that her view on the issue is all about the food and the exercise. That is not enough. There is an entire psychology and body issues that has to be addressed if people want to get rid of the weight. I will give her and the magazine props for having the guts to apologize publicly. That is not easy to do and most people don’t bother doing that. If nothing else, her comments have opened a debate that is important. I hope the debate continues and I do encourage Marie Claire to keep the conversation going.

Vogue leads the way of too skinny for my taste

I decided to recycle all my magazines so I took all the magazines in the house to look at them in search of good images for my wishes board and then send them to recycle. As I looked at the March issue of Vogue, I noticed something that I had never noticed before. All the images displayed ridiculously skinny models. This was true of all the commercials and the editorials. As I was about to point out Roberto Cavalli for having relatively healthy looking models, I noticed that they were very tanned and not the picture of health either. So, what is someone like me to do?

Clearly, the first step in practicing what I preach is not purchasing Vogue Magazine ever again. For years, Ms. Wintour has been force feeding her ideal of health (read skinny) into our subconscious. There are other aspects to consider. What kind of clothes can I purchase? I do not want to keep giving my money to these companies that continue to show size 0 models in their issues. The only company that advertised without a model was Piperlime. Their ad stood out because they showed what they were selling, period. They had images of the clothes and not the people who wear them.

Some times I think the only way I am going to vote with my dollars is to learn to sew and make my own fashions. I am now in a quest, and maybe you can help me out. I intend to promote those companies that show real women in real clothes, living real lives. I agree that being in either extreme is unhealthy. I don’t want to promote fat. I want to promote health, and a size 0 is not healthy. Help me find those who are so confident in their designing abilities that they have no trouble designing for real women.

In the meantime, I guess I will have to stay with the clothes I have until I find companies that are responsible in their approach to fashion. Leave the unhealthy Vogue look behind. A message has to be sent to these companies that blatantly promote this vision of skinny being healthy. Would you help me? Post your comments below and tell me what you think.

Do not let anyone tell you

what to do, not even me.

I was watching Dr Phil yesterday, Tuesday, because the topic was weight, something that interests me. They had advocates on both sides of the issue. I was a little disapointed that most of the “experts” talking about healthy weight were so “in your face” about it. In fact, one of the ladies on the pannel spent most of the episode defending herself against a particular comment instead of focusing on the issue. The reason why I decided to comment was a fitness trainer with a shirt that said “NO CHUBBIES” and spent most of the episode espousing his venom on people who are overweight.

First of all, it is sad that people might have facts on their side and loose the battle because of the methods they use. Although both people mentioned had some very important information about the obesity problem in America, their attacking behavior made them loose momentum and focus on the wrong things. Both these people have obese relatives and decided to use that as fuel for their mission. The problem is that once you start attacking “fat” people instead of teaching them, the overweight person is not going to listen to you.

Why do I bring this up? There are many reasons why some of us are overweight. Considering that 70% of Americans are overweight or obese, I would be a fool to think that EVERYBODY that reads this blog is skinny. Again, there might be many reasons: hormonal imbalances, psychological issues, laziness, lack of knowledge, medications, boredom or even the fact that some of us tried everything and we just gave up. Be that as it may, I started this year with a resolution about getting healthy, not loosing weight. Why? Because it is not about a number on a scale, it is about my knees not hurting anymore when I go for a long walk. It is about sleeping well and feeling rested when I wake up. It is about feeling good about myself, even if I ate a cookie, because I also had three fruits, three vegetables and plenty of water that day. It is about a choice that YOU have to make. Don’t let anyone, including me, tell you what you have to do.

If you watch my fan page or this blog, I try to include information from several sources, some I agree with and others I don’t. Why? Because that way, I can teach you that there are many sides to each story, and I leave it up to you to decide which one you feel more comfortable with. Then you can make the best decision for you.

You can press the name Dr Phil and once there, press Tuesday (April 6th) to see a preview of the show and get more information. You can leave your comments below about this particular issue. Have a great day.

If you are feeling tired…

you should make sure that you are getting nourished, get plenty of sleep and relax. Feeling tired is your body’s way of telling you that something is not right. Figure it out and take care of it.

Yesterday, I went out for a training. On the way back, I rode the bus system. It took me two hours to ride 16 miles. Needless to say, by the time I got home, I felt frustrated, hungry and tired. I was lucky enough that my daughter had made dinner, and I ate heartily. Then I took a nap. When I woke up, I was more tired than when I took my nap. I looked at my day and I realized that I had not eaten anything since breakfast, I had no water, and I walked, carrying a heavy bag for over a mile. I love walking so I did not notice the weight on the bag was stressing my back…until I woke up this morning.

Today, I am going for the second part of the training. What to do? I have snacks in my bag, I ate some cream of wheat, I packed my water bottle and I am more relaxed, having done some breathing exercises. Now all I need is to get some transportation set up for next week, because I cannot count on the bus system.

My question to you is this: what is making you feel tired? Look back on your day, or the last week, and identify those things that are wearing you out. Are you eating well? Do you need to supplement with a vitamin? Do you need to relax? Keep yourself accountable and take care of yourself.

Nutrition and FAMILY

Is that even possible? 

I don’t know about you, but I was raised by the best cook in the planet.  Mom fed us really well, had great combinations of veggies, meat and carbs in every plate, before we even knew how important the combination was. 

She also spoiled us with some of the best, not necessarily healthy meals, like mac and cheese (from scratch), lasagna, imperial rice (it is like a lasagna, but the pasta is substituted by rice and the meat is chicken), cheese custard, arroz con dulce, etc.

There are two ways you can still share with FAMILY and be healhy.  Either fill your plate up with veggies and salad and have a small portion of the goodies (I don’t believe in depriving myself of what I love) or start learning to make the same goodies in a healthier way and make a cooking party with your loved ones.  And when you are done, tell me all about it.

Be HONEST

with yourself and answer this question:  are you healthy?

There is a difference between attracting health and ignoring symptoms.  When you attract health is almost like curing hypochondria.  You tell yourself that you are healthy, that you thank God (or the Universe or whatever you believe in) for your strong bones, healthy heart and lungs, beautiful skin.  You do that every day to promote health.

When you ignore symptoms, you run around “acting” like you are ok.  In the back of your head, you spend hours wondering if that nagging pain is something bad.  You create an entire disease in your head and then you have the gall to be surprised when you manifest it.  You asked for it, didn’t you?  Now have the guts to deal with it.

I have two examples to show you how this works and in one of them, show you that you have the power to change your state.

1)  I have a family member that has one of those medical plans that covers everything, and she uses it.  Every week she had several doctor’s appointments.  She was convinced that she was sick and so, after several years of this, she was “shocked” to discover she was ill.  Are you kidding me?  You mean to tell me that you can actually be surprised by something you’ve been asking for (for years)?  Well, she was livid.  She was stunned.  And yes, she is still alive and probably looking for more diseases to give herself.  Don’t forget:  the person that is hypochondriac feels sick because their brain does not know the difference between a real disease and something you’ve created in your head.

2)  When the year started, I had an event where I pulled a muscle close to my breast (and did not notice it).  My right breast hurt, a lot.  In my head, I gave myself cancer and I died.  I cried for all the years I was not going to be here to be with my family.  Then I remembered something Dr. DeMartini says on the Secret about “incurable means curable from within”.  I have read enough to know that your own mental state can and will determine your health.  Every time I had “the thought”, I would replace it with plans for the future.  Then I spent the last three weeks in Puerto Rico like a chicken without a head getting ready for the move.  Add to that three weeks living here.  I have not thought about it once in six weeks and guess what?  The pain is gone. 

You have the power to be as healthy as you want to be.  Use it.  Always be HONEST with yourself and take care of yourself.

Sleep 8 hours?

Every time I see an “expert” there is a different opinion on how many hours you should sleep.  The general consensus seems to be six to eight hours a day. 

I personally work well with seven hours.  I do have a ritual.  I close my eyes and think about my dreams and goals.  I see them as achieved. 

If I can give you one word of advice about sleep it would be this:  relax as much as you can right before you go to sleep.  Think about those big dreams you have.  That will make your night more restful.  Don’t forget, I did not say, figure out how to achieve the dreams.  That would probably stress you out even more.  Just see your dreams as already achieved with a big grin in your face, eyes closed, breathing slowed.  Have a good night sleep.

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